The Elections are over but Our Workers Struggle Continues
16 May 2019
COSATU in KZN takes this opportunity to appreciate the role played by its members and workers at large towards a very successful National May Day Rally which KZN Province hosted. We further wish to thank all workers who have heeded the call by the Federation to go out in their numbers to defend, deepen and advance the National Democratic Revolution by voting for a resounding success for the African National Congress. Indeed workers have displayed an incisive level of political understanding of our background as South Africans and the way forward thereof.
During our May Day celebration, we made this observation, we said “while the democratic government struggles to transform our society and economy, it is obvious that it is coming under enormous pressure from capital both at home and abroad. Although the democratic forces have repeatedly won the elections, they are yet to establish their hegemony in the state machinery. At the same time, class differences among the formerly oppressed have grown dramatically, with a minority of black people joining the capitalist class as managers or owners, while most of our people face rising joblessness and poverty”. This, therefore, means that it is paramount for the Sixth democratic government to pursue transformative policies to change the status quo of the current ruling class for the economic emancipation of the majority.
Workers and people of South Africa have given the ANC an opportunity to self-correct and move South Africa forward. Part of the self-correction process should be to deal with corruption and to address the plight which continues to define the poorer people of the country.
So as we congratulate the African National Congress for the confidence shown to it by workers and South Africans, we must also caution the ANC not to take this trust as a “Blank Cheque” but the primary responsibility for our sixth democratic government is to work with speed to redress the imbalances caused by the capitalist system within our society. Building up to May 1 and whilst acknowledging our achievements as workers of South Africa, we also identified many campaigns we need to embark on as COSATU to further improve conditions of work in our country.
In this context, we said our government and business need to do more to improve the livelihood of workers and South Africans at large. In doing this, the following becomes an urgent task for our government and the progressive left: putting an end to retrenchments, increase opportunities for decent jobs create a labour intensive economy, legislation to outlaw, Labour Brokers must be put in place, in-sourcing of the outsourced services must be expedited as part of building the capacity of the state, we need to urgently attend to the incapacity of the officials in many of our municipalities, we expect the government to also expedite the resuscitation of infrastructure to address the deteriorating service delivery in our townships, we must decisively deal with corruption, end looting of workers Pension Funds, the implementation of the Universal Health Scheme, end abuse of State Owned Entities by individuals who use them for self-enrichment, ending the privatization of the state SOEs and the finalisation of the Social Security Plan. If the government want to revive hope of the South Africans must urgently attend to these and many other issues.
To achieve the above we must get rid of lazy and redundant Public Servants and government officials, to give workers and the working class of South Africa a better life they deserve as Taxpayers.
We further wish to caution those who are still left in the dungeon of the past in terms of the factional alignments in the movements, that time for that is now over, we need to consolidate and advance our promises we made to the people through our manifesto.
Now Elections are over and no more blackmails if the above demands are not met, as workers we shall reinforce the Picket Line. For this to be realized workers need to unite against neoliberalism and its stooges.
Part of our campaigns as COSATU moving forward from these Elections is to radicalize the ground for the Second Phase of the Economic Transformation to give oxygen to the more Radical National Democratic Revolution.
Cosatu believes moving forward the Alliance must be given space to engage through the Alliance Political Council and Alliance Summit. Much as COSATU does not campaign for recognition and for self-benefit, but in the same vein, it is not correct to recognize the Alliance Partners only during the Elections and sideline them when it comes to issues of appointment of Public Servants who are required at the end of the day to serve our members.
We shall continue to unapologetically raise issues on behalf of the poor workers and members to put all the political parties on toes in terms of the commitments they made in their Manifestos, in particular on progressive policies, they committed to as they were campaigning for Elections.
Issued by Edwin Mkhize, Provincial Secretary, COSATU KZN, 16 May 2019