Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dlamini Denies Isolation Claims in COSATU
Tuesday 30 May 2017 20:35
Mbongeni Muthwa
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)

There have been widespread reports that Sdumo Dlamini now finds himself isolated in the federation.

Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini has denied that he is now isolated in the labour federation because he holds different views when it comes to President Jacob Zuma and Cosatu's choice for his successor.

Dlamini is a staunch Zuma ally but Cosatu has decided that it wants President Zuma to step down immediately and be succeeded by Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC Elective conference in December.

Giving the opening address to the Cosatu Central Committee gathering, Dlamini appeared to make no remarks of Cosatu's official position regarding President Zuma nor the federation's backing of Cyril Ramaphosa as the next ANC President.

That infuriated delegates and Cosatu's National Office Bearers alike prompting some of members to call him to order. But Dlamini is downplaying the incident.

There have been widespread reports that Dlamini now finds himself isolated in the federation. However Dlamini says that's not the case but his fellow Cosatu leaders are a united force.

Delegates have begun breaking into commissions to discuss burning issues facing the federation.

Key among them is how to recruit new members and rebuild Cosatu into a formidable labour force it once was.
SACP Message to Cosatu Central Committee: Deepen Relations Between SACP and COSATU Delivered by Cde Blade Nzimande, Party General Secretary
29 May 2017, Tshwane

The SACP wishes to take this opportunity to wish this 6th Central Committee of COSATU successful deliberations.

Our message today to this gathering is divided into five parts:

Current and immediate challenges facing our revolution
Progress, achievements and weaknesses since 2009
The centrality of driving a second, more radical phase of our transition
Necessity to solidify relationship between SACP and COSATU and necessity to reconfigure our Alliance

Some of the tasks facing the SACP 14th Congress

1. Current and immediate challenges facing our revolution

Cde President and delegates, it would be disingenuous or untruthful for the SACP not to admit upfront that our revolution and the liberation movement as a whole are facing enormous threats and challenges at the present moment. Failure to overcome this may actually lead to a serious reversal if not defeat of all we have achieved, especially since the 1994 democratic breakthrough. It is for this reason that we must take to heart, what Cde Oliver Tambo - in this year of his centenary - said on 2 May 1984 at the Solomon Mahlangu College in Tanzania: "Let's tell the truth to ourselves even if the truth coincides with what the enemy is saying. Let us tell the truth". It is important to remind ourselves of these pearls of wisdom from those who came before us also in order to expose those who always accuse us of working with the enemy whenever we tell the truth about the weaknesses in our movement. Their aim is to silence us. Let us refuse to be blackmailed into silence so that our revolution can be saved.

Whilst monopoly capital remains our strategic enemy, but the most immediate threat facing our revolution are the parasitic networks encircling the state and our economy, at centre of which is the Gupta family working with some of the most senior comrades in our movement and the state.

Sometimes our detractors say but why is the SACP fighting these parasitic networks but not monopoly capital. But this is a lie! Since our formation in 1921 our primary struggle has been against both national oppression and its economic foundations based on especially mining capital. Since 2000 we have waged a heroic struggle for the transformation and diversification of the financial sector, including the banks.

We have sometimes been accused why the pre-occupation with the Gupta family. This is another lie! When the Kebbles tried to capture some of our comrades in the ANC Youth League, we stood firm as the SACP. Till today we say no to Kebbleism, Guptarisation or any other form of capture of our movement or the state. Even here, working with COSATU we have said no to business unionism - the capture of progressive trade unions by business interests. We also want this Central Committee to stand up with us and say no to corporate capture of our organisations, our movement and the state!

The fifth democratic administration, and particularly since December 2015, has seen the dramatic destabilisation of the pre-existing, but always unstable, post-Polokwane relative co-relation of forces within the ANC and government. Essentially this has been the result of a more determined, more reckless, but relatively well coordinated, and well-resourced drive by a networked parasitic-patronage faction connected to the narrow BEE tendency and actively supported from the highest echelons of the ANC and state.

Since 2014 we have seen a greater boldness and recklessness from this networked tendency, associated with:

Accelerated rent-seeking activities based on state capture
Increasing signs of a parallel shadow state and parallel movement
Creeping authoritarianism and ambitions for a more presidential system; and
An attempt at developing a pseudo-radical, populist ideological platform to cover for these activities.
Accelerated rent-seeking based on state capture

This networked parasitic patronage faction is held together by the plundering of public resources, rent-seeking activities that have focused considerably on parasitic relations with SOCs - not to privatise these entities, but to milk them and direct their billions of rands of procurement into private corporate and even individual pockets. Some of the current parasitism is directed at building war-chests to subvert the ANC's December 2017 national conference.

In the late 1990s, together with COSATU, we fought a relatively successful battle to stop attempts at privatisation of many state owned companies. However, this victory is now being stolen by the parasitic elements who want to use state owned enterprises not to drive a developmental, job-creating agenda, but to capture the tenders and procurement books of SoCs. This must be a lesson that we must always guard our victories closely so that they continue to serve the workers and poor of our country.

A parallel shadow state and movement

In order to advance this agenda, but also to deal defensively with the growing exposure and popular outcry against it, there has been brazen abuse of the presidential deployment prerogative into sensitive institutions (SARS, SSA), and particularly into institutions  involved in criminal investigation and prosecution - NPA, Hawks. However, while these deployments have delayed, or buried critical investigations and prosecutions, the calibre of those deployed and the resulting inner factional turmoil (for instance in SSA or SARS) has further deepened the crisis. With obvious presidential support, a parallel state has developed - SARS, the Hawks, the NPA are unleashed against Treasury; a rogue unit in SSA is launched as a factional arm within the ANC and ANC-led movement. On the policy front, shadowy presidential and ministerial advisers from outside of the state and even the movement are brought in and act parallel to constitutional structures in the university crisis, on the SASSA matter, on nuclear policy, etc.

Growing authoritarianism

Linked to all of the above are growing inclinations to authoritarianism and presidentialism.  Nostalgia for military-style, top-down command and control is openly expressed. It is important that we remind ourselves that states that are captured, especially when there is resistance to that, quickly degenerate into securocrat, if not authoritarian states.

If opposition to Mbeki at the 2007 Polokwane Conference was centred on the struggle against over-centralisation within the Presidency, we are clearly now in a much worse situation. Imperialist conspiracies, regime change threats are invoked in order to justify this dangerous drift. Assassinations of ANC and alliance cadres often go unsolved, and an emerging pattern of intimidation is apparent (most recently the theft at the Constitutional Court offices; and threatening behaviour at the former Social Development DG's private residence, etc). There is an attempt to emulate a Putin style, authoritarian, low-intensity democracy, with meetings reported between this faction and their counterparts in Russia.

However, both the sometimes amateurish calibre of state/ANC elements involved in these activities, as well as the broader socio-political-constitutional setting in SA (a stronger independent media, growing judicial confidence in holding the line, a powerful monopoly capitalist sector, and still relatively strong trade unions) often result in the early exposure of these activities, which does not make them any less sinister. What it does underline is that South African "civil society" has a much greater depth and resilience, whether from the capitalist or popular sectors, than Mugabe's Zimbabwe or Putin's Russia.

All these developments underline the importance and absolute necessity for the labour movement to stand up to defend our gains and our revolution. If workers become spectators we really run the danger of descending into a mafia state.

A diversionary populist ideological platform

In the face of growing public exposure of the misdeeds of the parasitic networks within or movement and the state, there have been a number of ideological interventions from this parasitic-patronage faction.

On the one hand, these have involved setting up (or attempting to suborn existing) ideological apparatuses - the SABC under Hlaudi; The New Age (whose "business model", like most Gupta-operations, consists in funding through parasitism on SOCs, the SABC, and endless advertorials from the some factions in the ANC); and the recent Bell-Pottinger operation, using  social media with "fake bloggers" and "Twitter bots", linked to pop-up "think tanks", like Andile Mngxitama's "Black First, Land First", and Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi's "Decolonisation Foundation", etc.

Generally, the stance of the parasitic-patronage network has been a populist anti-intellectualism ("clever blacks" are disparaged.) For the first time in many decades, the ANC no longer has a journal of ideological discussion and debate.

