Cosatu in war of words with ANC Women’s League

2017-03-03 22:03
ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini. (Picture: Deaan Vivier)

ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini. (Picture: Deaan Vivier)

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Johannesburg – The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) has lashed out at the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), saying it had succumbed to factionalism.

The union said the ANCWL's response to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) crisis, and Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini’s leadership, was "absurd". Dlamini is also president of the ANCWL.

"It is perplexing that a women's league does not seem angry or concerned that there are 17 million of South Africa's poorest, who are likely to not receive their grant payments on April 1 because of this ineptitude."

Sassa, this week in Parliament, indicated that it had no clear plan in place to ensure the continued payment of social grants to more than 17 million beneficiaries.

On Wednesday morning, Sassa withdrew its request to the Constitutional Court for advice over what to do about its contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

This was less than 24 hours after it had filed the notice, at 17:00 on Tuesday, asking for help from the highest court in the country.

Call for axing of minister

Cosatu said most social grants were spent on food. The union said a disruption to this social security system could be catastrophic and, ultimately, life threatening.

The labour federation criticised the ANCWL's silence when Sassa failed to deal decisively with the irregular expenditure and irregular tender procedures, which resulted in more than R1bn in wasteful expenditure.

"This mismanagement poses a real threat to the livelihoods of 17 million grant beneficiaries. Factionalism seems to have dulled the League's perception of reality."

Cosatu further stated that Dlamini needed to take political responsibility and resign.

"We insist on this because there have been times before this saga, where government's wisdom to keep Minister Dlamini as the minister has not been obvious to the federation."

Responding to Cosatu, ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba said the union federation was irresponsible in making the allegations as an ANC alliance partner.

She said the federation's central executive committee (CEC) had abandoned their duties of strengthening and building a worker-controlled Cosatu.

Matuba said the CEC members had consciously abandoned their leadership roles.

'Opportunistic ambitious grandstanders'

She then dared Cosatu to raise the matter legally.

"If Cosatu is prepared to lay criminal charges for CEOs of companies involved in collusion, what stops them from laying charges on the alleged corruption on Sassa?"

Matuba said the ANCWL felt Cosatu was grandstanding, while its leadership have ambitions of being deployed into ANC-led government positions.

"They create unfounded allegations to assassinate characters of some ANC leaders who are serving in the ANC-led government, with the hope that those leaders will be recalled and that will be opportunity for them to be deployed."

She said "these opportunistic ambitious grandstanders" were misusing their positions in Cosatu to advance factional politics.

"They are taking advantage of the current challenges the movement is facing and are driving wedges to position themselves for the coming ANC national elective conference."

Read more on:    cosatu  |  sassa  |  ancwl  |  bathabile dlamini  |  johannesburg  |  grants  |  politics

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