Vavi threatens action on retirement law

2012-11-06 16:34

Johannesburg - Cosatu would take to the streets if some proposed changes to retirement legislation were not amended, general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Tuesday.

"We should... mobilise for a programme of mass action, including a national strike, if satisfactory steps are not taken to remove potential prejudicial provisions and to strengthen safeguard measures for the interests of retirement fund members."

Cosatu had concerns over the Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill, which was before parliament, Vavi said in a speech prepared for delivery at Nedlac.

Provisions in the proposed bill, Vavi said, meant financial regulatory institutions such as the Financial Services Board would be exempted from any legal action brought against them by retirement fund members.

Vavi said the proposed amendments would affect millions of pension fund members.

They should not be legislated without thorough public discussion on the matter and detailed engagement with organised labour.

"We should therefore insist that the bill be tabled at Nedlac for tripartite engagement on its provisions, and for it to be amended so that it strengthens, not weakens, the interests of retirement fund members," Vavi said.

He voiced concerns over a proposal for the mandatory preservation of retirement funds, which would prevent workers from drawing funds before retirement.

It was an insult to workers that organised labour had not been part of consultations with treasury on the proposals for pension funds, Vavi said.

Turning to the state of the economy, he said higher wages and better social grants would bring greater growth. The country required a stance biased in favour of the working class and the poor.

"Higher wages and social grants stimulate demand for goods and services and create a market for new businesses, which in turn employ more people and increases economic growth."

He said the economic structure was over-dependent on the export of raw materials. It was being dominated by multi-national monopolies in the mining and banking sectors.

"It must promote and protect [the] locally-based manufacturing industry and renovate our ageing economic infrastructure."

Vavi said Brazil had set an example in fighting inequality and poverty by improving social protection, developing public education, and making provision for minimum wage policies.

Social security reform was thus vital in reducing the level of poverty in the country. Vavi accused the government of taking too long to produce its comprehensive social security policy document.

  • Shaun - 2012-11-06 16:48

    why dont they march for crime and corruption and leadership and non racial policies,if they do that then ALL of the other problems will go away.stop looking at all the small problems and look at the big picture cosatu

      junaid.vanderwalt - 2012-11-06 18:08

      They said same thing about e-tolls and it's now being implemented :(

      godfrey.welman - 2012-11-06 21:01

      When will he learn the ANC only needs him at election time. Same old story about march, bringing SA to a stand-still...Cosatu does not have any real power, stop fooling yourself Vavi.

      claudia.meads - 2012-11-07 16:49

      "Higher wages and social grants stimulate demand for goods and services and create a market for new businesses, which in turn employ more people and increases economic growth." Sorry to burst your 'retirement' bubble, Vavi, the only thing that creates growth- and in return wealth.., is COMPETITION...

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-06 16:50

    We can only hope the march or talks will make any sorts of impact. Lately vavi

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-11-07 10:43

      One thing I do think Vavi is right about is fighting the mandetory preservation of retirement funds. Although I agree that it is not a good idea to withdraw all the money out of your pension fund when you change jobs it should still be YOUR choice! If this act goes through I will definately reduce all my pension fund contributions to the minimum. Too much risk in tying up your money for such a long period in such a country with such a uncartain future. This will definately discourage, not encourage the investments in pension funds!

  • stefaans.blaauw - 2012-11-06 16:51

    The first rule to fight inequality should be to get educated at first, secondly, if are then unhappy with you pay, find a better job. Unfotunatly, uneducated, unexperienced, undissplined workers cant find better jobs, NOW THY DEMAND better pay or strike. POOR AFRICANS

  • cage.rattler - 2012-11-06 17:00

    "Higher wages and social grants stimulate demand for goods and services and create a market for new businesses, which in turn employ more people and increases economic growth." - really? if this logic was remotely true, why isn't every country giving million rand wages/grants for massive growth? That is cart-before-the-horse reasoning...

      jannie.snyman.96 - 2012-11-06 22:02

      The man does not understand - he is a product of " Freedom before education ". Condemned by his beloved ANC to low wage manual labour. Modern economy cannot acommodate this level of education except as street sweepers etc. Sorry Sir, you followed a false doctrine and those same people who advised you now govern the country and you can see the mess daily

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-11-06 17:01

    Yeah right. Higher wages and social grants stimulate growth. Where does the money come from and how long wil investors stimulate growth whilst returns on investments deminishes. Remind me not to employ Vavi in my finance department. We can sell our products to the staff at inflated prices. Your'e the weakest link - goodbye.