However, over the past several months there has been an attempt to craft a more coherent ideological platform, evoking black and particularly narrow African nationalist themes and the notion of "radical economic transformation" (in the process narrowing the until recently forgotten Mangaung resolution calling for a "radical second phase of the NDR"). This move seems in large part to have been motivated by the hugely negative impact on the parasitic-patronage network of the growing revelations of their subordination to and complicity with the Gupta-family.

The Gupta connection clearly has zero positive resonance either with the mass base, or even with the many local aspirant rentier factions who resent the favouritism bestowed upon (or extracted by?) the Guptas. (See Jimmy Manyi's forced resignation from an official position within the Black Business Council because of his too close association with the Guptas.)

Ironically, given its attempt to cast itself in radical Africanist terms, much of the content and narrative for this ideological platform appears to have been developed by the UK-based PR firm, Bell-Pottinger, working on behalf of the Guptas. This Guptas' propaganda machinery has sought to portray the multiple revelations of wrong-doing on their part, and the belated closing of their banking accounts, as a conspiracy directed against them by "white monopoly capital" working in tandem with Treasury. (Of course, since this did not square with the narrative, there was silence from these quarters when in February 2017 the Chinese Central Bank also shut down the accounts of a Gupta-related company, VR Laser Asia involved in a dodgy deal with Denel.)

The latest emails revealed publicly for the first time yesterday, if aunthentic, reveal the extent and depth of these parasitic patronage networks, and action needs to be taken to go to the depth of this. They in fact underline the importance and urgency of a judicial commission of enquiry, that the SACP was the first organisation to call for, to be set up as a matter of urgency.

Over the past several months this parasitic-patronage faction has sought to re-calibrate its public positioning somewhat. While the Gupta family (and the networks left behind by its erstwhile Bell-Pottinger PR agency) clearly lurk in the background in many cases, there has been an attempt to downplay links in this direction and adopt a more radical sounding, Africanist posture. However, "radical", in these quarters, is largely rhetorical and is almost entirely focused on advancing narrow black elite accumulation.

The danger posed by these parasitic networks require bold and militant worker organisation led by COSATU, but working with other progressive worker organisations and federations, as well as with the rest of working class communities. Parasites are not an answer to monopoly capital, just as black monopoly capital is no answer to white monopoly capital. It is important that at this stage we remind ourselves of what the Morogoro Strategy and Tactics said in 1969 on this matter in particular:

"We do not underestimate the complexities which will face a people's government during the transformation period nor the enormity of the problems of meeting the economic needs of the mass of the oppressed people. But one thing is certain - in our land this cannot be effectively tackled unless the basic wealth and the basic resources are at the disposal of the people as a whole and are not manipulated by sections of individuals be they White or Black".

2. Progress, achievements and obstacles since 2009

The inauguration of the first Zuma administration in 2009, after the significant Polokwane outcomes at the ANC Conference, happened in the wake of two important realities. Firstly, it was inaugurated immediately after the onset of the 2008 global financial meltdown occasioned by the financial crashes in the United States, thus throwing the global economy into a serious downturn. This happened after just over a decade of the implementation of our own neo-liberal package, GEAR, which both the SACP and COSATU had vigorously opposed.

Despite the serious obstacles outlined above the first Zuma administration did make some qualitative advances in changing the lives of our people for the better between 2009 and 2014.

After 1994 there were consistent efforts from within the ANC and ANC-led movement to counter the the "1996 class project" as the SACP dubbed it. These efforts came to a head in the "Polokwane" conjuncture of 2007/8. One of the organising perspectives of the upheaval that occurred at this point was the assertion that the "ANC (or the Alliance, in another version) is the strategic political centre" - and, not, therefore the state-presidency as Mbeki's technicist approach had sought to locate it. At face value, and for many, this assertion of the strategic primacy of the ANC-led movement represented an attempt to reassert the democratic and mass-based, movement character of the ANC and its alliance.

However, in practice the Polokwane moment involved a marriage of convenience (or, perhaps, an unholy alliance) of the broad left, anti-neoliberal bloc with demagogic forces for whom the assertion of the ANC as the strategic political centre was a move to displace incumbents in the state with their own, in order to advance an even more aggressive parasitic, rent-seeking agenda. These latter forces identified patronage-based mobilisation within the ANC as the soft underbelly from which to capture strategic positions within the state to advance their parasitic agenda.

In the first Zuma administration (2009-14) there was a relative balance of forces between the divergent agendas that had come together in a marriage of convenience at Polokwane. In some sectors (health with a major shift on AIDS, trade and industrial policy, state-led infrastructure spend, recalibrating competition policy as a means to leverage economic transformation, a greater emphasis on vocational training, etc.) space was opened up for progressive advances, including developing a better working relationship between the state and social movements (the social movement campaign for anti-retroviral treatment being the most obvious case).

There were also other important advances in the significant increases in social grants, increased numbers involved in public employment programmes, increase in RDP houses. But at the same time there was not enough resources invested for instance into the industrial policy action plans. In essence these measures never translated into radical transformation and change in the semi-colonial nature of our economy.

Furthermore, in terms of sustaining and re-building the ANC-led movement's capacity to mobilise the key motive forces, these and other positives in state deployment, coincided with the weakening of COSATU, partly as a result of the global economic downturn and resultant retrenchments. There was also a loss of momentum on the SACP side in terms of active working class and popular mobilisation (a failure to sustain a very successful financial sector campaign for instance).  Deployment advances in some sectors noted above, however, were always (and surely deliberately) held in check by other deployments in the 2009/14 administration.

Internal political weaknesses in the ANC are particularly glaring. Factionalism and state capture have unfortunately created an internal stalemate in leadership, with an ANC NEC incapable of leading itself and the rest of the Alliance out of this quagmire. Internal stalemates are particularly dangerous in political organisations as their resolution often lead to massive internal destabilisation and often decay.

3. Building working class power to drive a second more radical phase of our national democratic revolution

Ours is a struggle for a socialist South Africa. Whatever we do must always be guided by our overall strategic goal, that the working class must never lose sight of. It is only a highly mobilised and militant working class, with the SACP as its vanguard, that is best placed to lead the struggle for socialism.

After a prolonged revolutionary struggle, the 1994 democratic breakthrough in South Africa finally abolished the institutions of white minority rule with their origins in centuries of colonial domination. This radical rupture laid the basis for a democratic dispensation within a progressive, non-racial constitutional order.

Since 1994, the SACP has been actively campaigning for a new push, a second radical phase of the struggle to advance and deepen the national democratic revolution (NDR), on the basis of the bridgehead of the 1994 democratic breakthrough.

We have consistently argued that without urgently opening up this new front of struggle, without an uninterrupted second radical advance, the gains of the first phase would be threatened; the liberation credentials of the ANC-led movement could be increasingly eroded as memory of the anti-apartheid struggle receded; popular power might be dissipated into passive expectation of state delivery, or individualistic consumerism, or, at best, fragmented into thousands of localised and sectoral protest actions. Any undue pause, we have further argued, would allow South African monopoly capital, historically sheltered behind colonial and white minority rule, to re-group. All of these likely tendencies, we said, would leave the structural legacy of apartheid colonialism and the socio-economic crises affecting the majority of South Africans largely intact.

In 2017 it is obvious that these concerns have been substantially correct.

More concerning still, faced with these challenges, the ANC, the leading formation in our liberation struggle over the past decades, a political movement that has enjoyed overwhelming electoral support since 1994, is, itself, now in serious and possibly irreversible decline.

This was the context in which the SACP contributed to and welcomed the ANC's 2012 National Conference resolution for "a second radical phase of the NDR". Unfortunately, having taken this important resolution, there was little appetite or interest at first from within much of the ANC itself to provide any substantial content to, let alone active organisation and mobilisation for a second radical phase.

Over the past year, however, there has been a sudden but largely opportunistic resurrection of the idea of "radical economic transformation". Unfortunately, this belated evocation of radical transformation has typically been associated with the most reactionary, private rent-seeking elements within our movement. They have appropriated this slogan demagogically as a distraction from the increasing exposure of their own parasitic looting of public resources. This looting is carried forward by way of well-organised networks of patronage, coordinated through a strong strategic presidential centre that straddles both the constitutional state and a parallel shadow state.

