William Saunderson-Meyer
3 minute read
28 Sep 2019
6:25 am

Ramaphosa faces union showdown that can mean his end

William Saunderson-Meyer

Ramaphosa’s unionist allies are less likely to come to his rescue than they are to be the ones responsible for grinding him into political pulp.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, 22 August 2019. Picture: Gallo Images

Their membership numbers might be in decline worldwide, but when acting in concert, unions can still sway the balance of power within political parties. That’s great for the unions but not necessarily for the parties. Last weekend, Jeremy Corbyn relied on the British union movement to rescue his leadership from populist pressures at the Labour Party congress. This weekend, the opposite may happen here – Cyril Ramaphosa may find his presidency wrecked by Cosatu. Corbyn wanted to contest the next general election, surely imminent, on a policy of Labour remaining neutral on Brexit while negotiating a new deal with the...