Politics / 1 September 2019, 10:03am / Siyabonga Mkhwanazi
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is under pressure from the ANC’s alliance partners over his economic rescue plan for the country and has been accused of lack of consultation.
But Mboweni hit back and said some of the alliance members were serving with him in the Cabinet and had seen the document.
Cosatu and the SACPsaid he had taken a unilateral stance on the macro-economic policy of the country without consulting them.
The SACP said it would discuss the document at its central committee meeting from Friday to Sunday.
Cosatu and SACP said Mboweni should have discussed the document within the alliance and the Cabinet before releasing it to the public.
They are also concerned the rescue plan talks about the partial privatisation of Eskom.
In the document, the National Treasury proposes a range of interventions in the economy including export competition.
The Treasury said the interventions would push the economy to grow by between two and three percentage points.
“These growth reforms are organised according to the following themes, modernising network industries, lowering barriers to entry and addressing distorted patterns of ownership through increased competition and small business growth, prioritising labour-intensive growth in sectors such as agriculture and services, including tourism, implementing focused and flexible industrial and trade policy; and promoting export competitiveness and harnessing regional growth opportunities.
“We estimate the economy-wide impact of the proposed interventions over time based on when they can realistically be implemented, and find they can raise potential growth by two and three percentage points and create over 1 million job opportunities,” reads the document.
Cosatu said it rejected the proposals by Mboweni, saying they would not rescue the economy.
Statistics SA is set to release its figures for the performance of the economy for the second quarter on Tuesday.
This follows the shocking first quarter results of a 3.2% contraction of the economy.
Ratings agencies warned that the country must get its house in order to avoid a credit downgrade. Moody’s is set to announce its rating in November.
The SACP described the Treasury’s policy as neo-liberal.
“For the record, the SACP has consistently campaigned against neo-liberal policy regime measures. It is this economic policy regime that has plunged the world into economic crisis and our country into the undesirable economic situation it finds itself in today.
“The SACP will continue to challenge such measures, regardless of their make up and will not allow any form of neo-liberal opportunism whatsoever to exploit our country’s economic situation,” said the party.