Cosatu must unite to save ANC metros – Nehawu

2014-06-08 06:00

National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) general secretary Fikile Majola says it’s important for Cosatu to unite and help win the 2016 municipal elections for the ANC – especially in metros, where it lost votes on May 7.

“Our unions are under attack, comrades. We are facing a more difficult election in two years so we can’t break our most important machinery before 2016,” Majola told delegates at the union’s special congress on Friday.

“What is happening in the metros is not good. We need to start the work now. We are going to have to act differently if we are going to win the metros in 2016,” Majola said.

In addition, Majola said more attention needed to be paid to the way the metros are funded and run.

He said metros were central to the ANC because they are “very strong in terms of centres of power”, which the governing party cannot afford to lose.

Majola warned against factionalism in Cosatu and said this has resulted in a state of “paralysis” that almost cost the trade union the fight for the implementation of the national minimum wage.

Also speaking at the special congress was Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, who is also the South African Communist Party’s (SACP’s) general secretary.

Nzimande warned again what he called “corporate capture” – the bribing of state agents by “capital forces”.

He added that Nehawu and the SACP should fight against the abuse of trade union structures and not allow its structures to be used to co-opt corruption.

With regards to the platinum strike that is in its fifth month, Nzimande said “the lack of leadership shown in terms of directing the platinum strike” has resulted in mining bosses missing the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Nzimande said: “Even the mining employers who embarked on activities to undermine the NUM, I bet they miss the NUM now.”

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