Vavi: Elect strong leaders

2012-08-28 20:11

Johannesburg - The leaders Cosatu and the ANC elect at their upcoming congresses must be able to get South Africa out of its economic woes, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Tuesday.

"So, we elect leaders that have capacities to take us into a different direction... where we can begin to address the economic challenges that we are facing," he said.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) holds its national congress next month. Its alliance partner, the African National Congress, has its national conference in December.

Vavi told businesspeople in Sandton that strong leaders were needed because South Africa found itself in "not a very nice place" politically, socially, and economically.

The killing of 34 workers at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana was "a statement about the worst that can come out of the current social and economic environment".

"A growing number of South Africans feel left out."

Vavi warned that the Marikana incident threatened "some form of implosion".

"The demands that these workers are making cannot be dismissed." The Marikana disaster also opened the door for "new heroes" or "demagogues" like former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, he said.

"The demagogue is somebody who whips up emotions of people and promises them heaven and earth, and not because he wants to address the issues... but because he's going to get a bigger slice for the elite in society."

Vavi said one of the biggest lessons from Marikana was that the trade union movement had weaknesses.

One of these was the gap between union leaders and members. He said it was an issue that every single general secretary of a union stayed in a formerly white suburb, could send their children to good schools and had access to private healthcare.

Another weakness was the distraction of divisive politics.

"There is a degree of unions not focusing on workplace issues and carried by the factional battles in the ANC for positions.

"There's a possibility for everybody to move up... and that tends to make people sometimes to cultivate that possibility instead of cultivating the better environment for the constituents that elected them."


  • juicecard.tshaka - 2012-08-28 20:29

    "There`s a possibility for everyboby to move up....." therein lies the biggest problem.People should be made aware that they can only move up through competance. - 2012-08-28 21:11

      That's what we all know juicecard, but the reality is "cadre rules"

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-08-29 07:31

      Dear Vavi, you put them there, so why are you complaining now?

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-08-29 08:37

      Not possible with Cosatu. Cosatu is the problem.

      Willie - 2012-08-29 09:03

      Vavi you told everyone that the present leadership is THE leadership now you turn around and tell us a different story, pull the other one Boet

  • jerry.medina.756 - 2012-08-28 20:34

    Vavi how can you expect 3000 of uneducated fools called delegates to elect Leaders? The problem with South African version of so called democrazy is exactly that. No one knows who even their Mp,s are? I don't think my area is even represented in that mafia parliament of your's. I have a President imposed by people like you and Malema. Who in his sense will vote for Zuma in a proper democracy. December is coming and once again we will leave our fate to 2000 strong impis with spears.

      Themba - 2012-08-29 00:22

      You are free to form your own party or vote the opposition party prefer...

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-08-29 07:33

      @themba.maseko.568 - of course we are voting for the opposition, but our votes are being lost within so many other votes that have no clue what they are voting for.You all vote for the people you want, then complain when nothing comes your way. Maybe you should change your vote.

      arthur.adams.988 - 2012-08-29 09:13

      Just because you don’t agree with the ANC's election system doesn’t give you the right to insult people’s intelligence. You have to agree that these so called uneducated people are outwitting the supreme race when it comes to playing the political game.

  • boltonbarry - 2012-08-28 20:49

    I would go with intelligent educated leaders myself

  • Malose-Nyatlo - 2012-08-28 21:12

    News24's comment pages have been identified as playground for racists. Racists generally think with their hearts and this is not good for healthy debate. Many still need to read Bessie Head.

      john.barbarian.9 - 2012-08-29 05:09

      Jeremy, Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent of blaming others about their unsuccess. Im so happy that you have your finger on the "Spot". Result of this white privilege is the computer from where you typing my dear compatriot. Successful people are not born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things which people don't like to do. The successful people don't always like these things themselves.. they just get on and do them.

      juannepierre - 2012-08-29 05:14

      Yawn... You three make me sick. The racist complaining about racism, the rich white guy filled with arrogance and the martyr in between. Something tells me you guys are pretty old... Your ways of thinking are dirty with dust. Clean up, stop embarrassing yourself.

      john.barbarian.9 - 2012-08-29 18:25

      Old are the Bulls of your Papa Juanne Pierre...hahaha I don't see the third comment, probably is deleted. If your way of thinking is the "modern one" marching on ANCYL Service delivery protest in Cape Town with iPad in your hands - Please...proceed to next level of evolution. Something tells me that your Huguenot-reformist ideas are not so visible to us. I know that any way of thinking other than yours is wrong, but we don't see your ideas though. Should me start the new era with "Marcilese" and baricades?.....oooo cute cute Juanne come to the gun battle with fork again?

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-08-28 21:15

    Step aside, Vavi. You're too weak.

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-08-28 21:31

    Vavi I already voted for strong leaders. Viva DA!

      TSR01 - 2012-08-29 08:59


  • Mallela Isaac Mokholoane - 2012-08-28 21:36

    look who is talking!!! just bcoz you are desperate to be re-elected as a secretary then you pretend to care through your statement. Give up Vavi a snake will always remain a snake, we are had with your lies.

