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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist


Cosatu says ANC is the epicentre of major challenges ahead of its 14th national conference

Addressing a media briefing in Johannesburg ahead of the congress, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the gathering would take place during a global economic crisis “and massive domestic challenges”.


Determined to push for the reconfiguration of the tripartite alliance, the union federation Cosatu – in preparation for its upcoming 14th national congress – yesterday warned the national democratic revolution has entered “its most difficult and dangerous period since 1994”, with the ANC being “the epicentre of major challenges”. The Cosatu congress, taking place from 26 September, has seen the federation conducting deep introspection of developments in the country and globally under the ANC government – just months before the ANC’s watershed December elective national conference, amid signs the party is set to face the toughest polls in 2024. With…

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Determined to push for the reconfiguration of the tripartite alliance, the union federation Cosatu – in preparation for its upcoming 14th national congress – yesterday warned the national democratic revolution has entered “its most difficult and dangerous period since 1994”, with the ANC being “the epicentre of major challenges”.

The Cosatu congress, taking place from 26 September, has seen the federation conducting deep introspection of developments in the country and globally under the ANC government – just months before the ANC’s watershed December elective national conference, amid signs the party is set to face the toughest polls in 2024.

With three weeks set for the federation affiliates and tripartite alliance partners to debate four documents – the socioeconomic and international, policy, political and congress preparation reports – Cosatu has been scathing on the gap between policy formulation and implementation by the ANC government.

Addressing a media briefing in Johannesburg ahead of the congress, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the gathering would take place during a global economic crisis “and massive domestic challenges”.

In an assessment of the ANC, Cosatu said in its political report, the party was put in danger of collapse by “lumpen elements”.

Cosatu called for:

– A much deeper introspection of the impact of state capture and corruption on both the ANC and government’s capacity to implement party policies and election manifestos;

-A frank acceptance of the extent of corruption and factionalism in the ANC, with action to uproot it; v Acknowledgement of the gap between leadership and society;

-An acknowledgement of the extent of alienation of workers, supporters and society from the ANC, with a real chance of it losing national polls in 2024; and -A sober reflection on whether and how the ANC could form a coalition nationally and in provinces in 2024.

While it said President Cyril Ramaphosa has presided over “some of the most progressive interventions in the state in recent times”, the report highlighted several weaknesses.

“At the heart of many of these has become the political challenges facing the ANC internally and externally.

Factions, corruption and criminality have severely weakened the movement. The deterioration in the economy has been accompanied, exacerbated and, at times, caused by a deterioration in governance.

“Corruption has significantly increased across the state, SOEs [state-owned enterprises] and local government. Many municipalities have become dysfunctional and an increasing number are struggling to pay their workers.

“Several key SOEs have collapsed and retrenched thousands of workers. Eskom has battled to provide reliable and affordable energy. Transnet and Metro Rail have been decimated by cable theft, arson and criminality. “The Zondo commission shone a light on state capture, with increasing numbers of persons being brought to trial for corruption.

However, few of the most senior accused have been brought to justice.”

Other key issues:

-Urgent interventions to rebuild the capacity of the SA Police Service and the SA National Defence Force.

-Urgent interventions to adequately resource the National Prosecuting Authority and the judiciary.

-Actions to address state capture and corruption in the State Security Agency.

-Action by the National Prosecuting Authority to hold perpetrators accountable for the July 2021 violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

-Building the capacity of the SA Navy and Coast Guard to protect SA’s fishing stock.

-Turnaround plans to save Denel and Armscor.

-Fast-tracking the Firearms Amendment Bill and reducing the number of firearms in society.

-Enhancing capacity to deal with cybercrimes and terrorism.

-Interventions to secure SA’s freight and passenger rail network.

– brians@citizen.co.za

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