The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Monday that workers anticipate Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to present a bold and decisive budget on Wednesday.
The union is calling for critical interventions to help the economy recover, such as debt relief for Eskom in order to end power outages within the next six months.
Cosatu stated that more needs to be done to improve rail infrastructure, which is critical in reviving the economy and putting employees back to work.
Cosatu wants the presidential job stimulus to be doubled in order to accommodate one million unemployed people in the coming fiscal year.
The unemployment percentage is currently at 43%.
Matthew Parks, Cosatu’s parliamentary co-ordinator, stated that administrative hiccups in filing for the Social Relief of Distress grant must be resolved in order to help all of the country’s 12 million unemployed citizens.
“We need to see the SRD [Social Relief of Distress] grant, which has provided a lifeline to eight million unemployed people, enhanced, increased to the food poverty level, and ensure that it is available to all unemployed people and linked to skills training programs.”
Cosatu has cautioned that the government’s failure to address the country’s systemic issues will cost it at the polls in 2024.
“The government must recognize that it does not have limitless time. Workers are exhausted, and the general public is frustrated by the State’s numerous failures and the falling economy.”
Cosatu also expressed concern about collapsing municipalities, particularly in rural areas, that are unable to provide basic services or pay their employees.
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