17 November 2023
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) presented its submission on the Division of Revenue Amendment (DORA) Bill to Parliament’s Standing and Select Committees: Appropriations today.
The Federation remains deeply concerned that Treasury approaches budgetary processes as a mere accounting exercise and is not addressing the fundamental causes of the nation’s myriad of economic, growth, loadshedding and cable theft, aging infrastructure, unemployment, poverty and inequality, corruption and criminality, governance and public service delivery crises. Tinkering on the sides will not address our challenges neither will kicking the can down the road or outsourcing the bill for corruption, mismanagement and state capture to workers.
The Federation appreciates the need to adjust budgetary allocations from time to time and in particular to address new circumstances, however the blunt cuts imposed on key frontline service departments are deeply concerning as they will weaken and not strengthen the ability of the state to deliver the quality public services that working class communities and the economy depend upon. Particularly concerning are massive cuts to school infrastructure, district health grants including healthcare facilities revitalisation and HIV/AIDS programmes, provincial roads maintenance, human settlements and in particular informal settlements upgrades, emerging farmers support, electrification programmes, and investments in water infrastructure.
The impact of cuts to municipal infrastructure of R2.9 billion and R6.2 billion will be a further dampener on a still fragile economy in desperate need of stimulus.
The state of local government continues to deteriorate with over 36 municipalities in 6 provinces now routinely failing to pay workers timeously and many more no longer providing quality municipal services. Yet we see no sense of urgency or a package of interventions from national and provincial government or the South African Local Government Association to intervene and place our dysfunctional municipalities on a path of recovery and sustainability.
What we cannot afford is for government to continue along with a business-as-usual approach. Our challenges are many. They require decisive action and resourcing if we are turn things around. What we do not have is endless time nor the luxury of simply hoping for miracles.
Issued by COSATU
For further information please contact:
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687