Tax law standoff will backfire on Cosatu: Cope
28 January 2016
Posted by: Author: Times Live
Author: Times Live
President Jacob Zuma got a rare but brief thumbs-up from the Congress of the People (Cope) on Thursday.
It came in a statement attacking the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) for "creating a self-inflicting storm to make itself relevant again” with its intended strike action against the recently signed Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act.
Cope’s Dennis Bloem said "Zuma on Wednesday called Cosatu’s bluff”.
"He made it clear that between 2013 and 2015‚ 25 meetings were held with labour unions and extensive discussion had taken place‚” Bloem said of the Presidency statement.
"In dismissing Cosatu’s accusation of a lack of consultation‚ he insisted that government was going to implement amendments relating to retirement funds. A review could only take place two years hence.” But Zuma did not escape Cope’s criticism‚ and Bloem said he "has eroded trust in governance to the point that workers are nervous about the safety of their pension funds”.
"Their unwillingness to commit two-thirds of the lump sum due to them on resignation into a preservation fund indicates their deep-seated anxiety.
They are so focussed on present survival that they are unwilling to contemplate financial security in their old age.” Returning to Cosatu‚ Bloem described the unions’ strike plans as "merely a ploy for them to pressurise the weakening African National Congress (ANC) to submit to their demands however ill-conceived they are”.
As Cosatu’s president Sidumo Dlamini is an member of the ANC’s national executive council‚ and "a large number of Cosatu’s senior leaders are in Parliament and many are sitting in Cabinet also…there is no credence in Cosatu's claims that the tax amendment was sneakily done”.
"If anything‚ Cosatu has been part and parcel of the decision that they are now pretending to fight.
"The ANC is in agreement with the stand of the Congress of the People regarding the play-acting by Cosatu.
It is merely playing to the gallery with no facts to substantiate its contention. For no reason whatsoever it wants to embark on a futile and destructive strike action. Cosatu is misleading workers. This will backfire with disastrous consequences for Cosatu.”
This article first appeared on timeslive.co.za.