‘Gov­ern­ment not se­ri­ous about econ­omy’

CityPress - - Business - LE­SETJA MALOPE le­setja.malope@city­press.co.za

Gov­ern­ment is not se­ri­ous about ad­dress­ing the coun­try’s eco­nomic cri­sis and its ac­tions clearly demon­strate this.

This is ac­cord­ing secretary-gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion of Unions of SA (Fe­dusa) Den­nis Ge­orge, who spoke to City Press on the side­lines of the trade union’s lead­er­ship strate­gic ind­aba in Johannesburg this week. He lam­basted gov­ern­ment for down­play­ing the coun­try’s eco­nomic woes.

Ge­orge said the trade union was con­vinced gov­ern­ment was not tak­ing the re­ces­sion earnestly.

“We have eco­nomic prob­lems. We also have po­lit­i­cal prob­lems and a lack of po­lit­i­cal cred­itabil­ity on the side of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma. These po­lit­i­cal prob­lems have to be ad­dressed first be­cause you will not be able to move for­ward con­vinc­ingly,” he said.

Ge­orge said there was no state-owned com­pany in the coun­try that was not cap­tured.

“All of them are cap­tured,” Ge­orge said.

He said the coun­try was faced with a sit­u­a­tion that, if and when Zuma was re­moved through the up­com­ing vote of no con­fi­dence on Au­gust 8, the gov­ern­ing party would still fill the va­cancy with one of their own, if Baleka Mbete as the Speaker of Par­lia­ment did not as­cend to the seat.

“The ANC is still the ma­jor­ity party, so they can nom­i­nate a care­taker pres­i­dent,” he said, adding that Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa was also com­pro­mised be­cause of his role in the Marikana mas­sacre in 2012.

Ge­orge said a fac­tion within the gov­ern­ing party was also us­ing BEE to loot and are now hang­ing on to the con­cept of white monopoly cap­i­tal to loot more money.

Fe­dusa had ear­lier is­sued a state­ment lam­bast­ing gov­ern­ment for fail­ing to at­tend a task team meet­ing last week with­out of­fer­ing the cour­tesy of a no­tice to the other so­cial part­ners who were at­tend­ing.

Ge­orge said the no-show was an­other clear in­di­ca­tion that gov­ern­ment was not will­ing to pri­ori­tise the cur­rent state of the econ­omy.

How­ever, Na­tional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Labour Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Madoda Vi­lakazi said: “The di­rec­tor-gen­eral and his Na­tional Trea­sury team were sup­posed to at­tend the meet­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, they had other emer­gency mat­ters to at­tend to and, as a re­sult, couldn’t at­tend the meet­ing. They apol­o­gised sin­cerely to the other con­stituen­cies for this; of course, the other par­ties were dis­ap­pointed as this was the first meet­ing of this im­por­tant task team.”

Dur­ing the Fe­dusa ind­aba, econ­o­mist Iraj Abe­dian of Pan-African In­vest­ment and Re­search said there was a gen­eral trend of struc­tural and moral fail­ures among lead­ers through­out the world and that re­sulted in in­creased un­cer­tainty among in­vestors and low con­fi­dence among con­sumers, busi­ness and in­vestors.

Abe­dian said to pro­tect the big­gest losers of the credit rat­ing down­grades – which are the poor, youth and the working class – pen­sion funds needed to be legally and con­sti­tu­tion­ally pro­tected.

“Busi­ness and labour must work to­gether to find so­lu­tions from now on,” he said.

He fur­ther pointed out that the coun­try had mil­lions of peo­ple who, de­spite be­ing em­ployed, were still poor.

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