Cosatu wants ‘condescending’ tax laws repealed, vows to fight on
22 January 2016
Posted by: Author: Hlengiwe Nhlabathi
Author: Hlengiwe Nhlabathi (City Press)
Cosatu has vowed to fight with all its might to have the new pension fund reforms repealed.
The federation urged its members not to resign over the new piece of legislation, which restricts workers from cashing out more than a third of their retirement savings.
Its general secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali, said workers should instead mobilise and join planned protests to "crush” this "condescending” law – the Tax Administration Amendment Act.
"It’s not only an insult to our workers but smacks of colonial attitude – saving natives from themselves. Our opposition to this law remains unwavering and we remain determined to implement our federations congress resolution of fighting the national treasury’s unilateral decisions to control and manage workers’ deferred wages,” said Ntshalintshali in Pretoria today, where Cosatu met to discuss this latest development.
"The federation has already issued a call to all its affiliates to mobilise workers and their families, to come out and protest their call for workers unity around this particular issue.”
Both Ntshalintshali and Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini said there was never any consultation on the matter at the National Economic Development and Labour Council. They complained about the treasury’s intransigence, saying it signals that the worst was yet to come.
"An overbearing state is dangerous especially if it is unilaterally taking decisions and undermining democratic institutions,” said Ntshalintshali, adding that this was a battle Cosatu was not prepared to lose.
Dlamini said that treasury had taken control of workers deferred wages without consultation.
"It doesn’t meet our expectations as the workers; [President Jacob Zuma] has signed a law where we are saying Nedlac has been undermined.”
The Black Business Council pledged to support Cosatu’s campaign to have the law repealed, adding that all parties must go back to Nedlac for proper consultations.
"We dare not undermine Nedlac. Let’s go to Nedlac and deal with this issue,” said its chief executive Mohale Ralebitso.
Cosatu leaders met the ANC on Monday to try iron out differences and hopefully find solutions to the impasse. Dlamini said this bilateral did not mean Cosatu would not abandon its planned mass strike.
This article first appeared on city-press.news24.com.