Sipho Mabena

By Sipho Mabena

Premium Journalist

New ANC leadership urged to intensify the fight against corruption

Cosatu has urged the new ANC leadership to hit the ground running to end corruption, factionalism and pay its workers.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) urged the newly elected African National Congress (ANC) Top 7 to provide government with a people-centred development agenda.

The federation also advised the ANC leadership to intensify the fight against corruption and state capture, rebuild the state’s capacity to deliver quality public service, and help Eskom to end load shedding.

ANC’s fight against corruption

Hit the ground running

Congratulating the new leadership, Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said it was important for the new leadership to hit the ground running and focus on uniting the ANC, dismantling factions and cleansing the organisation of corruption and unhealthy foreign practices.

“The country needs a united, coherent and sober ANC,” he said.

Pamla said they looked forward to robust engagements with the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) on the radical reconfiguration of the alliance, saying the 2024 elections were around the corner and they was no time to waste.

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He said the newly elected ANC leadership needs to guide its government to focus on stimulating the economy, slashing unemployment and reducing poverty.

Pamla said the upcoming ANC January 8 message should set the tone for the financial year and the organisation’s five-year programme.

State of the ruling party

Delivering the federation’s message of support earlier, President Zingiswa Losi said as much as the ANC had done well on many fronts, they could not be pleased with the state of the ruling party.

She said rampant factionalism, if allowed to continue, will destroy the movement and that they were ashamed by the behaviour of senior leaders taking to social media to insult their own organisation and leaders.

“We cannot be proud to read every week which Minister, MEC and Mayor stole what. Workers are angry the ANC fails to pay its own staff and for years could not be bothered to give their staff members an increase to protect their wages from inflation,” Losi said.

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Intense renewal

As a trade union movement, she said they will not keep quiet when their alliance partners fail to respect labour laws, adding that workers must be respected by their alliance partners and not treated like glorified slaves.

Losi said if the ANC was to be restored to its glory and fulfil its mandates, then its renewal must be intensified. 

“No sober person will take us seriously if our leadership is populated by persons convicted of or charged with serious crimes. Leadership is not a birthright”, she said.

More is needed

Losi said the federation applauds the work done to rebuild SA Revenue Service which has generated badly needed additional revenue enabling the government to extend the Social Relief of Distress Grant and Presidential Employment Stimulus, providing relief to millions.

“We welcome the increasing numbers of persons being charged with corruption and the soon-to-be-tabled Public Procurement Bill,” she said.

Losi, however, said this was hardly enough; they needed to see trials and those who have looted in prison and their assets seized. 

“We need to reverse the devastating decrease in the police from over 200 000 personnel in 2010, to 172 000 today,” she said.

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