A national strike against state capture and corruption or a national day of campaigning for the CR17 faction of the ANC?
Commentators – including trade unions – weighed in on today’s planned mass action led by trade union federation Cosatu and largely agreed it will be primarily for the benefit of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s race to the ANC’s top seat.
Political analyst Sipho Seepe noted that not only did the strike reek of factionalism, it was also very opportunely timed.
“It comes as no surprise that most people see the planned strike as a political stunt that is meant to give an advantage to big business and Cosatu’s preferred candidate.
“The timing of the strike exposes a sense of anxiety felt by the newlyweds regarding the prospects of their candidate. The anxiety arises out of developments that show that some in the ANC are inclined to support a possibility of a compromise candidate.”
He was referring to the party’s Mpumalanga chairperson David Mabuza who was believed to be raising his hand to join the candidate race when he suggested earlier this month there was a need for a “unifying” third option.
“The strike has little to do with workers. It pursues a narrow political agenda aimed at giving Ramaphosa a shot in the arm,” said Seepe.
Despite this, Cosatu deputy president Zingiswa Losi yesterday called for all unions to take part in the strike.
Zwelinzima Vavi of the SA Federation of Trade Unions penned a scathing letter on Daily Maverick in which he explained why his federation would not take part in the strike.
In it he questioned which class was the strike meant to benefit and castigated Cosatu for its response to the effects of corruption on taxpayers and the poor. – email@example.com