Cosatu congress: what to expect

By Drum Digital
13 July 2015

Cosatu’s long-awaited special national congress will take place in Midrand on Monday and Tuesday

Cosatu’s long-awaited special national congress (SNC) will take place in Midrand on Monday and Tuesday, with nine trade unions loyal to expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi in attendance.

Seven, and possibly eight, unions at the congress in Midrand will continue to give open support the reinstatement of expelled affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) and of Zwelinzima Vavi.

The doubtful union among what has been termed the “nine-plus” is nurses’ organisation, Denosa. The ninth union is Numsa.

With the exception of the Food and Allied Workers’ Union, the Communication Workers’ Union and Denosa, the other dissident unions are small, with the tiny Professional Footballer Players Union having only one delegate.

But it was clear as delegates started to arrive at the cavernous hall in Gallagher Estate that tensions exist in most of the unions, although there are strong attempts to proclaim that all but a tiny minority of delegates support the current executive.

Some delegations also debated late into Sunday night to decide on their tactics for Monday when both the agenda and of the lengthy “Unity and Cohesion Draft Discussion Document” are tabled.

The executive has stated that the “Numsa and Vavi issues” can be dealt with at the scheduled national congress in November and several delegates among the dissident unions have argued that this should be accepted.

But an apparent majority seem to have won the day, arguing that the special congress was called by nine unions (including Numsa) to deal with the problems now embodied in the two expulsions.

There also seems to be consensus about not making a major issue about changes to the agenda although the Cosatu constitution clearly allows this.

Source: Fin24

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