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Cosatu: Don’t blame unions for slow growth

The IMF issued a report suggesting labour unrest is a possible cause of slow economic growth in SA.

FILE: Cosatu House in Johannesburg. Picture: Sapa

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Wednesday rejected an insinuation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that unions are to blame for the slow growth of South Africa's economy.

The IMF released a report on Tuesday which stated South Africa was under-performing in comparison to other emerging markets.

It found structural problems, such as high wage demands, led to job losses in the country.

But Cosatu says it's not surprised by the report and believes the organisation is trying to open South Africa's market to capitalists for exploitation.

The trade union federation's Patrick Craven says the IMF's recommendations for economic growth will only benefit big business.

"If it were implemented, it would be an absolute disaster - not just for the workers but for the country as a whole. We already have intolerable levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality. The IMF measures would make all of those worse."

Industrial Development Corporation chief economist Lumkile Mondi says high wage demands aren't necessarily to blame for unemployment.

"In South Africa, the deepest cause of unemployment is firstly an influx in the labour market and secondly very poor education outcomes."

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