Cosatu vows to revive decade-old plans for workers' bank

Cosatu has again vowed to create a workers' bank, a project which has long been a goal of the trade union federation.

In the wake of its recent three-day central executive committee meeting, the federation said the establishment of a workers' bank was "very necessary now that we are faced with an economic crisis". 

"Workers have no say on how the current commercial banks should benefit society. The monopolistic control of banks by the previously advantaged minorities continues to dominate the economic scale in favour of those minorities and perpetuate the imbalances of property relations and ownership in South Africa.”

It did not provide further details or a sketch out a time frame. 

Plans to create a workers' bank date back to Cosatu's 2009 national congress, where it said it would work “tirelessly” to build it.

In 2010 Cosatu's then-general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi called a worker's bank a “historic dream" and indicated the federation would be interested in working with Theba Bank, now U-Bank, to move the project forward.

On Thursday the federation again called for the creation of a state bank and for the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank to be reviewed. 

It also announced that it plans to call out workers for a national strike against job losses on February 13 2019.

"We have exhausted our processes of engagement and now what is left for us is to fight," said Cosatu, adding its members were facing job losses and stagnating wages.

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