Cosatu threatens to strike against pension reforms

Cosatu says a moratorium must be placed on proposed reform of the local pension fund industry.

Cosatu's headquarters in Johannesburg.  Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has warned business, government and community partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) Summit that's it's ready to call a strike if a moratorium is not placed on proposed reform of the local pension fund industry.

Nedlac's 19th annual summit is being held in Johannesburg today where solutions to the strained relationship between labour and business are being debated.

The reforms are due to take effect from March next year but have already been opposed over fears that access to benefits may disappear.

Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini told delegates who include Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, that the summit must tackle the reforms to avoid confrontation.

"We are facing a dispute on this matter. It is going to come. Unless we act genuinely on the issues where we do not agree, there is a problem."

Ramaphosa however took exception to Dlamini's insistence that a dispute would follow, saying the parties should rather negotiate until a solution is found.

"Let us not pre-phrase what we say by saying that there is going to be a dispute. I want us to say that we've got to address these problems."

A panel discussion with leaders of the labour business and government constituencies is expected to place heavy emphasis on the reforms.