  • lungile.ndyibithi - 2012-08-28 21:44

    Ja comrade u hev a point. Forget about our votes should you decide to bring people who are selfish

  • Madhi - 2012-08-28 22:12

    He is my top 6 leaders you must vote next time. Vavi for president, Dirk Hermann for secretary, me for treasury (I am very good in managing finances ask my creditors, especially with my wife's help and her stylists, shuh), Hellen Zille for chairperson (she can let the other two women stand up to those other men like Trollip), Buthelezi as deputy secretary (we will win KZN and he has credentials as a president, remember he invaded Lesotho within 48hrs of being a commander in chief), Marc Lottering for deputy president (That will ensure we take over Kaapstad and yes both Juju and the crew and the two women and Trollip and them will be left out of the republic of the western cape. Also, as a deputy president he does not have to do much which means he cant help us distress with those laughs). We will keep cader deployment, we need it to send the military vets to zim and the corrupt guyz will be deployed to the nearest prison hospital on condition they will accept medical parole you see. We can make claudia what's her last name an ambassador to Ukraine, her manners will make her a local there. Yes the most loved guy of the house, our belove Juju, will be made the new Governor of the reserve bank, he looks like Tito Mboweni lately and also, he can just print the money moss instead of diverting school books money for the other kids.

  • jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-08-28 22:23

    This is very interesting, what Vavi is in fact saying is that South Africa is at least beginning to divide on the basis of class.The mine union leaders have more in common with the good people of Rondebosch, Newlands and Sandton than with mine workers and their needs. This is an inevitable ordering of society within a capitalist economy. Whether it is a good thing is another matter. In political and sociological studies it is well understood that the more equal a society is the happier everyone is both rich and poor alike. We live in interesting times.

  • nads.delange - 2012-08-28 22:37

    I wish he actually understood the words written in his speech, but unfortunately he also lives in his luxury home and he also fights for a seat on the gravy train. He's no different to the people he criticises. So at Mangaung Motlanthe will get the vote, and in 5 years' time it'll be new people complaining about the same issues. The ANC will never educate their people, because that will mean losing votes, and the ANC ruling the country is more important than the country itself. Yes, TIA. So prepare for another 7 years of illiterate masses voting for their "saviours" who plunge them deeper and deeper into unemployment and poverty.

      Timmytomas - 2012-08-29 07:51

      Hopefully the very same masses are opening thier eyes.

  • Andre Claassen - 2012-08-29 00:39

    @jeremyforbes, I did the chicken run with my family and I refuse to apologies for it! I had a privileged life back in SA where I still own property, but I have a more privileged life here with my freedom and safety in the UK. I have 3 white male kids who will find their way in life based on merit, and I'm am sick to hell of apologizing for working hard and paying my taxes. I refuse to apologies anymore!

  • gandanga.tororo - 2012-08-29 01:13

    Vavi I did not get your resignation letter on my desk. Please backup your utterances with action. You know very well that ' birds of the same ....' Are you grandstanding too?

  • braamc - 2012-08-29 06:01

    Leaders? Mmmm

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-08-29 06:28

    A strong leader is not all we need. We need leaders that are strong, have integrity, actually mean what they say, are honest, are people serving instead of self serving, etc. Imagine Malema at the helm - yes, a strong leader by populist methods, but does he have intelligence besides the ability to manipulate people for his personal ambitions? I worry that real leaders among this "alliance" are few and far between - was there only one Mandela out there? Very worrying - the only leaders available are those leading the country into a dark black hole.

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-08-29 06:45

    Good on you, lets get the strongest leaders with a vision of getting us off this slippery slope, and not afraid of making decisions for good of the country. The youth league in my view run this country and I feel they are the mouthpiece of the present government. Not once have their actions been called to order, they openly announce they will make Cape Town ungovernable and not a bloody thing is done about it.

  • stefan.kruger.1297 - 2012-08-29 07:16

    This idiot was obviously busy with other things while the ANC drove the country into the ground, with Julius Malema sitting at the side laughing and stealing their money... I just don't understand the LOGIC behind this... they see a guy that promises them everything, new houses, more money, better lives and believe him... just like when they all voted for the ANC for all those years... and yet... THEY STILL LIVE IN SHACKS!!! The moment these people realize that a government or political structure cant control them, is the moment they discover real freedom... WE ARE THE SLAVES IDIOTS!!! WAKE UP!!!!

  • parys.fotograaf - 2012-08-29 08:01

    Strong leaders my backside, how about leaders that actually have ideas that can work, leaders that is corruption free, honest and willing to take truth tests every six months?

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-29 08:01

    Not sure why Vavi is Promoting the DA leaders, he is in bed with the ANC, oh well, he is right, VOTE DA

  • klaas.waarzegger.7 - 2012-08-29 08:25

    Yes,it seems like Vavi has joined "Friends of the DA" Maybe he noticed the tide shifting and is keeping open a back door.

  • sibongile.makopi - 2012-08-29 09:07

    If people can look themselves in the mirror, perhaps it could give them a better idea of themselves.

  • gail.hayesbean - 2012-08-29 10:47

    Cosatu and Vavi. If you want strong asnd intelligent leaders of integrity then I suggest that you break away from the ANC tripartite alliance and stand independently. Only by reducing the majority of the ruling party will you be able to appoint people on merit who are competent to run a country and not a harem. You won't do it becuase you know that Cosatu can't win without NC and vice versa. Prove me wrong.

  • crystal.core.5 - 2012-08-29 11:12

    How about "elect honest, good leaders who work to see all South Africans better off" oh... wait, that's not the ANC

  • firstseed.mbeva.9 - 2012-08-29 14:21

    Does it mean that JZ is not strong enough? We'll see by that in Mangaung

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