We have to unite if we want to be strong - Jay Naidoo

2017-04-21 20:18
Jay Naidoo. (Netwerk24)

Jay Naidoo. (Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Cosatu's founding general secretary on Friday urged those behind the launch of a new labour federation to ensure they remained united.

"Think very carefully before we use words that divide us. We must be robust, we must be strong, we must be honest, but talk with the heart, not just the head," Jay Naidoo said at the inaugural congress of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).

It had 21 affiliate unions at the event and is expected to rival the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu). Former Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi is expected to be elected Saftu's leader over the weekend.

Naidoo recalled how Cosatu was formed 32 years ago.

"When we formed Cosatu we were not like you. We had no money, not one bank account; no employees. We met at a university surrounded by police eager to kill us."

'Crossroads'

Saftu's challenge was not just building the federation, but learning to communicate with one another.

"If you want to be strong you have to unite, speak in a strong voice," he said.

They should talk about the SA they wanted to see.

"Our country is now at a crossroads. And at that crossroads it is only one language that those in power understand and that is building power.

"It's not about how articulate we are, not about our PowerPoint presentation, not about a business plan. It's: 'Do we have power at the point of production?'"

It was time to return to the basics of organising power. He urged workers to partner with women, students and rural communities when fighting against society's elite.

He was 15 when he went to listen to listen to anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko.

"He said there is nothing to lose but our chains, that the mind of the oppressed is the main weapon in the hands of the oppressor. I stand here in 2017 and say that is the message again," Naidoo said.

Read more on:    saftu  |  cosatu  |  jay naidoo  |  johannesburg  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
Travel Dreams? Where would you rather be right now?

Partnered: Whether you're missing family overseas, dreaming of family adventures or romantic hideaways we all have that one place we'd rather be right now - but have you thought about the best way to get there?

/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.