Cape Town – Newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa will not improve South Africa and joblessness will continue under his reign, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) said on Thursday evening.
In its end-of-year statement, the country's second-largest labour union labelled Ramaphosa "a deeply compromised capitalist billionaire" with "hands stained with the blood of the 34 victims of Marikana".
"In order to appease the credit rating agencies and international investors [Ramaphosa] will have to appear to be taking action against the blatant forms of corruption, while at the same time ensuring that the inherently corrupt and exploitative monopoly capitalist system survives intact," Saftu said.
It said "the radical-sounding resolutions passed by the ANC at Nasrec" would "remain dead in the water" in the same way that resolutions passed in Polokwane in 2007 and in Mangaung in 2012 have.
"The 50-50 split in the (ANC) leadership means endless bickering and not the decisive action required to lead our country out of the quagmire the ANC itself has placed the country in," the union said in reference to the apparently divided ANC national executive committee.
Major demonstrations planned
The union also criticised President Jacob Zuma's "[opportunistic] conversion to the idea of free tertiary education".
"Even if more money can be found for tertiary education, it will be at the cost of even bigger cuts in spending on other areas of education, healthcare, transport, social grants and infrastructure projects," the union said.
Representing an estimated 700 000 workers and founded by ousted Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, the union said the only way to bring meaningful change was by taking "the fight to the streets".
"We are preparing for a national strike and major demonstrations throughout 2018."
Saftu promised to make protests "more militant and in some cases violent".
"[In] 2018 we shall see a true mobilisation against the status quo that has condemned the majority to squalor and hopelessness," the union said.