News Bulletin
News Bulletin

The Shopsteward Subscribe to get a copy of the Shopsteward The Shopsteward Online Archive

Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor


Tel: (011) 339-4911
Fax: (011) 339-5080/339-6940
Email: donald @ cosatu . org . za

For comments on the website email: donald@cosatu.org.za

Congress  |  Resolutions

1999 Special Congress: Composite Resolutions

Alliance Programme

Conceptualisation Of The Alliance Programme

1. There are clear commitments in the manifesto. The biggest challenge facing COSATU in the post election period is the translation of what is contained in the ANC Election Manifesto into a programme that will better the lives of our members, the working class and the poor. Their aspirations and hopes must be realised. Policy is clear. We must get down to the business of implementation without delay.

Each department will be tasked with developing a programme that is practical and affordable within budgetary constraints. The office of the Presidency will play a powerful role in co-ordinating and driving through the programme.

The Alliance has an important role in policy making and planning and will be engaged in implementation.

2. With the proviso that the budgetary constraints are negotiable within the Alliance, we should welcome the approach of the Government and ensure that the strategy we emerge with from Congress enables the federation to play a powerful role in the shaping of programmes for the implementation of the manifesto pledges. NEHAWU proposes the approach that says we should engage in a staged development of a Five Year Programme for the Alliance.

3. Already the Alliance is engaged in debate around immediate priorities, what most governments see as their "first hundred days", when the tone is set and authority established. Congress will need to assess how far the federation has managed to help shape this initial period, and ensure that the organised working class is playing its rightful role in the governance of our country.

4. The next phase is the "first year", after the settling in period. In many ways the Five Year Programme will be determined by the work done in the first year. The Congress should therefore see the period up to the 6th Congress in September 2000 as a critical phase, when all the key programmes of the government will be shaped. The challenge for the federation is to identify achievable goals and work tirelessly to achieve them. Congress should therefore set out the key areas that should be included in the Alliance Programme, with an indication as to what we would expect to be achieved by the COSATU Congress in 2000.

5. The Five Year Programme itself will be informed by the twelve month plan, and will need to be worked on in the coming months. It is suggested that a comprehensive programme could be developed for consultation well in advance of the 2000 Congress, and that that debate should be seen by the Alliance as an important landmark, when the first year can be assessed and the strategy for the next four years be proposed.

6. It is recommended that Congress concentrate on setting a small number of priorities, with outcomes that can be measured and assessed in the 2000 Congress. These priorities should be in line with known government priorities, and the objective should be to set a labour agenda, the contribution that we as Labour will make to the development of the Alliance Programme. The priorities should be employment creation and job protection; wealth redistribution and transformation of the state.(NEHAWU; NUMSA)

7. Rising to this challenge, demands the following from COSATU:

7.1 Drafting a political programme to guide our intervention

  1. Over the last few years the federation has formulated policy after policy. It is our firm belief that the Special Congress should not again attempt to draft another book of policies.

  2. What is needed is an identification of key areas of intervention. As a federation we must carefully choose issues around which we will intervene in order to realise the betterment of the working class and the poor.

  3. Such a political programme must clearly outline the manner through which we hope to intervene. We need to say what we take to the Alliance. We must say what we will do internally. We need to say what we take to the government and the bosses. We must say unashamedly what we would take to the street.

7.2 Building a strong federation

  1. However well formulated our policies and political programme may be, with no strong organisational base, the policies and the political programme are not worth the paper they are written on.

  2. Based on this conviction, we later make submissions on how to strengthen COSATU. We strongly feel that there is the urgency to strengthen the federation.

  3. Recent surveys, however questionable their methodology may be, have revealed a growing gap between the leadership and rank and file. Only a tiny minority within our ranks, that is in tune with the nice policies that we formulate.

  4. Consolidation and strengthening of labour movement by uniting workers across races and all barriers and be of one mind and purpose to uplift and improve their conditions of life and their capacity to formulate and influence policy that will transform our society.

7.3 Ensuring that the Alliance is alive and is driving the process of transformation

  1. As a federation we must make sure that the Alliance is not just something that gets revived on the eve of elections. We must also ensure that it is the Alliance that drives the programme of transformation.

  2. The task at hand is how do we transform the energy that was generated in the election campaign into organised and mobilised strength. How do we keep the Alliance unified around a common programme?

  3. If we fail to answer these questions, we will be not different to other parties who are nothing else but electoral machines that get switched on when elections are approaching.

7.4 Jealously guarding the independence of the trade union movement

  1. While the unity of perspectives within the Alliance must be harnessed and encouraged, the political independence of the labour movement is to be critical in the coming period.

  2. As a federation we need to take positions and fight for these fearlessly. Clearly when we take these positions we need to consider not only our interests but also the interests of strata that we are allied to.

  3. But after all this is done and after we have taken positions, these must be fought vehemently for.

7.5 Emerging as the leader of civil society

  1. COSATU remains the strongest mass formation organisationally. While this is the case, there still exist, however weak, other mass formations such as student and youth organisations, unemployed groups, civics, women’s groups etc. While some of these organisations are national, others are provincial and localised.

  2. Despite the hundreds of resolutions to revive the mass democratic movement and building a popular movement for transformation, as a federation we have not been able to successfully link up and strengthen these organisations.

  3. Another development that we seem oblivious to is the emergence of sector networks (e.g: Urban Sector Network, the Rural Development Network etc.) and single issue coalitions (e.g.: on debt, on abuse of women and children, NGO coalitions). While most of these initiatives lack a mass base and rely on lobbying than organising, the issues that they deal with affect our members and may be concerns of the broad working class.

