Now is the time to rise – Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi to affiliates

2018-09-20 18:56
Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

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Cosatu's newly elected president Zingiswa Losi has praised the trade union federation for electing its first female president and vowed to fight factions and bickering among Cosatu unions.

Losi, who was elected unopposed this week, delivered the closing address at Cosatu's 13th congress on Thursday, signalling the end of the federation's four-day conference.

She told those gathered in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, that this was a watershed congress.

"Cosatu is communicating a clear message for the world and the country that women within the ranks of this radical trade union movement are ready to take responsibility at the sharpest end of the struggles of emancipation of all women in our society."

Losi said her appointment should not be an isolated occurrence.

Cosatu 'bogged down' by internal paralysis, instability

"The working class must unite if it is to defend itself in the intensifying exploitation and if it is to make advances for socialism," Losi said.

She told delegates at the conference that organised workers in the country were facing a catastrophe due to "the changing world of work, global capitalism and the approaching the fourth industrial revolution," and warned that they would lose jobs if they remained divided and weak.

In assessing the state of the federation, Losi said it was "bogged down" by internal paralysis and instability while workers continued to be exploited.

Losi said the newly elected office bearers would do their best to work with each other and the leaders of the federation's affiliates.

She issued a directive to the federation's structures – including provincial leaders, organisers and shop stewards – stating that it was time to go back to the basics and that the time had come for the federation to rise again.

"We are saying in one voice, we shall steer our federation to scale new heights. Make sure when we meet again at the 14th congress we will be stronger, bigger and strategically clearer," she said.

She also weighed in on the upcoming 2019 national elections, where she said the ANC, the SACP and Cosatu should commit to winning a two-thirds majority to ensure land was expropriated without compensation.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  zingiswa losi  |  politics

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