Nzimande warns unions about walking away from alliance

2014-10-30 14:43

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Unions that leave the tripartite alliance will become divided, South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande has said.

“Why should we build this African National Congress ... and then want to walk away from it?” he asked today at the Democratic Nurses’ Organisation of South Africa’s (Denosa) national congress in Boksburg, on the East Rand.

“Any union which wants to walk away from the alliance will divide itself.”

Nzimande said the second phase of South Africa’s transformation – the transformation of the economy – would not happen with a weak alliance or a weak Congress of South African Trade Unions.

Cosatu has been dogged by infighting and divisions since its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was suspended last year.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), a supporter of Vavi’s and a Cosatu affiliate, resolved at its special congress in December to not support the ANC in the general elections.

Numsa has accused the ANC and SACP of causing divisions within Cosatu.

When Vavi arrived at the Denosa conference delegates cheered and chanted his name. Nzimande received a more muted greeting.

Nzimande said the SACP did not want to interfere in Cosatu, but the party had a right to comment.

“No political party has grown the trade union federation more than the SACP,” he said.

“We as the SACP are not a cause of divisions in Cosatu. We don’t want a Cosatu which is an extension of the ANC or SACP.”

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