  4. Not to confirm the accusation that we are an elite we need to connect up with these organisations and initiatives and organisations where there are issues of commonality. COSATU must in the period win its place as the leader of civil society.

7.6 Developing a multi-pronged strategy of intervention

    1. In our submission we make proposals on how we can enhance our intervention at various levels. The proposals range from engagement of government to campaigns that we need to take up.

    2. While we believe that a multi-pronged strategy of intervention is required, we note that:

  • we have not been good in educating our members on our actual positions

  • not much canvassing of membership has been done when formulating positions

  • we have been weak on campaigns.

  1. It is our firm belief that to be successful in the coming period, we will have to overcome these weaknesses. (NUMSA; NUM)

ANC Election Manifesto

1. COSATU, in proposing a concrete programme, should take into account the RDP document and election Manifesto; the post-GEAR consensus arising from Alliance Summit and Job Summit agreements. A clear Alliance programme on delivery focusing on areas identified below must be agreed on with clear timeframes;

  1. Congress supports the Manifesto in relation to Housing delivery. The building of houses should be carried out in a such a way as to destroy the apartheid divide; to bring greater integration of the racial groups; to locate houses nearer the workplaces.

  2. Congress supports the section on Social security – which includes availing grants; developing a public transport system; a national public health system; access to water and electricity; education.

  3. In supporting the above, the Alliance programme must include government policy and legislation to the effect that these basic needs will be provided by the public sector rather than the private sector.

  4. Congress supports the Manifesto on building the economy. The Alliance programme must include ensuring that there is no capping on social spending placed on Provinces and Local Authorities. A clear mechanism to include labour in the budgeting processes must be spelled-out.

  5. The Alliance programme should include an undertaking by government to come up with legislation that makes it difficult for business to export capital; that regulates interest rates and inflation; etc.

  6. The commitment outlined in the Manifesto on Jobs is supported. A mechanism to take the Job Summit agreements forward should be agreed. The programme should also commit government to ensuring that there are no further retrenchments taking place; agree on a time period regarding the amendment of section 189 of the LRA and the Insolvency Act; re-instating the RDP Fund for the development of a public works programme.

  7. Congress supports the Manifesto on Transforming the State and Transforming Local Government.(SAMWU)

Mass mobilisation

  1. The Alliance programme must include an agreement for the partners to commit themselves to mobilising their constituencies in support of government speeding-up transformation, especially when government is being opposed by big business.

  2. The Alliance programme should also allow for COSATU to be able to mobilise members in cases where Government develop policies that go against the interest of workers.

  3. On the surface, it may appear that the balance of forces are in favour of capital. The working class movement has not suffered any serious defeat, both nationally and internationally. What is required is a political will and a clear programme of action to further build, strengthen and develop the labour movement. A commitment to continuously mobilise the masses will assist to further tilt the balance of forces in favour of the working class, both nationally and internationally.

  4. The way forward as proposed in the discussion document is supported.

  5. In the event that no agreement is reached at Alliance, COSATU should proceed with its programme of mass mobilisation.

  6. Oversight on the implementation of the Alliance programme should be done at Provincial and Local level as well.

  7. The 6th National Congress resolutions on Political Strategy and Vision are re-affirmed.( SAMWU)

Deployment of leadership

  1. Appropriate COSATU national structures decide which COSATU/affiliate elected office bearers and senior officials be released and supported on future political party election lists, for all tiers of government elections.

  2. that such decisions be made on the basis of preventing the weakening of the Federation and its affiliates (SACTWU)

Elements Of An Alliance Programme - Taking The Manifesto Forward

1. Transformation of the State

The role of the state
  1. There is an agreement in the Alliance as reflecting in the ANC manifesto on the need to build an activist, developmental and interventionist state. For us the state is not there to create an environment for business to do its business. The state is and should be a key economic agent. The state is the biggest employer, consumer, and investor. The parastatals that the government owns have an important role to play.

  2. The biggest challenge facing the Alliance will be the translation of this vision into a programme capable of implementation. Key in this translation will be:

2.1 Building the economy and creating jobs

2.2 Speeding up the delivery of social needs

2.3 Advancing workers rights

2.4 Making the government accountable

2.5 Striving for clean government

2.6 Fighting rightsizing that will lead to social services not being delivered

2.7 Defending strategic state assets

2.8 Defending the role of the SABC as a public broadcaster

2.9 Transforming local government structures

  1. Not everyone shares this view. Before the ink was dry on the ballot papers, we had proposals to fast-track privatisation of state assets. There is determination to "rightsize" the public service without a social audit and an agreed framework for restructuring the public service. There must be:

    1. A national framework agreement on restructuring based on a common commitment to maintaining the overall level of employment in the public sector.

    2. A publicly stated position that Provincial and Local government do have a role to play in creating jobs and creating a framework for job creation in their sphere of operation.

    3. A comprehensive strategy for the improvement of management skills in the public sector – a lack of skills cannot be allowed to be the reason for privatising whole sections of the public sector.

  1. It may be that additional legislation is required that protects workers who move from one employer to another. Restructuring must not be a means of reducing pay and conditions.

  2. The issue of service delivery and standards needs to be made more central to federation policy. The conference planned for 1998/9 must go ahead.

  3. We need to ensure that Manifesto directives for a social wage/social security, particularly social health insurance system, are carried out with speed.

