Yesterday’s nationwide strike called by the relatively new trade union federation the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), was a major show of strength.
But it did not signal the demise of rival and government alliance partner, Cosatu.
Political analyst Dr Somado da Fikeni said Cosatu’s strength was in its affiliates, and despite the fact that Saftu managed to muster a large turnout, Cosatu could ride on similar successes by its affiliates, which they could claim to be their own successes.
He also believed that Cosatu’s role in the tripartite alliance gave it an advantage over Saftu.
“If Cosatu is able to demonstrate that its proximity to government gives it leverage to influence decision-making, they could benefit.
“If workers see a positive reaction from them, at the implementation of the minimum wage, they could still manage to come out on top.”
However, Fikeni believed that Cosatu ran the risk of losing credibility if they appeared to have lost their militancy, or to have been co-opted by government.