File picture: Steve Lawrence/Independent Media
Johannesburg – The country's biggest transport union is not attending the 6th Cosatu Central Committee meeting this week in Irene, Tshwane, as they are a union "which is not in good standing".

This startling announcement was made on Monday by the trade Cosatu's deputy general-secretary, Solly Pheto, who said the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) would not attend this week's meeting ending on Thursday.

Satawu leaders have apparently told the federation that they would not attend because they were facing financial constraints.

This adds to the woes of the embattled union, which had its general-secretary, Zenzo Mahlangu, deported back to Zimbabwe earlier this month after it emerged he was using a South African identity document that said he was a national, when in fact he was not.

This was reported in the City Press.

Speaking to Independent Media, Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla confirmed that Satawu were supposed to send 54 delegates to the meeting, but that none would be coming. He didn't elaborate on the reasons thereof.

Six other unions, including the Communications Workers' Unions that was one of the unions calling for President Jacob Zuma not to address the May Day rally earlier this month, were also said to not be in good standing.

The Central Committee meeting is a mid-term policy review of the federation.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will be representing the ANC on Wednesday to offer the party's message of support.

This announcement was met with loud cheers from teachers' union Sadtu and public sector union Nehawu. Cosatu has been vocal about wanting Ramaphosa to replace Zuma at this year's ANC elective conference.

Altogether, there are 350 of the expected 440 delegates at the Cosatu meeting.

Some key issues are expected to play out at the event with Cosatu President S'dumo Dlamini possibly facing some backlash from some delegates who are still angry about his decision to attend President Jacob Zuma's birthday bash in Soweto last month.

Politics and Development Hub