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.
- Can Ramaphosa Halt South Africa's Rot? (July 22, 2019)
- South Africa: An Economic Policy Squabble Goes Public (June 5, 2019)
- South Africa's Election Will Be a Referendum on Pro-Business Policies (May 1, 2019)