COSATU will present its response to and proposals on Government’s Supplementary Budget from 9am Wednesday, 01 July 2020 to Parliament’s Standing and Select Committees on Finance (virtual platform).
South Africa is facing its greatest economic crises in living memory. Even before Covid-19 and the lockdown; the economy had been limping. It was in recession, faced with 40% and rising levels of unemployment, collapsing SOEs and municipalities.
The country has now been repeatedly downgraded, unemployment may push past 50%, SOEs are in the process of being liquidated and retrenching 1000s of workers. An economic depression is a stark reality.
All South Africans had hoped that government would rise to the occasion when Minister Mboweni tabled the Supplementary Budget at Parliament on the 24th of June. The Minister chocked and things can only get worse from here.
No new measures were announced, instead the economic relief measures already announced by the President in April were restated. Many of these are already in place and others far behind when it comes to implementation. Many of these interventions were meant to help the nation survive the lockdown; they will not lift us out of a recession, nor will they stimulate the economy or slash unemployment.
COSATU supported the President’s call for a bold audacious R1 trillion stimulus plan but nothing came of it. Little clarity was provided with regards to the infrastructure programme and government’s job creation programmes.
No plans were presented on how to tackle corruption and wasteful expenditure which consumes 10% of our budget. No plans were presented on how to get our SOEs back on a sound footing. No new economic regulatory interventions were announced.
Neither were measures announced to further capacitate SARS to crack down on tax evasion or introduce additional revenue e.g. a solidarity tax. Nor was a clear road map presented on how we will grow the economy and increase revenue so that we can begin reducing our debt levels in a manner which will not choke the economy.
The sole clear proposal from government has been that it will slash expenditure by paying nurses, doctors, police and correctional services officers, teachers, and other public servants on the frontline less and deny them their little inflationary catch up increases. There are no measures to reduce the wages of politicians and senior managers.
To say that COSATU is underwhelmed, disillusioned and disappointed in the supplementary budget is an understatement. This budget presented no road map to grow the economy, create jobs and rebuild the state. This stunning failure will cost workers, the economy, and the nation dearly.
COSATU will present its proposals to Parliament in the hope that government will listen to the voice of millions of demoralised workers and their families.
For further information please contact –Matthew Parks- COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687