Cosatu in WC vows to intensify anti-VAT increase protest

In April, VAT increased by one percentage point to 15% to raise R22.9 billion more for the fiscus.

FILE: Cosatu members in the Western Cape during a demonstration. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape has vowed to intensify its protest against the value added tax (VAT) increase and continuous petrol price hikes.

Members affiliated to the trade union federation gathered outside Parliament for a night vigil protest on Monday.

Officials have urged the government to reduce VAT immediately and to consider additional ways to make up the budget shortfall.

In April, VAT increased by one percentage point to 15% to raise R22.9 billion more for the fiscus.

Cosatu says it will fight for electricity not to be increased as this price escalation, combined with other increases, will further impoverish the poor.

Cosatu provincial secretary Malvern de Bruyn says that the ballooning living expense costs have a crippling effect on the South African consumer.

“We feel, as Cosatu, there was no need to increase on that because ultimately it’s workers, the poorest of the poor, that are feeling the increase. And we can't, in today’s world, with an economy that’s really not that good still subject workers to a VAT increase.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)