From a wide range of progressive comrades within the ANC and alliance, from stalwarts and veterans of our movement and armed struggle, even from those democratic forces historically opposed to, or suspicious of the SACP, there has been a growing recognition of the role the SACP has played, working closely with all democratic forces, inside the movement, inside the state and in broader society, in exposing and in fighting both state capture and liberation movement capture. More than ever, the SACP has a critical, vanguard role to play in providing real content to the imperative of a second radical phase of the NDR - not just in theory, but above all in mass-based practice.

What are the critical organisational tasks in this context? How should the ANC-alliance be reconfigured to respond to these challenges? Is reconfiguration even possible or desirable? In taking forward this role, if the SACP is to be credible and serious about dealing decisively with the cancer consuming our movement, we need also to examine self-critically what lessons we can learn from the recent past. What role might we have played unintentionally in creating the crisis?

The SACP says it is important that we give serious radical content to radical economic transformation. There are at least two pre-conditions to this. The first is to locate it within the broader strategic goal of driving a second more radical phase of our national democratic revolution.

The second is that a precondition to any radical economic transformation must be the defeat of the parasitic networks like the Guptas. There can be no radical transformation whilst the parasites continue to exist and hold our state and economy at ransom.

4. Solidifying SACP and COSATU relations and rescuing our Alliance

The pre-condition to drive a second more radical phase of our transition as our direct route to socialism requires two organisational developments in the short to medium term. In the first instance this requires the solidifying of the relationship between the SACP and COSATU as the socialist axis of the national democratic revolution and our Alliance.

Strengthening our relations must not be turned into a boardroom exercise, but must be based on joint programmes of action.

The SACP and Cosatu have held a series of bilateral meetings since Cosatu's last national congress. We agreed, among others, on taking forward a common programme, joint work and campaigns, including:

Decisive implementation of the national health insurance, ensuring, at the same time, that is not hijacked by private or corrupt interests, or watered down: The national health insurance must deliver universal health coverage and quality healthcare particularly to the workers and poor.
The second financial sector summit, convened by the National Economic and Labour Council (Nedlac) to review progress since the first summit held over a decade ago and to discuss new measures towards a new financial architecture.
The national jobs summit, convened by Nedlac to discuss effective job creation policies and turn the tide against the persisting crisis level unemployment rate. This must be preceded by a joint SACP-COSATU national jobs summit preparations prior to the Nedlac convened jobs summit.
Review of the National Development Plan (NDP) in line with our alliance summit declaration of 1 September 2013: The SACP and Cosatu did not agree to the economic and labour policy content of the NDP. There can be no second radical phase of our democratic transition including real radical economic transformation under the auspices of the NDP, particularly economic and labour policy content in its current form.
A comprehensive social security for the workers and poor.
Combat corruption and corporate capture both within the ranks of our movement and the state, and push for insourcing of outsourced, out-contracted or privatised public services or assets.  This must for instance include a campaign for all road maintenance and constructuion to be insourced back to municipalities and for those workers to be permanently employed.
On behalf of the SACP I am appealing to this Central Committee to discuss practical implement measures.

The main objective of our struggle is to complete the national democratic revolution, end exploitation by capitalist stakeholders and build socialism. This is the common thread connecting all the campaigns and joint work we agreed to undertake. It is the basis of our relations and must find its profound expression in our immediate tasks and in our perspectives.

Cde President and delegates we cannot overemphasize the importance of defending our state-owned enterprises. Cosatu and its affiliates in particular organise in the public sector, including state-owned entities. It is important to leverage this structural location to fight corruption, misgovernance, corporate capture and other forms of looting these institutions. SAA, Denel, Transnet, Prasa, SABC, Petro-SA, Telkom, Post Office and Post Bank, Eskom, etc. must not be looted and bankrupted right under the nose of progressive trade unions. Let us together wage a relentless struggle to defend the basic wealth of our nation and public resources. We need state-owned enterprises at all spheres of government to advance national transformation imperatives as opposed to enriching a few individuals or families.

For instance the irregular and potentially corrupt reappointment by Eskom of its former CEO, Brian Molefe, is something that must not be allowed to happen. This was preceded by an attempt to give him a R30-million golden handshake under the guise of a pension payout.

Our role as SACP and COSATU will also be strengthened by a thorough reconfiguration of our Alliance. The modus operandi of the Alliance since 1994 has exhausted itself. It cannot be that we all contest elections and we leave all key deployment decisions to the ANC only, and sometimes to individuals. This is not about individuals and positions but about the exercise of state power. The Alliance can no longer function in this fashion, this must come to an end.

5. The SACP 14th Congress in July 2017

We are holding our 14th Congress in this important year of the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917. We will be using this Congress to further discuss all the matters I have raised above, including the important question of the political tasks and choices facing the SACP currently and in the coming period, as the question of whether the SACP should not consider contesting elections in its own right.

The factionalist battles inside the ANC are putting a lot of pressure on the SACP in particular. The highest point of this pressure was in the lead up to the local government elections in many localities especially eThekwini in KZN. The SACP was under pressure to register to participate in the elections on its own.

Since then there is increasing pressure both from inside and outside our ranks for the SACP to consider itself as a new home or to be in alliance with those cadres who feel alienated from the ANC but still see themselves as part of our movement.

There are a growing number of communists and non-communists who feel that the ANC in particular is losing its political and moral authority amongst some of its members and voters.

There is near consensus inside of the SACP that the current modalities in the functioning of the Alliance since 1994 have now exhausted themselves. There is a strong feeling that contesting elections together as allies, but leaving key decisions in the hands of the ANC alone is no longer acceptable. In fact deepening factionalism and the corruption of internal organizational processes have further bedeviled Alliance relations.

These are real pressures that we cannot and should not ignore. But at the same time we need to ask ourselves some fundamental questions, both of a strategic and tactical nature, including the following:

Can the SACP take as fundamental a decision to participate in elections in our own right purely based on reaction to the pressures as outlined above. Rather is the fundamental question that we need to answer not the one on how will SACP electoral participation advance the struggle for radical economic transformation within the broader context of the struggle for socialism?

Can we be able to change the situation inside the ANC and the Alliance without a fundamental reconfiguration of the ANC? Related to this is the fact that reconfiguration of the Alliance is not a boardroom exercise, but a function of struggles on the ground and shifting the balance of forces
Or even further, can we reconfigure the Alliance inside or outside it?

Has the ANC fatally lost its capacity to unite and lead the motive forces of the national democratic revolution? If so how and why? And do we think the ANC can no longer be saved from itself?

How does the SACP, on its own relate to non-communist but progressive forces, in the ANC and broader society, whilst avoiding some of the mistakes we may have committed since 1994, but especially since around the Polokwane conference?

Whatever resolutions we take at our 14th Congress we will come back and engage COSATU in particular and the Alliance in general.

Thank you.

- See more at:
Speech Delivered by Cde Skhumbuzo Mpanza General Secretary of South African National Civic Organisation
30 May 2017

The President of Cosatu Cde Sdumo Dlamini
The Deputy President of the ANC Cde Cyril Ramaphosa
The General Secretary of the South African Communist Party Cde Blade Nzimande
Members of the CEC of Cosatu
The Leadership collective of the revolutionary alliance the ANC, SACP, COSATU, SANCO and the Mass Democratic Movement Formations
Distiguished Guests
Members of the Media
Compatriots Ladies and Gentlemen

This morning receive herewith the fratenal greeting from the leadership and membership of the vanguard of our communities, revolutionary civic movement the South African National Civic Organisation

As we draw inspiration from Ho Chi Minh, one of the great revolutionaries of the twentieth century who excelled as a leader, a teacher, a journalist, a strategist, an internationalist, a unifier, a negotiator, a creative thinker, a poet, a guerrilla fighter who endured decades of exile, prison, torture and decades of war when he said, (quote)" Remember that the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability. "(close quote)

Having survived worst storms since its formation and in recent years, I guess that COSATU, the giant federation can identify with the profound words by the guerilla leader who lived with his comrades in the most basic possible conditions in the caves of Cao Bang, often having to forage for food. And yet, his dedication to the cause of the Vietnamese independence, unification, and global socialism never faltered.

