Cosatu secretary in the Western Cape Tony Ehrenreich. Photo: Ross Jansen

Cape Town - Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich was re-elected unopposed at the labour federation’s provincial congress, while his dual role as ANC leader in the city council was referred to its central executive committee (CEC) for a final decision.

Ehrenreich was yesterday carried shoulder high to the stage at the University of the Western Cape’s Main Hall, where about 900 delegates also elected three new provincial executive members.

Ehrenreich said the weekend’s highlights included an “amazing sense of unity among workers”.

“Workers were… united to build the Western Cape into a decent work province. They were also united around the issue that we need to assist those workers who are not well organised. The DA in the province is promoting non-compliance with labour laws, so this is a key battle for us,” he said.

Resolutions were taken to tackle poor health services and education in the Western Cape and for Cape Cape Town’s public transport system to benefit disadvantaged communities on the Cape Flats, said Ehrenreich.

“Politically, resolutions were passed to stop the DA from perpetuating inequality, and to bring an end to the DA rule in the Western Cape. Cosatu will play a more active role in the ANC and the ANC’s elections campaign,” he said.

About his dual role, he said: “The CEC is dealing with that matter and will take a decision, but people here felt I should continue.”

“Tony’s position was discussed, but it was said the CEC should finalise this matter when it sits again,” said Jan Kotze who was replaced as Cosatu provincial chairman by Dan Melapi.

“Cosatu has taken a position to swell its presence in the ranks of the ANC,” said Kotze.

He said key resolutions included Cosatu support for the ANC and Sanco’s campaign against the planned closure of 27 schools.

SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union regional organiser Aziz Kannemeyer said: “Congress delegates were vibrant, very open and outspoken. Cosatu is gearing itself to become more dominant in the Western Cape.”

The federation would give greater support to the provincial ANC to help it in the next elections, she said.

“We need the ANC to be more visible and we also want the ANC to increase accountability to Cosatu,” Kannemeyer said.

In addition to Melapi, the congress elected Sharon Dube as provincial treasurer and Jacqueline Breda as deputy chairwoman.

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Cape Times