Africa-Press – Eswatini. Life is literally a struggle for workers in this tiny Kingdom of eSwatini, the government approved Gazettes that allow employers to pay workers low wages with impunity.
It has been disclosed that workers within the textile industry, manufacturing, hospitality and private security are among the most affected, some receive a mere R1,100($66.00)per month.
Reached for comments, Wander Mkhonza, the Secretary General of the Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland(ATUSWA) confirmed that workers were struggling in eSwatini adding that even those who are well paid are trapped in debts.
“Even those who are well paid are trapped in debts, they are working working for shylocks. We need a living wage so that workers can earn decent salaries that will allow them to make savings. As the situation stands, we don’t have a living wage and a minimum wage and we are still fighting for that as unions. We also want a law that will discourage the tendency of turning Swazis into cheap labour”, he said.
The ATUSWA Secretary General said some workers were struggling to even support their families back home because of the financial struggles that came with low salaries.
Labour Commissioner Mthunzi Shabangu, when asked by this publication to comment regarding the plight of workers referred questions to the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
“I suggest that you call the PS as the relevant official authorized to speak to the media, he will then instruct me to comment on the matter”, said the Labour Commissioner.
Efforts to reach John Hlophe, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour proved unsuccessful at the time of compiling this report.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa has about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, workers who earn low salaries are among those struggling to afford a decent meal.
The country is ruled by King Mswati, a multi-billionaire absolute Monarch with Executive, Judicial and Legislative powers.
The King, directly and or indirectly owns shares in various companies that underpay workers.