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SARB debate: Trade union berates spineless ANC

SARB debate: Trade union berates spineless ANC

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is furious, after the African National Congress (ANC) withdrew its motion to debate the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank on Tuesday.

The office of the ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu, announced the withdrawal on Tuesday morning, just hours before the subject was set to be debated in the National Assembly.

He cited the need to consult with various structures and stakeholders before bringing this matter under the microscope again.

There is the sentiment, in some quarters, that this was a blatant move by the ANC to avoid a ratings downgrade to junk. South Africa is currently under review by agency Moody's. There is also the small matter of much improved growth figures recorded in the final quarter of 2017.

Making any pronouncement on nationalising banks could and probably would derail the gains that have apparently been made during the past financial year. However, Cosatu is not buying it.

"The ANC should stop being fearful and indecisive on the Reserve Bank mandate," said Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla on Tuesday.

"The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted with disappointment the decision by the ANC in Parliament to withdraw its motion to debate the mandate of the Reserve Bank. What is even more bizarre is their reason for withdrawal; they argue that they still want to consult their structures. This is a Conference resolution and all the structures of the ANC were represented, when the resolution was taken," added Pamla.

"It starting to dawn now that despite the changes that have happened in the Nasrec 54th National Conference; we are still seeing the same pattern of indecisiveness and even retreat from some on the mandates, especially on the budget and interest rates.

"It is obviously clear that the same macroeconomic policy framework that was applied before will continue to be used, despite the rhetoric about the centrality of job creation and the transformation of the economy. We hope that the ANC is not succumbing to the pressure of ratings agencies that have been berating it for years or the so called investors, who are not interested in transforming the economy of this country. Foreign Direct Investment is not a panacea for all of our economic problems."

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