Cosatu uncertain about protesting over proposed tax reforms

Cosatu says it has not decided whether it will continue with its planned downing of tools next month.

FILE: Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini addresses supporters. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) says while it is committed to working with government over the proposed tax reforms, it has not decided whether it will continue with its planned downing of tools, next month.

Earlier this week, Presidency Minister Jeff Radebe announced that plans to implement pension law reforms would be delayed till 2018.

The amendment would have seen workers only being allowed to take a third of their provident fund when they retire.

Cosatu has strongly opposed the decision calling it an attack on workers.

This weekend - the federation held its bilateral meeting with the South African Communist Party - saying there's a new emerging tendency by big business to try and corporatise the state.

The trade union federation's Sizwe Pamla said, "We've decided that after the latest developments we're going to increase our cooperation with the party as the vanguard and as the federation we have a meeting this week."


Warren Ingram, Financial Advisor at Galileo Capital, says the plan to delay the implementation of the pension law is only related to provident funds.

"It's critical because most companies nowadays have provident funds and don't really have pension funds anymore and those who don't work for big businesses will have retirement annuity and aren't affected by this legislation."

Asked why it is devastating, Ingram said the people our government should be looking after and trying to help are those who are earning a decent salary.

"Those people look at their provident fund as a way of cashing in money from time to time and unfortunately the way they have to do that is by quitting their jobs."

Cosatu has been critical of the legislation and today said it scored only a partial victory after government's climb-down over changes to pension laws.

The trade union federation has strongly opposed the changes, claiming they amount to the nationalisation of pensions.

Ingram condemned the trade union federation saying Cosatu should have been fighting tooth and nail to make this legislation happen.

"They should have done it 10 years ago, if they really cared about their members they would have said this is a no brainer, this is the legislation that you enforce. Why is government not doing it is what they should have said 10 years ago."