Cosatu plans mass rolling ac­tion

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - TSHEGO LEPULE, ZIMASA MATIWANE and LUNGANI ZUNGU

IT’S all sys­tems go for a na­tional strike this Wed­nes­day as Cosatu and the SACP take to the streets to protest state cap­ture and cor­rup­tion.

More than 250 000 Cosatu mem­bers are ex­pected to take part in the 13 na­tional marches, where mem­o­randa will be handed to pre­miers, big busi­ness and Par­lia­ment.

The trade union fed­er­a­tion had pointed to the col­lapse of the tri­par­tite al­liance, which paved the way for dis­cord in the coun­try’s lead­er­ship.

Cosatu has sent a clear mes­sage to the ANC about toe­ing the al­liance line in the race to suc­ceed Ja­cob Zuma as the party’s next leader.

It has re­sorted to rolling mass ac­tion to make its pres­ence felt, as it did dur­ing Thabo Mbeki’s ten­ure as pres­i­dent.

Unions af­fil­i­ated to Cosatu in­cluded crit­i­cal in­dus­tries such as health, ed­u­ca­tion, mu­nic­i­pal work­ers, trans­port and min­ing.

The Demo­cratic Nurs­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion of South Africa (Denosa), South African Demo­cratic Teach­ers’ Union (Sadtu) and the Po­lice and Pris­ons’ Civil Rights Union (Popcru) in­di­cated that mem­bers would join the planned mass ac­tion.

The strike was granted to Cosatu by The Na­tional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Labour Coun­cil.

The Ned­lac and Sec­tion 77 cer­tifi­cate has been granted, which pro­tected strik­ing work­ers.

Cosatu na­tional spokesper­son Sizwe Pamla said the strike aimed to high­light the mess be­ing made of the coun­try by its lead­ers, be they at pro­vin­cial or na­tional level.

“When peo­ple loot they are deny­ing South Africans ac­cess to ser­vices ... they are rob­bing peo­ple of money that should be used to cre­ate job op­por­tu­ni­ties ... We in­vited civil so­ci­ety and others to join us in voic­ing our con­cerns, to send a clear mes­sage to gov­ern­ment that we will not stand aside while paras­tatals con­tinue to drain this coun­try’s fis­cus. We will re­it­er­ate our call for the ANC to re­lieve Pres­i­dent Zuma of his du­ties.

“We have also been com­plain­ing about ANC poli­cies that have been pro-pri­vate sec­tor and anti-poor. If you can mo­bilise so­ci­ety on a cause, the ANC will have to lis­ten be­cause the so­ci­ety you have gath­ered to stand against cor­rup­tion is the same base that the ANC has to re­port to be­fore 2019.

“You mo­bilise against un­ac­cept­able con­duct ... and you show the ANC that this is how it is go­ing to play out if you do not lis­ten to the peo­ple. We have now mo­bilised so­ci­ety to draw a line and say, as vot­ers we will re­mem­ber this in 2019.”

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst So­madoda Fikeni said the march will be a mech­a­nism whereby so­ci­ety will ex­press its views on gov­er­nance.

“It helps in putting pres­sure on the gov­ern­ment and rul­ing party; it might not do more than that, but this is a sen­si­tive time for those cam­paign­ing for lead­er­ship po­si­tions in the ANC who will be look­ing for en­dorse­ments and will be looked at to ad­dress these is­sues.

“This is fur­ther in­creas­ing the di­vide be­tween the ANC, Cosatu and the SACP ... At the last elec­tion the ANC won with just 53.7% ... Even if they go to 50% they would still ... need an­other po­lit­i­cal party to part­ner with. Once Cosatu and the SACP go their own way, it’ll be be­low 50%, paving the way for coali­tion gov­ern­ments in 2019 that have not proved very co­he­sive ... we are in for a weak gov­ern­ment in two years’ time.”

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Tha­bani Khu­malo said the march was a clear mes­sage to the ANC to toe the al­liance line in the suc­ces­sion race: “Cosatu is send­ing a mes­sage that if the ANC puts Dlamini Zuma is power, they can make this coun­try un­govern­able in the fu­ture.”

More than 250 000 mem­bers are ex­pected to take part in 13 marches

PIC­TURE: CINDY WAXA/ANA

Pre­mier He­len Zille, Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus Des­mond Tutu and Cape Town Mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille in high spir­its at the of­fi­cial open­ing of the Zeitz Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Africa in the city’s Silo Dis­trict on Fri­day. The new mu­seum com­prises 100 gallery spa­ces, and houses the largest col­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary African art on the con­ti­nent. See page 3

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