Beware, you fat cats

COSATU might not be a perfect organisation but the labour federation remains the closest thing we have to a credible political counterweight in our country.

COSATU might not be a perfect organisation but the labour federation remains the closest thing we have to a credible political counterweight in our country.

Its call for an audit to establish how ministers maintain lavish lifestyles on salaries that ordinarily would not allow for such excesses is spot on.

As the Cosatu general secretary said, it is curious that some officials can "afford more than one mansion, holiday homes and expensive holidays" on their salaries.

Making such a call is not tantamount to accusing anyone of underhand dealings but it creates greater transparency in public affairs.

So it is a necessary tool and pre-emptive strike against those who take public office with the intention of feathering their nests rather than advancing the causes of those who elected them into office.

Only politicians with something to hide will see this as an affront. As matters stand, all public officials tend to treat the expectation that they declare their interests or gifts with disdain. Making declarations of interest has not worked.

The land is littered with fat cat politicians whose improved fortunes have curiously coincided with their ascendancy to public office.

It is no great wonder that we live with a time bomb, with communities losing patience with the slow pace of service delivery while some politicians and their cronies grow rich.

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