Privatization and structural adjustment in
the Republic of South Africa

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Statement on the South African Foundation Document, "Growth for all"
ANC press statement, 12 March, 1996. ANC rejects the document's call for privatization and structural adjustment.
Privatisation winning through in S.African debate
By Ben Hirschler, Reuter, 29 May 1996. After months in limbo, South African privatisation policy is crystallising and financial analysts hope for decisive news on steps to sell state assets. President Nelson Mandela sent the clearest signal yet that the government would push ahead with privatisation, despite union opposition. Economists and business leaders believe privatisation is central to restoring investor confidence, badly dented by the rand's sharp fall in the last three months.
South Africa accelerates privatisation moves
Peter Limb comments on a Reuters news item, 13 June 1996. The South African government has invited labor representatives into a series of cabinet committees mapping privatisation plans. The macro-economic framework for growth and development - the government's first comprehensive economic policy package - would accelerate moves towards privatization. Limb re. lack of effective alternatives; the global tendency of social democratic parties; and the question of who benefits from privatization?
COSATU Statement On Privatization
14 September, 1996. The trade union federation opposes the government's macroeconomic policy of privatization and structural adjustment.
COSATU on "flexibility"
By Mbhazima Shilowa. 5 June, 1997. COSATU's position on structural adjustment, in which "flexibility" means freedom to exploit.
SAMWU Press Statement on the 1998 Budget
12 March 1998. Minister's budget speech threatens public service jobs rather than define a program for extending desperately needed services to more communities. The budget is largely based around discretionary spending by provinces, rather than concrete plans to rebuild the economy, create jobs and meet the basic need of the people. The proposed retrenchments are devised to fit the government's macro-economic GEAR policy, which has failed to create employment or speed up service delivery. Contracting government consumption spending means that government can abdicate its responsibility for meeting basic needs and creating jobs.
Privatisation of water on the Dolphin coast
SAMWU Press Statement, 5 May 1998. The privatisation of water and sewerage in the Dolphin Coast municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. Among the bidders are the notorious French multinationals Lyonnaise Des Eaux and Generales Des Eaux, as well as British privateer Thames Water. These three companies have privatised water in different parts of the world with disastrous effects for communities.
Macro-economic Policies Will Hurt Education
By Gumisai Mutume, IPS, 20 June 1998. When teachers threatened the biggest national strike after independence, fingers pointed at South Africa's macro-economic policies. The Government's newly adopted Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) strategy, and all the cuts in social spending it envisages, is being singled out as having dire consequences on education, among other sectors.
Union will not allow privatisation of Johannesburg's fresh produce market
SAMWU Press Statement, 28 January 1999. The Johannesburg fresh produce market is not about to be privatised, for a framework agreement around restructuring of local government was concluded between COSATU and the Department of Constitutional Development over one month ago, which rules out blanket proposals of privatisation to municipal services running at a loss, compelling municipalities rather to enter into negotiations with the union to finding a public sector solution.
Fight over water privatisation in South Africa/dt>
By Anna Weekes, Green Left Weekly, 16 March 1999. Attempts by the African National Congress government to privatise the water of Dolphin Coast municipality in kwaZulu-Natal province, in breach of a national agreement, has met with strong resistance from the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU).
SAMWU launches opposition to the restructuring of Johannesburg
SAMWU press statement and briefing document, 7 April 1999. The South African Municipal Workers' Union rejects the Igoli 2002 plan to restructure the city of Johannesburg and is calling for a moratorium on all restructuring. The reasons for this stand. Igoli 2002 is based on different forms of privatisation, including rationalisation, outsourcing and termination of activities. The plan will have far-reaching strategic and political effects on the city, especially on people's living standards. It will influence restructuring in every city in South Africa.
SACP decides on private sector role
By Primarashni Pillay and Reneé Grawitzky, Business Day, 6 September 1999. The SA Communist Party (SACP) resolved to consider the use of private-public partnerships to speed up the delivery of services at local government level, but warns that this should not been seen as an endorsement of private capital as the system most suited to meeting the needs of the people.
Nelspruit water privatiser breaks promises, dispute declared!!
SAMWU Press Statement, 19 October 1999. The South African Municipal Workers Union vs. the Nelspruit TLC over the controversial 30 year water privatisation contract won by British multinational company, Biwater, last year. The company has already begun breaking promises it made when it was awarded the contract.
Restructuring state assets has so far yielded R7.7bn - Manuel
WOZA SA news, 25 May 2000. The government has so far received R7.7 million from the restructuring of state assets, which was well above expectations, said Finance Minister Trevor Manuel. The government plans to raise at least R40 billion over the next four years from its restructuring program, which has come under fire from its trade union and communist allies, who say it has worsened unemployment.
Union to oppose changes to water law
SAMWU Press Statement, 9 June 2000. The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) rigorously opposes draft regulations which will allow local authorities to appoint private companies to provide water services and publi-private partnerships to provide water in the country's rural areas. Clause 19.2 of the Water Services Act says water must be delivered by local government and not the private sector. The regulations undermine the spirit of the act, which is firmly in favor of water as a public service and not a commodity.