SA labour welcomes stance on EPA
by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomed government’s reported refusal to include the prohibition of export taxes in the economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and Southern African countries.
COSATU Spokesman, Patrick Craven, said the refusal was in line with consistent in calling for a change in the structure of the economy from a colonial based economy which serves the interests of Western countries to an economy which benefits South Africa’s working class and the poor.
He said Export taxes are necessary in order to ensure that minerals are processed and jobs are created in South Africa.
“The EU’s position to force developing countries to give up this right is a colonial trick to force SA to forever be a raw material supplier to the EU and a guaranteed market for EU manufactured goods,” said Craven.
“COSATU urges government not to conclude any trade agreement with the EU unless her right to use export taxes and other trade measures is safeguarded.
“The trade relations between the EU and SA would not be mutually beneficial as long as SA does not process the minerals mined locally into value-added goods and does not determine the price of the minerals,” Craven said.
He said COSATU called on the Treasury to come to impose export taxes on all strategic minerals such as platinum, chrome and gold and to determine the correct prices for these minerals.
“The use of export taxes is allowed under international law and the disinclination of the Treasury to the use of export taxes is entrenching SA’s economy as supplier of raw materials,” said Craven.
– CAJ News
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