Alliance is best force for liberation - Vavi
Johannesburg - The alliance between the ANC, Cosatu, the SACP and Sanco, remains the biggest and most representative force for national liberation, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Friday.
"We are all separate, independent organisations, but are bound together by deep-rooted beliefs and principles and a common history of struggle for the goals which were laid down in the Freedom Charter," Vavi said in his address to the ANC local government conference in Midrand, Johannesburg.
"That document, as the opening sentence of your discussion paper says, 'has consistently guided the approach and values of the National Democratic Revolution'....We must never forget the incredible achievements of our alliance.
"Together we crushed the apartheid dictatorship and have enjoyed 16 years of democracy and peace. Together we have produced a democratic Constitution and numerous laws which have given South Africans basic rights, to freedom, dignity and equality."
Vavi cited examples of how the ANC government had improved the lives of South Africans thus far.
They had increased the number of households with access to piped water by 89%; to electricity and lighting by 80% and sanitation by 68%, he said,
"In 1996, only three million people had access to social grants; today the figure is 15 million and rising. It has built 1.6 million subsidised houses and provided 1.9 million housing subsidies.
"No other party could have dreamed of achieving as much, and we only have to look at the Western Cape, to see the nightmare we can expect if the Democratic Alliance were to gain any ground next year."
He said the mass eviction of poor communities and the "open toilets saga" are two best known episodes in the "DA administration's war against the working class and the poor".
"The DA will always be the party of the rich and privileged, with no time for the interests of the majority.
"All the other opposition parties are in total chaos. If they cannot sort out themselves, what hope is there that they can do anything to improve the lives of our people? No, there is absolutely no alternative next year to the ANC."
Cosatu's two past congresses had said the federation would "not give the ANC a blank cheque" and would refuse to campaign or support candidates known to be corrupt or lazy.
"This is a call on the ANC, working with the alliance and the masses of the people as (a) whole, to ensure that the candidates selected meet a strict criteria of integrity and high moral standards. Already, if the ANC puts into practice the processes it has outlined, it will help us achieve this objective," Vavi said.