Vavi: Global priorities are wrong

2012-05-16 16:52

Johannesburg - The gap between rich and poor around the globe is widening and the struggle now is to re-orientate world priorities, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Wednesday.

Vavi was addressing an international trade union federation policy conference organised by the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in Johannesburg.

Greed and waste defined global capitalism, he said, and the financial crisis and its consequences were a direct result of this.

"World unemployment is now 210 million, which is the highest it has been in history."

This figure did not include the millions living in desperate poverty, who had given up hope and who were no longer counted among the unemployed because they no longer looked for work.

A growing global fear was youth unemployment, he said.

To make his point Vavi outlined how much Europe, Japan and the US spent on luxuries.

"The US spends R8bn a year on cosmetics; Europe R11bn on ice-cream; Japan R35bn on entertainment."

Global military spending was in excess of R780bn with "arms deal following arms deal", he said.

Yet only a fraction of global spending went to basic education, water and sanitation, reproductive health and basic health care.

"When you compare figures it is a frightening reminder of how very screwed up the world is. It is certainly not working in favour of ordinary people."

The time had come for ordinary people to take control of their own circumstances so that they too could become beneficiaries of their country's wealth, said Vavi.

  • judith.taylor.56 - 2012-05-16 17:02

    Mr Vavi have you thought that that spend is actually creating jobs? However, it is the abrogation of our responsibilities to our children and our communities that is at the root of the problems. We are sitting around waiting for governments to rescue us instead of doing things for ourselves and changing the status quo

      Dinonofopico - 2012-05-17 18:33

      communists cant create jobs

  • Tamaranui - 2012-05-16 17:40

    Vavi, Once again you are on the money mate. Greed Capitalist greed is the evil. Whilst the west lived on over-inflated markets to fuel their extravagant lifestyles we the 3rd world never progressed. Viva VAVI Viva

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-16 17:43

      How do we change this vicious circle, Diversify our Customer base. Ensure that the funds from our Mineral resources stay in this Economy. This will ensure more funds for all sectors of transformation. Ensure a new world order via BRICS. Too long now RSA has pandered to the West for little headway...... We must change the game..........

      Sidney Gilroy - 2012-05-16 17:58

      You are so ignorent. You do not have skills or infra-structure to enrich any minerals. The guy who TERMED the word BRIC has denounced SA's inclusion into the block because we are insignificant on the global economic stage and frankly we will never be competitive because of our high labour and strangling unions. The new world order is coming, yes. But Dollar will still be god. And SA will be China and India's bitch. Thats the plan mate. Wake up.

      Sidney Gilroy - 2012-05-16 18:04

      And to prove my point. Who is the recently elected chair of the World Bank ? An American. BRIC has just done what they always do...they are unorganized and cannot reach agreement. Instead of seizing the moment...they stall...on nitty gritty nonsense. Russia even abstained from voting. BRICs is nowhere near, and will most probably never be, as powerful as say the NATO block.

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-16 18:10

      Sidney, It is Good manners not to start your reply in that way however I shall retort; We are the 25th Largest Economy in the World and climbing fast. Our GDP tripled in the last Eight years. Money buys Ingenuity , Ask Dubai, Anyway we have all the skills here in RSA. The constant Negativity regarding RSA is not supported by the International Indices, These are Facts. Your comments are merely skulduggery as you are probably unhappy not to see this country fall over after 1994 instead we have progressed. More are Educated and Housed with proper infrastructure.....Yes Yes .... You may have your opinion We have the facts. We being every optimistic South African citizen of all Cultures.

      Alf - 2012-05-16 21:13

      Vavi and Tamaranui will fix the gobal economic crisis! HELP - WE ARE SURROUNDED!

