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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

Preliminary Response to the Government Macro Economic Strategy

14 June 1996

COSATU notes the Government's economic policy announced today by the Minister of Finance.

This announcement means that the three main players on the economy (Labour, Business and Government) have now placed their economic strategies firmly on the agenda. COSATU on its part intends to engage in the economic debate in the NEDLAC processes as previously announced, and within the tripartite Alliance. We hope that we will be able to marry elements of the labour and government document compatible with the RDP framework in the tripartite alliance processes.

Our response to the document will be informed by the broad policy directions contained in the RDP, and labour's Social Equity document. We have asked our affiliates leadership to study the document in detail and contrast it to the RDP and The Social Equity document. We hope to use that process to identify areas that require further elaboration, reformulation, new emphases and differences in policy approach.

We will judge the Government's document on its impact on the working-class and the poor, job creation and job retention, wage levels, workers' rights, provision of infrastructure, role of the state in the productive sector of the economy and labour market policy.

With regard to the document we make the following initial remarks.

The focus on education, the use of public works programmes, the commitment to infrastructure development, the linking of tax incentives to job creating schemes, and the expansion of the labour market regulated net have all been advocated by labour and we are pleased to see that these points have been incorporated.

However, we have serious reservations over conservative fiscal policies that the document intends to implement. A number of its prescriptions, flies in the face of labour's proposals set out in the Social Equity document. These prescriptions does not take into account the state of development in the economy and the need for massive spending on infrastructure and development.

The document's call for wage moderation sits uneasily with COSATU's policy of targeting the wage gap, and our call for "wage" moderation for senior managers and executives.

We will submit the document to our structures for further consideration and the development of a more detailed response by our Executive Committee.

We call on all South Africans to make their voices heard on the document and to ensure that the final policy reflects the interests of all our people.

IssueD by

Zwelinzima Vavi Assistant General Secretary

Nowetu Mpati COSATU Head of Communications

Tel: + 27 + 11 + 339-4911 Fax: + 27 + 11 + 339-2281 E-mail: nowetu@cosatu.org.za