[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Numsa v the SA Reserve Bank today, tomorrow
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed Apr 29 13:13:30 BST 2009
Numsa press statement
Contents embargoed until 2pm
Numsa is holding a picket outside the offices of the Governor of the
Reserve Bank. It will deliver a memorandum to the Reserve Bank governor
during the course of the morning. Below are the contents of the
NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY
153 Bree Street P.O. Box 260483
corner Gerard Sekoto Street Excom 2023
Newtown Tel: 011-6891700
Johannesburg 2001 Fax: 011-8336408
E-mail: irvinj at numsa.org.za 011-8336330
29 April 2009
Mr Tito Mboweni
370 Church Street
Memorandum to the Governor, South African Reserve Bank (SARB)
Since September 2008 more than 30 000 metalworkers have lost their jobs.
About 40 000 metalworkers are on short time or lay-off.
Because of this crisis, the National Union of Metalworkers of South
Africa (Numsa) called an urgent Numsa Job Security Conference from March
12-14 2009. Delegates heard inputs from government, employers and
debated responses to the jobs crisis.
Part of the reflection of Numsa in this conference was the welcome ANC
commitment in its Manifesto in respect of interest rates which declares
"The ANC government will ensure that macro-economic policy is informed
by the priorities that have been set out in this Manifesto. Fiscal and
monetary policy mandates including management of interest rates and
exchange rates, need to actively promote creation of decent employment,
economic growth, broad-based industrialization, reduced income
inequality and other developmental imperatives".
Numsa and Cosatu is not convinced that the Reserve Bank is heeding this
fundamental approach of the African National Congress. Internationally
we have seen a much more robust approach to the lowering of interest
rates with particular reference to what obtains in the following
* United States from 2% to just above 0%
* Australia from 6.8% to 3%
* Canada is at 0.5%
* China at 5.31%
* Denmark at 2.25%
* India at 5.0%
* Korea at 2%
* Malaysia at 2%
* The UK where interest rates is at 0.5% coming from as high as 5
percent in October last year.
It is common knowledge that the South African economy is in a crisis
which is amplified by the data provided from Stats SA which suggest that
manufacturing has declined by more than 11 percent in the first quarter
It is in this context that the Numsa Job Security Conference resolved to
picket the SA Reserve Bank's special meeting of the Monetary Policy
Committee from April 29-30 2009 and to urge the SARB to drastically
lower interest rates as one of many measures to ease the current job
loss bloodbath. Our reasons for calling for this drastic course of
action are as follows:
1. An increasing number of our members are under serious financial
distress because of short-time, layoffs and retrenchments. Their
household debt is soaring. Their inability to pay off household debt
will also translate into a burden on our financial system.
2. At a social level, many of our members are suffering from
depression, others are contemplating suicide, relationships are under
strain, students and school-children are dropping out of school because
of lack of funds.
3. While the consequences of point 2. above impact on the
individual family, they also have wider consequences for our health,
education and social welfare system and will put them under severe
4. Most of the advanced, developed countries have drastically
lowered their interest rates in response to this economic downturn.
5. Countries that compete with South Africa have very low interest
rates compared with ours. This makes the cost of capital for those
wanting to create new jobs or to save current jobs, very high and
renders us internationally uncompetitive.
6. Instead of linking interest rates to inflation rates, Numsa
believes that the target must be with employment imperatives and
industrial growth and development.
7. The operational independence of the SARB must not undermine the
fact that there should be more accountability on the side of the SARB so
that when policy considerations are being made there is an inclusion of
government departments responsible for growth and development as well as
the views of civil society and trade unions.
8. SARB must regulate the inflows and outflows of financial
liquidity, particularly speculative investment.
South African Reserve Bank (SARB)
Governor, SA Reserve Bank National Union of Metalworkers
of South Africa (NUMSA)
For further information contact:-
Cedric Gina, president - 083 633 5381
Irvin Jim, general secretary - 073 157 6384
Karl Cloete, deputy general secretary - 083 389 0777
Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson
Mobile : 082 9407116
E-mail address: mziwakheh at numsa.org.za
More information about the Debate-list