THOSE South Africans who maintain that the latest government salary offer to doctors is fair should perhaps consider the disparity of the salaries between ordinary members of parliament and government doctors.
Junior unqualified, possibly uneducated, un-elected (by the people) members of parliament, during their first month receive salaries of more than R75000 a month, when their massive tax-free perks are included.
Aside from this, even the extra dubious annual tax-free constituency allowance that members of parliament receive is more than what the average doctor receives a month. The latest salary increase offer to ordinary doctors is R19000 a month.
After 30 years' service, a government surgeon or senior doctor will receive less in salary a month than what a junior member of parliament with one month's service currently receives. No wonder the members of parliamentof all the political parties are saying nothing about the unhappy doctors. They are obviously cringing in shame at the thought of what they receive from the taxpayer, when they do so little for the people, compared with the doctors.
South Africans should ask themselves who deserves more? A government doctor who saves lives every day or a member of parliament who, in my opinion, seemingly dozes in his or her parliamentary seat all day and only appears to wake up every five years when they want our votes.
Finally, I seem to remember about two years ago a threatened strike and appeal to former president Thabo Mbeki by members of parliament of all the political parties because they were not satisfied with their salary increases.
Of course, none of the people from this very protected group were fired at the time.
Frank Hartry, Kingsburgh