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No tax breaks foreseen ahead of budget speech

Thursday, 20 February 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SABC
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Author: SABC

South Africans hoping for any tax breaks in next week's budget speech should think twice.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has told the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) collective bargaining conference on Tuesday that the country still has a long way to recover billions of rand in revenue lost during the 2009 recession. According to Gordhan, lower taxes at this point can only be possible if all South Africans pay their dues. The Minister will deliver his budget speech next week in parliament.

Gordhan also has added his voice to calls for a speedy resolution of the crippling AMCU strike in the platinum mining industry. Unlike Cosatu, Fedusa represents mainly white collar workers in both the public and the private sector. As such, it is not a militant labour federation. Gordhan used his address to reiterate President Zuma's call for a speedy resolution to the crippling marathon strike on the platinum belt.

"We hope that leaders from both the business side and the labour side will to the President's appeal that stability returns as quickly as possible and we get down to work, but at the same time address the issues of housing, conditions of work, career pathing and the commitment of different players must be seen in effective action being taken in all these issues," says Gordhan.

Fedusa wants to draw lessons from the strike as it decides on the level of wage increases it's going to make to employees in the coming months. Fedusa General Secretary, Dennis George says one company has been striking for almost four weeks and in that situation it's a lose-lose situation because government loses taxes, workers lose salaries, companies lose production and income, but also the communities around that company that is dependent on income from that company is also suffering. Fedusa says its wage demands will be carefully thought out and will take into account its members' interests, the company's profitability and the level of economic growth in the country.

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