Wednesday, September 14, 2016

COSATU KZN PEC Media Statement
12 September 2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in KZN held its scheduled Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting on the 8th and 9th of September 2016 at Lavita Hotel in Durban to make an assessment on the political, socio-economic, organizational work and to resolve on the decisive Programme of Action to be embarked on in taking forward the struggle of workers. This PEC of our glorious Federation takes place against the backdrop of a very fluid political environment in our province, and elsewhere in the country as well as beyond our shores. However, we are reminded about the COSATU National Congress theme “Building unity and cohesion in advancing the National Democratic Revolution” which remains critical and fundamental in our daily lives as workers in the quest to free workers from the capitalist bondages and ongoing exploitation. We reaffirm that we should close ranks and jealously defend our Federation with its affiliates.

We have observed the political thuggery manifesting itself in a form of the vulgarization and manipulation of democratic processes of which it seems to be the order of the day as the forces of reactionaries advance their unholy capitalist accumulation agenda. Our own country and revolution is not immune to this liberal onslaught. The PEC reflected on all these matters and their impact on our members in particular and workers in general and we came to a conclusive view that while we have made advances in driving our Socialist project, much still needs to be done in pursuit of our noble cause of the emancipation of the wretched of the earth; the creators of wealth and owners of nothing.

On Local Government Elections

The PEC received a detailed report on the outcomes of the recent Local Government Elections, especially as it relates to the performance of our strategic ally the African National Congress. Of concern to the PEC was the fact that while the ANC has generally performed well, the undisputed fact is that the performance has taken a knock compared to the previous elections. It is our considered view that this state of affairs is as a result of the anger of the ANC voters against what they have been observing as the naked manipulation of democratic processes, vulgarization of popular mandate and utter disdain for the choices that the masses of our people make when selecting councillor candidates.

All these things have been discussed in many meetings of the Alliance, and in many platforms at all levels. It is with this in mind that we come to a conclusion that the core message of the electorate is quite clear; “Don’t take us for granted”, “Don’t be arrogance to us”, “Don’t marginalise us while being preoccupied with your own internal factional battles, your list processes, your personality and money driven rivalries”. The PEC says as a revolutionary and progressive movement we will listen to our people. In light of the foregoing, we will continue to work with or within our revolutionary Alliance in advancing our national democratic revolution in pursuit for socialism.

We are not surprised that the EFF has decided to vote with the DA but we are disappointed that they decided to be part of reversing all the gains of workers.

7th of October Decent Work Day

COSATU will paint the whole country red on the 7th October 2016, launching an offensive and continuing to advance the struggle for the banning of Labour Brokers, Scrapping of the e-tolling system including the expensive toll gates, fight to protect our jobs, fight for the National minimum wage, fight to protect collective agreements, fight for proper Office Health standards, for NHI and fight for the scraping of the taxation amendment law.

Fight against Corruption

Corruption is the rot that we don’t need in our society, particularly as workers. We view it as cancer that is slowly eating our society away and it must be drastically eradicated. We should name, expose and shame them without fear and prejudice. The Provincial Executive Committee gives a firm mandate that a Program of Action must be developed to brutally confront this cancer with the view to radically uproot it. This we commit to do not only because we want to uphold our revolutionary morality but also because we know only too well that often these corruption networks and cartels live directly off the blood of the workers like vampires. We know only too well that the corruption networks are consistent conspirators who are hell-bent on trampling on the interests and aspirations of the workers in particular and the working class in general. This we shall do as part of taking responsibility for the National Democratic Revolution. Our fight against corruption is also about advancing economic transformation in all sectors of the economy. In this regard we are irritated by such practices as the cost-cutting measures that are always targeting workers in the form of the non-filling of funded vacant posts in the public service, postponement of the payment of workers’ performance bonuses. Other irritating practices linked to the legacy of Apartheid super exploitation are the government programmes such as EPWP. We have observed that some of these exploitative practices have resulted in enriching such big private companies as Working on Fire which pockets large sums of money at the expense of these poor workers.

We want to send a clear message to those who are coming in government as public representatives that we are not going to tolerate any corrupt activities and maladministration in the municipalities.

On FAWU Exit

The Provincial Executive Committee took some time making an assessment of the possible meaning of the recent decision by FAWU to disaffiliate from the federation. It is the firm view of the KZN PEC that this is certainly NOT a decision of the rank and file membership of the Food and Allied Workers Union but a decision systemically imposed by the leadership clique which has been engaged in the political machinations working with the narrow disgruntled and militant abstentions clique which unsuccessfully attempted to take COSATU down the anarcho-syndicalism path. When this clique of populist demagogues dismally failed in its discredited attempt which was rejected with the contempt it deserves both by the July Special National Congress and the 12th National Congress. Members repudiated the destructive path of populist adventure at the expense of the interests and aspirations of the workers.

As a direct response to this dismal failure of the populist project, its protagonists then started a new project of trying to destroy COSATU as we know it and replace it with a new federation that will lead the adventurous populist path. The unfortunate decision imposed on Congress delegates by the leadership clique of FAWU is part of this project. Of even greater concern to us is the knowledge that FAWU leadership clique, as part of engineering the manipulation of democratic processes to deliver their desired outcome, had rushed to disband the second biggest Province namely, KZN on the eve of the National Congress. We remain convinced that the rank and file members of FAWU are not interested in leaving their federation, which they have sacrificed so much to build. We will work with members of this giant union of Brian Bunting to find the best way forward in light of this unfortunate decision. This means that, we will continue to service them and waiting for the national leadership to guide us moving forward in so far as the status of the decision taken by FAWU.


The PEC welcomes and is elated about the gesture World Federation of Trade Unions to convene its 17th World Congress for the first on the African soil in our own Province from the 5th to the 7th of October 2016 in Durban. This Congress will be followed by the 71st Anniversary Rally on the 8th October 2016. We encourage all the workers and their families as well as communities to attend in their numbers. The Rally will start with the march from ICC in the morning of the 8th of October ending with a Rally in Curries Fountain.


The PEC further concluded that our ongoing work is to build strong and vibrant affiliates in making sure that COSATU remains strong. We further agreed that the leadership of COSATU should act decisively in order to put an end to this debilitating state of internal instability. The gallant federation should do so what it has to do and it must do it without any fear or favour. We will continue to give an undivided support to those unions who are fighting at all costs across sectors in defence of their members against the ongoing exploitation and onslaught of workers by Capital on daily basis.

For more information
Edwin Mkhize
082 399 7756/076 522 8839

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