As a guerilla leader who later became president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh fought against French, Japanese and US colonialism with relentless energy, profound intelligence and undying passion.

Like our very own Oliver Reginald Tambo, Ho Chi Minh led his people through every up and down from the early 1920s up until his death in 1969.

Ho Chi Minh provided the major inspiration and strategic vision for the Vietnamese revolution, promoted and build maximum national unity against imperialism, bringing the peasantry, working class, intellectuals and patriotic capitalist elements together in order to struggle against imperialism.

He led the work of inspiring, organising and educating the masses of the Vietnamese people for their long struggle against imperialism and for socialism.

It was through consistently making correct analysis of the prevailing balance of forces along with other top leaders of the Vietnamese resistance that Ho Chi Minh scored historic victories such as the capture of power in August 1945, the defeat of the French occupation in 1954, the building of socialism in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), and the Tet Offensive of 1968, which served as the major turning point in the war with the US.

This Central Executive Committee meeting affords COSATU an opportunity to analyse the prevailing balance of forces, adjust its sails to weather the storm and or alter the cause.

More than ever before, the revolutionary alliance is required to strive for principled unity and deal decisively with the challenges facing South Africa.

We can no longer afford to be on the periphery while capital is in the cockpit with a political elite that is seemingly guided by self-preservation, advancing its own interest, those of its families and cronies above those of the masses of our people who are in grinding poverty.

As the vanguard of our communities, we have appealed to the African National Congress(ANC) as the leader of the revolutionary alliance and society to move with speed to self-correct and disassociate itself from skilled manipulators who have enticed some of its leaders with money, corrupted our political system, appropriated themselves the authority of the state, its economy and wealth.

The delay in appointing a judicial commission to investigate allegations of state capture and associated looting has given traction to and united counter revolutionary forces. It is doing more harm to the image of Africa's oldest liberation movement and destroying the credibility as well as the brand that has been the only hope for the masses of our people for over a century.

Although it has come a bit too late to convince us that it was its desired intention to bring the matter to finality, we nonetheless welcome the ANC NEC's support for the probe. We hope that government will no longer stall the process but implement the decision without further delay.

Judicial overreach will not occur if the executive adheres to good governance, prudent financial management, accountability and is upholding the constitution in carrying out its duties as well as exercising responsibilities per its constitutional mandate.

The impression that State owned enterprises are cash cows for the political elite and the Guptas does not bode well for our fledgling democracy. It suggests that our decision-making processes including deployment to key levers of power and other organs of state have been hijacked or outsourced from Luthuli house and Union Building to Saxonworld.

The Brian Molefe saga suggests that the centre is no longer holding. If it is, then someone need to explain to us how an individual facing damning corruption allegations can waltz his way in and out of parliament with millions following him and procedures being flouted left right and centre.

We cannot and will not accept to lose power in 2019 because of self-interest, greed and corruption that seems to be blinding those in authority who are supposed take decisions in the interest of Remember that the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability workers of our country and our communities.

As a civic movement, we are determined to strengthen and support renewal of the ANC because it remains the only progressive force committed to addressing the legacy of apartheid and advancing the objectives of the national democratic revolution.

History will judge us harshly if we allow the party that OR Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Moses Kotane, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Elijah Barayi to lose power because of denialism and protecting self-interest, factionalism, greed and corruption.

To this end, we are calling for a realignment of the alliance to reclaim our traditional support base and work tirelessly to unite our people and intensify the fight against poverty, unemployment and inequality.

We are committed to work with COSATU as part of our Khuluma Mhlali-Safer community campaign to ensure that workers live in safe communities and that our children, women and the elderly are protected against abuse, violent crime as well as the scourge of gender based violence.

While the review of the National Crime Prevention Strategy will allow resources to be allocated where they are needed the most, activating street committees to support crime prevention is the first step towards exposing corrupt police officials and criminals that are terrorising our communities.

We call on you to use this important gathering to solidify your position on the ANC Policy discussion documents and approach to ensure that as many of you are nominated delegates who will influence and make a meaningful contribution at the policy conference.

Workers are the livewire of our revolution and the lifeblood of our economy which need to grow, overcome the setback of credit downgrades and create more jobs.

It is in the interest of every worker and the unemployed in our communities for COSATU to rise above the turbulent challenges of personality cults, factionalism, patronage and careerism which are threatening the unity of our revolutionary alliance and mass democratic movement.

Our analysis for the coming ANC elective conference in December 2017 is a potential for further deepened divisions in the movement. We thus urge you to apply a sober critical thinking on how we should approach the 54th ANC conference.

We fear most the after-effects that might even affect us on the 2019 national elections which we cannot afford to reach with a cracked organisation.

Amongst our major interests is who becomes the president of the country as this will determine the life and survival of our communities.

As SANCO we have after much deliberation arrived at the conclusion that the only way we can determine the president of the country is to influence the election of the ANC president.

We can't afford a situation whereby the ANC is shaken in the upcoming elections and we can't witness a time in our history where again our society is leaderless.

We therefore believe that the most feasible way to retain unity and cohesion in our movement is to allow the current Deputy President of the ANC to ascend to ANC President in the upcoming National Conference in December.

We strongly believe this will help to deliver a most united ANC in the elections in 2019 and beyond.

Furthermore, we trust the experience and capabilities that Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa has in the presidential office which can benefit our movement and the society at large.

The choice of the political leadership of a country, especially the head of state has to be informed by the key competencies required to run a country, the strategic goals and vision of the type of society envisaged and the main issues and challenges facing the country and the globe.

The key obligations and responsibilities of government is to facilitate political, social, economic and human development and to protect and maintain national sovereignty, social security, peace, justice, stability and national unity and social cohesion.

The government performs these obligations and responsibilities through the functions of governance, administration, leadership and management by overseeing legislation and policy making (parliament), execution or implementation (Executive /cabinet), adjudication (judiciary) and oversight (section 21) institutions.

The sustainability of these political activities and processes and the entire political system depends highly on the levels of social partnership between the state, organised labour, organised civil society and business and the extent to which all sectors of society feel included or excluded and have confidence in the political leadership and the political processes.

Active and strategic participation in international, multi-lateral, regional and bi lateral platforms and relations is also critical to the performance of government.

It is clear from these factors that the president and head of state should be a person who have a fair balance of competencies and insights in governance, administration , management and leadership, has vast experience in the workings and traditions of government, organised labor, organised civil society and organised business and can elicit confidence from all these sectors and has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the constitutional and legal framework within which the government of the day operates.

In conclusion, though COSATU has experienced turbulence in the recent past, Ho Chi Minh reminds us that the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability.

The leadership of COSATU should be driven by one desire, i.e. the desire to unite all the workers in our country and to defend their interests.

We wish to reiterate our commitment to implementation of joint programmes linking workers and community struggles as we used to do in 1970 and the 1980s and call upon workers to avail themselves to serve in street committees, village committees and other mass based program of action.

The more radical second phase of our National Democratic Revolution and implementation of the National Development Plan require the partnership of a stronger and united federation that we need to accelerate service delivery in our communities and deepen transformation across all sectors.

We count on COSATU to pursue the demand for a living wage and to protect vulnerable workers who are still exploited and racially abused in various industries including farming communities.

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Amandla, Matla, Matimba

Opening Address by COSATU President Comrade Sidumo Dlamini at the COSATU 6th Central Committee Held From 29th May - 1st June 2017
Members of the Central Committee, The delegation of the ANC The delegation of the SACP , The delegation of SANCO The delegation of the ANC Women`s League The delegation of the ANCYL The National Secretary of the Young Communist League, The delegation from SASCO The delegation from COSAS ; The President of FEDUSA ; The President of NACTU ; Our distinguished International guests

We give special salute to the delegates from unions representing the more than 1,7 million workers organized under COSATU also representing the plight of approximately 13.72 million workers that don't belong to any Trade Union or to any form of industrial organization which protects the rights of workers.

