Coastu renews call for economic overhaul

2013-06-25 16:31

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Trade union federation Cosatu renewed its call for an overhaul of economic policy and institutions.

The answer lay in the Freedom Charter, which called for the state to direct the economy to serve the people, said the union’s general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi today.

“Our biggest challenge, however, is that sections of the state – in the (National) Treasury and the (SA) Reserve Bank – are reading off a different script,” he said at a Chris Hani Institute discussion at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

These institutions were still following the economic policies of the growth, employment and redistribution programme adopted in 1996, he said.

“(This programme) created neither growth nor employment, and only redistributed from the poor to the rich.

“Part of the alternative, therefore, has to be a radical overhaul of our macroeconomic policy, in line with the radical economic shift, which we all agree needs to happen.”

Vavi said the Treasury was the biggest obstacle to the government’s economic programme and needed to be “urgently realigned”.

The Reserve Bank should be nationalised and given a new mandate, he said.

This radical economic shift should also result in adjusted mandates for state-owned enterprises, state development-finance institutions, and the National Planning Commission.

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