The federation has also “insisted” on the extension of the UIF Covid-19 TERS fund that provides relief to workers whose salaries were affected by the pandemic.
COSATU has blasted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to further reopen the economy without accompanying the move with an injection of new money, saying this was a futile scramble to salvage the economy.
This comes after Ramaphosa’s administration continued to receive mixed reactions from labour and the private sector after moving to further reopen SA’s economy from midnight on Monday by easing the current national lockdown to Level 2.
Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said Ramaphosa’s announcement on Saturday had to be accompanied by a financial intervention for the battered economic sectors.
“This lack of an economic stimulus by government amidst depressed private capital investment will continue to plunge and trap the economy into what is becoming a serial stagnation, characterised by episodes of technical recession and rising unemployment rate,” said Pamla.
He said South Africa’s rising unemployment rate was already getting catastrophic as the government continued with economic policies and interventions that enabled the recession, which pre-dated the economic damage that has been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is tragic that President Ramaphosa’s administration seems to be focused on implementing an economic framework of policies that do not place employment creation as a priority. The government continues to choke the economy with austerity measures, while many of our peer countries are implementing policies that support economic growth,” he said.
The federation called for the increased public investment in the economy to be accompanied by the extension of the Unemployment Investment Fund (UIF) to ensure that relief was given to workers whose salaries were affected by the pandemic.
“The Federation insists on the extension of the UIF Covid-19 TERS fund that gives relief to workers. It is sad that workers are taking care of themselves and are being forced to deplete their own UIF resources because of a lack of contribution from both government and the private sector. The UIF Covid-19 TERS fund extension is a matter of principle and is non-negotiable,” Pamla said.