Today we come to this 6th Central Committee more united than we were in 2015 when we went to the Special National Congress and the 12th National Congress. We want to say thank you to the workers, the members of COSATU. It is you who stood up when the federation was going through a storm.

It is you who said we should stop fighting amongst ourselves and direct our energies and resources to heighten our struggle and consolidate our unity against our primary class enemies. It is you who instructed that our focus must be on leading workplace struggles. As a result of your instruction, we went out and intervened at the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga.

Since the tragic collapse of a sinkhole that buried three workers and left several of them injured, we campaigned to see some justice and relief for the Lily Mine workers. We were first able to force the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane to agree to a commission of enquiry and an investigation into the reasons behind the Lily Mine accident.

Today we can report that the families of missing miners (Mrs. Pretty Mabuza, Mr. Solomon Nyarenda and Ms Yvonne Mnisi), who are still trapped underground at Lily Vantage gold mine in Mpumalanga since the 15th of February 2016 have been paid the R200 000 that was promised to them.

We also welcome the payment of R10 000 to the 75 injured miners that were promised a payment of R50 000, and we shall continue to work to support the fundraising efforts to raise money so that workers can receive the additional R 40 000. We remain very clear that any company that takes over operations at Lily Mine needs to prioritise the repatriation of the bodies of the trapped miners first. We also want to see the continuation of an investigation that will help determine the cause of the accident and we demand that those found responsible should be held accountable

We also went to intervene at Umbhaba farm estate with the aim of helping the 3000 Umbhaba workers that were sold out by a union which is not affiliated to COSATU. These workers were dismissed after they went on a legal strike fighting for the recognition of the same union which abandoned them. We are continuing to engage with the lawyers and we will continue to help these vulnerable workers and will tirelessly fight to ensure that they get justice at the end.

When we call ourselves a fighting federation we really mean it. We are more united and continue to be on the ground than ever before. It is not us who say this but COSATU union's work speaks for itself. This is corroborated by the 2015 report by the Department of Labour which pointed out that COSATU unions which on amongst others include NUM, NEHAWU, SADTU displayed the shares of working days lost at above 10% in 2015. In this regards, NUM was ranked the top at 15.1% in 2015.

It you the workers who led from the front and shook South Africa from its foundations in the struggle against compulsory preservation of your retirement fund benefits when you declared nothing about us without us! It is you the workers who forced government to finally release and table the discussion paper on the comprehensive social security and retirement reform.

It is you the workers who led the struggle for the implementation of the National health Insurance system. Through your struggles, the NHI is being piloted in some provinces. Part of this have included the screening of 3.2 million learners in quintile 1-5 and 15 % of them were found to be suffering preventable ailments which are making it impossible for them to learn effectively because of hearing and sight problems. The cervical vaccine provided to girls in education as part of the NHI is of the most progressive campaigns carried to open the doors of health for the poor. The de worming campaign in schools is bringing health on the door of the poor.

The implementation of NHI will allow our country to have the capacity to confront the new challenge of TB which has become a new number one killer in our society and it has killed more people than Ebola. The fact of the matter is that medical aids are unsustainable because, they are about profit maximization and not pubic good.

Our campaign on the implementation of NHI will also have to focus on the establishment of a state pharmaceutical company, funding; and to challenge the immoral hospitals and schools that are listed in the JSE reducing both health and education into a commodity.

It is you the workers who must defend the NHI from being stolen by business it is you the workers who must direct the NHI away from the profit making logic.

We are currently fighting to ensure that the NHI is not donated to the Clinton foundation; we are also fight to ensure that the redistribution of resources through the NHI favors the working class. We are saying that financing the NHI should not allow the use of VAT, as it would create a situation where a big share of the poor's incomes is spent on health compared to the rich.

We are also fighting against any attempt to introduce a multi payer system, instead of a single fund, intended to ensure that the rich subsidize the poor. We are committed not only to the creation of the NHI but also to the transformation of the health system, including the operations of the institutions.

The death of more than one hundred psychiatric patients in Gauteng stands as a monumental reminder of the dangers of outsourcing and agencification of the state. Governments need to act decisively to do away with outsourcing and use of private healthcare providers in the health system.

It is through the struggles by COSATU members that a new Unemployment Insurance Act has now been signed into law ,coming with progressive changes which include increased UIF benefits from 8 months to 12 months (238 to 365 days); covering workers who lost working hours due to reduced time at their work place at their previous full time hours; Including learnership programmes under the UIF; increasing maternity leave benefits from 54% to 66%; separating maternity leave from UIF benefits and claims; providing maternity leave benefits for women who had miscarriages during the third trimester or a still born birth; allowing the family and/ or nominated beneficiaries of deceased claimants to receive their remaining due benefits; prohibiting the charging of fees by any party to a UIF claimant; allowing the Minister for Labour to issue special regulations for domestic workers and employees of small businesses and enterprises to ensure that they are covered; prohibiting the exclusion of workers from UIF and maternity leave benefits if they are members of the Government Employees Pension Fund (thus cover public servants if they are dismissed from work).The next phase of the struggle is to fight for the expansion of access to the UIF for vulnerable workers.

It is through the struggles led by you COSATU members that the democratic government has become more decisive in reversing the legacy of the land dispossessions which has always been at the centre of our liberation struggle. This victory has meant real and concrete benefit for farm workers who today can claim co -ownership of land with their former employers.

It is through struggles led by you the workers under the banner of COSATU we have secured a victory which saw the signing of a declaration towards the process that will lead to a legislated National Minimum Wage. This is part of the struggle for a Living Wage which you have waged and led with courage and tenacity.

When we say we are a fighting federation we mean it. We continue to fight both in the streets and in the boardroom with equal precision and political finesse. Ask any honest member of parliament they will tell you about our well researched and well thought out quality policy presentations which covers more than 20 sectors of the economy and our presentations and research work is quoted by various reputable academic institutions and scholars. Ask any employer they will tell you about the forever combat ready unions of COSATU who know how and when to draw a red line on the sand, when forced to that position. Honest employers who negotiate with COSATU unions will tell you about how COSATU unions can demonstrate tactical finesse, show calculated bravery, courageous leadership and can take the fight to the bitter end when the moment calls for it. When we say we are a fighting federation we really mean it.

We salute you the members of COSATU who stood up when the federation was facing the storm and told us to never to compromise the tradition of robust and frank engagement regarding our organisation and the struggles of the working class and to do so using the platform of our constitutional structures and within the parameters of our constitution.

Today we stand here in front of you to tell you that your federation is alive and kicking. Your federation is united and our unity is not unity in general but class unity and principled unity.

As part of the broader movement we operate and function on the basis that individuals who operate in the dead of the night, convening secret meetings and speaking poorly of other members should be exposed and isolated. When approached to be part of such groups, members should relay such information to relevant structures or individuals in whom they have confidence. But it is also critical that proper investigations are conducted, and those accused are informed.

Witch-hunts should be avoided as a matter of principle.

Our unity is informed by an understanding that it is to be expected that in leading social activity, leaders and members will from time to time make mistakes. The most important thing is that these individuals and collectives should have the capacity and humility to honestly review their work critically, and correct the weaknesses.

Our unity is encored on a shared understanding that individual members and leaders will have differing opinions on how particular issues should be addressed. The strength of revolutionary organisation lies among others in the ability to synthesise these views and emerge with the wisest possible approach. Once a decision has been taken on the basis of the majority's views, it binds everyone, including those who held a contrary view.

Our approach to unity is informed by an understanding that a leader should win the confidence of the people in her day-to-day work. Where the situation demands, she should be firm; and have the courage to explain and seek to convince others of the correctness of decisions taken by constitutional structures even if such decisions are unpopular. She should not seek to gain cheap popularity by avoiding difficult issues, making false promises or merely pandering to popular sentiment.

A leader should seek to influence and to be influenced by others in the collective. He should have the conviction to state his views boldly and openly within constitutional structures of the movement; and - without being disrespectful - not to cower before those in more senior positions in pursuit of patronage, nor to rely on cliques to maintain one's position.