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-16 22:35

      ..@ Tamaranu..You give impressive figures, amongst others that we are the 25th highest economy in the world.. impressive? No and No again. In the early 90's we were rated 12th. So! weve declined 15 places over 20 years. The decline started in 1996 with the over-draconian and restric- tive Labour Laws. I seem to remember that a Thesis study indicated that almost 2 million domestic- and farm labourers were laid off within the first 8 months of this law being promulgated. Furthermore, you fail to mention the decline in all spheres of government. I need not ellaborate.. you should know this..Education, Health services, (eat cabbage for HIV/Aids for a cure), Top management of our SAPD, Local Authorities, corruption, theft, nepotism, and.. and.. The list of decadence is endless. One true thing you say.."We must change the game". But as the uneducated get wise, the game will change itself. You seem to be inclined to under estimate the intelligence of the proleteriate. I forsee a "Palace Revolution" in the not to distance future. Finaly I would like to see your comment a bit more balanced and leave your tunnel vision, be more inclusive and admit that we are losing ground economically through bad decisions and a host of unacceptable behaviours. POWER TO THE PEOPLE POWER TO THE DA

  • Burtfred - 2012-05-16 17:53

    "The US spends R8bn a year on cosmetics; Europe R11bn on ice-cream; Japan R35bn on entertainment." And Gauteng spends R20 billion on a toll road that nobody except your pals in Luthuli House wants. And Zuma's 28 year-old son gets a billion Rand tender to mine iron ore, even though the only thing he has ever mined is greenies out of his nose. Vavi - you and your labour pals are the real fatcats; you get paid for producing nothing more than hot air.

  • Sidney Gilroy - 2012-05-16 17:53

    Vavi compares Apple Trees with Grape Seeds. Africa contributes less than 3% of World GDP and you want to dictate to whom? Do you even realise that those luxuries you so put forward as squandering, constitutes not even a fraction of those countries economies? Here's a solution for Africa : DONT BREED THEM IF YOU CANT FEED THEM.

      Sterling - 2012-05-16 22:28

      Sidney, you are right on the money in your comment, Africa produces 0.5 per cent of the world manufactured goods even though they make up over a billion people in the world. Most of the economies in Africa are based on extraction and not finished goods. The food production is going down and the population is going up so, things don't look as good as some would want us to believe. In the case of SA over half of the population is on family grants and it's not sustainable.

      Pieter Mulder - 2012-05-17 08:21

      O yes

  • dewaldmontgomery - 2012-05-16 18:42

    He wants them to spend more on reproductive health... Uhm, is it just me, or won't more babies result in more jobless people over the long term?

  • Smell - 2012-05-16 19:27

    If "Reproductive Health" translates as "Family Planning", let me know how I can assist. There should be compensation for choosing a definitive way of Family Planning after having 2 kids.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-16 22:45

      ..I've got a Chinese penpal. Turns out that a permit is required to have a second child..and a heavy penalty in taxes are levied on families with more than 2 children. They comprise 2/5 ths of the world population but have a minus 4 percent population growth. (They have also surpassed the USA as the strongest economy in the world. (google if you like)

  • Lacrimose - 2012-05-16 19:41

    And yet 75% of our budget has disappeared, vanished in the fond and ample embrace of capitalism. Try solve the problems at home before you take on the world

  • daniel.motlhatlhedi - 2012-05-16 23:00

    Europe spend R11bn a year on ice cream.

  • Schalk - 2012-05-16 23:57

    "Greed and waste defined global capitalism, he said..." Was he speaking about himself and Cosatu? Then why does Cosatu block very good ideas that will create jobs for thousands of youth?... "A growing global fear was youth unemployment, he said." But Cosatu does not agree with creating jobs for the youth? Where do you fall off, Mr Vavi? Making a statement like that when Cosatu is clearly not looking for opportunities to create jobs? "The time had come for ordinary people to take control of their own circumstances..." Do I sense a hint of inciting violence there? Be careful with statements like these, Mr Vavi. Some of your unruly followers might just take you up on this.

  • Pieter Mulder - 2012-05-17 08:27

    Senseless verbal diria. Think for yourself don't think for the world. Please keep it in a corner and don't let it out

  • Lynne - 2012-05-24 05:35

    Politics asside we humans just breed too fast and at time when more and more jobs are mechanised or digitised it is going to be a problem getting formal jobs for everone. Rather than expecting a job we must start making it a norm to run several small businesses advertised and managed from the internet.

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