Cosatu wants a coronavirus stimulus from government

Matthew Parks of Cosatu.
Matthew Parks of Cosatu.

The country's biggest federation of labour unions wants the government to come up with a stimulus plan to prepare for the impact of the coronavirus, potentially stretching the country’s already strained finances.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions will call for the plan at a meeting on Monday of the National Economic Development and Labour Council, which includes business and government leaders, said Matthew Parks, Cosatu’s parliamentary coordinator. Cosatu represents 1.8 million workers.

"We will be pushing for an economic intervention plan to prepare for the impact" of the virus, he said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said last week that his administration’s drive to turn the economy around is being frustrated by the pandemic and other factors beyond its control. In South Africa, 24 people have so far tested positive for the disease, the most of any country in sub-Saharan Africa.

South Africa has twice slipped into recession since Ramaphosa took office in February 2018.

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