An individual with qualities of leadership does not seek to gain popularity by undermining those in positions of responsibility. Where such a member has a view on how to improve things or correct mistakes, she should state those views in constitutional structures and seek to win others to her own thinking. She should assist the movement as a whole to improve its work, and not stand aside to claim perfection out of inactivity.

Our organisation is too big to have the capacity to hide our problems and challenges but open as we are, we don not allow our internal organizational challenges to be discussed in face book and in tweeter! We have a culture and tradition of confronting issues internally and this has over the years made us to be more united and more coherent.

Comrades, this 6th Central Committee of COSATU is taking place at a time when the crisis of capitalism has reached its acute levels. It is now 10 years since the emergence of the global economic crisis and the global economy never fully recovered from the crash, instead, it is now experiencing all three interrelated crises; namely a crisis of sustainability, a systemic crisis and a structural crisis. It continues to fumble along and tripped from one setback to  another. We are being forced to accept and believe that the crisis of capitalism must be accepted as a small sickness which arrives from time to time such as flu in winter season.

No we are refusing to treat the crisis of capitalism just like another ordinary sickness because for us as workers the crisis capitalism means that 62 people in the world are controlling as much wealth as the bottom half of humanity.

In South Africa, the richest 1% owns 42% of the country's total wealth and three billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom 50% of the population.

Side by side with this evidence of opulence the crisis of capitalism has meant that the working class should accept poverty and hunger , unemployment , rising inequality, rising rate of exploitation , layoffs , cut on social spending by governments ,stealing of our pension funds , cuts in real wages; Intensification of work periods; deregulation and increase in working hours; deregulation of labour markets ; widespread casual labor, particularly among the women and young workers; and continued exploitation of migrant workers.

These conditions have left the working class all over the world including in South Africa looking for a way out and the left forces were not there to inspire the masses and led them out of the dark valley of despair and the leadership vacuum has been closed by the emergence of the right wing which appealed to the nationalist sentiment and provoked the fears of the working class to whip their emotions against progressive policies.

This phenomenon have also been seen here in South Africa, in India, Brazil and other parts of Latin America and all over the world where the real economic challenges imposed by the global economic crisis intersected will real mistakes which included corruption committed by cadres in the left parties including our own has led to the opening of a political space for the right wing to be emboldened in advance their regime change agenda.

In our case these mistakes include failure by our movement to use its access to state power to transform the colonial and apartheid economy.

It includes non implementation of progressive resolutions from the Polokwane, Mangaung conference and Alliance Summit. It include ignoring the alliance resolutions which agreed to address concerns raised by COSATU and the SACP on the economic and labour market chapters of the NDP, non implementations of the Alliance resolutions regarding organizational renewal which include addressing the use of money to influence election outcomes .

It includes failure to implement the resolution that the ANC must develop capacity to monitor implementation of its policies in government. One of the things which have compromised our movement as a whole is corruption, which has also directly compromised many of COSATU unions through business unionism.

We need to be bold and stand up to fight corruption and ensure that those found to be responsible are dismissed from our organizations, arrested; prosecuted and convicted to serious jail sentences. We will also need to fight against corrupt parasitic bourgeoisie whether it is monopoly capital (white or black) or whether it is the emerging black business that uses their relations with the state to corrupt it. This should also include fighting against collusive behavior by companies as exposed by the competition commission. It should include following up on the recent report about alleged payments made to ABSA and all the reported shenanigans in State owned Enterprises including the recent revelations about what has been happening in the national treasury.

But as we do so we should be aware that our fight against corruption is not reduced to cleaning the dirt of capitalism so that it can look better, but it must be linked to fighting against the very system of capitalism which is inherently corrupt and have given rise to corruption.

It includes the fact that whilst there is agreement in paper about the existence of an Alliance political Council but in practice the Alliance Political Council is no existent. This means that the Alliance continues to be used only during elections. This Central Committee has a responsibility to confront this matter. As COSATU we want an alliance where all partners are equal and see and treat each others as such.

Our approach has always been based on respecting all our partners and we avoided shouting at team in public. We have refused to be feared but we wanted to be respected based on the force of our argument and not the amount of noise we make in the media but more and more we are being forced and pushed into a space where we speak at and not to our comrades!

We want an alliance which consciously takes the responsibility to direct the revolution, we want an alliance that is credible and enjoys authority in providing leadership to society. In our view the Alliance cannot continue to operate in its current form, if it does, it will be declared irrelevant by the developments in the ground. The functioning of the alliance must not be based on who is the incumbent leadership in each of the alliance formation it must be based on the requirement to provide leadership in directing the revolution regardless of who is a leader in the ANC, in COSATU, the SACP and SANCO. It must not b based on the relations between leadership, whilst that may be important but the alliance work must be based on the needs of the revolution. This Central Committee has got to engage in frank, honest and introspective discussions regarding the alliance.

This 6th Central Committee must spend more time discussing how COSATU should exploit the current moment in which all in the alliance and in the country share a commitment towards a second more radical phase of transition which will be characterized by radical economic transformation.

There are two streams of ideological orientation that emerge from the concrete-historical treatment of the notion of Second Radical Transition. One stream is the more recent version, inter-laced with neo-liberalism, which seeks to keep existing property relations intact and merely wants to perfect the functioning of the existing system of capitalist accumulation. Another ideological stream, which is left-oriented with strong socialist under-tones, seeks to tackle property relations as the starting point, and thus wants to lay the basis for the development of society along egalitarian lines.

As COSATU we remain vigilant in that the notion of a Second more radical phase of our Transition is not used to mean the following:

Transformations that either seeks to consolidate the capitalist mode of production or to amend the national accumulation strategy without fundamentally transforming the underlying property relations, and without affecting a fundamental shift in ideological orientation.
It cannot and must not be predicated on the National Development Plan. The fact of the matter is that the revolutionary class forces, especially the primary motive force, the working class, do not share the neo-liberal approach of the NDP, which seeks to effect cosmetic changes to Colonialism of a Special Type, by consolidating and perfecting the mechanisms of the capitalist mode of production and imperialist domination.
It must not be predicated on a fallacious notion of an attempt to separate GEAR from neo-liberalism. Neoliberalism is characterized by the reduced role of the state in the economy, privatization, trade and financial liberalization, labour market de-regulation, restrained fiscal policy, inflation-targeting as the overriding goal of monetary policy and central bank independence. All these embody features of what came to be known as the Washington consensus.
We don not agree with the argument that the need for a second radical transition has been induced by the reality that although we have liberalized and integrated into the global economy and we have macroeconomic stability, the structure of the apartheid colonial economy has remained the same". This is mentioned as if the so called "stability" is the "stability" of something else, and not that of "the apartheid colonial economy". But how can we agree that there has been macroeconomic stability when income distribution, unemployment and poverty have worsened in the democratic decade? How can we really agree that this "liberalization and integration into the global economy" and the alleged "macroeconomic stability" are not true pillars of genuine neo-liberalism?
We have been listening to comrades talking about radical economic transformation and we want to tell our comrades, particularly those deployed in government to avoid lamenting about the need for radical economic transformation as if they are not in charge of the levers of state power which can be used to effect radical economic transformation. Comrades, you must use state power decisively and make radical economic transformation to happen. You are in charge!

Comrades everything we want to do ,including fighting corruption , fighting monopoly capital and white monopoly capital in particular , fighting the parasitic elements , reconfiguration of the alliance, ensure a more radical phase of our transition are all reliant on our organizational presence on the ground . This means that we need to put more of energy into ensuring that we build the engines of COSATU and this means building work place organisation, COSATU locals, COSATU provinces, COSATU affiliates at all levels and a strong national coordinating centre which is COSATU head office.

It means that all of u must ensure that the back to basic programme is rolled out in every jut and corner of the country. We will need to heighten our campaign against labour brokers and we call on all workers all over the country to come forward with hard evidence on how labour brokers have affected them after the three months period allowed by legislation . We want to take this evidence to court to argue for the total scrapping of labour brokers.

All our campaign must be linked to recruitment. Trade unionism is about numbers and unity in fighting against employers and ant -worker policies and without numbers and unity we are doomed!

