Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa File picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Johannesburg - The National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has come out in support of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma at the African National Congress's elective conference in December.

In a statement issued on Saturday - following Nehawu's 11th national congress on June 26 to 29 in Boksburg in Ekurhuleni - the trade union said the united congress supported the succession of Zuma by Ramaphosa at the 54th ANC conference at the end of the year in Gauteng.

"Thus, the congress instructed the national union to campaign through its national and provincial structures for a progressive leadership to emerge at the 54th ANC conference on the basis of a programme for a more radical second phase of our transition," Nehawu said.

Nehawu is the biggest affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), and has a membership of almost 273,000.
 
While the union maintained that the alliance between the ANC, Cosatu, the South African Communist Party, and the South African National Civic Organisation remained strategically relevant, the congress welcomed the fact that the SACP was now calling for the reconfiguration of the alliance.

"As we have learned over the years in the implementation of the Cosatu 2015 plan, ultimately the reconfiguration of the alliance is a function of and is determined by the balance of forces on the ground.

"The congress conclusively agreed that corruption and corporate state capture remains an integral part of counter-revolution. Thus, the congress undertook that the union must actively support the SACP initiative of building the broadest possible patriotic and popular front to defend, advance, and deepen our democracy and national sovereignty to fight corporate state capture, corruption, rent-seeking, and all forms of manipulation of our national wealth and public resources by sections of individuals and elitist groupings - regardless of whether they are black or white," the statement said.

The congress understood that ultimately the struggle for socialism involved the revolutionary seizure of power by the proletariat led by the vanguard party the SACP. And this was the real content of the question of the party and state power rather than a narrow parliamentary road to socialism.

"Hence, the perspective of the SACP to establish democratic working class power and hegemony over the state and all other key centres of power in society in general is correct. This includes contesting in multiparty elections, which as part of the organised working class in Cosatu, SACP, and Sanco we shall continue to debate and consider its implications," Nehawu said.