Cosatu singles out Mvela CEO

2011-06-30 16:50

Johannesburg - Trade union federation Cosatu on Thursday singled out Mvelaphanda Resources CEO Pine Pienaar as an example of the country's rising inequality.

On the final day of its fifth central committee meeting, Cosatu issued a draft declaration that said South Africa had now become the most unequal country on earth.

"Fifty per cent of South Africans live on 8% cent of our national income," the declaration said.

"Pine Pienaar, CEO of Mvelaphanda Resources, made R63m in 2009, 1 875 times more than the average worker. And inequality still reflects the racial bias of the apartheid years, as white people earn on average in one hour what African workers earn in a day."

The draft declaration also said that while millions voted for the ANC, knowing that it had delivered many improvements such as new houses, running water, electricity and the rollout of antiretroviral drugs, they still lived in dire poverty.

"We still have an outrageous level of unemployment - 36% - by the more realistic expanded level which includes the rising numbers who have given up even looking for a job," the draft declaration said.

It said SA had failed to escape the fault lines in the economy inherited from colonialism and apartheid, which is over-dependent on the export of raw materials and the exploitation of cheap labour.

"The global economic recession affected South Africa more than most because unemployment was already so high beforehand. More than a million jobs disappeared in 2009 and 2010," the draft declaration said.