Hard lessons of democracy

Hallelujah. The strike is over, public servants can get back to work and continue providing the services we all need so desperately.

Hallelujah. The strike is over, public servants can get back to work and continue providing the services we all need so desperately.

If nothing else, in their absence we became sorely aware of how much we rely on public servants. They get effective increases ranging from 21,1percent for the lowest paid to 8,5percent for workers in the top ranks.

Now comes the hard work of trying to clean up the backlog. In Gauteng alone an estimated 10 operations have been postponed at public hospitals over the past four weeks. Schools are in their winter holidays, but teachers and pupils alike will have to work extra hard to catch up weeks of missed lessons.

We just hope that the unions and the government alike have learnt something from this strike, the longest since the advent of democracy.

Serious socioeconomic problems should never again be turned into a stage for political posturing while the whole country is held ransom.

Now the government must set about introducing the long-awaited salary progression scheme that will grant hard-working professionals such as teachers and nurses more equitable salary scales. They too deserve a fair share of our flourishing economy.

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