Cosatu warns of job losses on SA-China trade deal

South African Broadcasting Corporation, April 13, 2006

Cosatu warns of job losses on SA-China trade deal

There has been a 480 % increase in clothing imports from China

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has warned government that thousands of textile workers, especially women, will soon join the unemployment queue. The labour federation says it is worried about South Africa’s trade deal with China that’s already left thousands jobless.

The union federation has raised fresh concerns about agreements between South Africa and China arguing that there will be dire consequences for this country if careful consideration is not made between SA-China trade deals. South Africa’s trade with China is growing at a rate of 26% annually, while there’s shrinking trade with the US and United Kingdom.

Early this year, during his State of the Nation address, President Thabo Mbeki said an agreement had been reached with China to protect South Africa’s clothing and textile industry. The agreements include reducing China exports to the country, but the issue of free trade between the two countries’ cannot be ruled out.

Cosatu says they were not consulted

Government said it consulted with all stakeholders, but Cosatu said they were only consulted early last year, and then parts of the agreements have changed. Cosatu believes that the deal favors China as at least R40 billion of the total trade last year was to the advantage of China.

Since 2003, there has been a 480% increase in clothing imports from China. In the same period, there has been 62 000 job losses in the textile industry.

source: SABC News

Comment on this article


  • Cosatu warns of job losses on SA-China trade deal8-June-2007 |

    In response to a comment by a Mrs M Samuels:

    Mrs samuels, you are clearly anti-chinese, and quite frankly very racist. Whilst the loss of jobs for South Africans is indeed tragic, one must also consider the poorer consumers in our country who are benefiting from cheaper goods.

    Indeed there is a global move towards free trade, as has been seen in many countries around the world, and we have to ask what would happen to the textile industry for example, in 10 years time, if the government stopped protecting it. Would it be able to compete globally, and if not, is it viable to protect it in the interim?

    There are always two sides to a story, but whatever way you look at it, descriminating against one particular group simply because they are more succesful than ourselves is not fair. I would have thought South African history had taught us that?

    M Schoeman

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  • Cosatu warns of job losses on SA-China trade deal22-June-2006 |

    Hi - I write in my personal capacity.
    I truly hate the sight of China City etc. The products are not just mass produced the wholesalers are rude, filthy, and completely indifferent. they do not do a thing to enhance the south africans. They appear arrogant and indignant. I simply hate having to buy any of their products. I would rather buy and inferior south african product than buy the junk they flood our market with.
    Mrs M Samuels

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