‘We do not intend forming an alternative party’, Says Cosatu president at SACP rally

2010-11-08 00:00

PRESIDENT of the two-million strong Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Sdumo Dlamini has assured the South African public that the federation has no intentions of establishing a workers’ party or an alternative left-wing party to the ruling ANC.

These assurances were made by Dlamini during his address at the closing rally of the South African Communist Party’s (SACP) Red October Month campaign, at Ashdown SportsGround this weekend.

Following Cosatu’s participation at a civil society conference in Johannesburg last week, fears and speculation arose that Cosatu was looking to establishing an alternative party to deliver support to its workers.

The ANC, SACP and the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO) were not party to that conference which prompted ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to tell the media that the conference positioned itself “as an alternative bloc to the ANC-led alliance”.

“In South Africa we are still having poverty, although there is some difference brought by the ANC government. People still suffer the consequences of apartheid … But there is no way that alliance will break. Under the leadership of this federation [Cosatu] there is no possibility of forming an alternative force against the ANC,” Dlamini said.

“The ANC is the centre of hope for the people of this country. If you thought Cosatu could get angry in such a way that it can form an alternative organisation, just forget …”

KZN premier and ANC provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize said that, since SACP and Cosatu members were free to be members of the ANC, they will be party to the process of ensuring that candidates with integrity are appointed.

Mkhize further appealed for leadership squabbles within the alliance not to divide members along partisan lines.

SACP general secretary and Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande said that, as much as the SACP supports black economic empowerment, it does not support its tendency of benefiting the elite few.

Nzimande, who said the rally also marked the launch of the SACP’s local government election campaign for the ANC, said there was no problem with the ANC-led government; “the problem is with a few individuals who are concerned about accumulating money and filling their stomachs”.

“The ANC is our movement that led us during the most difficult of times.

“As we go to the elections, we must remove those corrupts elements from our movement.”

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