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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU condemns and denounces Minister Mboweni's reckless statements about SAA

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted with deep alarm the statements by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni during an investment conference in New York, where he suggested that South African Airways should be closed down. This is the second time that Minister Tito Mboweni has been spouting his personal positions that are not ANC policies. He has previously shot his mouth on e-tools despite the ANC position on the matter.

All sane and properly adjusted people agree that SAA's current situation is unsustainable when considering the fact that the company has not generated a profit since 2011, and it has become addicted to bailouts.

SAA's situation has not been helped by the emergence of the Gulf Airlines that are beneficiaries of petrodollar subsidies at a time, when we are paying more for the fuel that we largely import as a country. It is becoming more difficult for an airline that has been mismanaged and looted to compete with these international behemoths. This though needs a sober dialogue from all concerned because there are workers livelihoods at stake here.

It is therefore beyond reckless for the Minister of Finance to call a state entity, a worthless junk in an investor conference. We don't know how many layers of ignorance you have to get through before you come up without that kind of stuff.

Since his appointment ,Minister Mboweni has been behaving like a raving street corner derelict; a potty mouth without any impulse controls. The Minister's sweeping statement is unacceptable and outrageous and can only be said by someone, who is looking for easy applause and nods of approval from his neoliberal overlords.

We are still waiting to hear his solid plans to confront the country's big economic problems and some coherent policies and governing techniques to fix our ailing economy.

Mr Mboweni's self regard is starting to cross into misguided self righteousness and he needs to calm down his demons soon and start providing the necessary leadership on the economic front. Behaving like a like a bull in a china shop and uttering flippant statements is not going to solve our economic problems.

The ANC that has deployed him has called for a developmental state and he is senior enough in the ANC to know what that the ANC never resolved on shutting down SOE's in its Nasrec Conference. It is interesting that he accepted the NEC position from the delegates at Nasrec but he does not seem to remember the resolutions of the same conference.

A developmental cannot be legislated, it depends on what the state does and how it does it. We expect the minister to help the state develop its capacities to address the terrible legacy of apartheid and capitalism.

We are tired of a developmental state for black and white capitalist accumulation that we have seen in the last two decades. This has seen the economy dominated by traditional conglomerates and short-termist financial interests, which have no incentive to promote industrial diversification beyond what we historically inherited from apartheid. This is the reason why now we now sit with a complex of crises ranging from energy, water, unemployment, education, health and poverty.

We therefore call on the ANC NEC to reign in their deployed cadre in the Finance ministry, who is starting to behave like an incorrigible, unaccountable delinquent.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794

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