OPINION

The people are angry – COSATU

Federation says elections signalled some serious hazards in ANC's future if they don't change how they govern the country

COSATU statement on the National General Election outcomes 

13 May 2019

The Congress of South African Trade Unions congratulates the ANC for the winning the National General Elections and for retaining the eight provinces that were under its control before elections. We applaud the millions of workers who campaigned and voted for the ANC in their numbers. We are still calling on all those workers who were intimidated and victimised by their employers on election day and stopped from voting to come forward and report to COSATU

While the outcomes of the 08th May National Elections reaffirmed the people’s support for the ANC-led Alliance, it also signalled some serious hazards in the future if nothing changes in how the ANC leads our people and governs the country.

COSATU does not believe that we need to do another collective assessment to grasp the real message coming out from the people. The reality is that the socioeconomic conditions of the people in terms of unemployment, inequalities and poverty have worsened rather than improved despite some achievements by the government. The people are angry because important and progressive policies that could help tackle our crisis unemployment, inequality and poverty have been promised without being implemented after elections in the past.

The Federation is calling on the  ANC leadership to stop the factional infighting and focus on firmly taking the reins of both the organisation and government. The ANC needs to show firmness and decisiveness in dealing with indiscipline in the organisation and corruption in government and reposition the ANC and government to provide political and moral leadership to society. The President needs to do that by appointing a cabinet composed of people who are beyond reproach and do away with the recycling of ministers. We cannot continue to tolerate mediocrity and incompetence.  

The 08th of May 2019 must mark a turning point in the long trajectory of self-destruction of our movement, since 1996, towards a new path of a people-centred development trajectory and a disciplined movement. The leadership needs to ensure the acceleration of the implementation of the manifesto priorities. They need to start by effecting a shift in the macroeconomic policy framework in line with numerous ANC Conference resolutions. Without a shift in the macroeconomic framework in line with the resolutions of Polokwane, Mangaung and Nasrec important policy advances outlined in the ANC Elections Manifesto will not materialise.

President Ramaphosa needs to abandon the indecisiveness and even retreat from some of the mandates of Polokwane, Mangaung and Nasrec if he is serious about job creation and economic transformation. The Federation will do a thorough analysis of the election outcomes and a shift in the political sands at its upcoming Central Executive Committee meeting to be held at the end of the month.

SRWP attacks on COSATU

The federation has noted the unprovoked attacks by the so-called Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party(SRWP), directed at COSATU following their dismal and embarrassing performance in the National General Elections. In their media statement, they peddle all sorts of conspiracy theories and engage in phoney outrage for political propaganda purposes. It is understandable that they are trying to deflect from their dismal performance in the elections but they need to leave COSATU out of it. It must have been really painful, after all the name-calling and bluster, to realise that they represent almost nobody.

Unfortunately, their hysteria and frenzied animosity towards COSATU will not hide their failure to get a single seat in parliament after spending millions of rands on their campaign. The leadership of SRWP needs to realise that COSATU is not their main problem but voters and Numsa members, in particular, publicly repudiated them because they lost themselves in wishful thinking.  

It is sad that they are not saying anything about the 580 Numsa members who were expelled for refusing to campaign for SRWP. The elastic political ambitions and the misdirected idealism of the SRWP leadership will, unfortunately, liquidate Numsa at a time when workers need strong unions.

COSATU sends a message of solidarity to all NUMSA members and hopes that the union will survive this onslaught from political fantasists. We will continue to work to unite the workers and make sure that they work together to wage their struggles and isolate those who are hellbent on dividing workers for their own selfish ends.NUMSA 

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 13 May 2019