It's going to be difficult to campaign for ANC – Cosatu president

2016-01-25 17:17
(File, Cosatu)

(File, Cosatu)

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Pretoria Cosatu says it will be difficult to campaign for the ANC in the upcoming local government elections while the new tax laws are still in place.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said on Monday that a solution was needed in order for the trade union federation to move forward.

"We have said that it is going to be difficult to campaign while this issue is hanging on our shoulders," Dlamini told reporters in Irene, where the ANC was holding a national executive committee (NEC) lekgotla.

"We are saying this must be resolved in order for us to campaign for a decisive victory for the ANC."

Dlamini, who is also an NEC member, urged workers not to panic and withdraw their savings before the law kicked in.

"Workers... should unite to fix the problem. We are very confident that there will be a solution. We all have to stand together to fix this," he said.

Panic and anger set in among workers after President Jacob Zuma signed new tax laws – such as the 2015 Tax Laws Amendment Act and the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act – into force.

They included a limit on how much may be withdrawn when a worker resigns or is retrenched, with the rationale being that such conditions were part of an effort to force workers to save for their retirement and not withdraw savings for other reasons.

'Just a rumour'

Cosatu has been vocal about its opposition to the new tax laws, saying they would "crush" them.

But ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, said on Monday that it was unusual for Cosatu to say it would not be campaigning for the party after resolving to do so at its congress. 

"I was at their congress and they resolved to campaign for the ANC. I will take any talk of not campaigning for the ANC as just a rumour," he said.

Mantashe said only a congress could take such a resolution. He added that despite conversations about the laws, there were areas where they agreed with Cosatu.

He said people should understand how the tax laws would work.

"There are quite a number of areas where we agree. Any debate now will be on the accumulation of new money after March 2016. Anything that is in the fund will not be affected," said Mantashe.

The ANC lekgotla will centre around the economy, education and local government. Mantashe said he could not give much detail on the three reports as resolutions would only emerge from the sessions.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  local government elections  |  local government

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