Alliance not dying - Zuma

2010-09-20 11:37

Durban - The ANC's alliance with the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the SA Communist Party was not about to die, ANC president Jacob Zuma said at the ruling party's national general council in Durban on Monday.

"All the bold headlines about the imminent death of the alliance are a waste of time and ink because the alliance will live for a long time to come," he said

Zuma said the recent strike by public servants required "serious introspection" from individual alliance partners and the alliance collectively.

But, he said the party had decided to engage with Cosatu to evaluate the strike.


"It would be wrong if we do not talk about some of the things that have characterised the recent strike which are alien to the history of the workers' struggle and the congress movement, and also to deal with the serious distortion of the history, mission, and character of the ANC that we witnessed during the strike."

Zuma said some of the statements made by striking workers and some in the leadership of Cosatu had suggested the ANC had abandoned the struggle of the workers and the poor.

"The ANC has always fought on the side of the workers and will continue to do so. As far as we are concerned, there is no ambiguity about our being in alliance with Cosatu."

He said: "It is important comrades that we should not play around with this alliance."

Zuma said however that the right to strike should never be used to undermine the rights of other people.

"We must win over people to join the strike out of political consciousness and sympathy, and not through violence and intimidation and destruction of property."

He said the alliance "... will live for a long time to come".

New growth path

Zuma also said a new growth path had to be set for the country.

It had to recognise that, on the one hand, there had been economic growth for a sustained period since the advent of democracy, however on the other, poverty still remained high and inequalities were worsening.

The economic downturn saw the loss of over a million jobs in the country and job losses were continuing despite economic growth.

This worsened the unacceptably high rate of joblessness.

"The party's research had shown that the economy had the potential to create employment through large scale expansion in infrastructure in mining, agriculture and construction."