Do to Cosatu what voters did to the ANC in metros, Vavi tells workers

2016-09-17 14:25
Zwelinzima Vavi (Netwerk24)

Zwelinzima Vavi (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Workers must do to Cosatu what voters did to the ANC during the local government elections, expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Saturday.

"We need in the trade unions what happened in Nelson Mandela [Bay], Tshwane and Johannesburg," Vavi said in a speech prepared for delivery at the provincial congress of the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (Nupsaw) on Saturday.

"The only way we can do this, comrades, is to ensure that we have a strategy to reduce the majority of Cosatu unions from 52% to below 50% so that workers will not be subjected to another sweetheart deal."

He said workers needed to come together and take a stand against what he described as a "passive and obedient labour desk of the ANC-led alliance".

Cosatu had cost the working class by getting into a "cosy" relationship with the ruling party, and the ANC had failed to transform the economy, by wasting opportunities to do so, he said.

"The government did not even seek to reverse the impact of imperialism/colonialism. The owners of the economy and land remain those who gained ownership of wealth through dispossession and the barrel of the gun."

Vavi said the ANC-led government had undermined all the progressive policies it should have implemented by adopting neo-liberal economic policies and lacking the political will to address questions of poverty, inequality, unemployment and corruption.

He said the scourge of corruption went hand in hand with a neo-liberal economic agenda.

"The whole fiasco about privatisation and tendering opened up the doors for the most unscrupulous tenderpreneurs to emerge as millionaires overnight, and then be congratulated for de-racialising business through phoney BEE deals."

The unwillingness to tackle unemployment, poverty, inequalities and corruption was witnessed by South Africans on a daily basis, he said. However, the responsibility for "normalising" corruption lay with the country's current national leadership, he said.

He called on workers not to allow the trend to continue during the ANC's upcoming 2017 elective congress.

"We cannot afford a repeat of this fiasco in the coming 2017 round of public sector negotiations.

"All the Cosatu unions will be so preoccupied about who becomes the next leader of the ANC and how this next gang will distribute patronage and how the new generation of leaders...will gain materially from this change or no change of ANC leadership.

"The workers still suffering from years of neglect will be the last thing on their minds," Vavi said.

The working class was currently faced with the deepest crisis it had experienced since the overthrow of apartheid, he said.

More than 20 years after the birth of the country's democracy, there were still high levels of unemployment, the absence of basic infrastructure for large sections of the population, crises in both the education and health services, as well as levels of inequality that should have stayed in the past.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  zwelenzima vavi

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