The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) will present its submission on the Fiscal Responsibility Bill to Parliament’s Standing Committee: Finance from 09:00am tomorrow ,01 June 2021.
The Bill tabled the Democratic Alliance, seeks to compel government to slash the salaries of nurses, teachers and other over stretched public servants by 10% when public debt exceeds 60%, 5% when debt exceeds 55% and a wage freeze when debt exceeds 50%. This is a slap in the face of the nurses and doctors, police officers and soldiers who have kept this nation safe during this unprecedented pandemic whilst politicians have kept safely ensconced in their warm living rooms.
It seeks to collapse workers’ hard won constitutional rights to collective bargaining. This would be a recipe for labour market strife. If passed by Parliament, it will further impoverish highly indebted police officers, cleaners etc. It would spark a brain drain of badly needed skilled public servants like nurses, doctors, engineers, and teachers.
The Bill fails to tackle the real causes of the fiscal crises, namely the billions lost to corruption, wasteful expenditure, tax evasion, mismanaged State-Owned Enterprises and a stagnant economy shedding companies and jobs. If we want to fix the state and the economy, then these are the issues we need to deal with. The wage bill has been stable at 35% of the budget since 2009 and in fact the public service head count has been systematically declining.
Parliament needs to reject this unashamed attempt to dump the bill for corruption and the mismanagement of the state upon the very public servants who politicians have been cynically glorifying for the past year. Workers will do well to remember these politicians who will come asking for their votes in the upcoming local elections.
Issued by COSATU.
For further information please contact: Matthew Parks- COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687