  4. Underpinning all these tasks is the role that we define for the state. (NEHAWU; NUMSA)

Accountability to the electorate
  1. As a federation we welcome the reorganisation of the public service so as to effectively meet the priorities of social delivery. We also agree with the proposal in the manifesto to develop efficient, user-friendly and accountable governance.

  2. But there are worrying tendencies! The biggest one is the practice of some of the elected representatives to be only seen by their constituencies either on television or just on the eve of election and in the run-up to list conferences.

  3. As agreed in the 1997 National Congress:

3.1 The federation needs to start a discussion within the Alliance on possible changes to the electoral system, so as to have a system that is a mix of constituency-based elections and proportional/party list representation. Such a system we believe, will lead to more accountability and will enable the principle of recall to be exercised.

3.2 Guided by the decision to have a mixed system of representation, the constitutional and executive structures of the federation should discuss the exact nature of such an electoral system.

3.3 The outcome of these discussions within the federation must be fed into the Alliance.

3.4 EXCO must ensure that such a debate takes place well before the next national elections in 2004, so as to allow for constitutional and legislative changes.

3.5 However limited the present system of allocating every Member of Parliament a constituency, COSATU must call for:

  • an immediate publication of names of all members of parliament as well as the constituencies that they are supposed to serve

  • an outline of where the constituency offices will be based.

3.6 Our Regional and Local structures have the responsibility to ensure that:

  • the constituency offices are functional

  • elected representatives are available, particularly at time of parliamentary recess to deal with the problems of the electorate and their base.(NUMSA)

Striving for clean government

1. COSATU has not been vociferous on issues of corruption. The federation has given space to anti-democratic forces like the Democratic Party to emerge as the champions of anti-corruption. As a federation we cannot allow this.

2. The federation should make the following calls:

2.1 Noting that two Provincial Offices of the Public Protector have been set-up (North West and E. Cape Provinces), government should finance the speedy establishment of similar offices in the other provinces.

2.2 Government should tighten the legislation on corruption and nepotism to deal harshly with white-collar crime in public and private sectors.

2.3 Corrupt officials should be removed from government and organisation.

  1. The federation should revisit the position taken in the 1998 corruption summit on moral renewal, and ensure that governments’ programme is sensitive of them.

  2. The state should work with religious communities and other sectors of society to strengthen the moral fibre of our society and government to set example of the RDP of the Soul Code of Conduct for government MPs. (NUMSA)

Public Sector Restructuring

1 There has been a dramatic increase in the level of privatisation and outsourcing. Job losses and pay cuts are a central aspect of privatisation. Whilst we should not adopt a blanket opposition to privatisation, there is a need to analyse the direction employers both public and private are going, learn lessons from countries where similar strategies have been adopted, and develop a bargaining and campaigning strategy.

2. COSATU and affiliates have responded to these attacks in manner that combine resistance (against retrenchment and privatisation) and transformation (advancing working class friendly legislation and strategies for regulation of the labour market, industry/sector restructuring negotiations such as the Mining Summit, NFA, Job summit etc). The results of these struggles have been uneven and somewhat contradictory- with successes in some and setbacks in others (NEHAWU)

No to "rightsizing" that leads non-delivery of social services!"

1. Despite the talk in the ANC manifesto to re-organise the public service in a manner that will ensure that the state meets the priorities of social delivery, the government seems determined to "rightsize" the public service without an audit and consideration on social needs.

2. Through downsizing, voluntary severance packages and natural attrition, the public service has shed more than 170 000 jobs. This is a reduction of 13%. This reduction has happened without consideration to its impact on social delivery.

3. COSATU should call for a National Framework Agreement for the Restructuring of the Public Service. A public sector sectoral Job Summit in line with the Presidential Job Summit resolution should be called to hammer out a National Framework Agreement.

4. Such a framework must be guided by the vision on public service restructuring adopted at the inaugural Central Committee of COSATU. Underpinning the National Framework Agreement should be the following:

4.1 Redeployment rather than retrenchment. Such redeployment should be informed by the results of an audit of the public sector rather than a narrow budgetary approach. The audit may result in redeployment of staff from areas which are over-staffed to key areas of service delivery which are under-staffed.

4.2 Where it is not feasible to redeploy staff within the public sector, a plan on how to re-direct the human resources to other sectors of the economy should be developed.

4.3 Right sizing should not be at the expense of essential service delivery.

4.4 Local authorities should be included in the scope of the National Framework Agreement.

5. Any programme of reducing the restructuring into privatisation, downsizing and retrenchments which is outside the National Framework Agreement, should be opposed.

6. This campaign should be led by the federation itself. (SADTU; NUMSA; NEHAWU)

Restructuring of the State Owned Enterprises
The future of the NFA
  1. The National Framework Agreement was a product of workers protest against the unilateral restructuring and privatisation of SOEs. For COSATU the difficulties have been regarding policy formulation capacity and coordination problems among unions.

  2. The NFA`s approach to restructuring is the simple change of ownership – privatisation rather than internal / workplace restructuring. Because all restructuring that has taken place has resulted in job losses, workers will have been subjected to double retrenchment processes. The two arenas of restructuring have a tendency of stretching the ability of unions to deal with issues involved.

