ANC deserves your vote – COSATU

Federation says the bigger task is to help new govt implement its promises as quickly as possible

Vote ANC on the 08th of May 2019, says COSATU

6 May 2019

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is calling on all workers and South Africans, in general, to come out in their numbers to vote for the African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday, 09 May 2019. The Federation is throwing its full weight behind the African National Congress in the 2019 national and provincial elections. Last year’s 13th National Congress reaffirmed the federation’s solid support for its old ally.

The ANC’s record in government and a comparison of the ANC election manifesto with those of all the other parties make it quite clear that it is the only force that can take forward our national democratic revolution and complete the transformation of South Africa. 

Although COSATU has at times disagreed with the ANC government over certain issues, the government has a proud record of success in building a democratic South Africa and improving the lives of the majority. Our occasional differences are nothing compared to the gulf that separates us from such parties as the Democratic Alliance, which would like to put the ANC’s reforms into reverse and pursue policies that would deepen rather than reduce the inequalities in our society. Our task now is first and foremost to make sure that the ANC wins a comprehensive victory, nationally and in every province. 

Then we have even the bigger task of helping the new government to implement its promises as quickly as possible. To do this we need a strong organisation on the ground. Trade unions, civic organisations, NGOs, and the ANC itself, have to be strengthened so that they can push from below to assist the government to overcome any resistance to their policies. MPs and government ministers have to play a leading role in transformation but they cannot do it alone. To help to fight off the pressure from rich and powerful vested interests they need the constant pressure of a mass movement to drive them forward.

We have achieved massive advances in winning democracy and human rights. We have started improving the lives of the majority but a vast amount more needs to be done to achieve a similar improvement on the economic front, where the structure of society has changed little since the apartheid days.

Wealth is still concentrated in the hands of a tiny rich elite who own and control the all-powerful banks and mines, while the majority still suffer from mass unemployment and poverty and far too many of our communities still lack the basic essentials of life. COSATU will do everything in its power to make sure not just that the ANC is victorious but that the votes it receives are repaid in real improvements to our lives.

On the 27th of April 2019, we celebrated twenty-five years of freedom and democracy, twenty-five years of peace and progress. We continue to celebrate South Africa that belongs to all who live in it. In this period, we shall go out as citizens to elect government at national and provincial levels. For the sixth time as free South Africans, we shall cast our votes as equals - confirming our freedom and giving it meaning.

The change that happened 25 years ago was a result of struggle and sacrifice. Led by the African National Congress (ANC), it was the change that created an opportunity for us to chart our future together. Over the past 25 years, after centuries of colonialism and apartheid, a new era has dawned for South Africa. 

It is an era in which we have together laid the foundation for a better life, in which we have started implementing programmes to secure a better life for all. We have learned from our mistakes and we are collectively engaged in a programme of fixing those mistakes. As the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln once observed; "it is not a good idea to swap horses midstream". Let us finish what we started and not be defocused by the opportunistic impostors and organised noisemakers, who are making extravagant promises during this vote-harvesting season.

Viva ANC Viva! 

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 6 May 2019