Have plea­sur­able sex but

Sunday Observer - - NEWS -

s long as peo­ple con­tinue to have chil­dren with nearly ev­ery sex­ual en­counter, there is no hope of re­mov­ing de­pen­dency on those who are bet­ter off.

This is the view of Swazi­land Eco­nomic Im­prove­ment Work­ers Union (SEIWU) Pres­i­dent Mashumi Shongwe who said African tax was sup­port to ex­tended fam­ily mem­bers, “Peo­ple who are not your bi­o­log­i­cal duty to sup­port but find that you are duty bound be­cause of the ex­tended fam­ily arm.”

He said this touches on the core econ­omy of ev­ery African, not just Swazis. He said in the at­tempt to link this phe­nom­e­non with union­ism, ev­ery­thing touches on the state of the econ­omy as well as plans on business own­ers, “What I have learnt, share­hold­ers are greedy.

When it comes to is­sues such as cost of liv­ing and worker’s prob­lems as a Swazi whereby even if you have a wife and one child as de­pen­dents, as long as I have sis­ters who have many chil­dren due to the cul­ture that says one should have chil­dren in or­der to have con­ti­nu­ity.”

He de­cried the lack of leg­is­la­tion that could en­sure that peo­ple limited the num­bers of chil­dren ac­cord­ing to their af­ford­abil­ity. “A per­son just has many chil­dren, as many as they can have whereas the ed­u­cated peo­ple who want to im­prove their lives, un­der­stand and plan their fam­i­lies ac­cord­ingly,” he said, adding how this was com­pli­cated by those who were un­e­d­u­cated and un­will­ing to change their out­look on the num­bers of chil­dren to have thus becoming a bur­den to those who plan.

“Com­ing to the work place and its en­vi­ron­ment you come to con­di­tions of ser­vice such as re­mu­ner­a­tion, the com­pa­nies don’t bother them­selves and con­sider these so­ci­etal prob­lems be­cause they use the civil out­look.

You can’t even go to the ne­go­ti­a­tion table and put your African prob­lems as a fac­tor to be considered and made a rea­son behind de­serv­ing in­creased pay.”

Shongwe said one should take note that the econ­omy of the country was colonised by the fact that com­pany share­hold­ers were not Swazis, “They are for­eign peo­ple who will never un­der­stand why you think you need to be paid more. In the same vein, you

Acan­not for­ward this rea­son (African Tax) on the ne­go­ti­a­tion table as a rea­son that can con­vince the mind of man­age­ment or em­ploy­ers.” He said it was his view that the need to pay African Tax was af­fect­ing a lot of peo­ple who re­mained stag­nant when it came to de­vel­op­ment, “We are not de­vel­op­ing and will never un­til we have a country which con­trols this is­sue of hav­ing chil­dren willy-nilly.”

He warned that the present gen­er­a­tion was bound to pro­vide for the ex­tended fam­ily and will not be able to break away from that re­spon­si­bil­ity, “However, the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion might be able to be­cause they will be civilised and con­form to first world stan­dards which we say we should have reached by 2022.”

Lay­ing some of the blame on share­hold­ers who had eco­nomic ex­pec­ta­tions which were used to pres­sure man­age­ment thus re­duc­ing worker’s prospects of get­ting bet­ter pay struc­tures, he said, “If an in­vestor is in­vited to buy shares, that in­vestor will want to know the pos­si­ble re­turns prior and if he does not get good re­turns, as an in­vestor from a so­ci­ety which is more eco­nom­i­cally sound, he will not en­cour­age bet­ter wages at the ex­pense of his re­turns such that even unions trying to ne­go­ti­ate bet­ter wages will fail.” He called for strate­gic plan­ning as life was tough for all work­ers and the fam­ily struc­ture and de­pen­dence com­pounded their is­sues on a daily ba­sis, “We need to change the mind­set first. If you, for ex­am­ple, de­cide to have only one child, your bills look at one child and even in­vest­ments.

This will call for you to not look after your own mother, sis­ter, her chil­dren so that when you die, you leave good as­sets for your chil­dren.” He said this was what set ci­ti­zens of the First World apart as most peo­ple were well off due strate­gis­ing in ev­ery as­pect of their lives. “They don’t sleep (have sex­ual in­ter­course) to have a child, they sleep to have plea­sure. When they de­cide to have chil­dren, they sit down and plan ahead to an ex­tent that they con­sider their in­vest­ments be­fore hav­ing chil­dren.”

He said this was the rea­son they in­her­ited wealth from their fore­fa­thers, “You find that a young per­son in­her­its his grand­fa­ther’s wealth whereas his chil­dren will in­herit from his par­ent.”

He lamented how in the Swazi con­text, ev­ery­thing was hand to mouth be­cause of the need to share with the ex­tended fam­ily, peo­ple one is not bi­o­log­i­cally duty bound to pro­vide for. “In the present sit­u­a­tion, if one does not pro­vide for the ex­tended fam­ily, you hear com­plaints that Mashumi, the per­son with sev­eral po­si­tions fails to pro­vide for his fam­ily mem­bers. This stigma then come back to me and I get la­belled for ne­glect­ing to look after this per­son whereas it is not re­ally my re­spon­si­bil­ity. This is what kills us and this domi­noes to the work­place be­cause we have to ne­go­ti­ate for more be­cause truly I don’t earn any­thing due to the ex­tended fam­ily. Whereas if I was tak­ing care of my close fam­ily mem­bers I would be bet­ter able to man­age.”

SEIWU Pres­i­dent Mashumi Shongwe.

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