  3. An audit recently carried by NALEDI on restructuring of state assets has revealed the following:

The government’s determination to sell some of the strategic state assets;

3.1 An ongoing restructuring within the parastatals, leading to outsourcing and selling of what is regarded as non-core functions and job shedding in most of the parastatals;

3.2 The weaknesses in the National Framework Agreement (NFA);

3.3 The problems of co-ordination and capacity within affiliates, between affiliates and within the federation; and

3.4 The failure of the federation to make the issue of privatisation of state assets a public campaign

  1. The NFA must be renewed or renegotiated and its focus extend beyond mere consultation

  2. The renewed NFA should have a comprehensive plan that integrates the workplace and enterprise restructuring. This understanding must be built into the renewed NFA

  3. The new version of the NFA must also reflect the role these state-owned enterprises should play in the job creation commitment this government has pledged in the Reconstruction and Development Programme and in the Job Summit

  4. The character of restructuring must be transformational as a primary consideration and should lead to the realisation of equity at the workplace.

  5. COSATU to strengthen the National Framework Agreement (NFA) by:

  6. Outlining the core areas that are not for privatisation.
    Extending its term of operation, given the fact that the agreement is coming to an end
    Legislating the NFA

  7. In addition to health, education, water, electricity, telecommunication and housing, the federation must insist that public transport and state-owned land should not be privatised. The State Asset Restructuring Unit (SARU) within NALEDI must continue to do the research work and back-up the teams.

  8. Research findings should be availed to all affiliates to help them in developing their strategies to deal with restructuring and privatisation.

  9. Leadership at plant level should be trained on agreements emanating from the NFA, in order to empower them to handle issues at plant level.

  10. There is a need to embark on a campaign against the privatisation of enterprises dealing with strategic and essential needs as well as against the retrenchments and job losses in all State Owned Enterprises.

  11. There is a need for a broader public campaign to inform and educate the public about the disadvantages of privatisation.

  12. COSATU must call a conference, which will involve civil society, to deal with privatisation and restructuring.

  13. We are making these proposals because the government has made clear its intention to fast-track privatisation. There is an intention to pilot through this session of parliament a Restructuring Transaction Bill – a bill which according to government will remove some of the legal difficulties that the government had to deal with when privatising.

  14. COSATU’s Parliamentary Office must monitor developments in relation to this Bill

  15. Constitutional structures of the federation will have to discuss the implications of the Bill. (NUMSA; SATAWU)

Option 1: Alliance syndicates
  1. The restructuring of the State Owned Enterprises has been happening under the auspices of the National Framework Agreement: between government and enterprise management on the one hand and labour on the other.

  2. The bipartite negotiations have created different problems for COSATU specifically and the Alliance broadly.

    2.1 There has been limited information disclosed

    2.2 There has been an absence of an internal and coordinated Alliance consultation strategy.

    2.3 Ultimately, due to lack of regular briefs the federation as a whole, together with the Alliance partners, has not been able to respond to events timeously and appropriately.

  3. In line with other initiatives such as the Alliance Summits, meetings of Alliance Secretariat etc. COSATU should drive the establishment of Alliance sector syndicates.

  4. These syndicates should link the affiliates in a sector with an appropriate ANC subcommittee, ANC Ministers responsible for restructuring and Alliance and MDM formations. This will help to re-appropriate the restructuring and transformation initiatives that the government has unleashed so far. Also important, this will help the Alliance to review the restructuring processes and make necessary intervention. Important in this is that it will ensure an active Alliance consultation. In this way, the Alliance, especially the ANC will have a visible presence in the restructuring of the sectors. (SATAWU)

Option 2: Coordinating Council
  1. Each union to have a dedicated team to focus on restructuring issues.

  2. These sector teams should be responsible for policy making, training and capacity building and co-ordination within and between unions – especially where there are overlaps.

  3. At a federation level, there should be the co-ordination of the sector teams through the trade union restructuring coordinating council – bringing all the sector teams together.

  4. The work of the coordinating council will not only be to defend the existing strategic state assets but to look at how to extend and re-align existing state assets. e.g.

    4.1 Bringing the housing departments of the different parastatals which are being outsourced and privatised together as the basis of forming a housing parastatal

    4.2 Bringing Soekor and other Central Energy Fund companies, Autonet and Mossgas to establish a state-owned oil company.

  5. The trade union coordinating council needs to clarify the role of investment companies in the privatisation process as well as to establish guidelines.(NUMSA)

Defending the SABC as a public broadcaster

1. It our belief that the role of the SABC as a public broadcaster is under threat. According to the new Broadcasting Act , which was hurriedly piloted through parliament, the SABC is being corporatised. Services are being divided into public services and commercial arms. The latter will cross-subsidise the latter. The Minister has the power to veto the amount set aside by the board for cross subsidisation.

2. Besides the talk to privatise the commercial arm of the now separated SABC, the main difficulty will be how to keep the SABC financially viable. With the SABC now having to pay tax and a portion of its after-tax profit to the state as a dividend, the pressure will increase for the SABC to plough its revenue into its commercial arm. Already, SABC has been pushed into investing heavily in sales and marketing as away of attracting advertising.

3. Advertisers insist on using a language of their own choice, which in most cases is English. The 11-languages’ policy of the public broadcaster does not matter for the advertisers!

4. All these new measures have the potential to:

4.1 Undermine the mandate of the SABC as a public broadcaster.

4.2Threaten the viability of the 11-language policy.

4.3 Decrease the level of local content in programming and broadcasting lead to privatisation of SABC.

5. Given that our members cannot afford DSTV, MNET and all other private sources of information, it is vital that:

5.1 COSATU comes out clearly in defence of the SABC as a public broadcaster

5.2 COSATU should investigate the impact commercialisation may have on SABC and the CEC, on the basis of that report should step up an informed campaign in defence of the public mandate of the SABC.

