Cosatu ‘still opposed’ to DA's inclusion in GNU

Cosatu ‘still opposed’ to DA's inclusion in GNU

The Congress of South African Trade Unions said on Saturday that it remained opposed to the ANC's decision to form a government with the DA. 

Cosatu House
Laila Majiet

The ANC on Friday signed a governing agreement with the DA, which saw Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as president.

While Cosatu reaffirmed its support for Ramaphosa, the trade union federation remains unhappy with the ANC’s decision to work with the DA.

The concerns were previously raised with the ANC while negotiations were still ongoing.

For the alliance partners, a minority government with smaller parties would have been a better alternative.

Cosatu’s Matthew Parks said the federation expects the ANC to honour and respect the mandate it received from millions of workers. 

"This specifically includes respecting the hard-won constitutional and labour rights of workers, as well as the transformation agenda. 

“We welcome the inclusion of these principles in the GNU declaration and will hold the government accountable for their implementation without fear or favour.

“Equally sacrosanct to the federation is for the GNU, led by the ANC, to maintain its transformation programme, including delivering the National Health Insurance and comprehensive social security, supporting the principles of employment equity and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, accelerating the war on crime and corruption, investing in the developmental state and well-resourced public services, intensifying the renewal campaign, supporting the African agenda and pledging solidarity with struggling nations across the world, including the Palestinian people," he said.

Parks said the federation expects the composition of the seventh administration to reflect the ANC's mandate and to be unashamedly biased towards the needs of working-class communities.

 "Once the presidential inauguration and the appointment of cabinet is concluded, it is critical government moves with speed to convene the envisaged indaba with organised labour, business and civil society to agree on a clear set of progressive and decisive actions for the seventh administration and then to move with speed to capacitate the state, grow an inclusive economy and create decent jobs.

"Cosatu will continue to play, without exception, its part on behalf of the working class and in defence of workers.  We will engage with the broader trade union movement to unite labour and ensure that no attempt by any party to undermine the rights of workers at any level is allowed or entertained," he said.

At the same time, the SACP said while it had been opposed to a partnership with the DA, other parties made untenable demands.

"We put forward our option for an ANC-led minority government with the features of a tight government of national unity, while the ANC preferred a wider government of national unity with the features of the below 50 per cent plus one minority situation," said the party's Alex Mashilo. 

"However, each of the two options hinged on a majority-constituting support from other parties, inclusive of the ANC’s seats, to elect the president. 

"The possible lineup of political parties that could have participated in supporting an ANC-led minority government with the features of a government of national unity included those who made untenable demands, without guarantees. 

"They were more hell-bent on seeking to destroy the ANC than anything else. 

"The balance between the support that the ANC eventually received on the one hand and was denied on the other, and other factors that require detailed examination and exposition, contributed to the outcomes that prevailed," added Mashilo.

The SACP also urged the ANC to keep the promises it made in its election manifesto.

"This includes the immediate resolution of the crisis-high unemployment, poverty eradication and a radical reduction of income, wealth, spatial, racial and gender inequalities." Mashilo said. 

"This top priority requires an expansion of public employment programmes, an advance towards a comprehensive social security system, including a universal basic income grant,investment in public infrastructure development, maintenance and security, and structural transformation of the economy." 


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