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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements


17 October 1998

The Central Executive Committee met in its normal session on the 13 - 15 October 1998. The CEC is meets twice per annum; this was the last CEC for the year. As usual it evaluated the year and concretised plans for the coming year. In the process of doing so a number of decisions were taken some of which are listed below:

1. Presidential Job Summit

The CEC received a detailed report from the negotiators on the preparations for the Presidential Job Summit. The CEC noted areas of tentative agreements that includes a need for rented housing stock, youth brigades, some financing mechanisms, industrial summits, social plan, etc. In a number of areas, agreements are still to be reached, this includes the a broad statement on macroeconomic policy for sustainable job creation, tariffs, amendments on the LRA to make retrenchment a negotiations matter instead of the current situation where unions and workers are merely consulted and use of prescribed investment to leverage resources for housing and infrastructure. These issues will now be presented to the Alliance meetings that are taking place from the 18 October 1998. Negotiations are still to be concluded in a number of areas as well including areas where tentative agreements has been reached. COSATU is unable at this stage to pronounce on whether the Job Summit is going to be a resounding success or not. A clear package has not emerged yet. We however believe that progress has been made in a number of areas in particular in the bilaterals between labour and government.

The CEC discussed the call made by labour on the need for organised labour and the rest of the society to make contributions in the form of the one day output of the economy for job creation programmes. COSATU will now propose to other labour federations that we identify a day in February 1999 for this contribution. The actual day will be announced by labour in the job summit. COSATU will propose that the contribution be during a normal working day, that the details of the practicalities of how legally the money will be contributed by workers and companies and or individuals including mechanisms of control has to be worked out by date of the Job Summit.

2. Restructuring of Municipalities for Service Delivery

The CEC broadly endorsed the draft framework on the restructuring of municipal service provision negotiated between COSATU, SALGA and the Department of Constitutional Development and Local Government. The proposal contains a restructuring framework that includes the objectives, processes that must be followed, principles of service delivery and the establishment of the sectoral Forum in line with the principles of the National Framework Agreement of labour and government on the restructuring of the state parastatals. The framework will also regulate the involvement of the private sector in service delivery only in those instances where the capacity of the state to deliver such services is limited. COSATU will insist that both the Nelspruit and Dolphin Coast contracts on the involvement in water provision be strictly tested against the framework.

3. Campaigns and building organisation

The marches planned for the 24 October 1994 to protest against high unemployment and high interest rates will not go ahead. This is due to logistical difficulties in that the Alliance Summit will take place on the same day. COSATU will however still continue after the Job Summit with protest action against high interest rate regime of the Reserve Bank and commercial banks. In the meantime COSATU is continuing to build a coalition of organisations opposed to the high interest rates. In this regard a number of organisations have committed themselves to participate in demonstrations and other forms of actions against these high interest rates. The actual date on when this programme will commence was left on the coalition to decide.

Equally the campaign against demutualisation of Sanlam and Old Mutual will continue. This include a possible court challenge that we are considering the unfair voting procedure which afford one vote for a group policy with thousands of members and other issues relating to the procedure followed.

The CEC received a report from a task team under the leadership of the Deputy General Secretary that investigated measures COSATU must take to strengthen the organisation of farm workers and SAAPAWU. The recommendations were accepted and are now going to be presented to the SAAPAWU National Executive Committee in November 1998 for consideration and action.

4. Political and Elections

Discussion were held in preparation for both the meeting of the National Office Bearers of the Alliance that will take place on the 18 October and the Alliance Summit to take place on the 24 October 1998. The CEC considered all issues these meetings will deal with, such as the macroeconomic policy, state transformation and organisational state of the alliance. COSATU shall make constructive contributions at these meetings.

The COSATU's campaign for a decisive victory for the ANC and the Alliance in the coming 1999 elections has begun. COSATU emphasized that little resources and time should be spent on mass rallies in the coming months. The most effective way of campaigning and of convincing undecided voters is a door to door campaign. COSATU regional shop stewards council meetings that will take place on the 17 October 1998 will take forward the current phase of the campaign and concretise the plans for the next phase which is the door to door campaign.

Nowetu Mpati COSATU Head of Communications

Tel: + 27 + 11 + 339-4911 Fax: + 27 + 11 + 339-2281 E-mail: nowetu@cosatu.org.za