Economic policy paper: SACP expresses 'serious concern' over sudden release

2019-08-29 12:25
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is seen in Parliament. (Esa Alexander, Gallo Images, Times Live, file)

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is seen in Parliament. (Esa Alexander, Gallo Images, Times Live, file)

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While the SACP has not yet discussed its position on the economic policy paper Finance Minister Tito Mboweni published on Tuesday evening, the party has expressed "serious concern" over its sudden release.

National Treasury published a 77-page report titled Economic Transformation, inclusive growth and competitiveness: towards an economic strategy for South Africa.

READ | Mboweni's economic blueprint 'parks reform tanks' on govt lawn - economist

The public has also been called to weigh in on the proposed structural reforms aimed at reversing the economy's protracted downward trend.

"The SACP will respond in detail - both to the process that was followed by the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, and substantively to the contents of the document," said party spokesperson Dr Alex Mashilo.

While the SACP wants to further discuss the report at its upcoming augmented committee meeting next week, it slammed the proposal saying it was the very same policy regime that "plunged the world" into economic crisis and South Africa into the current undesirable economic situation.

READ | Mboweni's new plan to boost growth and create a million jobs

South Africa's economy has contracted by 3.2%, while its unemployment rate jumped up to 29% from 27.6%.

The ANC noted Mboweni's report and said, while it would study the proposed reforms, it believed it was important to re-imagine the country's economy.

Labour federation Cosatu which, like the SACP, is one of the ANC's alliance partners, is yet to share its views on the policy proposals.

Alliance political council

Mashilo told News24 the SACP had held meetings with Cosatu and the ANC and that they all agreed to set up an alliance political council to focus on a number of issues, including a strong focus on the economy.

"While the paper had not been released when we agreed to convene the alliance political council, [the setting up of the council] was not about this document but the necessity to delve deeper into the economy..." Mashilo told News24.

The Treasury has given the public until September 15 to comment.

The SACP noted the Treasury's call for the public's input.

"The party will be pushing a change in policy direction, in the interests of the working class and the poor - the overwhelming majority of our people," said Mashilo.

The SACP said it would intensify its programme to strengthen and find adequate funding for an industrial policy action plan, as well as campaign against policies that would roll back workers' achievements.

It also pledged to deepen its financial sector transformation campaign in the hopes of creating measures to direct investment into productive sectors to create decent work and cut unemployment.

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Read more on:    sacp  |  economy  |  politics
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