Finally Cosatu is raising the right questions.
Cosatu said that struggling consumers and businesses needed every bit of relief and has urged the South African Reserve Bank to lower the repo rate by 50 basis points.
The trade union federation was reacting to GDP figures released by Stats SA for the first quarter on Tuesday.
Stats SA said that the economy grew by 1.1% in the first three months of this year. It’s the third successive quarter of positive growth for the economy, but Stats SA said the economy was still 2.7% smaller than it was in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Cosatu said that poor economic growth figures reflected the slow pace with which both the government and business were moving to meet their commitments under the economic recovery and reconstruction plan.
It wanted the Reserve Bank to further lower the repo rate by 50 basis points when its monetary policy committee next meets, and for commercial banks to “come to the party” in helping make credit affordable.
Cosatu said that the ongoing problems at Eskom and continued power cuts came at a cost and that efforts to clean up corruption at the power utility, ramp up maintenance and invest in new generation capacity needed to be speeded up as a matter of urgency.
Cosatu also said that the government must ratchet up its investment and infrastructure drives to create jobs. It warned that continuing job losses and the rising cost of living were a recipe for disaster.