ANC and Cosatu cannot survive without each other, says Dlamini
PRETORIA — The Congress of South African Trade Unions says it’s time the tripartite alliance sat down and reconfigured their partnership.
In delivering an opening address at Cosatu’s sixth central committee meeting, its president Sdumo Dlamini, told delegates that the African National Congress needed workers and they, in turn, needed the 105yearold political party.
“The ANC cannot survive on her own without the workers in the country,” Dlamini said yesterday.
He said although some in the trade union federation might believe they would be fine without the governing party, he did not share their sentiments.
He added that although the working class in South Africa could not be seen going against the ANC, they also had the duty to speak out when the party made mistakes.
“When they do these wrong things indeed we shall take the decisions that we have taken because we take decisions as comrades and defend our decisions,” he added.
Dlamini was referring to a recent decision taken by the federation to ban Jacob Zuma, the president of both the ANC and the country, from speaking at any of its events.
On May 1, workers booed and refused to be addressed by Zuma at a Cosatu Workers’ Day rally in Bloemfontein. Unions retaliated after a plea for them not to be addressed by the ANC leader was ignored. Zuma, who has usually been the speaker to represent the ANC at Cosatu gatherings, would be replaced by Deputy President Cyril Ram aphosa, who is also the federation’s candidate to replace him when the ANC goes to its national elective conference in December.
Dlamini said alliance partners would have a chance to have frank discussions with each other when they meet on June 4 and 5 for the alliance political summit.
“The ANC must help us ... It must help us to go through this journey of ensuring that you can build [not just] a stronger ANC but a stronger ANCled alliance,” he said.
Dlamini, in sharing his thoughts on what the tripartite alliance could do differently, said the entire alliance arrangement had to be reviewed.
“At the moment it seems decisions can be taken by one partner and it affects all of us and we are not part of those decisions. That has got to come to an end,” he said.
He added that often they request meetings, but get no response from the governing party until there is a crisis. Dlamini was chastised by teachers’ union Sadtu KZN secretary NomaRussia Caluza, who said he failed to announce the deputy president as their preferred candidate to replace Zuma.
“The ANC must help us ... It must help us to go through this journey of ensuring that you can build [not just] a stronger ANC but a stronger ANCled alliance.”