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Wed Sep 28 03:46:43 SAST 2016

Cosatu slams big business's 'investment strike'

TMG Digital | 01 March, 2016 18:48
Cosatu also called for the strengthening of local industries by increasing local content in infrastructure development projects. File photo
Image by: JAMES OATWAY

The Congress of South African Trade Unions slammed big business for its continuing "investment strike" as Stats SA released figures reflecting low growth in the SA economy.

According to Stats SA‚ South Africa's economy grew by 1‚3% in 2015‚ down from 1‚5% in 2014 and 2‚2% in 2013.

Cosatu released a statement on Tuesday commenting on the performance of various sectors of the economy.

Noting that the agricultural sector‚ the electricity‚ gas and water supply industry‚ had declined and that the manufacturing sector had flatlined‚ the federation called on government to “to use incentives like subsidies‚ quotas and tariff hikes to encourage investment in the local manufacturing industry”.

“The fact that the one sector that saw the biggest increase in growth was the financial sector shows the structural problems in the SA economy‚ and the need for a far bolder programme of diversification and industrialisation. This validates the case that COSATU has been making that there is deliberate financialisation of our economy‚” Cosatu said.

“It is worrying that the latest budget speech seemed to be entrenching an austerity mode at a time when we need economic stimulation. This is made worse by the fact that big business continues to be on an investment strike and they also continue to take their profits out of the country.

"These GDP numbers are an indictment on big business and shows that they have no developmental consciousness and are not invested in the future of this country.”

Cosatu also called for the strengthening of local industries by increasing local content in infrastructure development projects.

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