16 October 2020
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has welcomed the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan (ERRP) announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament on Thursday but emphasised that it requires unconditional commitment and immediate implementation.
“Many of the facets in the recovery plan are not completely new, but we remain hopeful that the devastation caused by the pandemic will give Government the adrenalin injection to sprint ahead in its attempt to reverse some of the losses resulting from the lockdown,” says FEDUSA General Secretary, Riefdah Ajam.
FEDUSA has specifically welcomed the fact that key pillars of the Plan flow out of agreements that have been negotiated by the Social Partners of Organized Labour, Government, Business and Community at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC).
Key among the NEDLAC Agreements that are now officially part of the ERRP is the R100 billion that will be used to create more than 800 000 new job opportunities over three years, starting this year following a protracted campaign by Organized Labour since at least the Presidential Jobs Summit of 2018. However, job opportunities must be translated into permanent and decent jobs to ensure that justice can be served to the 2 million jobs that have been lost.
FEDUSA also welcomed the extension of the Special COVID-19 Relief of R350 to December this year and the announcement by the President that all public infrastructure projects will now be required to use locally-made materials, including steel products, cement, bricks and other components; and the NEDLAC agreement that commits all companies and government entities to publicly disclose in their annual reports the value of procurement from local producers and on steps to be taken to improve localisation.
“Rail roads, spectrum allocation and self- generation of electricity remains key drivers of the infrastructure vision. However, the overall success of the localised jobs – centred approach further hinged on manufacturing enhancements for increased exportation, must remain a permanent feature of both economic recovery and economic development for South Africa,” says Ajam.
“FEDUSA believes that these commitments must in reality be translated into a “Local is Lekker” Barometer measuring the year – on – year successes of recovery and development. The Masterplans already bearing successes such as the footwear, leather, and textiles, amongst others must be used to drive sectoral development on the back of the expanded manufacturing capacity that will bring about increased export possibilities”.
The announcement by the President that there will be no political interference and that political office-bearers at all spheres of government will not be allowed to do business with the state is long overdue in the fight against the cancerous claws of corruption. Consequence management and recovery of looted funds must be prioritised, in an attempt to further increase the amount of jobs that can be saved and created to drive the developmental aspects of a capable state.
For interviews please contact:
Ms Riefdah Ajam
FEDUSA General Secretary
079 696 2625
FEDUSA Media and Research Officer
072 637 8096