COSATU will present its submission on the government’s 2019/20 Appropriations Bill to the Standing and Select Committees on Appropriations at 10 am Tuesday, 16 July, V454, Parliament.
The Federation appreciates the extent of the economic, governance and budgetary crises facing government and the nation. We have been raising the alarm bells for some time now and it unfortunate that the previous administration decided to dismiss workers’ concerns.
The federation is disappointed that there are no clear detailed plans in the budget to:
· turn the economy around, to protect and create jobs;
· reindustrialise the economy;
· no fleshing out of the progressive commitments made in the stimulus plan, Presidential Jobs and Investment Summits;
· halt the looting epidemic and recover the stolen funds and arrest those who stolen;
· Stop the continuous wasteful and bling expenditure that has come to characterise the state and its leadership;
· halt the crises at key SOEs e.g. Eskom, SABC, Denel, SAA, SA Express, PRASA and place them on a clear turnaround plan and business model; and
· ensure that the rich pay their fare shares of taxes and lessen the burden on the poor.
Workers are angry that instead, the government has sought to shift the burden to workers and the poor:
· through the VAT and other tax and tariff hikes;
· freezing badly needed service delivery posts; and
· blaming nurses, teachers, police officers, prison wardens, cleaners, etc for wanting to earn a living wage.
COSATU rejects the VAT concessions as too little, too little. The government must intervene in a meaningful way to cushion the poor from the consequences of state looting and collapse and the real economic recession by:
· increasing by 50% the free water and electricity allocations to indigent households;
· providing vouchers for locally produced school uniforms to no-fee schools;
Parliament must intervene and force the government to amongst other crises:
· Deal with the pending collapse of Metro Rail;
· Provide a sustainable alternative to E Tolls;
· Deal with the infrastructure crises at schools;
· Ensure nurses are safe at hospitals and patients to receive their medication;
· Land reform is properly funded and new farmers supported;
· Redeploy Police officers from desk jobs and quiet suburbs to crime-ridden hot spots; and
· Adjust free tertiary education coverage for inflation and expanded for the missing middle.
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