ANC can't be hijacked by 'tenderpreneurs'

Johannesburg - Cosatu has a framework for the ANC leadership it wants elected at Mangaung in December, general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

"We must not allow the ANC to be hijacked by a class of 'tenderpreneurs'," Vavi told reporters at the conclusion of Cosatu's national congress in Midrand.

This was the framework that the congress had provided to guide the central executive committee (CEC) of the Congress of SA Trade Unions in deciding who they would support at Mangaung.

The congress resolved that the decision on who to nominate for the leadership of the African National Congress would be taken by a special meeting of the CEC.

The federation's political report, discussed at the congress, was also referred to the CEC to decide upon.

Vavi said the meeting would be held in the first week of October. ANC branches were expected to nominate their leadership candidates in October.

Vavi said it was decided not to let the 11th national congress decide on its candidate leaders as they would not have time to achieve consensus.

"Congress with its time pressures was not going to be united," he said.

Earlier in the day some Cosatu affiliates - including the National Union of Metalworkers of SA and the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union - called for the ANC leadership discussion to be opened.

The request was opposed.

In his concluding remarks, Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini called for "stability of leadership" at Mangaung.

"This is the message sent by the workers... today, in particular our own African National Congress as it proceeds to Mangaung, stability is what we need," he said.

"This country does not need factionalism, it doesn't need divisions of leadership, it needs stability of leadership," he said to loud applause.

He said the ANC could take a lesson from Cosatu, which re-elected its top six leaders unopposed.

The congress erupted into loud celebration when an Independent Electoral Commission official announced the results of the elections for the top Cosatu leadership.

Dlamini was carried to the stage when it was announced he was re-elected.

Delegates then picked up Vavi, re-elected as general secretary, and carried him onto the stage.

Scores of delegates took to the stage where they sang, whistled and danced for around 10 minutes, before the congress was called to order.

Although the leaders were all nominated unopposed on Monday, the official results were only announced on the final day of the congress, Thursday.

Bheki Ntshalintshali would remain Vavi's deputy.

Tyotyo James was re-elected first deputy president and Zingiswa Losi, second deputy president.

Freda Oosthuizen was re-elected treasurer.

Come home

Earlier, delegates sang pro-President Jacob Zuma songs.

They sang in isiZulu "Kuyoze kube nine sizabalaza [how long will this struggle be], sihamba noZuma asinamahloni [we are going with Zuma, we are not ashamed]".

Vavi outlined the declarations agreed upon in the congress, chief among them refocusing attention on workers' issues.

Vavi said the congress was embarking on a "programme of action" to drive economic shifts in the country. This included discussion on a national minimum wage.

"We will convene urgent meetings with the government and the ANC, at the highest level, to discuss the development of a new wage policy."

In his closing address, Dlamini called for workers who had left Cosatu affiliates to start splinter groups to come "home".

"Come back and raise your issues inside the organisation. We will address them."

The call came after 46 people were killed in incidents relating to an illegal strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, in North West, since August.

The strike was partly blamed on rivalry between incumbent union, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a Cosatu affiliate, and a breakaway union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

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