Zuma wants unionists in top ANC positions

2012-02-23 11:47

President Jacob Zuma has encouraged unionists not to stay away from top ANC leadership positions, saying they stood a better chance of influencing policy from inside the party.

Addressing the National Union of Metalworkers of SA’s political commission in Johannesburg today, Zuma said unionists have to be around when critical policy decisions are taken.

“Workers participated in making the ANC a progressive organisation. The ANC has a long history of working closely with the trade union movement in the struggle against apartheid and the exploitation of the workers,” he said.

He mentioned leaders like Moses Kotane, John Nkadimeng and Moses Mabhida as examples of leaders who led both the ANC and the labour movement.

“You can’t say (just) because I am a leader of a union, “here is my place, and the ANC will see itself through”. Nor can you say the (SA Communist) party must see itself through

“To me politics in South Africa is a matter of life and death. The fact that the majority of the leaders are not members of the (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) is a short-coming.

“How do you influence progressive national politics in South Africa if you are not at the centre where progressive decision are taken?” he said.

His remarks could be interpreted as a veiled attack on Cosatu who want to remain outside ANC leadership structures.

Labour federation Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi declined to take a position in the ANC national executive committee in Polokwane in 2007. At the time, Vavi said it was necessary for him to decline nomination to keep the trade union federation independent.

Zuma’s remarks could also be seen as an attempt to charm the divided labour federation ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung at the end of the year.

Zuma said debating policy issues would not help workers if they remained on the margins.

Vavi is expected to address the Numsa indaba this afternoon.

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.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.