Sign sugary tax, and 'Ramaphoria will turn into Ramaphobia' - FAWU

Cape Town – If President Cyril Ramaphosa signs a so-called sugary tax into law, "Ramaphoria will turn into Ramaphobia", said Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) general secretary Katishi Masemola outside Parliament on Monday.

Around the lunch hour, about 120 supporters of FAWU and South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) picketed outside Parliament, with most seeking refuge from the sun underneath the trees close to Parliament's visitors' entrance.

FAWU handed a memorandum to a representative of Parliament. Their complaints were about the dumping of chicken products, the sugar tax, proposed liquor laws, labour law amendments, the minimum wage, and illicit trading.

READ: Sugary drinks tax a go

Masemola said citizens were living in a country which was one of the most unequal societies in the world, where two out of five people were unemployed and millions of South Africans experienced hunger every day.

"We're living in a scandalous country," he said.  

He said according to Treasury's own study, 5 000 to 8 000 jobs would be lost if the sugar tax was implemented, which would exacerbate the current figure of 40% unemployment. 

FAWU president Atwell Nazo led a chant of "Down with industrialisation of this country, down!"

He said illicit trading was costing the country 10% of its GDP and robbed workers and the country of taxes.

He said jobs were shed and warehouses were mushrooming in the country, storing the goods imported, rather than factories being built that manufactured goods.

"We don't want warehouses, we want industries," he said. 

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

ZAR/USD
17.76
(-0.57)
ZAR/GBP
23.19
(-0.60)
ZAR/EUR
20.91
(-0.47)
ZAR/AUD
12.70
(-0.47)
ZAR/JPY
0.17
(-0.45)
Gold
2034.44
(+0.37)
Silver
28.35
(+0.83)
Platinum
973.85
(+1.14)
Brent Crude
44.49
(0.00)
Palladium
2179.50
(-0.39)
All Share
56757.73
(-1.56)
Top 40
52435.65
(-1.72)
Financial 15
9897.96
(+0.10)
Industrial 25
74671.49
(-1.98)
Resource 10
58948.78
(-1.89)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 939 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
74% - 6269 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
15% - 1288 votes
Vote