Magashule declares war on the VAT hike

At a Workers' Day rally, the ANC's secretary-general went against government's plan to find extra money.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has called for unity between the ANC, labour federation Cosatu and the SA Communist Party (SACP) ahead of next year’s general elections.

Magashule, however, feels the “much-needed” unity will come from opposing the 1% Value Added Tax increase, from 14% to 15%, that was introduced in April. Labour unions and the SACP slammed the hike as placing an added burden on the poor.

Magashule, during his May Day rally in Vanderbijlpark on Tuesday, called on party members to join workers against the VAT increase objection.

The call for unions to oppose the VAT increase could be seen as direct defiance of the ANC-led government’s position on the amended VAT hike, which saw former finance minister Malusi Gigaba announce it as a way to raise revenue to meet the budget shortfall.

Magashule said: “We must make sure that we don’t swaggernise [parade]… we have said we must nationalise the Reserve Bank, so we must walk the talk,” he said, implying ANC branches on the ground needed to join workers, the SACP and Cosatu in the VAT resistance.

“Unity is possible … we must revive the alliance. We must build the unity and cohesion as a banner of Cosatu today in defence of the revolution,” he said.

The rally was attended by SACP national chairman Senzeni Zokwana, ANC NEC member Jeff Radebe, ANC Gauteng acting chairman David Makhura and Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.

Magashule said the demand for certain mines to be nationalised would also need unity.

Ntshalintshali told the ANC “it must deliver”.

“It is payback time as we are asking for jobs and the end of corruption.”

He also demanded the banning of labour brokers.

Magashule said the ANC needed to make sure that conversations about land expropriation without compensation needed to be clear.

“The land has an emotional connotation within the context of apartheid colonialism, and this land must come back.”

He said all the ANC’s 54th conference resolutions needed to be met, which included the national minimum wage.

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