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Cosatu undecided on NDP

Mar 13 2013 13:19 I-Net Bridge

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has slapped down the NDP with regard to its stance on the labour market. (Lisa Hnatowicz, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The National Development Plan (NDP) has not yet been endorsed or rejected outright by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)‚ federation general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday Vavi told a Cosatu conference in Boksburg that it appeared that the the federation was going to be a lone voice speaking out against the NDP - endorsed by the African National Congress at its national conference in Mangaung last year and adopted as the centre piece of government policy making.

Vavi slapped down the NDP with regard to its stance on the labour market.

Cosatu's second largest affiliate‚ the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has already rejected the document‚ dismissing it as a "right wing document" which mirrored Democratic Alliance policy.

Speaking on the sidelines of the bargaining conference in Boksburg on Wednesday‚ Vavi said the federation as a whole had not yet outright rejected the plan‚ rather it had taken issue with sections of it‚ particularly in regard to the labour market.

He said there were also a number of areas of the NDP which Cosatu supported.

Cosatu has circulated its internal document on the NDP to its affiliates and structures and a more concrete position would likely emerge from the next meeting of its top brass in May.

Yesterday‚ Vavi said the raft of policies on the labour market contained in the NDP - the brainchild of the National Planning Commission which was chaired by Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel‚ with ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy - "generated a déjà vu".

"...we have been through this before‚ through that infamous document called GEAR!" Vavi said.

"Sadly‚ you have to read for yourselves what the National Development Plan wants to do‚ or not do‚ with the labour market."

Vavi punted the Freedom Charter as the centrepiece of policy making‚ saying the provisions contained therein on education‚ health and housing had not been fully realised.

The conference‚ under way in Boksburg‚ is aimed at developing a comprehensive income policy for South Africa which may include a national minumum wage‚ social protection for unemployed adults and a comprehensive collective bargaining policy.

According to a study by the Labour Research Service‚ the average minimum wage in all sectors in 2012 was R3 500‚ up from R3 165 in 2011. On Tuesday Vavi said no worker should earn less than R4 500.

Workers represented by the SA Democratic Teachers Union received the highest minimum wage in 2012‚ set at R6 647. This was followed by workers covered by the banking and finance union‚ earning a minimum of R6 000.

Workers earning the lowest minimum wage were domestic and transport workers‚ earning R1 364 and R 2486 respectively.

cyril ramaphosa  |  trevor manuel  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  ndp
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