- The Congress of South African Trade Unions has expressed its horror at today’s 17.1 percent drop in factory output in the year to June 2009, saying this was the latest proof that the country is still mired in a deep recession.
“It is terrible news for thousands of workers whose jobs must now be in jeopardy. This statistic reinforces the already overwhelming argument in favour of the government’s interventionist policies in the Framework Agreement as South Africa’s response to the global economic crisis, and its detailed policies to revive the economy and save and create jobs. These must be implemented with the maximum urgency,” COSATU said in a statement.
The largest trade union alliance in South Africa, further said in the light of this massive drop in production, it was again appealing to the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, which is meeting today and tomorrow, to implement a further cut in interest rates.
“This 17.1 percent drop in output could not be better evidence that the country’s biggest threat comes not from rising inflation but from a catastrophic economic recession and rocketing unemployment,” said COSATU.
The union said the interest rate policy must now come into line with all other economic policies and target economic growth and job creation. “That is why COSATU repeats its demand to the outgoing SARB Governor, Tito Mboweni, in his farewell announcement tomorrow, to face up to reality revealed by this statistic and go for a minimum 200 basis point drop in the repo rate, to help manufacturing industries to turn the tide of recession and start increasing production and saving and creating rather than shedding jobs,” the statement concluded.
COSATU has repeatedly called for much lower cuts in SA’s repo rates since the fall of last year, while also criticising the policies in place on the job saving and creation stress.
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