Date: Jun 25, 2020

South Africa: Government must protect jobs to forge a new economy

In response to Minister Tito Mboweni’s Supplementary Budget Speech today, Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa, said:

“With the unemployment rate at 30.1% and the economy expected to contract by 7.2%, the government must now, more than ever, put human rights first and make every Rand count.

As Minister Mboweni said, unemployment is one of our greatest challenges. With R6.1 billion and R19.6 billion set aside for job creation and protection initiatives, it’s vital that the government is transparent, accountable and progressive in its plans to safeguard jobs. The government must ensure that plans are concrete, have clear timelines and are non-discriminatory. Furthermore, the government must employ a zero-tolerance approach to corruption, with impact measured and made public.

Failing to do this will see inequality, poverty and suffering increase. Workers have kept the cogs of society turning as the world has held its breath and, if we want to forge a new economy in a new global reality, the government must defend workers’ livelihoods, now and always.”

Background

South African Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, delivered the Supplementary Budget Speech on Wednesday, 24 June 2020, tabling an adjusted budget in order to adapt to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Mienke Steytler, Media and Digital Content Officer, Amnesty International South Africa: +27 (0)64 890 9224; mienke.steytler@amnesty.org.za