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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU Northern Cape PEC statement

6 December 2017

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the Northern Cape held a meeting of the Provincial Executive Committee on Tuesday, 05 December 2017 in Kimberley. The meeting was tasked with a responsibility to assess the state of the organisation, the political situation, socio-economic situation as well as international issues.

The PEC convened at the tail-end of the year of O.R. Tambo which occurred 50 years after the brutal assassination of Che Guevara and on the year the SACP commemorated the Centenary of the October 1971 Russian Revolution. It was also exactly a week after the meeting of the Central Executive Committee that took place from 27 - 29 November 2017.

Our PEC was addressed by the Deputy General Secretary whose message was anchored on the resolutions of the recent CEC. After extensive deliberations the PEC took the following resolutions:

  1. On the state of the Organisation

The PEC reflected on the march against corruption and state capture that was held on the 27th September 2017 and commended the workers for their participation in that march. However we condemn the negative reporting from the media, particularly the DFA that claimed that our march fell flat. The success of that march was an indication that the federation is still functional in the Northern Cape and the PEC is committed to a rolling mass action against corruption and state capture.

The Provincial Executive Committee also commended NEHAWU for a successful march on 17 November 2017 to the Premier’s Office and the Speaker. We, however condemn the undermining of the union by both the Premier and the Speaker who refused to accept the memoranda after confirming their availability. The PEC resolved to join NEHAWU and ensure that we force the Premier and the Speaker to listen to the Union.

The PEC also noted the challenges facing some of our affiliates such as SAMWU and SATAWU and committed to support them to regain their organisational strength. We call on the workers not to despair as these challenges are not insurmountable.

We call on the affiliates of COSATU to ensure that their shopstewards are well trained to represent the workers. It is our firm belief that the strength of a trade union lies in its capacity to represent the interests of its members. The PEC is therefore committed to building a fighting federation with a well-oiled machinery to intensify the fight against corruption and exploitation of workers both in the public and the private sector.

The PEC affirms that the organisational strength of COSATU is felt internationally. This is confirmed by the recent elections of our 2nd Deputy President, Comrade Zingiswa Losi as the President of the Southern African Trade Unions Coordinating Council (SATUCC) and the PEC congratulated her and the entire Central Executive Committee.

We declare 2018 as the year of the locals as we prepare for the Provincial Congress in July and the National Congress in September. Our May Day Celebrations will be held in Kimberley, Kuruman and Calvinia and affiliates will ensure the success thereof.

  1. On the Political Situation

The PEC reaffirms our unwavering support for a leadership collective led by Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected in the forthcoming 54th National Conference of the ANC. We call on all the workers who will constitute the majority of the branch delegates to vote against corruption and state capture in that conference in order to protect the future of their children.

We note and condemn the continued undermining of the ANC by its deployees along factional lines. The longer the ANC takes to react to the anti ANC behaviour of the provincial government, the more damage is caused by these people who work in favour of the opposition to destroy the image and integrity of the movement.

We call on the ANC to act decisively and institute an immediate reshuffling in order to rescue the funds of the provincial government from heartless thieves that are hell-bent to loot the state. The ANC branches need to rise and defend the organisation from undermining by a group of thugs who call themselves ANC members.

The PEC condemns with contempt it deserves the new tendency of challenging democratic organisational outcomes through courts. We call on the law enforcement agencies, especially the Hawks to investigate the source of the money used to challenge the ANC in court. These challenges are brought by looters of state resources through their proxies who are fed on crumbs that  fall from the master’s tables.

We call on the Director-General to desist from being used as a political pawn who is hell-bent on harassing members and leaders of NEHAWU at the Premiers Office. A friendly advice to him is that he should stay away from factional political battles and focus on the provincial administration that is crumbling under his watch.

  1. On Socio-economic Issues

After receiving a report on what transpired at the fruitless gathering that was convened by the Premier in Kuruman under the guise of the much needed Mining Indaba, the PEC resolved that, that was nothing but a fundraising event for some individuals for December. As a result the PEC resolved to demand a properly constituted Mining Indaba under the leadership of the Department of Economic Development.
We are convinced that the Northern Cape Provincial Government under the leadership of the current Premier has failed to intervene on behalf of the workers and the working class in the mining sector. The confirmed exclusion of the people of the Northern Cape and their Chiefs in the trusts is a clear display of that failure.
The PEC condemns and vows to oppose the current application by Eskom to NERSA to increase the electricity tariffs by 19,9% which is way above inflation rate for 2018/2019. We view this as an attack on the working class and the poor that needs to be confronted with the might of the workers and their families.
When the offices reopen in January 2018 COSATU Northern Cape will confront the MEC for Transport Safety and Liaison together with the HOD and the HOM for concealing the report on the illegal sale of taxi operating licences. We will lobby the taxi owners to join us in our campaign to stop corrupt activities that have a potential of causing taxi violence which will put the lives of the workers in danger.
The PEC commended the POB’s and the leadership of NEHAWU for opening cases of corruption against the MEC for COGHSTA and the Speaker and Management of the provincial legislature respectively. We will monitor progress in both cases to ensure that they do not disappear into thin air.

  1. On International Issues

The PEC noted the recent leadership change in Zimbabwe and concluded that it does not signify any policy shift as ZANU-PF is still in power. However it is a lesson to all those leaders who want to retain power through their wives, including the South African President that the people are not naive.

The PEC also learned through the Kenyan electoral process that internationally courts are used to advance the interests of counter revolutionary opposition parties. We commend the people of Kenya for ensuring that the courts do not dictate to them and put democracy into practice.

We condemn the return to slavery in Lybia where youngmen are sold in an auction for farm work and digging. This is the worst form of human rights violation which must be confronted by the African leaders to bring stability and peace.

COSATU together with the SACP and BDS will continue to highlight the plight of the people of Palestine through all forms of action possible. We believe that the liberation of the Palestinians depends on the unity of the international working class and the pressure we put on our governments to confront Israel.

Issued on behalf of the PEC