Cosatu warns Treasury over pension changes

Johannesburg - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has once again warned the Treasury it will have a fight on its hands if it does not agree to debate the changes it wants to make on changes to pensions.

“On retirement reforms... you are facing a dispute. We have to resolve the issues,” Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini said in Johannesburg on Friday.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini. Credit: Independent Media

Cosatu has threatened to down tools if the Treasury does not implement a moratorium on changes it wants to make to retirement funds in March next year.

Besides Cosatu taking issue with some of the changes, it also wants more time for workers to be informed on what the proposals entail. Tens of thousands of workers have already resigned from their jobs and cashed in the pensions because they are afraid that the government wants to “nationalise” their pensions.

Although Cosatu wants the moratorium, it has agreed to go on a road show with the Treasury to explain to workers that their money is safe.

“If you insist on ramming them down (our throats) without a debate, there is a problem,” Dlamini told the annual summit of the National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

Although Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene dismissed “lies” around the pension changes in Parliament on Thursday, he did not say that the government had agreed to the moratorium.

Discussions on the changes at Nedlac have been described by insiders as “robust”.