Cosatu has thrown its weight behind striking workers at SARS, Sibanye Stillwater and Unisa. Workers at SARS have begun a nationwide strike over salary increases. The Public Servants’ Association (PSA) and the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) are demanding a CPI plus seven percent increase, but SARS says this is unaffordable.
Meanwhile, Sibanye Stillwater workers are staging a picket outside the Union Buildings. They demand that President Cyril Ramaphosa address them. Workers want a R1 000 increase. The labour federation has also weighed-in on the booing of the president on Workers’ Day, saying it is regrettable. Cosatu held a media briefing on the outcomes of the Central Executive Committee meeting in Braamfontein, earlier today.
Convening for the first time since ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa’s failure to address workers on May Day at the federation’s celebration of workers, Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee says it intends on convening an urgent meeting with its alliance partners, to discuss issues affecting workers. The labour federation says the incident is concerning and its General-Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali regards it as a sign of chronic weaknesses in the ANC-led government.
“The disruption exposed the current weak state of the ANC, its league and the alliance in general both in terms of organisational cohesion and strategic orientation.,” says Ntshalintshali.
Cosatu remains mum on ANC candidate
With just four months before its 14th national congress, Cosatu remains mum on its preferred candidate at the ANC elective conference, scheduled to be held in December. Ntshalintshali says focus should be put on closing the gap between South Africans and the ANC.
“People on the ground are losing confidence in the capacity of the ANC, to drive transformation. Another challenge is the deliberate hollowing out of the concept of developmental state by the ANC government. On one hand there’s here’s talk of a move in a different direction of a developmental state. The reality is that South Africa has been taken over by private interests.”
Despite the rejection by workers earlier this month, Cosatu says it is yet to meet its alliance partners.
“We have not met with the ANC. Remember it was not just the ANC that could not speak, it was both the party and the ANC that could not deliver the message of support. We could not meet them because we had other programmes that we were dealing with,” says Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi.
With Cosatu’s Congress around the corner, the federation says it will put more effort in revitalising and strengthening the framework of improving services for the working class.
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