COSATU is presenting its submission on the government’s 2020/21 Division of Revenue Bill to Parliament’s Select Committee on Appropriations’ Public Hearings from 9am today- Wednesday 13 May 2020. (This will be Parliament’s first virtual public hearings).
The federation will raise its deep concerns with the underwhelming 2020/21 budget, the absence of a stimulus plan, the forgotten war against corruption and wasteful expenditure, and government’s dangerous fixation on an overwise stable public wage bill.
However, with Covid-19, the 2020/21 budget has been rendered irrelevant. Government must now move with speed to urgently table a new, reprioritised and bold budget if we are to survive Covid-19 and avoid an economic depression and raging unemployment.
The President’s announcement of R500 billion worth of economic relief was welcome. 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, international sources and the private sector must be found. Our investment drive must be anchored to local investment and 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.
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 Division of Revenue to Provincial and Local Government must be overhauled. Funds must be released for priority interventions in the Departments of Basic Education, Health, Transport, Social Development, Human Settlements, and Water and Sanitation amongst others. These are the key departments at the provincial level that must be properly funded to ensure that workers, learners, commuters, and their families can travel, study, and work without risking their lives. Equal reallocations at a national level are needed for such critical departments as Employment and Labour as well as Trade, Industry and Competition. The collapse of municipalities must be halted.
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 Minister, Premiers, MECs, Mayors and HODs who cannot let go of their predilections to abuse public funds must be made guests of Correctional Services.
For further information please contact: COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator Matthew Parks- Cell: 082 785 0687