Con­ced­ing EFF’s youth ap­peal, ANC Gauteng premier still up­beat that ANC will win at polls as ri­vals are ‘in dis­ar­ray’

CityPress - - News - NGWAKO MODJADJI [email protected]­press.co.za NGWAKO MODJADJI [email protected]­press.co.za S’THEMBILE CELE sthem­[email protected]­press.co.za

Gauteng Premier David Makhura is all too aware of the fact that the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) is mak­ing in­roads among young vot­ers in the wake of the ANC Youth League’s fail­ure to at­tract mem­bers. De­spite this, he re­mains con­fi­dent that his party will re­gain con­trol of the prov­ince. “The EFF will get some votes from young peo­ple,” Makhura told City Press dur­ing an in­ter­view at the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture on Fri­day. “We have a youth league of the ANC that is not in good shape. But we are work­ing with the league in this prov­ince to help them so that they be­come the real voice of the youth. That vac­uum is cre­at­ing prob­lems for us.”

Makhura said the EFF would con­tinue to win the sup­port of young peo­ple, but he re­mained un­flus­tered. “There is no harm. They will have votes from some of the youth.”

His re­marks come on the back of a sur­vey on vot­ers, con­ducted by the SA In­sti­tute of Race Re­la­tions be­tween Au­gust and Septem­ber this year, which in­di­cated that the EFF could dou­ble its sup­port in next year’s gen­eral elec­tions at the ex­pense of the ANC.

But the poll was con­ducted be­fore the EFF got en­meshed in the VBS saga, with re­ports that party lead­ers may have ben­e­fited from the fi­nan­cial scan­dal.

Makhura, who is also the ANC’s Gauteng chair­per­son, be­lieves that both the EFF and the DA have lost pub­lic con­fi­dence re­gard­ing their re­spec­tive bids to dis­lodge the ANC from power in next year’s gen­eral elec­tions, adding that the ANC would have to make a pro­found mis­take be­tween now and May to lose the elec­tion.

“That mis­take has not been made. The ANC in this prov­ince is ready to go to war. We have made peace with the fact that we will be back and that they have lost the plot. Tell me which op­po­si­tion party is or­gan­ised to dis­lodge the ANC. They are in dis­ar­ray, those guys. There is no way that they will erode our sup­port.”

How­ever, Makhura ad­mit­ted that the ANC had lost voter sup­port be­cause it was seen to be soft on cor­rup­tion. “When vot­ers are un­happy, par­ties must change their ways. Even when there were voices in the ANC against cer­tain cor­rupt ele­ments, oth­ers were dis­miss­ing them.”

Makhura cited the DA’s in­ter­nal bat­tles, in­clud­ing the de­ba­cle over for­mer Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille, as is­sues that had landed it in trou­ble.

He took a swipe at Tsh­wane mayor Solly Msi­manga, the DA’s can­di­date for Gauteng premier, say­ing: “The DA’s cam­paign is premised on some­body who can­not run a mu­nic­i­pal­ity. Some­one who can­not run a metro can­not hope to run a prov­ince.” The de­sire by the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers (NUM) to bring the Na­tional Union of Met­al­work­ers of SA (Numsa) back into the Cosatu fold has hit a snag.

An SA Fed­er­a­tion of Trade Unions (Saftu) na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing last week dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­ity of the move, along with the Food and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union and Numsa forg­ing a “prin­ci­pled unity” with Cosatu.

But it ap­pears that Numsa has shut the door on calls for it to re­turn to Cosatu.

Numsa played a vi­tal role in the for­ma­tion of Saftu.

Numsa gen­eral-sec­re­tary Irvin Jim said: “Let us put the record straight, there is no for­mal process that has been taken by Cosatu to ap­proach Numsa for the much talked about clar­ion call for Numsa to re­turn to Cosatu.

“To be hon­est, it is our hum­ble view that this is just an elec­tion­eer­ing cam­paign, which is a hid­den-and-open tac­tic to tar­get the votes of Numsa mem­bers in the up­com­ing [gen­eral] elec­tion.

“This is no dif­fer­ent to the hol­low, empty, so-called new dawn led by Pres­i­dent Cyril

He said the Tsh­wane metro un­der Msi­manga’s lead­er­ship was un­able to de­liver ba­sic ser­vices such as refuse re­moval, wa­ter and elec­tric­ity. “I am go­ing to be en­gag­ing with Solly. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity is not func­tion­ing. I will in­sti­tute le­gal pro­cesses that would be able to say the premier did not just sit.”

How­ever, he added, he would fol­low all the right chan­nels. “The law does not al­low for the ar­bi­trary ex­er­cise of power.”

