Communists, unions may force alliance to ditch Mboweni's paper

13 November 2019 - 15:43 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
The tripartite alliance is working on a unifying economic strategy for SA, which places finance minister Tito Mboweni's economic stimulus strategy in peril.
The tripartite alliance is working on a unifying economic strategy for SA, which places finance minister Tito Mboweni's economic stimulus strategy in peril.
Image: Esa Alexander

The ANC-led tripartite alliance has resolved to draw up a “unifying economic strategy”.

The decision was taken during the two-day alliance political council held on Sunday and Monday.

The task team that will work on this economic strategy — “that is needed” — is expected to report back at another alliance council meeting scheduled for early next month.

This was announced in a joint statement by the governing party, the SACP and Cosatu on Wednesday. The SACP and Cosatu have previously voiced their opposition to the economic growth strategy proposed in a National Treasury paper released in August.

The Communist Party took it a step further when it attacked the Treasury paper in a 36-page internal critique, which the Sunday Times reported on last month.

Almost all the points contained in this week's alliance council joint statement were identical to the SACP critique, which sharply stated its opposition to finance minister Tito Mboweni's economic stimulation strategy.

The alliance council joint statement was penned by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, SACP deputy general-secretary Solly Mapaila and Cosatu general-secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.

It reads: “The alliance political council assigned its economic working group the task of finalising the unifying economic strategy that is needed. The task team will report to the alliance political council in early December 2019.”

The statement further emphasised that commitments made in the May 2019 ANC election manifesto should take precedence.

This is in line with an SACP argument that the Treasury's paper was diametrically opposed to the ANC manifesto.

The joint statement continues: “The manifesto was developed by the ANC, as the strategic leader of the alliance, in consultation with all alliance formations.

“It was accordingly endorsed by all and then taken to the electorate for support on the ballot. The manifesto is therefore a fundamental electoral mandate.”

The alliance council was also “against privatisation of state assets and retrenchments in our economy”.

This contradicts the Treasury paper's suggestions regarding the sale of some Eskom coal-fired power stations and reducing the public wage bill.


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