Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Zingiswa Losi on Wednesday called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to resign from his post if he is “too tired to fulfill his mandate”.
Cosatu has had a fractious relationship with the minister since his appointment after his department adopted an austerity budget, which seeks to slash the public service wage bill R160 billion in the next three years.
Losi was addressing workers outside the National Treasury offices in Pretoria during Wednesday’s national protests against the continued decline of South Africa’s economy.
The hundreds of workers who protested outside the offices were upset at Mboweni’s absence when they handed over a memorandum of demands.
Losi said they were not shocked by Mboweni’s decision not to show up to receive the workers’ complaints, given his posture towards labour since he took up the position.
She said he should leave the post so that others who were willing to protect the interests of South Africans could occupy the critical role.
“Treasury is part of government. The money that they are managing and handling, is money that is contributed by workers through their taxes. So, we cannot have a minister who is going to bow to the pressures of the IMF and the World Bank and forget about what is the mandate of government,” Losi said.
The workers’ memorandum of demands was received by Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula instead.
Nxesi defended Mboweni’s absence, saying he was busy with a presentation to the Cabinet Lekgotla.