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COSATU KZN to picket against fuel hikes and VAT tomorrow
COSATU will embark on a protest demonstration in the form of a Picket on 12th October 2018. This picket will take place at the N3 Eastbound of Marianhill Tollgates at 10:00 a.m. Comrades will gather at the Curries Fountain Stadium at 08:00 a.m. and leave at 09:30 to the N3 where the Picket would be held. People who may find it easy to go direct to the Picket site are encouraged to do so.
This campaign has received wide support of the public by many social movements i.e. PAPPPI, the Progressive Youth Alliance and the SACP. We encourage all members of the public to join in the protest.
Problems facing South Africans are manmade, through the exploitation of "men by men" which must be ended through the struggles by the poor masses of our country.
South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. This abnormal, and we should work to defeat this scourge of inequality. This was eloquently illustrated by statistics by the Stats SA that showed us that about 34 million of our people live in poverty.
The most daunting facts about the current increase in Fuel and VAT are that, when it to expenses and the cost of living the poor and the rich are expected to pay the same, while the share in the economy of the country remains unequal.
Workers' salaries remain very low, with the current outcomes of the wage negotiations in which employers profusely refused to consider the cost of living in offering salary increases, including public sector workers who are government employees. Companies hardly resolved anything beyond 7%, with many workers still not paid bonuses or 13th Cheques by their employers; mostly in the private sector.
COSATU is strongly opposed and vehemently condemns government's VAT and fuel hikes. These above inflation tax hikes are suffocating workers who are already battling to cope with:
- a 36% unemployment rate,
- thousands of workers retrenched across economic sectors,
- 9 million unemployed; and
- rising food, transport, water and electricity inflation.
We reject the VAT and fuel hikes as nothing less than dumping the bill for the looting of billions of Rands of workers' taxes by some public servants officials, politicians and private sector officials etc. Government is failing workers by squeezing the little wages they have. Government must clean up its enforcement Institutions and start chasing those who have stolen, arrest and lock them up and take back their ill gotten gains.
On Fuel, COSATU demands that government:
- Reduce the fuel levy and other taxes;
- Taxing the wealthy to subsidize the poor;
- Clean up the corruption, wasteful expenditure and looting of the RAF by lawyers;
- Invest and expand public transport;
- Ensure the safety of public transport (trains, taxis and busses);
- Ensure the reliability of Metro Rail;
- Reinstate a dedicated full time rail way police under SAPS;
- Deal with criminal syndicates vandalizing Metro Rail;
- Deal with lawlessness in the taxi industry;
- Ensure the taxi industry is properly subsidized and supported by the state;
- Invest in producing electric busses, cars and bikes locally to reduce our dependence upon a volatile and expensive oil industry; and
- Explore the nationalization of SASOL to provide cheaper petrol for South Africans.
On VAT, COSATU demands that government:
- Reverse the VAT hike or announce when it will come to an end;
- Implement the recommended additional VAT exempt products by the VAT Panel;
- Exempt locally produced poultry from VAT as a key food for the poor;
- Exempt sanitary pads and school uniforms from VAT;
- Purchase locally produced sanitary pads and school uniforms for the poor and distribute them at government schools, clinics and hospitals;
- Introduce a progressive sliding scale for VAT for water and electricity for the poor;
- Introduce luxury VAT rates for luxury goods and imports;
- Overhaul the tax regime to make it more progressive, less burdensome to the poor and to ensure the rich pay their fair share.
Edwin Mkhize - 082 399 7756
COSATU KZN Provincial Secretary