NO FREE RIDE FOR ANC
THE normalisation of relations between the ANC and its alliance partners – the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco – will come at a price when the longawaited Alliance Political Council (APC) meets on July 8 and 9.
Under the leadership of former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, the ruling party’s alliance partners lamented being increasingly isolated from deployment and key policy decisions in the alliance.
It is for this that the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco will be ratcheting up pressure on the ANC to agree to the demand for a reconfigured alliance and to formalise such a reconfiguration through a binding agreement.
As the ANC gears up for next year’s elections, alliance leaders confirmed that it would “not be business as usual”.
Their push for a reconfigured alliance which gives them equal say on key policy issues and deployments is expected to dominate the agenda.
The SACP is in the process of finalising its discussion paper outlining the nature, character and functioning of a reconfigured alliance.
SACP national spokesperson Alex Mashilo said since December, the party had been working on its draft paper detailing a blueprint for how the alliance should be reconfigured.
The party has also been engaging its structures across the country and feedback will be provided at a special sitting of the SACP central committee next month.
“The SACP has been working on the content of a reconfigured alliance. Every central committee meeting since then (December) has made a contribution to the process.
“At this moment we have had PEC meetings of the North West, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. This is an ongoing process,” Mashilo said.
On the continuing calls for a reconfigured alliance, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said it was high time Cosatu had an equal say in deployment and policy decisions in the alliance.
“There are Cosatu leaders in the different spheres of government but they go in there on the ticket of the ANC. It has been happening since 1994 when Cosatu people get drawn into the government. We also want to influence policy.
“When there is disunity in the ANC, it is the voice of the ANC that deals with those issues and Cosatu, SACP and Sanco can’t do anything about it. But when the ANC falls, we all get affected,” Dlamini said.
Dlamini said Cosatu would also be providing input into the discussion for a reconfigured alliance.
“Cosatu will be recommending that an alliance pact must be signed. The demand for a reconfigured alliance continues. The alliance partners have felt that they have been marginalised except during times of elections when we are all campaigning for the ANC.
“Formal and concrete decisions must be taken about that,” Dlamini said.
Sanco Gauteng chairperson Chris Malematja, lamenting the organisation being increasingly excluded from important decision making processes, said the ANC could no longer delay talks on the matter.
“A reconfigured alliance must be realised. Not just on paper but in reality. We want an agreement that must be implemented. All alliance partners must equally be represented in the alliance and not led by the ANC alone.”
Malematja criticised the ANC favouring its own members in critical positions in government while it was Sanco, Cosatu and the SACP that bolstered support for the governing party during elections. “Positions in municipalities are all occupied by ANC leaders but we all campaign, not just the ANC alone,” he said.
ANCYL national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said the granular details of the proposed reconfiguration still needed further explanation.
“We don’t know if it will add value or not but the ANC has agreed to meet with its alliance partners. The ANC has always maintained its stand to be the leader of society and the alliance. If you want to remove them then that would require discussion,” he said.
Internal battles within the alliance hardly five months after the inauguration of Cyril Ramaphosa as state president have continued, with the latest being the accusation that Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali was at the centre of a storm after he was accused of leading a plot with big business to oust Zuma from the Union Buildings.
Meanwhile, Cosatu yesterday rose to the defence of general secretary Ntshalintshali.
Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said there was nothing untoward with its call for Zuma to step down.
“On allegations that we met with big business, we also plead guilty. We met with big business under their umbrella BLSA body in June 2017. The twoday meeting took place on June 2324, 2017 and as we said at the time it was convened because we believed that solutions to SA’s pressing socioeconomic challenges are highly dependent on business and labour leaders communicating,” Pamla said.
REBUILDING: SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini during the May Day rally at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium, Kwazakhele in Port Elizabeth.