South Africa is indeed the land of golden handshakes and the ruling African National Party (ANC) should implement legislation aimed at the public sector institutions. The law must stipulate the maximum benefits offer and consider creating specific incentives through the budget process to hold agencies and managers accountable for their golden goodbye handshake and subsequent personnel decisions. Most importantly, the legislation must provide for a post-audit of any golden goodbye handshake program authorized for the government departments.
The recent golden handshakes that have rocked the public sector are scandalous to say the least and an outrage to the citizens in general. There is no indication of these payouts benefiting the nation. Furthermore, the unfettered access to state coffers by ruffians, masquerading as political saviors, must be restrained at all costs. The state should concern itself with providing services to the nation given that profit making has never been the object of its exercise.
South Africa has given far too many golden handshakes to unqualified comrades who should have been dismissed for nonperformance. A golden handshake with a suspension comprising of full salary because too much may be said to bring disrepute and destabilize the country. Between the ANC and the Democratic Alliance, who is destabilizing South Africa. ZAR246 million to one man for a cattle kraal, fire pool, and a chicken run. Another ZAR193 unexplained amount for in Mangaung in the Free State and heaps of money for eTolls. Municipalities around South Africa fail to receive a clean audit and the government calls for no accountability.
South Africa seems equated to the-the old Latin saying, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King” meaning that someone with limited ability is considered highly by those with no ability at all. In South Africa, the blind are the voters and the King is the ANC. Insanity would be the queen and that would sum up the ANC quite well. The insane policies are killing the country and the blind cannot see, yet there will come a time when the blind will feel.
Where are the tenacity, patience, forward thinking, and intelligence? ANC cadres have stolen money over the past 21 years while the country’s infrastructure crumbles. Eskom is a classic example, the outrageous bonuses and payouts to CEO’s is not even a golden handshake, it is a platinum one lined with diamonds. All this money paid out, and no money for maintenance of the power plants leaving the country without electricity on regular occasions.
There is nothing wrong with a golden handshake when it is given in an ethical manner and paid by employment contracts. It is the payments made to members of the public sector that determine the reasoning or intended outcome. The vast sums of money paid to executives within government structures, the South African Broadcasting, the South African Revenue Services, the Hawks, and, of course, Eskom amounts to millions of taxpayers’ money. These are no paltry sums paid out and there is no satisfactory answer given.
In South Africa, the land of the golden handshakes is a way of rewarding failure. It is a way of protecting the blind from the one-eyed king. The golden handshake is the security of keeping the king in power. When a golden handshake is given as a recognition of services or ability then it is a form of acceptance even the taxpayers would accept, but not in South African public services when undisclosed amounts are paid to keep the incompetent failures from telling the truth.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
Edited by Maurice Cassidy
EthicsMonitor – What are golden handshakes really paying for?
Photo Courtesy of GovernmentZA Flickr Page – Public Domain License