NO FREE RIDE FOR ANC

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - Front Page - BONOLO SELEBANO

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.

The up­com­ing al­liance po­lit­i­cal coun­cil is ex­pected to be a bruis­ing af­fair. PIC­TURE: GALLO IM­AGES

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.

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