Interview with Swarez Dinali, PSI Mauritius

KC JOURNAL NO 4 June 2003

DINALI: I am Swarez Dinali. I represent the PSI affiliated trade union in Mauritius. That is how I got invited to this

Winter School with its main theme for discussion this year being NEPAD. And we have been invited to participate expressing views on NEPAD and other issues that are going on in this part of Africa. Mauritius is considered part of Africa. Therefore it is a pleasure to be here with our friends from Africa.

INDYM: Can you tell us about the challenges facing Mauritius?

DINALI: The big problem facing Mauritius is the privatisation. As far as globalisation is concerned, privatisation got started in Mauritius some years ago. And now the Union is against it because we don’t want to lose our jobs. The union makes it a must that the government must listen to our position, because people must be given the right to live and let live. This is our main concern at this time.

The government sees things in their own way, which is very different from the union. The government controls other unions because unions need to be registered. There are many unions in Mauritius. We are grouped together by the federation that is called XXX Federation. We formed the block so that we could at least, you know, face the government against privatisation.

INDYM: Who are the people behind this privatisation?

DINALI: Well, that is the government, and you also have Multi-National companies coming from outside…

INDYM: What is the response from social movements in Mauritius?

DINALI: Some firms have been privatised. But, you see, the problem is not as great as you find it here in the rest of Africa. But it started – yes, let’s say, it started here in Africa. You know we must be very strong so as to prevent things from getting worse in other countries.

INDYM: What is your view of this Winter School?

DINALI: Well it is a very good thing. I think that it should continue because it gives us an opportunity to have a big forum where we people who are involved in unions, who are involved in mass mobilisation. We are acquainted with the day-to-day problems of people in organisations.

We come here to give our views and share our experiences. Those are two very good things. I would like to thank the Khanya people for organising this Winter School again this year.

INDYM: So do you think such initiatives can happen in Mauritius?

DINALI: Of course. You know, I myself make time to speak to people and ask them to come to Mauritius. But the main problem for many people would be finance. Because most of the delegation will have to come very far from Africa and the costs, you know, the air ticket will be very costly for you. But apart from that, I don’t think it will be a problem, because you will be most welcome in Mauritius. We have all the logistics and infrastructure for such kind of organisation and activities. I don’t think it will be a problem.

INDYM: What have you learned through this networking of different people and different organisations?

DINALI: Well, the first thing I’ve learned is sharing. You know, to be in the warmth of people, in the warmth of your friends, of human beings like you who are also sharing their problems. Because when we are together, we start learning about the problems of others and also realise that we share problems. For me this is the best thing that I have learned.

INDYM: Thank you


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