We will need to intensify our campaign for accessible, reliable, affordable and integrated public transport. Cheap and affordable transport for many workers remains an illusion, with 41% of all households paying more than 11% of total household income on transport and more than 60% of households earning R500 and less pay in excess of 20% of their income on transport and this is one fifth of total income. In contrast, those households who earn R3000 and more a month paying between 1-5%. This is the context in which we will be pushing for the scrapping of e-tolls which have caused our movement to loose the Johannesburg metro to the DA.

Workers we are calling on you to defend your federation and your unions. Volumes of books have been written to talk down COSATU and create an image of a dying organisation , the media has been unleashed to reinforce the same narrative, academic institutions are being deployed to give this lie some intellectual credibility but it has all failed COSATU is a like a baobab tree , we have survived all kinds of weather , but we will never under estimate our enemies nor over estimate , workers , you must remain vigilant to defend and built COSATU in every work place in the country.

Comrades, this 6th Central Committee is not about recycling old idea which has not yielded any results. This Central Committee is about thinking towards revolutionary solutions and alternatives.

This Central Committee is about whether moving forward COSATU will remain relevant to workers and to the working class as a whole

This Central Committee is about whether moving forward COSATU unions and the federation as a whole will have the capacity to take up sustainable fight against employers

This is CEC must go down in history as having determined the tempo of our revolution

The history of the implementation or non implementation of a second more radical phase of our transition which is characterized by radical economic transformation must be written before and after this Central Committee.

This Central Committee will determine if we will remain a fighting COSATU as we march into the future of a Socialist South Africa

The Central Committee is declared open.

COSATU Statement on Africa Day - Inspiring the Birth of a New Africa
Today, the 25th May marks the day on which Africa cautiously celebrates the historic moment on which our great forbearers pioneered formation of the OAU to unite, lead and advance the aspirations of the African people, which at the time suffered colonial oppression. This offers the right moment for thorough and rigorous self-introspection and critical reflection regarding our onward journey towards freedom from poverty, oppression and for the sustainable development of its people.

Today, as we mark this day, we are a continent that has made great strides, but equally, suffered setbacks. History proves that no forward march is a straight line, progress and setbacks are linked as part of the onward march to a new and better Africa.

We take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate fellow Africans who have made great strides towards changing their conditions and countries for the better and inspired a new wave of struggle for; peace and justice, democracy, development and good governance. These features indicate the real advances being made towards changing the lives of the people for the better, by the people and workers themselves.

Towards this end, we also welcome the defeat of the Ebola virus and the advances in the fight against terrorism, particularly Boko Haram in West Africa, the promising economic and political changes in various parts of the continent and the new resolve by the people to integrate and unite in pursuit of change as critical hallmarks of a new era for our continent. More solidarity and unity in action is further required in that regard.

As we do so, we are called upon to intensify our various struggle for change by being honest about the current state of our continent and the real reasons behind, particularly;

The plunder and looting of our natural resources and exploitation of workers and poor communities by multinational companies and their local surrogates
The ruthless oppression and abuse of workers and human rights by ruling elites to sustain corrupt and greedy regimes in power
The extreme and grinding levels of poverty, underdevelopment and unemployment on the continent, due to failure of governance, policies, legacies of colonialism and lack of political will to change the structures of our economies
The never ending vicious cycle of wars and conflicts, not without great advances in several parts of the continent
We are not putting forward these facts and figures to lament, but to expose the hard realities and the depth of the work to be done to change Africa for the better. As Africans reflect about their own weaknesses and responsibilities to do what must be done, the world, particularly developed countries, are called upon to do the same, about their role and contribution to the crisis of our continent and its people.

According to Nick Dearden, the director of UK campaigning organisation Global Justice Now, who was previously the director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, "Aid is tiny, and the very least it can do, if spent well, is to return some of Africa's looted wealth.

We should see it both as a form of reparations and redistribution, just as the tax system allows us to redistribute wealth from the richest to the poorest within individual societies. The same should be expected from the global "society".

He goes on to say, "to even begin to embark on such an ambitious programme, we must change the way we talk and think about Africa. It's not about making people feel guilty, but correctly diagnosing a problem in order to provide a solution. We are not, currently, "helping" Africa. Africa is rich. Let's stop making it poorer".

A report was released by several campaign groups today, titled, "Honest Accounts 2017. How the world profits from Africa's wealth". Based on a set of new shocking figures to mark this day, it indicates that, "Sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world to the tune of more than $41bn. Sure, there's money going in: around $161bn a year in the form of loans, remittances (those working outside Africa and sending money back home), and aid".

It goes on to say, "But there's also $203bn leaving the continent. Some of this is direct, such as $68bn in mainly dodged taxes.

Essentially multinational corporations "steal" much of this - legally - by pretending they are really generating their wealth in tax havens. These so-called "illicit financial flows" amount to around 6.1 per cent of the continent's entire gross domestic product (GDP) - or three times what Africa receives in aid".

It finally say, "then there's the $30bn that these corporations "repatriate" - profits they make in Africa but send back to their home country, or elsewhere, to enjoy their wealth. The City of London is awash with profits extracted from the land and labour of Africa".

In this regard, the working people of Africa, the worst victims of both the vicious exploitation of our continent and crony elitism by some ruling regimes, have become seized with the crisis facing their continent and in various events have developed programmatic responses that seek to confront the sources of the problem and the networks of patronage, greed, corruption, oppression and injustice against the continent and its people.

In this regard, we salute the perseverance and determination of the fighting workers, women, youth, environmental activists, landless peasants and all the communities of justice that, in various ways are making a contribution daily to change the conditions of their continent and to reclaim our dignity and rights.

Africa will and must change, the people will and must win, wars must end, poverty and hunger must end, inequalities and unemployment must be defeated and the scourge and burden of disease must be decisively defeated. In one word, Africa's cause and the future of its people must triumph.

COSATU, as one of the critical actors, together with our allies throughout the continent and beyond, will intensify its work with all forces committed to real change, unity of the African people and progress towards a new society, free from all the ills that define our present.

We are active participants of the efforts to build a Progressive African movement for change and shall continue to do so in numerous African, civil society and progressive structures on the continent. This is in order to influence and shape a new Africa based on the genuine aspirations of its people and a better future.

The Central Committee of COSATU starting on Monday is a space to just do that, as we assess work done since the last Congress, we shall, equally be building and strengthening the foundations of the new Africa we are striving towards.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct 010 219-1339
Mobile: 060 975 6794
African National Congress Statement of the National Executive Committee Following the Meeting Held on the 26th to the 28th May 2017
29 May 2017

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) met in a scheduled meeting from the 26th to the 28th May 2017. The meeting received the Political Overview from the President, the National Working Committee (NWC) report, and reports on our engagements with traditional leadership and preparations towards the National Policy Conference.

The NEC expressed grave concern at the recent spate of brutal killings of women and children and commissioned a special presentation by the Wits City Institute on gender based violence with a particular focus on intimate partner femicide.

As a country we must consistently affirm the freedom of girl children and women. We will have been successful in our quest to build a truly non-sexist society and dealt with the brutal effects of patriarchy when in South Africa a young woman in the middle of the night, can walk alone without the fear of assault, attack or rape, going back home from wherever she comes from.

While there is no single magic bullet that will do away with violence against women and children overnight, condemnation of such behavior by society alone will not solve this problem.

The ANC therefore calls to action all its structures and society at large to become actively engaged in campaigns that involve communities in the prevention of femicide, rape and child molestation. ANC branches must actively lead a campaign to encourage the defense of the most vulnerable people in our society. We must also teach ourselves to drop the language of 'weakness' 'vulnerability' 'protection' and 'women and children' as these erode women's citizenship. We must affirm their inalienable right to justice, safety, freedom and equality.

This campaign must assist us all to understand the value of life and that physical, mental and sexual abuse robs people of their dignity. Accordingly the following are tasks for the branches:

Establish street committees and lead and drive a Know Your Neighborhood Campaign
Set up early warning systems where child abuse, the rape and abuse of girls and boys occur
Establish a single contact point in each street for reporting of incidences of brutality and violence
Meet every station commander to advise them of the contact points and issues arising from our early warning systems
Government for its part must strengthen the justice system to better deal with cases of gender based violence. Programmes of the ANC led government must target both victims and perpetrators. Amongst others we must ensure the establishment of a special unit in each police station specially trained for this type of work. This will ensure that we reduce barriers to reporting sexual offences and domestic violence.

