Elections a wake-up call for ANC - Vavi

2011-06-02 22:10

Johannesburg - The 2011 local government elections were a "huge wake-up call" for the ANC, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

"The writing is on the wall, read and act. If there is one message that we should heed from these elections, it is that the national liberation symbolism and history will eventually wane and mean nothing to a hungry stomach," Vavi told the National Union of Mineworkers' central committee meeting in Boksburg.

He said people had lost faith in their leaders and wanted a movement that would improve their lives. Vavi said "the people" "hated" factionalism and division which "consume all the energies of leaders".

They had spoken out against inefficiency in the government caused by "slate politics" that overlooked "talented individuals in favour of those who come from the more powerful factions."

People were tired of "endless leadership contests".

"They have told us they are not preoccupied with [the ANC's leadership elections in] 2012, but with their plight.

"They have told us they hate corruption with passion, for they know it is all about stealing from them, the poor, to feed the elite with political connections. They told us they are tired of seeing us displaying our opulence in expensive parties and weddings whilst they starve to death."

Vavi said campaigning for the elections had been an "uphill battle" in the face of high levels of poverty and inequality.

"... there will always be readily available opportunist parties like the DA willing to prey on our people's hopes and aspirations for a better life, including appropriation of the liberation symbols that they rejected not so long ago."

The Democratic Alliance, in campaigning for the 2011 polls, said the ANC had abandoned the values of former president Nelson Mandela, and campaigned in strongholds of ANC support, like Soweto.

But the ANC managed to emerge on top, garnering 62% of the vote.

"Even so, we need to start asking tough questions after these elections. The people have given us a clear and categorical message: Their vote is not unconditional."

He said Cosatu looked forward to the ANC's probe into possible fraudulent appointments of councillors.

  • whatashame - 2011-06-02 23:07

    A strengthening opposition and the fact that you didn't claim back Western Cape despite all your shenanagins has given you a big skrik. If an effective opposition is what is going to keep you on your toes, then VIVA DA. Now lets see you keep your promises.

      Charlie - 2011-06-03 09:43

      Big mouth and no usual!

  • mystae - 2011-06-02 23:25

    Well, Mr. Vavi, I agree with the bulk of what you said, except calling the DA 'opportunistic'. Based on merit (in other words, what they have actually accomplished), the DA performed very well. Unfortunately your comments get a resounding '0', if only for the fact that your party has, in the past, promulgated the DA as a 'white racist fascist organisation' - thereby disproving your belief in the fact that people '"hated" factionalism and division', and making you guilty of hypocrisy. Although my comments are directed at what you said, it is actually applicable to all political entities. I am sick and tired of reading about politicians calling each other names, accusing each other of this and that, and generally doing nothing else. When will we (as the people of this country) start mattering? When will you raise minimum wage and fight to bring the petrol prices down? When can I next walk to my local SPAR and not feel heartbroken about little kids on the side of the road wearing nothing but a flimsy tshirt and shorts in the middle of winter whilst begging for money? When? I am really sick of this, and am ready to leave. Yours Sincerely, Not-interested-in-politics (but I voted)

      Bill - 2011-06-03 01:57

      Right on the button Mystae!

      Insanely_Sane - 2011-06-03 16:29


      greatgodpan - 2011-06-13 11:20

      100% agree with you mystae....

  • Masese - 2011-06-02 23:28

    Vavi, for how long will you keep on making noise without an action? You command the largest Union and yet you cannot take ANC to task. Must we listen to what you say untill when?

      Masendelakho - 2011-06-03 07:45

      Good point

      Brad - 2011-06-03 10:31

      Dead right masese.madigoe. I'm a whitey and I'll vote for Vavi in a heartbeat. He's the best hope for this country, but he needs to grow a bigger set and take control. H ehas the numbers. Go Vavi...