  • JevonMarshallJohnson - 2012-11-06 17:05

    By all means strike again(as usual), but let one man throw a stone or beat another person and YOU VAVI should be held accountable. One Bullet - one violent Striker. Nuff F said.

  • JevonMarshallJohnson - 2012-11-06 17:07


  • buzzardfrey - 2012-11-06 17:08

    Hot air mr vavi, except for making fsb accountable for running pension schemes into the ground. I will strongly support any suggestion that anyone retrenched or resigning after at least five years' service should have her pension benefits transferred into a preservation fund. Who knows, there might not even be old age grants or any other grant in twenty years from now. I don't think labour unions in this country service their members' interests well.

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-11-06 17:12

    Socialist and commie claptrap.

  • wwrer.ww - 2012-11-06 17:17

    Eskom should have been privatized Vavi - YOU SHOULD RESIGN You blocked it. We now have the most expensive electricity in the world. You have given the poor of South Africa the most expensive electricity in the world. Resign Communist failure - resign because of this Eskom scandal. RESIGN.

  • cecil.currie - 2012-11-06 17:23

    Vavi, how about if you don't agree with a proposed change in legislation you peruse this through the courts instead of doing your damnedest to destroy the economy.

  • quartus.vanzyl - 2012-11-06 17:25

    one third of the public already get some or other social grant from the state, now Vavi wants even more!!The whites make up 20% of the taxpayers, but bring in 80% of the tax collected, so Vavi, we say not!! no more grants, in fact most of the present grants should be cancelled because they were obtained fraudulently>

  • brett.michielin - 2012-11-06 17:42

    We are tired of your mass actions vavi. Just get a real job now.

  • david.stopforth.5 - 2012-11-06 17:42

    Grants the state are carrying these people Married or not but children by plenty Better rules Needed Wow and the hand keep on coming and coming when it comes by Work ,we strike but the hand Keeps coming

  • braamc - 2012-11-06 17:42

    he said higher wages and better social grants would bring greater growth. - Vavi you are stupid, yes why don't the 5m tax payers keep the welfare state going. Get off your f asses and wok, yebo, we must wok

  • Fox Trixter - 2012-11-06 17:43

    Seemingly, News24 has a large pool of experts...! judging by the number of dumb comments...! people who talk bullsh*t while in hiding...! when people are asked to attend consultation sessions on various policy issues, they dont pitch! all they know is to post dumb comments or take to the streets! thats not how you draft a policy! if your input is to only post comments then the very same corrupt, arrogant fatcats will draft and pass legislation that will bind your ass forever unless you stand up and engage this people through dialogue and not through news24! what a waste!

  • gazaspells - 2012-11-06 17:46

    Is vavi serious by taking a simplistic view to economics by saying "higher wages and better social grants would bring greater growth."

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-11-06 17:54

    Here we go again!!!! Why am I not even surprised!!!!! March protest throw stones and repeat!!

  • phaldiemeyer - 2012-11-06 18:02

    This whole idea of me not having access to MY retirement monies is b#lush*t...what about people that gets retrenched and can't find another job to cover their debts? The creditors are knocking @your door and the bank want to reposses Ur house and car but thank God my money is safe till my retirement!!! At least I'll have it available when I retire, if I live that long in my shack!!! Dom dose!!!

  • dwayne.dick.5 - 2012-11-06 18:15

    Ha Ha Ha they will anyway march for something, let them carry on.

  • steve.gibson.146612 - 2012-11-06 18:19

    Yeh why must there be legislation protecting their retirement funds. Let them spend it all, afterall the Government will bail them out with a pension at the taxpayers expense. Why should they make provision for their retirement at all.

  • david.lebethe - 2012-11-06 18:38

    Vavi and Cosatu do not cease to amaze?! Not so long ago, the very Cosatu and Vavi met with mining company to negotiate a new wage structure to that demanded by mineworkers. So, how would the new package he struck with mine bossess contribute towards stimulating economy when he had clearly short changed the workers?

  • mlamli.jikeka - 2012-11-06 18:52

    why Vavi not fighting surplus to be refunded to those pension fund members

  • brionyl.french - 2012-11-07 10:22

    What is it with you people and strikes? Cant anyone sit down at a table and just communicate??? We are not a nation of apes!!! Why must we act like them to get noticed Instead of backing a retard how about Cosatu you back someone of substance and someone who knows what they doing and someone who can change this country... If your not happy change your vote dont continue to vote the same way and then expect change.... IDIOTS!!!!

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