Tito Mboweni Cosatu

Photo: Africa News Agencey (ANA)

Cosatu demands Tito Mboweni withdraw economic recovery plan

Cosatu is unhappy with Tito Mboweni’s economic recovery plan because it contains policy proposals that have been defeated at several ANC conferences.

Tito Mboweni Cosatu

Photo: Africa News Agencey (ANA)

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to withdraw his recent recently published economic recovery plan to encourage growth and job creation despite the plan generally receiving praise from economists around the country.

Mboweni and National Treasury released the proposal without much fanfare earlier in the week and encouraged South African citizens to engage with the plan and submit any comments to government by 13 September 2019.

Mboweni’s plan met with cautious optimism

The general reaction, so far, appears to be cautious optimism and it has received praise for containing ideas that are both practical and effective.

“The ideas contained in the report are mostly pragmatic, given it is not too ambitious and at the same time not overly contentious. However, the results will depend on the successful implementation by National Treasury,” added chief economist at Old Mutual Investment Group Johann Els.

Johann Els

In fact, the Democratic Alliance (DA) believed the policy proposals contained within could have been more severe but ultimately felt it struck a good balance between practical solutions and radical economic reform.

“The proposed reforms are pro-growth and pro-jobs, and should be implemented as soon as possible,” said DA Shadow Minister of Finance Geordin Hill-Lewis.

“Now is the time to stare down the radical forces destroying the country’s prosperity, and he will have our support in doing so.”

Geordin Hill-Lewis

Cosatu calls for immediate withdrawal of policy proposal

However, Cosatu has been the first to raise a dissenting voice against the plan, calling for its immediate withdrawal.

“The minister of Finance must withdraw that – that’s our message. And that paper must find discussion at Nedlac as for the policy processes in terms of issues,” said Cosatu’s deputy secretary-general Solly Phetoe.

“Because that paper has not gone through the structures of the alliance, the ETC of the ANC – has not gone through the processes of government.

“I’m sure even the President, even if you call him, he would not know about that paper. So it’s part of the people who are undermining the process of government, the process of Nedlac.”

Solly Phetoe

Cosatu open to all proposals except the one from Tito Mboweni

Why the President would need to know about and/or approve a document that is still in the proposal phase remains a mystery to everyone except Cosatu it seems.

“In principle, Cosatu is open to all proposals from all quarters about how to address our economic crisis, in particular our rising levels of unemployment,” Phetoe continued.

Solly Phetoe

Except they are not open to Tito Mboweni’s proposal in the slightest.

“But we have some questions about the draft economic recovery strategy document. The document is trying to exploit our economic crisis by pursuing a right wing agenda that was defeated in several ANC conferences,” he said.

“This document ventures into the domain of other departments and, at the same time, it does not offer any proposed real changes to the fiscal, monetary or other macro-economic policies, including inflation targeting.”

Solly Phetoe