Minister Malusi Gigaba's budget speech has come under fire from trade unions.
The minister unveiled a R1.67 trillion budget on Wednesday, which opposition parties have criticised as a direct attack on the poor.
Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says the 1% increase on VAT will hit them hard.
“It will impact and hurt the poor more than it will affect the rich people.”— Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary Saftu
We are disgusted that the minister of finance Malusi Gigaba sought to deliberately mislead the public yesterday in order to feel better at night.— Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary Saftu
Speaking to 702's Bongani Bingwa, Vavi says the poor spend most of their income on transport and food which have a higher rate of inflation than other commodities.
The increase, from 14% to 15%, is the first in over 20 years.
Vavi says it’s a slap in the face for workers.
What an insult to the poor who are desperately waiting to be liberated from this type of life. We will seek to ensure that his particular decision is reversed.— Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary Saftu
Spokesperson for Cosatu Sizwe Pamla agrees and told Bongani that the ANC government has historically been ‘unfriendly to the poor’.
He says the ruling party will suffer if it struggles to transform the national treasury.
The ANC will lose power if it fails to transform its national treasury. Malusi Gigaba was presented to us as a person who was going to be radical and bring about change.— Sizwe Pamla, Cosatu spokesperson
We have long said that the problem with the ANC government is that is it unable to transform its national treasury for the last 24 year.— Sizwe Pamla, Cosatu spokesperson
There has never been a finance minister in this country who has been a friend of the poor, even Pravin Gordhan, Trevor Manuel and all of those people.— Sizwe Pamla, Cosatu spokesperson
Listen to unions SAFTU and Cosatu reacting to the VAT hike.