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Media Centre | COSATU Press Statements
COSATU is shocked and disconcerted by the removal of Minster Nhlanhla Nene from his position
10 December 2015
Currently, the economy is on its knees and it is haemorrhaging jobs across all sectors. The unemployment rate is going through the roof and the blight of capital flight is back in full swing. To manoeuvre this economic minefield and smooth transition, we needed the stability, continuity and the experience that Cde Nhlanhla Nene provided.
COSATU also feels that what is wrong with treasury is that the mandarins and technocrats have too much power and they are neoliberal hardliners.
Whilst we are seriously discomforted by this decision, we do wish the new Minister Cde David Van Rooyen well in his new position. He deserves to be given a chance like all other ministers that have come before him.
He has a very difficult task before him and we hope and wish that he will be up to the task. We need him and Treasury to take the nation out of this economic quagmire. Our federation expects him to bring about fundamental and not cosmetic changes to the way the economy of this country is managed.
He must immediately withdraw the decision to unilaterally implement the much maligned Taxation Laws Amendment Act of 2013, that gives government the right to dictate to workers , how and when they should access and spend their differed salaries in the form of pensions.
He must also know that, we are totally opposed to the decision by the Treasury to freeze public service vacancies. We expect his department to stop meddling in the affairs of other departments. They must not act like a super ministry. We are waiting for the release of both the NHI White paper and that of the Comprehensive Social Security paper that has been delayed by the Treasury for over a decade now.
The new minister should also be firm and decisive in freezing the nuclear procurement deal, that is not only unnecessary and dangerous but that is unaffordable. That deal needs to properly discussed in a very transparent manner. We do not need another scandal like we had with the “Arms Deal”. We expect courage, innovation, prudence and clarity from the new Finance Minister. He must also intensify the demand for transparency and accountability from parastatals like South African Airways, Prasa and others that are mired in controversial transactions using the taxpayer’s money. He should also ensure that the Treasury intensifies its fight against corruption and wasteful expenditure at the state level.
The new minister should not allow market mechanism to direct our fate. This vast neo-liberal experiment that we are forced to live under is not only unsustainable but if it allowed continuing, it will all end up in tears. We need bold and decisive leadership in these uncertain economic times and the ball in Minister David van Rooyen’s court.
Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
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