The DA rated Makhura five out of 10 for lack of ac­count­abil­ity and fail­ing to deal with cor­rup­tion.

“We gave him an op­por­tu­nity in the first year. He made prom­ises he has failed to ful­fil,” said the DA’s Gauteng leader, John Moodey, yes­ter­day.

Makhura de­liv­ered his fifth po­lit­i­cal re­port on the ANC-led pro­vin­cial ad­min­is­tra­tion in the leg­is­la­ture on Fri­day.

In the re­port, Makhura ad­mit­ted that crime was to­tally out of con­trol in the prov­ince. “Our com­mu­ni­ties and CBDs are flooded by crim­i­nals.”

He said that the prov­ince achieved a 100% un­qual­i­fied au­dit per­for­mance, while the West­ern Cape got one qual­i­fied au­dit and a dis­claimer.

“In the area of clean gov­er­nance, Gauteng has made huge strides over the past four years. We have in­creased the num­ber of clean au­dits from 56% in 2013/14 to 65% in 2017/18, while achiev­ing 100% un­qual­i­fied au­dits in two suc­ces­sive years: 2016/17 and 2017/18.

“Of course, there is no doubt that more work needs to be done to hold of­fi­cials ac­count­able for ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture that stems largely from not fol­low­ing sup­ply chain pro­ce­dures.”

The premier ex­pressed con­cern that DA-run met­ros Tsh­wane and Jo­han­nes­burg were no longer sup­port­ing the town­ship econ­omy re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion and rein­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion ini­tia­tives. “I can only as­sume that this is for party po­lit­i­cal rea­sons, not ra­tional pol­i­cy­mak­ing. I will con­tinue to make a call to the may­ors to join the grow­ing move­ment for town­ship eco­nomic devel­op­ment. This is for the good of our econ­omy.”

Makhura re­it­er­ated that the e-toll sys­tem had no fu­ture in the prov­ince. Ramaphosa. If this was an hon­est call, it wouldn’t have been shouted in marches and ral­lies.

“Cosatu would have for­mally ap­proached both Numsa and Saftu. Cosatu can­not just be call­ing for Numsa to come back. They should first ap­pre­ci­ate that they messed up, which is why we doubt, in the ab­sence of an hon­est re­flec­tion, there can be such an hon­est change of heart in the in­ter­est of unity of work­ers, which Numsa re­mains not op­posed to.

“An hon­est call would first ap­pre­ci­ate that Numsa is part of Saftu. If there was such an hon­est re­solve by Cosatu, the start­ing point would have been to ap­proach Numsa and Saftu lead­er­ship and to cham­pion com­mon pro­grammes around com­mon is­sues be­tween Saftu and Cosatu, just like Numsa and the NUM are work­ing to­gether in de­fend­ing Eskom.

“Numsa lead­er­ship will never be op­posed to the prin­ci­ple of the unity of work­ers.

“This we have demon­strated in the wage ne­go­ti­a­tion in Eskom and in the bus strike ne­go­ti­a­tions, where Numsa worked to­gether with Satawu [the SA Trans­port and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union] and other unions,” Jim told City Press last week.

Work­ers af­fil­i­ated to the NUM and Numsa protested to­gether against re­trench­ment at Eskom, as well as against the clo­sure of coal mines and gov­ern­ment’s re­new­able en­ergy pro­gramme last month.

Numsa was ex­pelled as an af­fil­i­ate by Cosatu for ex­tend­ing its or­gan­is­ing scope and with­draw­ing sup­port for the ANC in 2014.

Numsa, the big­gest trade union in the coun­try, is now a key af­fil­i­ate of Saftu and its re­turn to Cosatu would likely lead to the death of Saftu.

Jim said Numsa’s source of ex­pul­sion was trig­gered by demo­crat­i­cally taken res­o­lu­tions in its own spe­cial congress in 2013, which re­solved that the ANC-led al­liance post 1994 had con­sis­tently failed the work­ing class.

“We called on the ANC to ban labour bro­kers, but it re­fused and in­stead chose to reg­u­late them. The spe­cial congress re­solved that met­al­work­ers will no longer cam­paign and vote for their worst butch­ers and that the time had come for the work­ing class to or­gan­ise it­self as a class for it­self.”

NUM pres­i­dent Joseph Mon­tisetsi said the union was lob­by­ing other af­fil­i­ates to sup­port its lat­est at­tempt to re­unite Numsa with Cosatu. He warned that the ANC could be harmed in next year elec­tions if Numsa does not re­turn to Cosatu. Deputy Jus­tice Min­is­ter John Jef­fery is call­ing on South Africans to be more cir­cum­spect with re­gard to their com­mu­ni­ca­tions on so­cial me­dia, warn­ing that not do­ing so could land them in jail.

