21/04/2010. SAMWU members overturn rubbish bins in the middle of the street during their protest march.Picture: Masi Losi

Corruption and maladministration in municipalities are expected to dominate the 10th national South African Municipal Workers Union congress that gets under way in Mangaung, Free State, today.

Samwu – a Cosatu affiliate that represents 160 000 municipal workers – will also not overlook the current political tensions in the ANC-led tripartite alliance.

It is also expected that the gathering will give a clearer indication of the extent of support for returning Jacob Zuma to the helm of the ANC in Mangaung in December.

Samwu spokesman Tahir Sema said the four-day congress would be used to reflect on the past three years and to make forecasts about the next three years, up to 2015.

The recent report on municipal finances by the Auditor-General will also form part of the discussion on corruption, maladministration as well as nepotism in local government.

Sema said the congress, being held under the theme “Advance the Working Class Power Towards Socialism”, would be used to “critique secretariat report which covers political activities… given the challenges facing working-class formations, the tripartite alliance and the country as a whole”.

He added: “This congress takes place at a point in time when corruption, nepotism and maladministration are creating disorder in the local government sector. This will undoubtedly form part of the issues which the congress will be debating.

“We will also discuss at length the ongoing community struggles in various places across the country.

“The congress will conclude its agenda by electing [new] leadership for the union which will be tasked to shepherd the implementation of adopted resolutions that will be coming out of congress.”

Sema said SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande was among those who were expected to address the congress today. The ANC, the South African National Civic Organisation as well as Cosatu are also expected to have their senior leaders addressing the congress, which ends on Friday.