The Cry of the Xcluded Rejects Potential Budget Cuts in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement!
Press Statement | Cry of the Xcluded | 26 October, 2020
The Cry of the Xcluded, growing movement including formations of the unemployed in the form of the Assembly of the Unemployed as well a trade union formations – the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) and the Associations of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) are calling for an end to budget cuts ahead of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement which will be announced by the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni on 28 October 2020.
Covid-19 and the economic and social lockdown has laid bare the failures of the government’s pro-business approach. We have seen over 2.3 million jobs lost, many of us forced into precarious work, our families went to bed hungry and inequality has worsened. Now, we hear that while Tito Mboweni’s stomach is full, he wants to cut more jobs in the public sector as well as cut spending on the essential services and social grants many of us need to survive. But, we cannot afford any further budget cuts! The rich and powerful will continue to laugh as tax cuts make them richer and more powerful, while our suffering worsens and we go to bed hungry, in cold shacks with no sanitation or electricity.
Now is the time where we should be spending MORE money, not less! We need houses! How do we build them without spending money? We need clinics and hospitals with enough doctors and nurses! How do we get that without spending money? We need schools that more than meet the basic norms and standards, while being climate conscious. No more Michael Komapes! How do you do that without spending money? We need support for jobless peoples, children, the elderly, single parents, and those living with disabilities. How do you do that without spending money? We need to shift from mining, and the toxic old mines that destroy our land and make us sick must be rehabilitated. How do you do that without spending money? We need safe and modern transport systems that will help us get to where we need to be without harming the environment. How do you do that without spending money? We need a mass state led renewable energy programme to provide everyone in the country with safe, affordable electricity. How do you build one without spending money?
We reject any budget cuts proposed by the government! This is not the way to address the debt and unemployment crisis, and deepening inequality. Why does the government hate the unemployed and poor this much? The historic injustices and racially driven development and service delivery has created the deep social, economic divides we live with today. Why does it continue to assault us by destroying the public sector? Now is the time to focus on rebuilding the public sector so that it works for the poor! Indeed, without this critical spending for the people, there will be no country, no economy and no recovery, as we fall further and further into the deepest depression in a century.
Let us be clear: the money is there! We have shown this. It is time for the government to start listening to us and not their rich and corrupt friends!
In February 2020 we held a Real Jobs Summit which was attended by workers and unemployed people from across the country. We showed that by increasing tax rates for the wealthy, closing tax and wage evasion loopholes, utilizing surpluses managed by the Public Investment Corporation as well as prescribed assets, offer real and tangible funding sources for a reinvigorated public sector. A public sector that ensures we have access to land for those of us who remain without land. A public sector that manages and efficiently provides a living basic income grant for the unemployed. A public service that facilitates a just energy transition that leaves no worker or community behind.
A different world is possible! As Tito Mboweni announces his plan to increase our suffering, we will intensify our fight to build this world. We will hold a series of protests across all provinces in South Africa, demanding an end to budget cuts. We will also converge outside Parliament and make our demands clear so that Tito Mboweni and his government can no longer ignore us!
We will hold an online press conference on Tuesday, 27 October at 10:00, to RSVP follow this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZZs5lCXkS-S9yNBZ-RB46Q for more details please email email@example.com or call 0813094973
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the Assembly of the Unemployed (AoU) on 12 February 2020 to unite the working class – employed and unemployed – in the struggle for jobs, services, and dignity. The Cry of the Xcluded is supported by a number of organisations including 350.org, Alternative Information & Development Centre (AIDC), C-19 Cash Transfers group and the Fight Inequality Alliance.
The Assembly of the Unemployed is an alliance of unemployed people’s organisations including the
Unemployed People’s Movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, Amandla PE, Amadiba Crisis Committee, Botshabelo Unemployed Movement, Progressive Civic Movement (formerly Progressive Youth Movement) and the Southern African Green Revolutionary Council.