Monday, August 08, 2016

COSATU Statement on the 2016 Local Government Election Results
7 August 2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions salutes the millions of workers and communities that came out to vote for the African National Congress {ANC} in the 2016 Local Government Elections. We congratulate the ANC for remaining the foremost choice and trusted political party by most South Africans. We applaud the sterling work that was done by all those workers, activists and volunteers, who put in long hours and canvassed for votes in all corners of the country for the ANC. The federation also salutes the IEC and all its workers for a job well-done and for making the country proud and our democracy stronger.

The federation has noted with unease and disappointment that the ANC’s share of the national vote has decreased dramatically ,during these past elections. We also find it lamentable that the movement has failed to hold on to some the big Metropolitan Municipalities across the country.

While these are disheartening developments, it would be insincere to pretend that there were no visible signs of a gradual decline of our movement. The narrow focus on internal factional battles, the corruption scandals and the growing distance from the people have gradually eroded its high moral ground and weakened its political capacity and that of its leadership. This declining prestige has obviously undermined and compromised the ANC from playing its historical role of leading society.

The elections also took place in the midst of a stagnant economy with high unemployment, poverty and inequalities. Some of our people have also been left torn apart and disappointed by the scale of corruption and some of the service delivery failures.

COSATU believes that these below par election results should provide the revolutionary alliance with plenty of food for thought. There is a need for deep reflection and analysis of the outcomes of this past electoral contest, especially on what they represent and mean for the revolution. The ANC need to go back to the people of South Africa and embark on a listening campaign that will include doing something drastic to kick-start the economy that has alienated many people, ban labour brokers that have created the underclass of the working poor ;and also doing away with the universally rejected e-tolls in Gauteng. This is no time to wallow is self pity and allow demoralisation or frustrations to sidetrack us because at this juncture ,we are all called upon to defend our revolution.

We shall use the upcoming Central Executive Committee meeting to assess and do a deeper analysis of these election outcomes. The federation is calling on all the MDM structures across the board to show that they are equal to the task by being frank and honest with themselves about the state of the movement and the revolution. The time has arrived to deal decisively with the factional battles that have paralysed the movement and the alliance. These election results have shown the irrationality and dangers of gate keeping, factionalism and the narrow political battles because they have opened a space and allowed white monopoly capital and their agents like the DA, to tighten their grip on the country’s economic and political setting.

COSATU is calling on workers to be ready for battles ahead after these elections because any DA led municipality, means misery and exploitation for the workers. The DA’s anti-worker and anti union policies means that they will unleash a war against the workers. This means that we need to work hard on building the unity of the workers across the board and on overcoming our sectarian differences.

The federation shall expedite the formulation of its medium-term strategic vision and plan that will help provide us with a cohesive framework on what needs to be done on all fronts. We all need to adopt a new political approach to stop our revolution from being permanently derailed.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct 010 219-1339
Mobile: 060 975 6794

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