During his State of the Nation Address on the 13th of February President Cyril Ramaphosa Stated “two weeks from now, the Minister of Finance will outline a series of measures to reduce spending”. In effect, the president has promised an austerity budget. While there is reason to question whether Ramaphosa can fulfill the countless empty promises he made in his SONA, one thing for sure with Moody’s breathing down their backs this is a promise they will fulfill.
On the 26th of February (Budget Day), under the banner of the Cry of the Xcluded, demonstrations against austerity, job losses, and mass unemployment will be held. The demonstrations will take different forms and have several targets. It will not just be directed at the Treasury and entail a march to Parliament. It will target local government and its employment practices with a focus on the City’s use of outsourced and insecure workers, especially workers in the Expanded Public Works Programme
The demonstrations will target the SA Reserve Bank, given its central role in locking in neoliberal monetary policy and ESKOM, given the utility’s threat to the economy. To communicate both the urgency and the despair of most poor and working people, it will be disruptive in nature. It will lead to engagement with officials of the Treasury, as an advocacy tool in the on-going campaign.