COSATU will present its submission on the government’s 2020/21 Appropriations Bill to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Appropriations’ public hearings from 3pm Friday 05 June 2020.
The federation will raise its deep concerns with the then underwhelming 2020/21 budget, the absence of a stimulus plan, the forgotten war against corruption and wasteful expenditure, and government’s dangerous fixation with an overwise stable public wage bill.
However, with Covid-19, the 2020/21 budget has been rendered irrelevant. The government must now table a new, reprioritised and bold budget if we are to survive Covid-19 and avoid an economic depression and raging unemployment. The Federation welcomes government’s indication that a supplementary budget will be tabled in Parliament on 24 June.
The President’s previous announcement of R500 billion worth of economic relief was welcomed. It must now be accompanied by a bold R1 trillion plus stimulus plan if we are to save jobs and the economy.
Additional sources of funding from within the fiscus, new tax revenue and the private sector must be found. Our investment drive must be anchored to domestic investment sources. The financial sector must now come to the party. Our economic recovery must be linked to local procurement. Stimulus funding for companies must be conditional upon job retention and incentivised for job creation. Essential economic infrastructure must be prioritised for investments, especially ports, rail, energy, water, health, and education.
The government must honour the 2020 public service wage agreement and stop pickpocketing these essential service workers who are risking their lives in the fight against Covid-19.
The existing appropriations to departments must be overhauled. Funds must be released for priority interventions in the Departments of Basic Education, Employment and Labor, Trade and Industry and Competition, Health, Transport, Social Development, Human Settlements and Water and Sanitation amongst others. These are the key departments that must be properly funded to ensure that workers, learners, commuters, and their families can travel, study, and work without risking their lives.
A culture of leadership and accountability must be rebuilt in these departments. The days of wasteful expenditure and rampant corruption must come to an end. Those Ministers, Premiers, MECs and HODs who cannot let go of their thirst for looting must be made guests of the Correctional Services
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