Vavi slams govt over new tax laws, warns of demonstrations

Zwelinzima Vavi says the nine progressive unions will demonstrate every week till the new laws are scrapped.

Former Cosatu President Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has slammed government for its decision to introduce new tax laws that will prohibit workers from accessing their pension fund.

Various unions supporting the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) formed a human chain at the Union Buildings today in protest against the new tax reforms that prohibit workers from cashing in all their pension funds when they retire.

The law, set to go into effect in March, has been met with fierce opposition from Cosatu.

He also slammed President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet for allowing the laws to go ahead.

"How dare does he thinks he can now be a father to workers, take our wages, keep it for himself and give it to us as if we are now part of the lot that are in the social grant system."

WATCH: Vavi calls for mass protests over new pension laws

Their message is clear: they want the new pension laws to be scrapped immediately.

Meanwhile, the progressive nine unions say they are not willing to negotiate with government over the new pension reforms and are planning a series of demonstrations calling for the immediate scrapping of the new laws.

Vavi has told workers gathered at the seat of government to get ready for a series of demonstrations in the coming weeks.

"Every week there will be a demonstration."

He says unlike Cosatu, the progressive nine unions which include Numsa, have the best interest of workers at heart.

"The Cosatu we know has kept us in chains for the past two to three years. [Cosatu] has been stolen and captured by the people who support the most hideous crimes against the working people."

The unions say there will be a mass mobilisation of workers in the coming weeks to stand against the new law.