‘We are furious at Zuma for signing controversial pension Bills’

The federation has said it would continue to fight against the new Bills which Zuma signed into law.

FILE: Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini. Picture: Official Cosatu Facebook page.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President S'dumo Dlamini says they're furious at President Jacob Zuma for signing into law new pension Bills because it's part of a pattern where the African National Congress (ANC) acts without consulting them.

The federation has said it will continue to fight against the new laws that will see people being forced to re-invest two thirds of the money they receive from a provident fund when they retire.

Zuma signed the new laws earlier this week.

Dlamini says this decision by President Zuma is part of a pattern.

"Recently, it has been an issue around e-tolls, labour brokers and now it is this."

And, he says, the importance of this cannot be underestimated.

"It's a crisis, a nightmare that we have been pushed into by the State signing this into law without thorough consultation."

But Treasury says this will help make sure people have a proper monthly income when they retire.

At the same time, Dlamini says it's going to be difficult to convince workers to campaign for the ANC in this year's local government elections after the federation said yesterday its members would refuse to help the party because of the dispute over pensions.

The Treasury says the aim is to ensure people have a long-term income after they stop working.

Yesterday, Cosatu said as a result of this issue, no worker would campaign for the ANC during this year's polls.

Dlamini says it will only make things more complicated.

"This matter will make our campaign for the ANC very difficult because workers will be asking 'what about what about our pensions' and 'why is government nationalising our money then expecting us to vote'"?

Pension experts say this is not a radical change and no one will lose any money.