situation report

South Africa: Union Federation Rebuffs Government on Economic Growth Plan

1 MIN READAug 29, 2019 | 18:36 GMT

What Happened: The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has rejected an economic growth plan from the National Treasury, characterizing the proposal as a "right-wing agenda," Bloomberg reported Aug. 29.

Why It Matters: The rapid rejection of the economic growth plan indicates a looming confrontation between President Cyril Ramaphosa and South African labor unions as the government seeks to implement reforms to stem the country's economic decline. However, labor unions are a key part of Ramaphosa's political base, and losing their support could complicate the president's future reelection chances.

Background: South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni released South Africa's growth strategy on Aug. 27 at a time when the country is grappling with a sputtering economy, rising unemployment and a host of systemic deficiencies, such as declining education standards and endemic corruption.

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