6. In doing this investigation the federation should:

6.1 Meet with the new Minister of Telecommunication

6.2 Meet with the Board of the SABC

6.3 Link up with the campaign led by media and information organisations called "Save the public broadcaster" (NUMSA)

Reorganisation of local government
Making local government centers of democracy
  1. More powers and resources should be given to local government to strengthen and develop it for service delivery.

  2. Between now and the next election, the alliance must debate the relevance of Provincial Governments a opposed to Provincial Administrations.

  3. There should be direct representation and participation by structures outside government i.e. alliance and civic organisations.

  4. The formation of local ward forums/committees, which would include the broad community, should be incorporated in the Local Government Authority Act.

  5. Ward forums must elect/appoint ward executives that will interact with communities.

  6. Communities should be represented in ward committees and civil society forums.

  7. Councillors should get mandates from ward committees.

Municipal systems bill: Role of residents and rate payers in the formulation
  1. There should be public hearings.

  2. Proposals should arise from the community structures.

  3. An Alliance task team should be established to look at proposals and consolidate the recommendations.

Restructuring of boundaries
  1. The work of the municipality demarcation boards should be made transparent in order for the public to participate and there should be public hearings.

  2. COSATU should network with other organisations of civil society and an alliance task team set up to represent the alliance at the demarcation board.

Central government grants (Finances)
  1. Ward committees and residents should do needs analysis, draw-up budget allocations and direct the utilisation of the finances. Municipalities should provide technical assistance.

  2. The current phasing-in period is too long and must be shortened.

Accountability of councillors
  1. There should be continuous performance audit and monthly reports submitted by councillors to ward committees for mandate renewal

  2. Councillors with business interests should declare them.

  3. Civil society and wards should have a right to recall councillors who are under-performing.

Public private partnership
  1. COSATU CC should review the regulatory framework of 1998 to be in line with the stipulations of the NFA, especially those clauses that are not progressive.

  2. Municipality services should be made affordable.

  3. The tendering system should also consider the previously disadvantaged and should have a local content provision.

  4. We need to guard against individual enrichment under the guise of black empowerment.

Local government elections
  1. COSATU should participate in the government election list process.

  2. COSATU should support a ward-based candidate’s list.

  3. We need to evaluate the performance of councillors in the last five years of office before electing them.

  4. Electoral systems

  5. COSATU should continue to argue that representatives should be closer to the constituency where they are elected.

  6. There should be increased role and representation of ward councils over and above proportional representation. (NUMSA)

2. Meeting basic needs

Public Transport System
  1. COSATU believes that Access to public passenger transport is a basic human right.

  2. Every citizen must have transport access to work, commercial, educational and social activities. Such public passenger transport must be:

    1. Affordable

    2. Reliable

    3. Safe

    4. and environmentally friendly;

  3. Such passenger transport should be state owned.

  4. The targets set by the Government White Paper on Transport are correct i.e. no household should pay more than 10% of income on transport and 80% of all motorised trips should be by public transport.

  5. Some of the recent government initiatives in improving public passenger transport are to be welcomed, namely:

    1. Progress in regulating the taxi industry through the provision of incentives, and the ongoing efforts at resolving the violent conflicts in the industry;

    2. Proposed new legislation to give local and regional authorities powers in planning and co-ordinating public transport provision (The Land Transport Transitional Bill). (the problem lies with national policy. Greater powers in terms of planning and implementation to plan with workers and commuters in that area)

    3. The commitment expressed in the Department of Transport`s "Moving South Africa" Report to integrating different modes of public transport by developing through-ticketing for passengers;

    4. The government`s intention, stated in the "Moving South Africa" Report, to thoroughly investigate the public transport needs of rural people, as well as the public transport needs of passengers with disabilities;

    5. Progress made in beginning to address working conditions and training of taxi workers;

    6. That public passenger transport policy must be linked to an integrated transport policy to support all modes of transport.

  6. COSATU is however concerned that:

    1. The government`s implementation of the tendering system for bus companies is leading to cuts in employment and conditions of bus workers, as well the elimination of certain services. Many passengers have been stranded in the process;

    2. The notion of 10% of disposable income needs to be related to the subsidies which are given to bus companies, and there need to be clear policies on this;

    3. Recent announcements by the Johannesburg authorities that all bus journeys which are less than 50% full will be cancelled, will lead to a downward spiral of the overall levels of service in the city;

    4. Government proposals to concession out the operations of commuter rail services to private companies is likely to lead to job losses for railway workers as well as no guaranteed improvement of service. International experience has shown that concessioning of rail passenger transport often leads to shortages of certain categories of skilled labour (the UK), more breakdowns and accidents (Chile), and even greater cost to the government through subsidies (the UK, where subsidies are now double what they were)

  7. COSATU should run a high-profile public campaign for public transport that is safe, affordable, environmentally friendly and reliable;

  8. Such a campaign should include the demand for retaining public ownership of transport where it already exists (e.g. municipal bus services and commuter rail);

  9. The campaign should be led by the three COSATU affiliates directly involved in public transport - T&GWU, SATAWU, and SAMWU - but that all affiliates should be involved;

  10. In the course of the campaign COSATU local and regional structures should help to build community organisations in their areas. Where commuter organisations already exist, these should be brought into the campaign as allies;

  11. Relevant affiliates to establish a transport department, to deal with policy, research, and capacity building;

  12. In line with the Job Summit statement, a transport job summit should be convened as soon as possible;

  13. The federation should engage motor manufacturers on safety issues.

  14. Although the Department of Transport is bent on privatisation, we as the federation must insist on the need for an integrated public transport system

  15. Roads to be built for rural and remote areas

  16. Have legislation that will ensure where the NRA builds toll roads, good and well-maintained roads exist.

  17. Government not to phase out subsidies

  18. Free transport for pensioners, disabled and school children

  19. Nationalise all public transport (T&GWU, NUMSA)

  1. To realise what is in the manifesto on housing, a total overhaul of the housing policy is necessary. COSATU must therefore call for a transparent and participatory way of drafting a new Housing White Paper.

