Nedlac labour constituency proposes doubling of stimulus package to R1 trillion

Sources at the meeting said the President was warm to the idea of increasing the relief package and also implored the private sector to contribute and to play their part in keeping the economy afloat.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – The labour constituency at the national economic development and labour council (Nedlac) has proposed that the R500 billion COVID-19 economic relief fund be expanded to a R1 trillion economic stimulus plan.

This was one of the issues that were raised at Friday’s Nedlac consultative meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa and other social partners including business and community.

Sources at the meeting said the President was warm to the idea of increasing the relief package and also implored the private sector to contribute and to play their part in keeping the economy afloat and workers safe during the pandemic.

Labour is also said to have drawn a line in the sand – stating that economic relief provided by government to businesses should be conditional upon them retaining and not retrenching workers.

The meeting was chaired by the president to discuss measures necessary for the country to seamlessly downgrade to level three of the national lockdown.

This was also at the core of the constituency’s issues – that albeit they have given a greenlight for the gradual reopening of the economy – they are concerned about the safety of workers as most employers have a shoddy track record when it comes to occupational health and safety adherence.

Following the increased capacity of operations in some industries – including mining – workplaces have been detecting more cases of covid19.

Just on Saturday, 13 workers at Implats’ Marula Mine – in Driekop outside Burgersfort in Limpopo – were confirmed to have tested positive for the virus.

Officials who attended the Nedlac meeting say the president encouraged business to comply with set regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The presidency said business and labour will discuss the workers’ concerns about their return to the workplace.
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