COSATU's reaction to ANC's GNU initiative

Such a govt should be anchored around constitution, respect labour rights, intensify transformation, says Federation

COSATU statement on the ANC’s Government of National Unity announcement

June 7, 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) notes our ally, the African National Congress (ANC)’s announcement of its intention to establish a Government of National Unity (GNU).

COSATU has been undertaking internal consultations on the Federation’s proposals on how the 7th administration led by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC should be constituted. We look forward to engaging the ANC and the South African Communist Party, on their positions to ensure we emerge with a united way forward as the Alliance.

We agree with our alliance partners, the ANC and the SACP, that South Africa, and the working class in particular, are facing some of the most difficult challenges since the democratic breakthrough in 1994. These difficulties, including the electoral results that left no single party with the 51% threshold needed to form a government on its own, require decisive leadership, political maturity, and sobriety.

The Federation has long championed the need for social partners, including Organised Labour and Business, to work with the democratic state, to address the many socio-economic challenges affecting working class communities and the nation.

We will engage with the ANC and the SACP over the coming days to ensure the Alliance has a clear path forward, including on the various permutations and modalities that would need to feature in the GNU.

It is critical as we navigate these turbulent times collectively as a nation, that the GNU is anchored on progressive principles and be biased towards uplifting the working class. It must avoid the rush for positions that has bedevilled coalitions in local government at the expense of service delivery. 

Key to ensuring the GNU is stable and coherent, must be anchored upon adherence to the Constitution of the Republic and the rule of law, must respect the hard won labour rights of workers and provide relief to the poor and unemployed, accelerate the war against crime and corruption and the renewal of the nation, invest in quality public services society depends upon and intensify the transformation mandate of the nation.

Engagements within the Alliance and amongst the elected parties, need to ensure that not only are these progressive principles defended but that mechanisms are put in place to ensure the stability of the GNU and that it responds decisively to the frustrations of society.

Statement issued by Zanele Sabela, COSATU National Spokesperson, 7 June 2024