It is fantastic that the Department of Social Development saw the light and decided to withdraw the Green Paper on Comprehensive Social Security and Retirement Reform after Minister Lindiwe Zulu gazetted it two weeks ago. However, SAPTU hopes that a suggested revised proposal will not see the light of day.
The country’s working-class was up in arms about the suggested 12% tax for a new government investment fund, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
“Not only did the Green Paper ignore the business sector’s inputs through Nedlac, but the Cabinet did not approve the paper to be gazetted,” says Adv Ben van der Walt, the general secretary of SAPTU (South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union). “It is not the responsibility of the hard workers of the country to correct the misappropriation of funds by the government. The government should rather stand up and demand repayment of funds stolen through corruption and mismanagement.”
SAPTU agrees that government retirement funds and disability and unemployment benefits are critical factors in supporting South Africans who fell on hard times, but it should be managed responsibly and should not be detrimental to the earnings of hard-working people.
“We already pay taxes and contribute to the UIF and pension funds, so why do we need yet another tax – which would probably never reach its intended recipients – for the same thing?” asks Adv Van der Walt. “We hope that the NSSF fades away, never to be mentioned again. If a revised proposal with the same disadvantages for workers surfaces, SAPTU will strongly oppose it.”
Issued by: SAPTU
Date: 1 September 2021
Enquiries: Adv Ben van der Walt, General Secretary SAPTU Cell.: 083 260 8548