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Media Centre | COSATU Press Statements
RESTRUCTURING OF STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES
The past few days have seen renewed calls for the immediate privatisation of state owned enterprises. A position earlier drummed by the elite Brenthurst Group and BSA. This despite the fact that a National Framework Agreement has been signed between Labour and the Government. We hope that the new calls do not imply or signify a move by the Government to walk away from the NFA.
As unions directly involved in the restructuring of state owned enterprises, (as set up by COSATU, NACTU and FEDSAL) we met yesterday as part of preparing for our meeting with the Government. The committee acknowledged the Government's approval of our proposed budget to assist the unions in developing various policy positions through properly researched advise. We will be placing advertisements on newspapers as early as this weekend for advisers.
We endorse the position of COSATU on the need to avoid a slanging match with the ANC on this issue. We are however disappointed by the fact that despite this move from the federation, continued calls have emerged from some quaters in the ANC. We reiterate our position that a "pro or anti-privatisation" debate is a stale one. The real debate is how to take the NFA process forward in restructuring state owned enterprises.
The NFA commits us and the Government to place our options on the table for negotiations. We do not believe that negotiations should be conducted through the press or coercion, but on facts.
We have also made an urgent call to the Federation to arrange for a high level meeting of the alliance to resolve this debate. Our call to business, is to stay out of the fray lest they complicate the issue. They are motivated by greed to get a share of the spoils and furtherance of their ideological positions.
We are not concerned with the protection of jobs of our members only, but with the need to structure state assets based on a mandate - to deliver basic services to the majority of people at affordable rates.
We believe that the state has a role to play in the productive sector of the economy as well as in the provision of basic services such as water, refuse removal, electricity, telecomunication, transport etc. We reject the notion that the Government should become the "Factory Indunas" of big business, while they take over these functions.
A meeting of COSATU, NACTU and FEDSAL is proposed for the 14th of June to finalise initial positions for presentation to the government on the 6 aside meeting to be held on the 15th of June 1996.
We refuse to be bullied into positions, but remain available for genuine negotiations. We hope the same view is held by the Government.
Nowetu Mpati COSATU Head of Communications
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