Have pleasurable sex but
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.