Unions should be fighting prescribed assets
22 August 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA) and trade unions can and should work together to oppose the spectre of prescribed assets. We have written to all major trade unions in South Africa to request a meeting to discuss the potential for co-operation in opposing this reckless policy proposal.
Unions have a responsibility to care for the best interests of their members. The ANC’s proposal to rob private pension savings to pay for Eskom debt is clearly harmful to the interests of all hard-working South Africans. Unions, regardless of their political affiliations, should therefore fight the prescription of assets on behalf of their members.
COSATU, in particular, has a responsibility to oppose this. In their public statements on the issue, they have been equivocal. This is wrong - they should be unequivocally opposed to asset prescription because it will harm the long term financial security of their members.
Asset prescription is a policy straight out of the apartheid government playbook, used to prop up the failing apartheid state when global markets would no longer extend credit. That the ANC would even consider such a policy now is an admission of the comprehensive failure of their government.
Rather than discussing how to rob workers, the ANC should be making serious proposals on the tough measures required to save Eskom and get our economy growing.
The DA and trade unions can work together to stop asset prescription. Unions must play their part in combatting this reckless and dangerous proposal. The DA is looking forward to engaging with trade unions, and to working together to safeguard South Africans’ pensions.
Issued by Geordin Hill-Lewis, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 22 August 2019