Cape Town 101102.Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande at a media briefing held at Parliament. PHOTO SAM CLARk, CA, Ilse Fredricks

Johannesburg - SACP boss Blade Nzimande has accused mining bosses and local companies of planning to fragment Cosatu and destabilise the government.

Nzimande accused the companies and their bosses on Sunday of “flirting” with what he called “vigilante unions” such as the Association of Mine-workers and Construction Union (Amcu).

He also lashed out at companies that, he said, used their BEE status to advance factional leadership within the government.

“It’s no secret that it was in the platinum sector that the offensive against labour by the mining houses and the attempt to undercut NUM (the National Union of Mineworkers)… was first felt,” Nzimande said.

He was addressing the media after a SACP central committee meeting in Johannesburg on Sunday.

The NUM lost its status as the majority union at Lonmin in Marikana and other mines in Rustenburg’s platinum belt to its rival Amcu.

“The platinum mining houses have flirted with vigilante unionism, are looking to downsize and use unprotected strikes to retrench as a means to cushion profits in a depressed market,” Nzimande said.

Petroleum giant Sasol was also not spared Nzimande’s wrath. He said Sasol had epitomised the continuing “domestic investment strike” by capitalistic local companies.

It had announced it would be investing about R200-billion in Louisiana in the US. He said this was part of the plot to fragment Cosatu and destabilise the ANC-led government.

“Everywhere… the class offensive against organised labour has been intensified.”

In a veiled attack on suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, Nzimande said elements in Cosatu had taken the companies and mine bosses’ bait.

While admitting that the government faced challenges such as “corporate capture, tenderpreneurship and corruption”, Nzimande said the SACP rejected “narrow anti-government opposition that elevates anti-ANC invective above a unifying class-based struggle against monopoly capital and hangers-on”.

He also blamed Sasol’s disinvestment on a “compromise gentleman’s agreement” be-tween Sasol and the Treasury for a windfall tax on the firm’s “super profits”.

The SACP had refused to become embroiled in Cosatu’s internal problems, but the party would not fold its arms, Nzimande added. - The Star