  • thetruth - 2011-06-02 23:29


      Masendelakho - 2011-06-03 07:45

      Vavi is another of those hyenas he calls people in the ANC

      the_nazi - 2011-06-03 12:17

      how so Masendelakho?

  • BigD - 2011-06-03 05:33

    Vavi, you are part of the problem. You are two faced and one never knows from which side you are talking from. Many people are hungry out there because of you and the unions. You dont see a hungry union boss, I wonder why. Until the government puts a muzzel on the unions and gets them in line, this country will never be a power house of manufacturing again. No one can take that chance by investing here.

      Sportsjunky - 2011-06-03 06:54

      I say out with the unions

      the_nazi - 2011-06-03 12:19

      good point. But remember why the unions are there. Are you a union member junky?

  • Motivator - 2011-06-03 06:50

    Are you in the same camp as those that call whites criminals, calling one out of four voters opportunistic, and preying on people's hopes? Are the very things you mention such as corruption, stealing not the opportunism that you are referring to?

  • sefeddt - 2011-06-03 07:09

    "They have told us they are not preoccupied with [the ANC's leadership elections in] 2012, but with their plight." So that will be unlike COSATU's lobbying for Zuma to be president at the last ANC election, case of do as we say not as we do.

  • WoodworkPh.D - 2011-06-03 07:19

    It is really sad that the ANC could not realise themselves that South Africans are not happy, had to wait for an election. Not very bright or in total denial

  • Peacock - 2011-06-03 07:36

    At Long last, some one with some power has said something that us on these forums have been shouing about for years. The DA has beaten the ANC in recognising this and as "whatashame" has said - they got a "skrik' and feel they have to do something. But will they get all the money back that was stolen, if they can, then the so called improvement could be made to happen faster instead of increasing the amount of levies they want to impose on the tax payer.

  • Luckybugger - 2011-06-03 07:44

    South Africa is the only country in the world where affirmative action is in favour of the majority, who has complete political control, the fact that the political majority requires affirmative action to protect them against a 9% minority group pays testament to their complete failureto build their own wealth making stuctures, their only solution is to take from others. VIVA ANC VIVA

  • theprodigy - 2011-06-03 08:03

    They are too arrogant & greedy to wake up, Vavi, just dump them, well done BTW for standing up to these corrupt bunch of thugs, you are the ONLY one with balls & principles, in 17 years of total derelict of duty, blatant misuse of power, huge waste & disgracefull entrenchment of division, the ANC has not been challanged by a prominent black leader, only you, its unbelievable really.

  • Paul - 2011-06-03 10:01

    They are probably going to try steal more money faster before they are removed.

  • the_nazi - 2011-06-03 12:16

    Dear Mr Vavi Please run for President or atleast DO SOMETHING instead of spiting out the usual rhetorics. Its wierd how you command the bulk of the ANC support base yet you cant leverage that in your favour when it comes to influencing party policy, disciplinary action of comrades who continually step out of line with either their words or financial misconducts. One more thing: demanding above inflation wage increases and destroying public property is counter productive if we want to achieve the ideals for the working class and the poor of our country. Viva Labour Party, Viva (This is a warning to my beloved ANC)

  • AfrikaTsoga - 2011-06-05 23:17

    "...the national liberation symbolism and history will eventually wane and mean nothing to a hungry stomach," Has it ever meant anything? It [national liberation symbol] is not relevant except only as a lesson from the past nothing else nothing less. Our country is full of ignorant people who vote for a leadership that acknowledges that they are corrupt and also use 'struggle' utterances to emotionally black mail people to vote for them. We also know about your "disinformation" tactics. You negatively name and label other parties as 'opportunists' just so that sub-consciously people would refrain from associating with 'opportunists.' Some of us do not fall for your crooked and insipidly cunning tactics, you will only fool the ignorant masses. Until they also wake up and smell the coffee, they will forever be robbed of their taxes. Afrika Arise!

  • tete883 - 2011-06-06 03:46

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