SAFTU general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has warned that if Finance Minister Tito Mboweni does not announce drastic action such as cuts in the government’s wage bill, they will resort to mass protests nationwide.
Mboweni faces an unenviable balancing act when he delivers his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament on Wednesday.
He will seek to reconcile the need to take control of the high public debt with calls for more spending ahead of the 2019 polls.
Mboweni, is the country’s fifth finance minister in three years. He will announce tax and spending plans amid unprecedented unemployment, a recession, shrinking tax income and ballooning debt.
Vavi says labour is ready to take action if Mboweni does not make progressive pronouncements.
He says, “It’s time now to forget yesterday, and to build a new platform of unity among all of the exploited working class and to confront the deepening reality of deepening crisis of poverty and unemployment and inequalities which are coupled with corruption in our country which make things even worse than they would be.”