Numsa has declared a dispute with employers over the extension of levy agreements to non-party members at the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council. Picture: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has threatened to take legal action to compel government to suspend the implementation of the Tax Laws Amendment act.

The union said on Wednesday it had ordered its attorneys to request the president, his finance minister and the speaker of the national assembly to take “immediate legal steps” ensuring the disputed provisions of the law relating to retirement reforms were scrapped.

This as March 1st, the date on which the laws come into effect draws closer.

Numsa and Cosatu have launched strike applications at Nedlac in protest of retirement reforms which will force workers to invest two-thirds of their provident fund savings in annuities and withdraw only a third upon retirement.

“Numsa challenges the constitutional validity of those provisions and will, if need be, pursue that legal challenge in the courts. Government failed to comply with the requirements of Section 77 of the Constitution, and to engage in a meaningful public participation process. Further, the provisions violate the constitutional guarantee of property rights,” said Numsa general secretary, Irvin Jim in a statement.

The union warned that should the government no heed its call, they would launch a launch an urgent court application to stop the laws from coming into effect.

Independent Media has established that government had not thoroughly consulted labour and other constituencies at Nedlac prior to the president signing the law into effect last December.

Numsa said it was for this reason that it called on government to take the legal steps to halt the law.

“Numsa has been given legal advice that what is now necessary is for a court order to be obtained to suspend the legislation, pending either Parliament’s process to consider amending the legislation or a court challenge to the provisions’ constitutional validity. Since government is the cause of this problem, Numsa has called upon government to bring such a court application,” Jim said.

In his State of the Nation Address last week, President Jacob Zuma said a solution was being sought to the disputes around the provisions in the amendment act, without elaborating further details.

Numsa also said it was against suggestions that the laws be postponed for two years, saying they would only be satisfied if they were scrapped.

Labour Bureau