News24

Support for call to nationalise mines

2010-02-27 21:49

Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in Gauteng on Saturday said it supported calls by the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) to nationalise the country's mines.

"The call by the ANCYL is proper and very progressive in this instance," said provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile, following a two-day meeting of the federation's provincial executive committee.

The committee would introduce the nationalisation debate at Cosatu's central executive committee meeting, set to take place in Johannesburg from March 1 to 3.

Nationalisation had long been on the agenda of the federation, he said.

"In fact, the call of the youth league is in support of Cosatu."

Dakile said the provincial executive committee, at its meeting, had also rejected the National Energy Regulator of SA's (Nersa) recent decision allowing power utility Eskom to increase the price of its electricity by 25% a year for the next three years.

"The public hearing [held by Nwersa into the increases] were nothing but just a mere dress rehearsal to fool the public, as the decision was already taken."

Strike

Dakile called for the resignation of the Nersa board, and on Cosatu's national federation to mount a "full blown" two-day strike in protest against the regulator's decision.

Cosatu's Gauteng leadership also volunteered to undergo lifestyle audits and called on the national federation's leadership, other alliance leaders and opposition parties to do the same, "starting from Helen Zille going down to every Dick and Harry".

On the issue of affirmative action, Dakile said he disagreed with the Labour Court's judgment in Johannesburg ordering the South African Police Service (Saps) to promote a white woman.

"This judgment attacks the fundamental principle of affirmative action as protected in the Constitution," he said.

"It goes against the progress made in transformation up to now."

Captain Renate Barnard was denied promotion to superintendent twice because as a white woman she would not contribute to Saps' transformation targets.

Potential

Dakile conceded that a position should be filled with an appropriate candidate if a member of the designated group was unavailable or unfit to do so.

However, appointments should not be made only based on ability, but also on potential, he said.

"Why can't you provide opportunity for them to improve themselves?" he asked, adding that the Saps needed "vigorous transformation".