(Gallo)

Trade union federation, and the ANC's alliance partner, Cosatu, will hold a national congress next week to firm up policy positions ahead of the 2019 elections.

Although it could be good to contest directly for power, this is unfeasible by next year, and so it will remain in alliance with the ANC, Cosatu has said.

But it has a long list of priorities it wants the ANC to address in its election manifesto. These are some of the highlights.

See also: 4 changes Cosatu wants to see on land, including higher taxes for game farms

A ban on new private hospitals.

National Health Insurance (NHI) should be state-driven rather than market-driven, Cosatu says. It also wants to see state-owned pharmaceutical companies.

But the biggest shakeups it wants to see are  "a moratorium on licensing of private health care facilities" and the end of the licensing of private hospitals entirely.

It is not clear whether existing private hospitals and other facilities will be allowed to continue operation under the plan.


Forced investment of retirement funds in state-owned enterprises.

At least 50% of private retirement funds must "be invested in job creating projects and in SOEs", Cosatu says.


50% taxes for companies and deceased estates.

Cosatu has a number of ways it wants to see the recent increase in value-added tax (VAT) either reversed, or the impact on the poor lessened.

In order to raise revenue, it proposes that the tax on corporations be increased to 50%, plus an estate duty of 50% on all estates, with no exceptions on exemptions.


Bans on labour brokers – and any form of outsourcing.

In order to ensure decent jobs, Cosatu wants election promises that include a total ban on labour brokers, with no minimum period during which workers can be employed by a third party.

It also wants "total banning of outsourcing", for both private companies and the government.

In addition, Cosatu believes scab labour during a strike should be prohibited, totally shutting down any company or service hit by one.


Interest-free loans for women and co-operatives.

The 2019 election manifesto should include the creation of a state bank that will give interest-free loans to "job creating projects in the townships and for women and co-operatives".

It also wants to see a state-owned construction company, to "create skills", and a state property company. "The state must not lease property from the private sector," it says.


Limits on foreign companies, including the repatriation of capital.

Cosatu would like to see limits on foreign companies in several ways. Competition law should be amended to prohibit takeovers of local companies by foreign ones, it says.

It also wants an unspecified tax on the export of capital, and a limit of three years on the repatriation of profits by foreign companies.


Changes to the Reserve Bank.

The mandate of the Reserve Bank should be amended to look at both inflation and employment, Cosatu says.

It also wants an election manifesto that promises to "amend the Constitution to take away the independence of the Reserve Bank".

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