On Tues­day, the Na­tional Assem­bly passed the Cy­ber­crimes Bill, which has im­pli­ca­tions for those who use so­cial me­dia and other elec­tronic plat­forms for “ma­li­cious com­mu­ni­ca­tions”.

Jef­fery told City Press this week that even retweet­ing a tweet that in­cites vi­o­lence could be a crim­i­nal of­fence, even if the user did not deem a retweet to be an “en­dorse­ment” of its con­tent.

With nu­mer­ous protests tak­ing place monthly across the coun­try, the deputy min­is­ter warned that al­though it was le­gal on so­cial me­dia to or­gan­ise protests or marches, or­gan­is­ers would have to choose their words care­fully.

“When it comes to what you say in cy­berspace, be re­spon­si­ble – and, par­tic­u­larly, don’t threaten any­one with phys­i­cal harm, vi­o­lence or dam­age to prop­erty.

“On the is­sue of marches, do not say things that can be im­plied, such as: ‘We go­ing to burn the MyCiti buses be­cause we are not happy with the wage of­fer’, or ‘We are go­ing to burn the Jam­mie Shut­tle [a bus shut­tle ser­vice avail­able free of charge to Uni­ver­sity of Cape Town stu­dents and staff] be­cause the vice-chan­cel­lor is not hear­ing our de­mands’.”

Jef­fery said so­cial me­dia users could or­gan­ise an event but could not urge fol­low­ers to dam­age prop­erty or phys­i­cally harm any­one.

He cited the ex­am­ple of a re­cent post on Face­book by an in­tern at Prince Mshiyeni Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal in KwaZulu-Natal who threat­ened to rape his neigh­bour’s daugh­ters to “teach them a les­son”.

Jef­fery said a post like that would be a crim­i­nal act in the new bill.

The bill still needs ap­proval from the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces. There­after, it will be handed to the pres­i­dent to of­fi­cially sign it into law.

An­other ma­jor com­po­nent of the bill ad­dresses the dis­tri­bu­tion of “in­ti­mate im­ages” with­out con­sent.

“What is in the body of the bill is crim­i­nal­is­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion of an in­ti­mate im­age,” ex­plained Jef­fery.

“Of­ten there is con­fu­sion. Cou­ples split up and the boyfriend dis­trib­utes nude pic­tures of his ex­girl­friend. It is re­venge, not porn.

“If he had dis­trib­uted im­ages of them hav­ing sex, that would be re­venge porn. There is a le­gal dis­tinc­tion. In court he would be charged with dis­tribut­ing a data mes­sage of an in­ti­mate im­age.

“What the bill pro­vides for is that you can go to court and get an or­der,” Jef­fery said.

“You have to get con­sent to dis­trib­ute an im­age of an in­ti­mate na­ture. The con­sent is not tak­ing the pic­ture, it is mak­ing it avail­able. You can con­sent to the pic­ture but not to its dis­tri­bu­tion.”

The bill also ad­dresses other crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity re­lated to the in­ter­net, such as fraud and ex­tor­tion.

“We as the NUM are say­ing they have to re­turn to Cosatu. If we are di­vided as the work­ing class, we will be weaker. We work with Numsa at Eskom, we be­lieve that there is a need to work to­gether,” Mon­tisetsi said.

Cosatu spokesper­son Sizwe Pamla said the labour fed­er­a­tion was not “hos­tile” to the idea of unit­ing work­ers.

“We have a stand­ing res­o­lu­tion of unit­ing the work­ers. We have long said that we are open to en­gag­ing any­one who is in­ter­ested in unit­ing the work­ing class,” Pamla said.

He said Numsa would have to re­flect on whether stick­ing by its res­o­lu­tion to en­ter other fields, where other Cosatu af­fil­i­ates al­ready ex­isted, was unit­ing or di­vi­sive.

Saftu gen­eral-sec­re­tary Zwelinz­ima Vavi said the trade union fed­er­a­tion was des­per­ate for a prin­ci­pled unity.

“We are des­per­ate for that. If there is a prin­ci­pled unity we will jump to that. We want unions which are in­de­pen­dent from po­lit­i­cal par­ties.”

Vavi de­scribed calls for Numsa to re­turn to Cosatu as an at­tempt to di­vide Saftu.

“It is pipe dream. It is not go­ing to hap­pen. I know the cur­rent NUM lead­er­ship never sup­ported the ex­pul­sion of Numsa from Cosatu.”


Gauteng Premier David Makhura at his of­fice in Jo­han­nes­burg

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