With the 2016 municipal elections imminent, trade union federation Cosatu is flexing its muscles over the controversial 2015 Tax Law Amendment Act.
The Act, which was scheduled to take effect on March 1, would have forced workers to only withdraw a third of their provident fund in cash, while keeping the remainder in an annuity fund upon retirement.
That provision has been postponed for two years, pending further debate and consultation with interested parties.
In a statement released yesterday, Treasury stipulated that such consultations could result in “further amendments”. The urgent move has, however, failed to quell tensions between the federation and government. Cosatu said it was not satisfied with a public announcement of the two-year delay.
Although this is the second time government has agreed to postpone implementing parts of the Act, the federation demanded that government “take these promises to the National Economic Development and Labour Council” (Nedlac).
The federation is still planning to embark on a nationwide strike until they have certainty that their demands will be met. Spokesperson for Cosatu, Sizwe Pamla, said they would only accept a written undertaking from government to Nedlac promising that they would be open to hearing them out and making changes to the unpopular legislation.
“If they want to prove that they take these negotiations seriously, and they want to stop the strike, then they must write to Nedlac.” Meanwhile, the DA said it wanted Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to explain his capitulation on the Act and whether it was due to pressure from Cosatu. – email@example.com