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Radebe: Zuma heard of Cosatu objections after he signed tax bill

Feb 18 2016 11:37
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town - When President Jacob Zuma signed the Taxation Laws Amendment Act late last year he was unaware of Cosatu’s objections with regard to the proposed annuitisation of provident fund benefits.

“The concerns were only brought to the president’s attention after he had signed the bill,” said Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.

At a post-cabinet briefing on Thursday morning Radebe had to field a barrage of questions from journalists about the postponement of the provident fund rules in the legislation.

The bill has been referred back to parliament to make hasty amendments that will defer the implementation of the provident fund provisions. These amendments need to be made before the initial implementation date of March 1 2016 – a date Radebe believes is within reach.

“The deferment of the implementation date is based on the lack of effective consultation between government and stakeholders,” Radebe said. “Cosatu is not the only organisation which opposes the bill – we’ve had objections from sections of business as well.”

READ: Presidency: We consulted widely on tax laws

Radebe was asked if government had to give in to pressure from Cosatu in the light of the upcoming local government elections. Said Radebe: “We don’t take decisions based on threats. But when concerns are raised we can’t remain unmoved.

“Cosatu doesn’t have to rubber stamp decisions of Cabinet,” Radebe added, but admitted that consultation about the amendments had not been effective. 

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