Thursday, August 18, 2016

COSATU Statement on the Formation of Municipal Coalitions
18 August 2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the formation of an anti- ANC alliance by opposition parties that was sealed by the signing of coalition agreements in some of the hung metropolitan municipalities. The federation is not at all surprised by these latest developments but is concerned that the working class will be the biggest losers in all of this, because these coalitions are based on the resentment towards the ANC and the settling of political and personal scores. They are not based on rational political behaviour, commitment to service delivery or policy principles.

While these coalition agreements are perfectly permissible , it's always worrying to have secretive back-room negotiations, by politicians , from which the public is excluded. This undermines accountability, and is likely to create instability in affected municipalities and also compromise service delivery. Most of these parties are using this process for their narrow political interests. This will , regrettably ,also leave the country with big and strategic municipalities that cannot take a long term view, with regard to their work because the leadership does not have a clear mandate from the people and they are also not accountable.

COSATU reject the EFF's flimsy attempts to camouflage their ideological surrender as some sort of principled prudence based on sound tactical and political calculations. The reality is that theirs is a coalition with a racist party of bosses. Their endorsement and support of the DA, amounts to an endorsement of economic corporatism that the DA represents.

The EFF's capitulation has justified the accusation that they use the left rhetoric to deceive and confuse the desperate and unsuspecting members of the public. The DA is not a liberal or a centrist party but it is a rightwing party that is dominated by apartheid sympathisers. Their leadership views black people as refugees and idiots as evidenced by some of their public pronouncements. They also consider workers to be a tolerable nuisance that is there to provide them with cheap labour.

It is both insincere and naive , of the EFF , to believe that they can secure any concessions or guarantees for the poor majority ;from a party that is full of racial bigots and that has shown such utter disdain for the workers and poor. Like Agang before them ,their flirtation will end up in tears. If this coalition or "understanding" between the EFF and the DA is to survive one of them will have to compromise with their ideologies and ethics and its unlikely to be the DA.

COSATU wants to warn the DA and its newly acquired friends and sympathisers that they will receive firm resistance from the workers if they attempt to reverse transformation and victimise workers. We will not allow them to privatise local government and hand it over to their elite funders. The ANC and the Alliance need to strengthen their local structures and make sure that they mobilise communities in order to hold this unholy alliance accountable. We shall work to ensure that there is people centred development in all communities and that the poor are not forgotten.

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

No comments: