Cosatu says it is “extremely disheartened” by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s supplementary budget, arguing it was not for a country in a deep economic recession and beset by high unemployment.
Mboweni today presented a historic budget of over R2 trillion-rand, in the face of economic hardships occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19, which will result in a R300bn shortfall in tax revenue.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the budget offered no meaningful support for key economic departments and sectors.
He welcomed the shifting of R21bn to the department of health, R12,6bn to key departments fighting COVID-19, as well as R9bn to water and sanitation, and transport.
“This supplementary budget did not fully match the needs of workers and the economy. We are now in danger of entering an economic depression and the scariest thing is that government does not have a plan. This budget only served to remind us that as workers, we are on our own and the policymakers have no idea what they are doing,” he said.
Pamla said the ANC ally was amazed that Mboweni did not mention the road map to save the country’s state-owned enterprises, which have been gobbling a lot of taxpayer’s money through bailouts.
“The silence of the government on how to reduce wasteful expenditure and corruption is outrageous and shameful. We lose 10% of our budget to corruption and wasteful expenditure according to the Auditor-General,” he said.