  2. The federation’s participation must be guided by the housing policy adopted in the inaugural Central Committee. COSATU must ensure that the new housing policy provides for different forms of housing – rental stock, housing co-ops and individual home ownership. In this system the possibility where after a period rental gets converted into ownership, must be emphasised. The policy must outline targets in terms of units that will be built. Housing parastatal and Housing Bank must be the corner stones of this new policy of the government.

  3. While the housing is being overhauled, as a federation this is what we should be calling for:

3.1 Presidential lead project to build 50 000 rental units, needs monitoring through NEDLAC;

3.2 Support the Peoples Housing Partnership were people build their own houses provided health safety standards are complied with ;

3.3 Encourage the idea of Housing Brigades

  1. To deal with the increasing prices of building material, the government should do the following:

4.1 Resort to bulk purchasing;

4.2 Negotiate with a manufacturing sector;

4.3 Introduce price controls or zero rate them;

4.4 Houses in the hands of the parastatals must be handed over to the people;

4.5 Subsidies to be indexed to inflation, particularly the increases in prices of land and building material;

4.6 Maintain institution such as the NHRBC which are there to ensure that builders who are involved in the provision of low-cost housing are registered;

4.7 Protocol for accessing houses should be developed by government to prevent favouritism;

  1. Unions should realise that however small, they can contribute to solving the housing crisis. This is how they can be involved:

5.1 Stop order to be negotiated for payment of rent

5.2 Pension and provident funds to be accessed for consolidate benefits

5.3 Union investment companies to invest in housing COSATU jointly with Alliance to revive the Masakhane campaign.

5.4 Land availability for housing can be treated in the following manner:

  • Land must be left in the hands of the GOVT and not sold to private developers ;and

  • Employer’s to contribute to the delivery of housing in a form of levy imposed by the government (NUMSA)

  1. Our country needs programs to transform our educational system at primary, secondary and tertiary educational levels to address the country’s socio-economic and political needs with added emphasis on science and technology in order to gain a competitive edge world-wide. Further need for the democratization of school governance, adult education and skills development

  2. Make basic education really free and make it possible for those that cannot afford not to pay school fees

  3. No further cuts on education budget

  4. More government involvement in ABET

  5. Redress should be made a National Competence issue.

  6. Speed up the process of attaining the teacher – pupil ratio of 1:40.

  7. Timeous delivery of equipment and stationery

  8. Capacity of those serving on governing bodies to be enhanced. The federation to assist.

  9. Paid time off for those who serve on these bodies.

  10. Police to assist in securing schools

  11. To campaign for the transformation of our education system at all levels with an emphasis on science and technology;

  12. To campaign for the democratisation of school governance, adult education and skills development.(NUM; NUMSA)

Social Security
  1. We reaffirm our position on the need for a comprehensive social security as contained in the ANC manifesto. Such a system will have a compulsory social insurance.

  2. The federation should therefore monitor the agreement to investigate the feasibility of a comprehensive social security system, as agreed in the Jobs Summit.

  3. As soon as the report is ready there should be a wide ranging discussion within the federation on the report, guided by the COSATU CC position on social security.

  4. While there are discussions on the feasibility of a comprehensive social security system:

4.1 All government departments should provide free services (electricity, water, food rations, transport and medical care) to the unemployed, aged and disabled;

4.2 Poor areas should receive priority and not just the middle income and rich suburbs;

4.3 Increase government contribution to the Unemployment Insurance Fund;

4.4 Campaign against budget cuts in welfare policy;

4.5 Labour to educate its members not to unnecessarily use their Retirement Fund money before retirement ; and

4.6 COSATU should investigate centralising all affiliate Funds (NUMSA)

3. Building the economy and creating jobs

  1. In last year’s Central Committee of the federation, a number of policies were adopted. There is no need to repeat them. The aim is to identify areas that are important for the coming period. Also crucial is to find ways of realising the proposals in the ANC manifesto.

  2. COSATU welcomes the statement in the ANC manifesto that asserts the interconnectedness of growth and development. We think that this is the vision that underpinned the RDP. As the ANC manifesto says, without development (meeting the basic needs, creating jobs and overcoming poverty) growth will be meaningless for the majority of our people. Equally true is the statement in the manifesto that development without growth will not be sustainable.

  3. As a federation we must continue to oppose the GEAR strategy, particularly its impact on social spending. Present and existing government economic policies dictate the opposite of what is in the ANC manifesto.

  4. While as a federation we must remain steadfast on our vision of the link between growth and development, the following are key strategic areas that the federation needs to intervene in:

  5. 4.1 Promotion of investments

    4.2 Monetary Policy

    4.3 Regulation of the financial sector

    4.4 Job creation

    4.5 Economic empowerment

  6. Programs on expansion of economic opportunities that will enable workers to take control of their lives and utilize grants or their accumulated pensions and provident funds to create wealth for themselves and begin to be entrepreneurs and owners of the means of production through the creation of small and medium-size enterprises and thereby improve the quality of life of the poor should be encouraged.

