Narissa Subramoney
Copy rewriter
3 minute read
8 Jan 2022
8:47 pm

Alliance partners: ‘Rebuild the ANC before it is too late’

Narissa Subramoney

SACP and Cosatu want those implicated by the Zondo Commission report arrested, prosecuted and their assets seized. 'We want them in orange overalls', Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi said.

Photo: Twitter

A 110 years later, Africa’s oldest liberation movement – the African National Congress (ANC) – is in tatters.

Dogged by factional battles and power struggles, the party that once stood for freedom and democracy is now synonymous with corruption and state capture.

Now, its alliance partners – the South African Communist Party and trade union federation Cosatu – says the ANC needs to rebuild itself before it is too late.

Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi says there is still love for the ANC among workers but their anger over party failures is palpable, especially in Limpopo.

Warning from alliance partners

‘Voters are angry’, warns alliance partners

Cosatu members have been touching base with grassroots supporters such as farmworkers in Tzaneen, municipal workers in Vhembe, the unemployed in Sekhukhune.

“They are angered by corruption, by municipal workers unpaid, SAMWU shop stewards assassinated in Vhembe for exposing corruption and their murderers not brought to book, potholes never fixed, load shedding and 46% unemployment rate,” said Losi.

On the sidelines of the ANC‘s anniversary celebrations, Losi told journalists that Costau’s leadership were planning to meet to discuss who to back for the position of ANC president in the upcoming elective conference.

But the federation looks set to back Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term, judging by the praise for the president in its’s commemoration speech.

“It is the ANC led by President Ramaphosa, that tabled the National Health Insurance Bill at Parliament to ensure quality healthcare for all, and the Expropriation Bill to accelerate land reform so farmworkers and the poor may own land to produce food and build homes,” said Losi.

“President Ramaphosa worked with Cosatu to ensure the National Minimum Wage, a key demand of the Freedom Charter, became reality, raising the wages of more than 6 million workers.”

In 2021, 800,000 farm workers reached the National Minimum Wage. In 2022, 900,000 domestic workers’ wages will rise from R19 to R23 per hour.

‘We must learn from our failures’

But like the SACP, it also called out the government on its failures, including the non-payment of Denel workers and the fact that public sector workers didn’t receive increases in 2020.

SACP and Cosatu have called on Ramaphosa to deal decisively with those fingered in the Zondo Commission Report.

“Those implicated must be arrested, prosecuted and their assets seized.  We want them in orange overalls,” said Losi.

“The ANC if it is to redeem itself must expel such criminals. If we continue to normalise corruption, then voters will remove the ANC from the government in 2024.”

“We commend the president for his decision to have the report publicly released immediately after receiving it. Our detractors will seek to use this report to attack the ANC, our Alliance and our government,” said SACP leader Blade Nzimande.

Prosecute those implicated in the Zondo Report

Nzimnade said private corporations – including the multinational corporations and other private companies that aided or benefitted from state capture – must be held to account, through prosecution. 

“The fight against corruption must not only punish public and SoE officials but must also punish the corrupt elements in the private sector as well,” said Nzimande.

Nzimande also made scathing remarks about the governing party’s factional battles, saying that factions and corruption were ‘deeply intertwined.’

“To the SACP, the scourge of factionalism is now mainly based on control over resources and deployments,” he said.

Nzimnade also warned that counter revolutionism was emerging from within the party.

Nzimande said law enforcement agencies must be given the space to investigate the parliament fire and the vandalism of the Constitutional Court.

“The SACP strongly suspects that there is a connection between the July 2021 destruction and the latest events. There seems to be an attempt to create a picture that our government is weak and cannot defend our institutions of democracy.”

Nzimande and Losi touched on the scathing message that voters sent the party in the last local government elections.

“There is anger and disappointment from some of our own voters. We better listen to this voice and change the way we do things, including admitting to, and seeking to correct, the mistakes we have made,” said Nzimande.

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