Unions could lose leaders to Parliament

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SACPs general secretary, Blade Nzimande, and his deputy, Jeremy Cronin, feature high up on the national assembly list. Picture: Sharon Seretlo

Johannesburg - The ANC’s alliance partners stand to lose a significant number of their leaders to Parliament if the ANC maintains its two-thirds majority after the May elections.

Leaders from Cosatu and its affiliate unions, nationally and provincially, feature prominently in the ANC’s 200-name candidate list for the National Assembly.

Many have also been voted for by their provinces to head to Parliament after the elections, which might create vacancies in full-time positions, like those of provincial secretaries, in unions and Cosatu.

The SACP is well represented in the lists, with many high-ranking leaders in its central executive committee (CEC) featuring high up on the national assembly list.

Leading the charge is SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande and his deputy, Jeremy Cronin, who come up at number seven and number 25 respectively, with deputy chairman Thulas Nxesi coming in at number 20 on the national list.

Young Communist League leader Buti Manamela also features at number 28 on the list, and is set to retain his seat in Parliament.

SACP treasurer-general Joyce Moloi-Moropa comes in at number 47 on the list, with Yunus Carrim, Ebrahim Patel and Lechesa Tsenoli, all of whom are currently serving in the government.

CEC member Mary Mulqueeny is also featured at 164 on the national assembly list, and is most likely to secure a seat, depending on the party’s performance after the polls.

Union federation Cosatu also stands to lose some of its leaders who have been nominated to serve in Parliament, raising a tense debate that has always been prevalent in the union about the deployment of union leaders to the ANC’s national executive committee, Parliament and the government.

National Union of Mineworkers president Senzeni Zokwana is at number 58 on the national list, almost definitely securing a seat for him, as well as Fikile Majola, general secretary of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu).

Nehawu deputy president Thozama Mantashe has been nominated as a candidate for Parliament by the ANC’s Eastern Cape province, which has also nominated SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) vice-president, SACP CEC member Fezeka Loliwe and SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) provincial chairman, Zukile Luyenge.

The union’s Eastern Cape provincial secretary, Xolani Malamlela, also appears at number 157 on the National Assembly list.

Sanco also has its chairwoman, Ruth Bhengu, and its deputy president, Lemias Mashile, featuring at numbers 46 and 117 respectively.

Sanco president Richard Mdakane has been nominated by the Gauteng ANC on its province-to-national list, where he features high up at number eight.

But it seems to be at provincial level that the alliance partners, particularly Cosatu and its affiliate unions, could lose many elected leaders with full-time positions.

Cosatu KwaZulu-Natal secretary Zet Luzipho is likely to go to Parliament, as he appears at number two after Bheki Cele on KZN’s province-to-national list.

The union’s provincial secretary in Limpopo, Daniel Sebabi, also appears at number 25 on the province’s candidate list for the provincial legislature.

Nehawu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said the union’s national executive committee would have to call a special CEC meeting to decide on whether their leaders can go to Parliament.

“Ideologically, it serves the union’s interest that we can have people serving there, because often processes are frustrated by bureaucrats who are not left-oriented. That is why we are in favour of having our own people there,” said Pamla.

Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini was cautious about the influence of union leaders in Parliament, but said that, where there were vacancies, they would have to be filled.

“We must remember that those people are sent there as ANC members by the ANC, so they will be first accountable to the ANC, not Cosatu.”

mogomotsi.magome@inl.co.za

Sunday Independent


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