  7. Programs on transformation of state machinery and removal of apartheid barriers hampering economic growth and development and introduce better conditions for investment particularly in rural areas and other areas previously excluded from the economic mainstream.

  8. Equitable redistribution of the country`s resources should be the basic approach to macro-economic strategy of the government. This will ensure that the high concentration of the country`s wealth is redressed hence ensuring that poverty is eradicated;

  9. Discourage and oppose any form of neo-liberal approach in an attempt to resolve socio-economic problems. Experience shows that neo-liberal approach to socio-economic problems only benefits the capitalists while widening the poverty gap and unequal distribution of resources;

  10. The wage gap in the South African labour market still reflects the inequalities inflicted by the apartheid regime. Unless a more radical approach for the reversal of such imbalances are pressured upon the employers, inequalities in the South African labour market and the society will continue to exist. Also a call for social wage should be intensified;

  11. The congress should realise that there is a need to consolidate the achievements already gained and to mobilise other progressive forces both locally and internationally against reduced public expenditure on social services. The call for reduced government expenditure by international financial institutions should be viewed as a recipe for total collapse of service delivery;

  12. Strategic focus and call for greater investment on skills development and economic diversification should be viewed as a challenge. This is in the light of those economic sectors, which are sensitive to external market forces such as mining. They require that concrete and intensive skills development programmes are put in place to prepare for a smooth transition from declining economic activities to alternatives. Because things as they stand particularly in the gold mining industry, as the industry faces massive retrenchments, will require that socially responsible economic diversification approaches are introduced that will link with diversified skills created.

  13. As we build the economy these should be at the forefront of our campaigns and central to our strategy:

12.1 The Job Summit must be followed up by Sector Summits, and the federation must assist affiliates to come together and develop clear and realistic goals for these summits. In particular the federation must play a role in developing strategies in the "vulnerable sectors", where union organisation and capacity may not be adequate for such a challenge.

12.2 The commitment in the manifesto to retrenchments having to be subject to negotiation needs to be speedily made law. This will require a lot of work in NEDLAC, and in sectoral bargaining councils, where the discussions should be linked to the Summit discussions. The key issue must be the development of social plans, where every retrenchment situation is seen as an opportunity to develop alternative work, review investment plans and make plans for securing an expansion of jobs in the medium term.

12.3 Building the skills` base of the membership must be seen as a priority. The federation has a critical role to play in the delivery of this central part of government policy. A conference of stakeholders is needed to drive the process forward and speed up progress.

12.4 The building of houses, another key aspect of policy, could be the basis for a massive increase in skilled jobs. This can only be achieved if either a parastatal for public rental housing and support for self-building efforts by the poor. The continuing dependence on profit orientated, unskilled, exploitative firms, (with ever increasing costs and lowering of standards), must come to an end this year.

12.5 The issue of "economic empowerment" needs to be researched and thoroughly debated, so that a common approach and understanding can be developed. A set of criteria should be developed against which proposals can be judged. Given that privatisation and restructuring are seen as opportunities for economic empowerment, this is an urgent issue. The Alliance must not end up being responsible for a generation of failed businesses, businesses that have emerged from restructuring of what were previously secure jobs. (NUM, NUMSA,NEHAWU)

The role of investment companies in job creation
  1. A code of conduct be urgently developed for all officials and shop stewards in regard to financial and other gain in both investment companies and other areas of benefit structures involving unions.

  2. A policy-framework be developed to ensure job creation and fair labour standards be promoted as part of union investment strategies(SACTWU)

Fiscal policy
  1. We reaffirm our policies detailed in the inaugural Central Committee. We need to review COSATU’s withdrawal from participating in the public hearings organised by the portfolio committee on public finance. As a way of speeding up social delivery, COSATU leadership should participate in the budgetary process and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) should be re-negotiated at NEDLAC.

  2. We must reject the arbitrary setting of deficit targets which have an impact on service delivery;

  3. Call for an increase in social expenditure for the poor;

  4. Suggest on how to expand the tax base;

  5. Call for the restructuring of the present tax structure and an introduction of a progressive tax system – where no VAT will be charged on basic foodstuffs and requirements of the poor;

  6. Lay down suggestions on how to reduce the government debt burden;

  7. Call for a transparent budgetary process – giving scope both to parliament and civil society to influence the budgetary process;

  8. Propose a campaign if the proposals in the policy were not realised. (NUMSA)

  9. Start reforming the tax system. Where taxes are cut they should be cut to the poor. However the need to provide basic services and income to the poor will require increased revenue from taxes, and it is essential to get agreement about what constitutes progressive taxation – direct rather than indirect and based on ability to pay. (NEHAWU)

  10. Recognising the sensitivity around "punitive taxation levels", and the pressures that exist for the lowering of taxes to the "wealth creators", ways should be explored of linking short term tax rises to specific projects where consensus has been reached – i.e. to pay for additional police, to reduce class sizes in schools or to pay for public works projects. The fact is that if manifesto pledges are to be honoured more resources are needed and imaginative ways of raising money are required. (NEHAWU)

Reduction of government debt
  1. COSATU to continue with its campaign on the apartheid debt.

  2. Popularise the campaign amongst the poor.

  3. Follow up and intervene in the initiative to restructure the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). Intervention must be guided by COSATU Central Committee position to move from a "fully-funded" pension system to a "pay-as-you-go" system.

