Cosatu on Thursday said it planned to convene a special meeting of its central executive committee (CEC) to deliberate on its support for the ANC ahead of this year’s local government elections.
The labour federation recently concluded a meeting of its CEC which discussed challenges facing the ANC-led alliance that includes the SACP.
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the alliance faced a “serious crisis of legitimacy” and they were finding it hard to rally workers behind the governing party.
“The planned special CEC meeting to discuss Cosatu’s position on its support for ANC in the 2021 local government elections is informed by the political reality on the ground. The CEC meeting acknowledges the major problem that will make it hard to convince workers to support the ANC in the upcoming election,” Ntshalintshali said at a media briefing in Braamfontein.
He said some of the challenges facing the ANC. like internal divisions and failure to implement its policies from the 2017 Nasrec national conference, left many workers feeling they were being asked to vote against their own interests.
“Workers have already made it clear their support of the ANC does not amount to a blank cheque and have previously refused to campaign or support candidates known to be corrupt or lazy, just because they succeeded in manipulating the ANC’s internal processes,” Ntshalintshali said.
Ntshalintshali said the CEC also resolved to hold a bilateral meeting with the SACP to discuss the alliance with the ANC.
He said the ANC was struggling to function as a unity organisation due to its divisions.
“Since Nasrec, the lack of discipline in the ANC has become worse with leaders and members at all levels showing disdain for the rules of the organisation. This makes a mockery of the 2012 Mangaung conference which promised this decade was going to be a decade of the cadre.
“The ANC is struggling to function as a unity organisation. Since the Mangaung conference, when the decade of the cadre was declared, we have seen more and more court intervention in political disputes. Political ineptitude and factionalism have created this dangerous reliance on courts,” he said.
The federation’s CEC also discussed progress made in implementing the resolutions of the 2017 congress and its election manifesto.
Ntshalintshali said the resolutions taken at the conference – which included a focus on economic reforms, a new industrial policy and the National Health Insurance – were significant because they were advanced by Cosatu. However, he complained they were yet to be implemented by the government.
“Progress in these areas has been very mixed and on the whole disappointing,” Ntshalintshali said.
“As a result of all of this, among our working-class constituencies there is a degree of despondency and frustration.
“There is a danger that the next quarter of the century, like the first, will belong to capital and not to the workers and the poor in economic terms.”
Ntshalintshali also said big businesses continued to receive tax incentives despite no evidence being presented to show that the previous ones had worked.
“The alliance faces a serious crisis of legitimacy in the build-up to the local government elections. The meeting instructed the national office bearers to convene a special CEC to focus on and deliberate at length on the matter of the local government elections and Cosatu’s posture in this regard.”