Mboweni's economic policy paper just a copy of OECD's 'elite, capitalist' proposals - SACP

The South African Communist Party's (SACP) augmented central committee meeting this weekend has resolved that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's economic paper violates the manner in which alliance partners are expected to consult each other.

The party held a media briefing on Sunday, following its three-day meeting where it discussed the 77-page report that National Treasury published two weeks ago titled, Economic Transformation, inclusive growth and competitiveness: towards an economic strategy for South Africa.

READ | Cosatu to Mboweni: Withdraw your incoherent, confused and unreliable plan to bolster economy

The SACP said the document was a loose copy of the "elite" and "capitalist policy prescriptions" of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Economic Surveys: South Africa and Economic Policy Reforms 2017: Going for Growth.

"The SACP resolutely rejects the OECD prescription of weakening social dialogue parameters in South Africa," said SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.

He told journalists that the SACP had not outright rejected the economic paper, but rejected some of its "proposals and suggestions".

Against the spirit of 'Thuma mina'

"It's a one-sided call for the poor and the working class to make sacrifices, without saying what sacrifices it's expecting from the rich," said Nzimande.

The SACP said the paper also undermined the sovereignty of South Africa's policy space, saying the process and using the OECD template undermined the primary mandate of the ANC-led alliance and did not uphold the integrity and role of the country's economic and labour policy.

Nzimande said the reforms suggested the weakening of social dialogue parameters, such as collective bargaining, which it said was against the spirit of President Cyril Ramaphosa's "Thuma mina" campaign and the need for a social compact.

"You can't throw a paper, like you are throwing a bone amongst dogs," said Nzimande, commenting on alliance members not being consulted.

The SACP said the document should have been discussed within the alliance first, before being put out for public comment.

"If it was internal, we would have raised the OECD issue internally, but are now compelled to do it publicly," said SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo.

He added that the deadline of September 15 for public comment was also not enough time for members of the public to engage with the document.

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