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Press Room  |  Press Statements

Last updated: 13 March 2018

Speaker`s Representative Acknowledges Receipt of FAWU Memorandum

13 March 2018

Parliament to process FAWU`s demands, of what it calls inappropriate laws and/or policies that have impact on jobs, as contained in its Memo of Petition delivered for the attention of the Speaker

The Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete, has told the leaders of, and protest marchers from, the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) that their demands for freezing of processing inappropriate laws and/or policies relating to below-identified industries, in addition to its call for the clamping down on illicit trade on products from those industries, will be processed through Parliament.

The Speaker said this, through her delegated representative, Parliament`s Section Manager for Documentation Section Peter Lebeko when addressing protesters following acknowledging, and signing for, receipt of the FAWU`s Memo of Petition; which detailed how Sugar Tax, amendments to both Tobacco and Liquor Acts and their regulations, dumping of sugar and poultry, and the upcoming Fishing Rights in 2020; that through applicable rules this petition will be processed.

Addressing protesters Mr Lebeko said: "What I will have to do from here is to ensure that the memorandum goes to the office of the Speaker and it will then be processed in terms of the normal processes of Parliament.

  • It will be tabled before Parliament and when it is officially before Parliament, it will then be referred to the appropriate committee to deal with the issues raised in this particular document."

After marching to the SA Revenue Service (SARS) headquarters in Pretoria on 6 March 2018 to call on the revenue collection agency to strengthen its hand in dealing with illicit trading and illegal operations in the aforementioned industries, FAWU again took to the streets in Cape Town to call on Parliament to:

  • Ask the President not to sign the Health Promotions Levy into law or effect until a trilateral task team; comprising FAWU and other unions, industry players from sugar-to-soft drinks, and relevant government departments; meet to look at flawed outcome from NEDLAC and package a better deal;
  • That Parliament ask the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to fast-track the work of the Task Tem on Poultry Crisis and to also immediately block the flow of chicken from Brazil given the scandal of the biggest poultry dumper/exporter from that country being accused of bribing its way from safety-checks and its CEO having been arrested;
  • That Parliament ask the Department of Health (DoH), DTI and other relevant others to halt fast-tracking discussions at NEDLAC on both amendments to Regulations on the use and trade of Tobacco and that of Liquor products until these are negotiated with FAWU at Task Teams similarly structured alongside the Poultry Task Team;
  • That Parliament asks the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to convene a Summit on Transformation and Sustainable Fisheries in anticipation of the 2020 Fishing Rights period.
  • From Treasury`s own research and by own admission, if the Health Promotions Levy, then known as Sugary-Sweetened Beverages (SSB)/"Sugar" Tax, was implemented at effective 20% there were to be between 5 000 and 8 000 job losses in the value-chain.
  • Also, the amendments to the regulations on Tobacco Act, as negotiated at NEDLAC, but to be presented here in Parliament, will see plain packaging of cigarettes packs, which will simply get illicit traders riding on the back by trading in products from illegal manufacturers who don`t pay tax," says FAWU General Secretary Katishi Masemola.
  • The 18, 19 and 20 year-olds prohibited from trading, purchasing and consuming alcohol products will also be denied taking leanerships at workplaces, let alone employment, that has to do with liquor yet they are allowed, by decree of the constitution, to vote a political party into power" Mr Masemola continued to state.

Mr Masemola concluded by saying that "the poultry industry continues to shed jobs and the future of the sugar industry is bleak with unclear policy on fishing rights for the year 2020 making sustainable fishing and transformation worrisome".

For further comment please contact FAWU General-Secretary Katishi Masemola on 0824672509

Issued by: Dominique Martin, FAWU Media Officer, 0824985631, or at email address dominique.martin@fawu.org.za

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