ANC-aligned COSATU confirms it is an enemy of unemployed South Africans

Issued by Mat Cuthbert MP – DA Head of Policy
29 Apr 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Mat Cuthbert MP.

A statement released yesterday by the ANC proxies in labour federation COSATU is a timely reminder that the ANC alliance – composed of the ANC, COSATU and the SACP – is the primary enemy of the 10 million unemployed people in South Africa. Over the past thirty years, this unholy alliance has deliberately created a system of economic exclusion that has left South Africa with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.

The national unemployment rate was 20% in 1994—today, it is nearly 33%, and it grows to over 40% when people who have given up on ever finding work are included. For every ten young people in South Africa looking for work, seven cannot find a job. Due to the policies implemented by the Unholy Alliance, the real monthly minimum wage for the 10 million people who are out of work is precisely R0.

A R0 minimum wage for 10 million people in South Africa is the true legacy of the ANC cronies in COSATU.

South Africa’s unemployment crisis was deliberately engineered by the Unholy Alliance. Instead of delivering “jobs, jobs, jobs” as the ANC once pledged, the destructive laws enacted by the Unholy Alliance over the past thirty years have only deepened the insider-outsider stitch-up that characterises the South African economy. A small group of ANC and union cronies and cadres have benefitted enormously from exclusionary practices like cadre deployment, B-BBEE, race quotas and minimum wages while trapping nearly 10 million people in unemployment and 30 million people in grinding poverty.

Therefore, it is no surprise that COSATU feels threatened by the rise of the DA in all credible polling as Election Day approaches. On 29 May, the people of South Africa will usher in a new era of job creation by electing the DA as the anchor for a new national government.

Even as we uphold all fundamental protections for workers and employers as mandated by the Constitution, this new government anchored by the DA will deliberately break down the walls of economic exclusion built by the ANC.

We will do so by scrapping job-killing policies like cadre deployment, expropriation without compensation and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank. We will replace race-based B-BBEE.

that only benefits cadres connected to the ANC and COSATU with means-tested empowerment that truly benefits the 30 million impoverished people who need it. We will do away with nonsensical export tariffs and open up failed state-owned monopolies like Eskom and Transnet to private investment. We will give unemployed youth a leg up in the labour market through a Youth Employment Opportunity Certificate, which will allow holders of this certificate to choose to opt out of laws that consign them to the R0 minimum wage created by the ANC.

The DA’s Youth Employment Opportunity Certificate will enable unemployed young people to gain valuable work experience, earn a wage rather than be reliant on the state, and ultimately allow them to move up the opportunity ladder.

While implementing these widespread reforms, we will continue to protect those who are already employed by leaving the minimum wage at its current level. This will ensure that those who are already employed, will not see a decline in their wages, while more unemployed persons will progressively be able to gain a foothold on the employment ladder.

While the Unholy Alliance between the ANC, COSATU and SACP has abused its power to build an economy that only benefits its own connected cadres, the incoming new government anchored by the DA will break down the walls of exclusion to ensure a growing economy with fair access to jobs for all.

To demonstrate our commitment to solving South Africa’s urgent unemployment crisis, the DA will shortly announce further steps we will be taking in the fight against the enemy of unemployed people in South Africa: the ANC and its cronies in COSATU and the SACP.