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Cosatu expects job security plan when Mboweni presents Budget

The trade union federation says it wants Mboweni to come with a clear plan of action to kick start the economy and halt further job losses.

Cosatu's members marched on Parliament on 19 February 2019 amid concerns over potential job cuts at state entities, like Eskom. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

JOHANNEBSURG - Cosatu says jobs are the number one issue for its members when Finance Minister Tito Mboweni presents the Budget speech at Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

The trade union federation says it wants Mboweni to come with a clear plan of action to kick start the economy and halt further job losses.

CARTOON: Budget Meals

With elections looming, government will want to try and keep its alliance partner on its side.

But when it comes to Eskom, President Cyril Ramaphosa has made it clear that its structure has to be overhauled because its possible failure poses too big a threat to the economy.

There’s a big question mark over the Eskom rescue plan, Mboweni is expected to spell out what it will cost and where the money will come from. For workers, the issue is whether or not they’ll lose their jobs.

Why Tito Mboweni's 2019 Budget speech will be South Africa's toughest yet

Cosatu’s Matthew Parks says: “We have one out of three workers unemployed, thousands retrenched across the economy on a daily basis.”

“Not only are workers in the mining, retail and financial sector being retrenched but now we have workers in state-owned companies also being threatened with retrenchment. So, we expect government to come with a serious commitment and plan to start creating jobs and get the economy moving.”

Economist Thabo Leoka says Eskom is too big to fail and that labour “must come to the party”.

“It can’t be business as usual – one of the big costs is labour and restructuring means a few people would have to lose their jobs.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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