Monday, July 27, 2015

SACP Congratulates COSATU for Its Successful Special National Congress
16 July 2015

The South African Communist Party (SACP) congratulates its ally, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on its successful Special National Congress held in difficult circumstances from 13 to 14 July 2015 at Midrand in Johannesburg. Despite a barrage of hostile commercial media commentary predicting (and hoping) that the Congress would be split down the middle, the Cosatu National Office Bearers, Central Executive Committee and the overwhelming majority of delegates once more demonstrated a firm resolve to build the unity of the federation and its affiliates in the face of an unremitting capitalist offensive.

The SACP reiterates its long standing conviction that Cosatu has the capacity, as an independent and militant democratic workers organisation and as part of our national liberation movement, to solve the problems that it encounters in the process of struggle. This is exactly what Cosatu`s Special National Congress has admirably demonstrated.

However, the battle to consolidate working class unity is not over. This is made apparent by today`s Business Day editorial ("Veneer of unity will soon crack"). Licking its wounds after the outcome of the Cosatu Special National Congress, the Business Day seeks to reassure its capitalist readership with some wishful thinking that a "United Front" will still "evolve into a new workerist opposition party, that Mr Vavi will end up leading a new labour federation that will go head-to-head with Cosatu, that the SACP`s credibility as a champion of the poor and oppressed will be well and truly shattered, and that the ANC`s policy paralysis will remain firmly in place."

So who is the champion of the splitters? Who are the cheer-leaders on the side-lines? And what were Zwelinzima Vavi and Irvin Jim doing in the US on the eve of the Cosatu SNC? Vavi and Jim should know that the adulation they currently receive from capitalist and imperialist quarters will last just so long as they serve an anti-worker divisive purpose.

This adulation is in sharp contrast to the most disgraceful personal insults to which Cosatu president, Comrade Sidumo Dlamini, a qualified male nurse, has been subjected over many months. Last year the EFF`s Dali Mpofu tweeted that Cosatu was dying "at the hands of a nursing sister". In the past days, some commercial newspapers have published readers` letters repeating the same deeply sexist and anti-socialist views, evoking the reactionary assumption that public sector health-care work is not befitting of "real men", and is not even "real work".

We commend Comrade Dlamini, the National Office Bearers and Central Executive Committee of Cosatu for not allowing themselves to be distracted by these insults. In particular, we welcome the unanimously adopted Congress declaration, and the calm, unifying and non-triumphalist manner in which Comrade Dlamini closed the Special National Congress. Amongst other things he clearly indicated that the door is not closed to NUMSA re-joining Cosatu. The ball is in the court of NUMSA`s membership. By refusing to adhere to the founding principle of Cosatu, by unilaterally and unapologetically cannibalising membership from other affiliates, NUMSA`s leadership clique deliberately engineered a self-expulsion of the union from the federation. Adherence to the constitutional principles of Cosatu and the motivation, if needs be, for organisational reforms (organising along value chains, for instance) in a non-sectarian way can open the way for a return of NUMSA to the fold.

Critical to re-building the dynamic strength of the federation and its affiliates is service to members in the work place, democratic worker control, effective mandating and answerability of officials, an end to cults of personality and the affirmation of collective leadership. Cosatu`s historic strength has also been grounded in its campaigning ability, in the context of the Alliance, to take up wider social issues that affect not just the formally employed, but the broadest array of popular forces - the un- and under-employed, the casualised, those in vulnerable sectors, and middle strata plunged into crippling debt. The Special National Congress re-affirmed its commitment to all of these perspectives.

Let us close ranks to defeat opportunism!

Let us close ranks to take forward a decisive advance of a second, radical phase of the national democratic revolution!

Issued by the SACP

For general enquiries about SACP statements

Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo - National Spokesperson, Head of Communications
Mobile: 082 9200 308
Office: 011 339 3621/2
Twitter: @2SACP

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