Johannesburg - Cosatu condemned the news on Tuesday that Treasury has
donated $2bn (about R16.58bn) to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) firewall meant to
prevent future financial crises.
"South Africa is one of the most distressed economies
in the world, with massive levels of unemployment, poverty and
inequality... and should therefore be a beneficiary rather than a contributor to
such a fund," Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick
Craven said in a statement.
"It seems to be an attempt to show international institutions and big powers that South Africa is one of the 'good boys'."
Earlier, the Treasury announced that President Jacob
Zuma had committed some of South Africa's reserves to the IMF at the G20 summit, a meeting of the world's greatest
economies, in Los Cabos, Mexico.
The funds would be considered part of South Africa's foreign reserves, Treasury spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane said.
Participating countries with no way out of a financial
crisis would access the so-called firewall fund through a temporary
loan, with conditions, and not purchase agreements to the IMF's general
Sikhakhane said the funds were committed based on the
premise that South Africa's voting power and quota shares in the IMF be
reformed, as agreed to in 2010.
Craven said that since 1993 there had been a false
assumption that South Africa was a developed country, and fiscal and
monetary policy had been based on this assumption ever since.
"The result has been that the already high levels of
unemployment, poverty and inequality have become even worse, with
massive job losses, especially in the key manufacturing sectors," he
Cosatu wanted to know which ANC conference resolutions gave the government a mandate for such a contribution to the IMF.
"Were the alliance partners, or even the ANC NEC (national executive committee) consulted over the decision?" asked Craven.
Cosatu wanted ANC delegates at next week's policy
conference to endorse the policy in the ANC discussion paper on
international relations, which proposed that the World Bank and IMF be
"The decision must be reversed and the $2bn used to
alleviate the plight of the poorest South Africans and to invest in the
restructuring of our economy," said Craven.