  4. A report on the restructuring of the GEPF and PIC be tabled at the October 1999 Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting

Human resource development
  1. Practical human resources programs be developed in line with the relevant legislation to develop and empower previously disadvantaged communities with specific target on women, disabled and children (NUM)

Coordination Of The Alliance Programme

  1. The staged approach to a common Alliance programme will require that we simultaneously develop clear plans of action for mobilisation of our mass constituency. The Alliance Summit Report (1997) notes that such a plans of action, "should be capable of organising and mobilising our constituency in ways that converge with what we are seeking to achieve in government". It also adds that mass mobilisation should not be narrowly equated with "marching in the streets".


  3. As we have noted before, the 1999 election campaign has provided us with valuable lessons for mass-driven programmes of the Alliance. In particular, we have learnt a great deal about the need for strong co-ordination, consultation and communication within the Federations and between Alliance formations. Mass-driven programmes require co-ordination, consultation and communication at national, provincial and local levels. It also requires greater coherence and co-ordination to various departments and activities.


  5. We need a strong Alliance Centre, to drive the Alliance programme of. Transformation. Such a Centre, occupied by the political leadership of Alliance, should be able to put into motion effective committees or tasks teams do deal with policy issues (e.g. preparation of Job Summits), but co-ordinates mass driven campaigns around a numbers of issues to support or complement government efforts at transformation. The previous Alliance Summit has proposed practical programme of action around the kind of mass-driven activities the Alliance could begin implement (see Programme on the Alliance, Unity in Action, October 1998, Alliance Summit Report) These are:


3.1 Achieving greater organisational co-ordination.

3.2 Organising for community safety and protection, including the safety of women and children, protection of school property, of community resources (like taps and electricity supply, etc) This can be organised through active participation in Chefs, neighbourhood watch schemes, establishing places of refuge and safety for women, etc. If agreed, each ANC/SACP branch and COSATU local should have this item on the agenda in their fortnightly meetings, report-backs on participation, progress made etc. should be given.

3.3 Schools Governance - our local-based formations should ensure that we are assuming much fuller responsibility for school governance again each branch/local should be required to report-back on involvement, problems, solutions.

3.4 Participation in other local based development/governance formations- including Hospital Boards, and Local Development Forums, Water Committees, etc.

3.5 Fostering township and village-based co-operative movements. Every township has stokvel and other co-operative savings schemes. How, as the alliance do we empower and assist such initiatives to be more than burial societies, and to play a more active developmental ands elf-empowering role? The host of new possibilities opened up by government policies - housing subsidies, public works programmes, the promotion of SMMEs, new co-operative/developmental approaches to welfare prevision, land reform and restitution, etc. need to be used actively to build local level, participatory and co-operative approaches to development. Again our branches/locals must be empowered to play an active, organising and facilitating role in all of this.

3.6 Defending marginal communities and people - as the alliance we need to be much more active in defending, for instance labour tenants on white farms. They now have greater legal occupancy rights, but these are being flouted in practice. Our grass roots organisations must be active in monitoring this and in defending people illegally evicted from farms.

  1. Other mass driven activities mentioned elsewhere in this Submission, such as HIV / AIDS, building a progressive unemployment/self-employed movement, taking up struggles against the banks` behaviour should become elements of such a programme.(NEHAWU)


  3. Meetings of the Alliance Secretariat and Officers should not just be informed by crisis that emerge but clear programme with focussed plans to monitor implementation progress of all agreements. This should not only focus at national level but at all levels. These structures should meet more often at fixed time tables. The Alliance Centres meeting at all levels should


5.1 Assess Alliance programme

5.2 Receive reports from the work of the MPs and other elected representatives

5.3 Mandate elected representation

  1. Consultation - Influencing policy on the selection of ministerial posts: Without necessarily re-visiting the ANC 1997 Mafikeng National Conference, there is a need for COSATU to have a role in the selection of Ministerial posts at all levels, especially in those ministries that will have a relationship with the labour movement as a whole. (NUM)

Mobilisation against centre right formations
  1. Many political commentators and analysts are agreed that the NNP, DP alliance in the Western Cape is an unholy one. Taking into consideration the DP’s almost ‘rooi-gevaar’ campaign last year, we can find it very difficult to escape the conclusion that the alliance is a re-grouping of whites versus blacks. If this conclusion is correct, then our dearly cherished vision of a non-racial South Africa is under tremendous threat.


  3. This threat is even confirmed by opposition to progress and continuation of injustices in the education allocations per pupil in the Western Cape as follows;


  5. The 1995/6 allocations in comparison to the Eastern Cape were as follows:

    Year National average Western Cape Eastern Cape
    1995 R100 R149,50 R79
    1996 R100 R160,40 R91


  6. The list of inequalities in the Western Cape is huge. However, the ‘unholy’ alliance aims to entrench these inequalities, thereby reversing the gains made by the ANC and the MDM as a whole.


  8. There should be an intensified effort by COSATU for mass mobilization and campaign against this centrist and right wing opposition that has excluded the ANC from partaking in governance of the Western Cape despite the majority support it commands.


  10. Furthermore, sensitize the masses about this formation to realize that it undermines and threatens our newly born democracy and intents to protect the white minority and undermine the majority of the population. (NUM)


Re-emergence of former apartheid "homeland’ leadership
  1. The ‘loss’ of both Mafikeng (North West) and Umtata (Eastern Cape) to Mangope and Holomisa respectively are some of the examples of the need for the political education, consolidation and mobilisation of our structures in all spheres of our society.


  3. COSATU develop a recruitment strategy and utilize its human resources to support the ANC in totally eliminating these re-emerging political parties and to popularize the ANC manifesto amongst all urban and rural communities to join the ANC (NUM)