Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso
Johannesburg - Cosatu plans to fight for the unity and cohesion of its alliance with the ANC and SACP, as the governing party prepares for its elective conference later in the year.

The labour federation’s central executive committee (CEC) said the only way the ANC could recover from last year’s local government election bruising was for the party to reassert its revolutionary values and tackle seriously the issues of corruption and factionalism.

“We (Cosatu) will work hard to implement the values of unity, selflessness, sacrifice, collective leadership, humanity, honesty, discipline, hard work, internal debates, constructive self-criticism and mutual respect,” said its general secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali, yesterday at Cosatu’s post-CEC media briefing.

Cosatu also doesn’t believe that the ANC has any future if it does not change direction in how it governs the country, and places people at the centre of its governing priorities.

“We believe that the alliance will serve the interests of the working class if it is committed to achieving economic liberation, because economic policy is at the heart of social transformation,” said Ntshalintshali.

However, Cosatu’s CEC said it was pleased that the ANC was revisiting the radical economic transformation policy agenda, and believed the ANC had no choice but to implement it, especially during the current economic and political situation facing the country.

If it did not properly apply the policy, the ANC risked losing even more support in the 2019 elections, according to Cosatu. It said some parts of the National Development Plan would have to be changed, specifically those dealing with labour and economic policies.

Cosatu’s CEC also finally announced that it would sign the national minimum wage agreement of understanding along with other constituencies at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

It had delayed signing the deal, which would see the national minimum wage set at R3500, because it needed to consult its members, but also because the amount fell short of its demand of a R4500 minimum wage.

Ntshalintshali said the agreement, which would come into effect no later than May next year, was a step towards a living wage.

But the federation said it would fight at Nedlac for a clear medium term to achieve a living national minimum wage and for clarity on its annual increase to achieve the target.

Politics and Development