The friction in Cosatu cannot be blamed on the ANC, says party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
“Let me demystify the notion that the ANC wants Cosatu to be a labour desk,” he told the national congress of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa in Boksburg, on Joburg’s East Rand, today.
“We will never go to Cosatu and draft resolutions for Cosatu.”
Mantashe said the Congress of South African Trade Unions had the responsibility of implementing its own resolutions, and people could not blame the African National Congress if the trade union federation failed to do that.
“If it does not [implement resolutions], don’t look for a scapegoat in the ANC.
“If we want a labour desk we will form it in the ANC.”
The ANC was aware of the important role trade unions played.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has accused the ANC of trying to reduce Cosatu to a labour desk.
Numsa and Cosatu have been at loggerheads since the trade union federation suspended its general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, for having an affair with a junior employee.
At its special national congress in December, Numsa resolved to not support the ANC ahead of the general elections.
Mantashe called on trade unions to start doing their work.
“Wake up, do your work, you are a trade union movement ... Don’t look for someone to blame.”
Unity should not be negotiated.
He called on the nurses’ union to use its congress to discuss a way forward in Cosatu.
“The union can play its role in pulling together factions in the federation,” Mantashe said.
There would be no Cosatu if the affiliates allowed people to destroy it.