Our families must stop negotiating sexual cases and women themselves must stop withdrawing sexual cases. The law must be allowed to take its course.

As a nation we must redouble our efforts to reignite economic growth to ensure that women do not seek economic refuge in abusive relationships.

The ANC has met with all the three rating agencies as a matter of course and also following the investment downgrades. The key message from these rating agencies is that we need to be clear on our growth story and our political posture towards growth.

In this regard, the NEC commits to the expenditure ceiling in 2017 budget and commits to stabilize debt levels. In the meantime, we need to ensure progress in finalizing the Mineral Petroleum Resource Development Act (MPRDA) and the resolution of the impasse relating to the Mining Charter. Concerted effort must go into continuous improvement in good corporate governance in the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

We noted the promising work being done to stabilize the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and discussed the current challenges facing Eskom. The NEC reaffirmed that the decision to reappoint Comrade Brian Molefe to Eskom be rescinded and not to wait for the courts to direct them on this decision. Government itself encourages judicial overreach when it fails to lead when it should.

As part of reigniting economic growth, long term structural reforms are needed in education outcomes at all levels including vocational training. There must be immediate work on growth and employment enhancing interventions in a number of sectors. We must also deal with oligopolies, and pay particular attention to increase investment to 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These measures will require the support of all social partners and accordingly the ANC government will, as a matter of urgency, convene a NEDLAC meeting to engage them on these matters.

The NEC also reflected on a period which had been politically hectic for the organisation. Such period we defined as having heightened levels of a state of restlessness in society requiring the ANC to develop an approach and provide leadership to society.

The NEC accepted the proposal that was tabled in the Political Report for the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry into allegations of state capture without delay. The terms of reference of such Commission of Enquiry must be broad enough to uncover the influence of business on the state. The NEC expressed its desire to see all processes of reviewing the Public Protector's State of Capture report accelerated so that they are not an obstacle to the speedy establishment of the Judicial Commission into State Capture.

On the motion of no confidence against the President proposed in Parliament, the NEC reaffirmed its confidence in comrades deployed as Members of Parliament (MP) trusting that they would continue to conduct themselves in line with Constitution, prescripts and norms of the African National Congress.

Regardless of whether a secret ballot is granted by the court or not, ANC MPs, as always, are expected to vote in line with the decision of the Caucus of the ANC. Failure to do so is in violation of Rule of the ANC Constitution defines an act of misconduct as:

acting on behalf of or in collaboration with:

counter-revolutionary forces;
a political organisation or party other than an organisation or party in alliance with the ANC in a manner contrary to the aims, policies and objectives of the ANC;
On the succession debate, the NEC acknowledged that to continue to assert that the organization was not in the grip of leadership election fever was foolhardy. The NEC agreed that we should continue discussing the principles that should guide election of leadership in the ANC but allow structures of the ANC to start discussing the names.

Such discussions should be based on the principles discussed and Through the Eye of the Needle. Nominations though will only be opened in September 2017. All these activities dealing with succession should be monitored and as comrades discuss the names, nobody should ridicule or defame any other potential candidate nor should they tarnish the name of the ANC in the process.

Umkhonto WeSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) is due for its National Conference this year. The ANC NEC has delegated 10 of its members to support and assist the MKMVA in the organization of such conference.

On tensions within the Alliance, the NEC emphasised that we should never tire in seeking to work for the unity of the ANC, the unity of the Alliance and the unity of society as whole. To this end, the Alliance Political Council will meet on the 4th and 5th June to deal with the differences and challenges between the Alliance Partners.

There was a call made in the NEC for the President to consider stepping down as President of the Republic. This we considered to be part of a broader discussion characterized by the restlessness manifesting itself in society, where certain sections have made similar calls.

A number of members of the NEC were of the view that the ANC should listen to this call. Various contributions in support of and against the appeal to President to step down were raised. Many more were neither in favor nor against the appeal but emphasized the need for unity within the organization.

The NEC sought to have a detailed analysis of the consequences of removing the President; appreciating that some calls, especially those made by the opposition, are not so much about removing the President by rather dislodging the ANC itself from power.

The NEC concluded the matter by recommitting itself to focus on the task at hand and what our people expect from us. Implementing, refining and advancing policies that solve their problems of inequality, poverty and unemployment as we move towards the National Policy Conference. We must also focus on ensuring unity and stability of the organization as part of leadership transition at the 54th National Conference.

Flowing from this difficult discussion, our branches are now directed to focus on their primary tasks, work together and ensure the ANC impacts positively on society.

The NEC discussed at length the need to reconnect with sectors of society that are drifting away from the movement. This is particularly important for those have been traditional allies of the broad liberation movement including some traditional leaders and sections of the faith based community led by, amongst others, the South African Council of Churches (SACC). We are aware and appreciate the need for decisive action from the ANC indicating renewal and our commitment to deal with issues that bring the organization into disrepute.

To this end, the NEC has welcomed the ongoing interactions with the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA) and traditional leaders in general. We have also committed to continue engagements with the SACC as part of broader societal dialogue on the challenges facing South Africa.

The NEC welcomed the appointment of Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus as the new Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the first time, in the sixty nine (69) year history of this organization, that the WHO elects an African to its helm. This is a significant victory for the continent and a significant pointer of progress and reform of this global multilateral institution.

As we conclude Africa month, the NEC recommitted itself to our responsibility to contributing to the building of a better Africa and a better world. The regeneration of Africa is yet to be accomplished. Beyond our own internal challenges and interests as a party and a country, we have a bigger role on the continent as the ANC and South Africa.

Issued by
Gwede Mantashe
Secretary General
African National Congress

Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910
US Interceptors Won’t Guarantee Security
Global Times
2017/5/31 23:33:39

The Pentagon confirmed that the US military has successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Tuesday during the first test of its ground-based interceptor system. The interceptor launched from California hit an ICBM-class target over the Pacific Ocean. The ICBM-target was launched from the Marshall Islands. Missile Defense Agency director Vice Admiral Jim Syring hailed the interception as "an incredible accomplishment."

The ground-based interceptor system is mainly designed to counter the North Korean missile threat and the test was the first to involve a simulated attack by an ICBM. North Korea launched at least three missile tests in May which Pyongyang claimed were successful.

The Pentagon's ICBM interception test appeared to be a response to Pyongyang by sending a message of its deterrence capabilities. But it will have a far more complex impact.

Though the North Korean missile threat was labeled as a target for the Pentagon's interception test, the technology can impose a threat to China and Russia's deterrence. With enormous investment in anti-missile research, Washington fancies it can have the ability to shield itself from any kind of missile attack.

Yet the development of both missile and anti-missile systems does not make any of the systems unassailable. The anti-missile system cannot guarantee the security of the US. Pyongyang won't abandon its missile program and put itself at the mercy of Washington just because of the Pentagon's successful ICBM interception test.

China and Russia will also be prompted to develop a better ICBM penetration ability that can out-compete the US' interceptor system.

The US has been trying to acquire absolute security, and pursues a military strength that can't be matched by that of China and Russia. This has misled many American people and makes their security goals far beyond reach.

Developing its anti-missile system is not a good way for the US to solve the North Korea nuclear crisis, as it will have little influence on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. It will confuse Washington and Seoul over how to deal with North Korea - developing an anti-missile system or urging North Korea's nuclear disarmament.

China's military strength has developed immensely and it is not losing sleep over the US achievements in anti-missile systems. Increasing the number of ICBMs, developing nuclear strike ability, and improving the penetration technology of ICBMs are within China's ability.

The US has the most powerful military force in the world, and no country is trying to change this pattern. But the world won't allow the US to become powerful enough to launch a military strike against any country while it escapes a retaliatory attack.

The geopolitical significance of a strategic anti-missile system is far greater than its actual military significance. It will be used to enhance the deterrent power and consolidate the strategic cohesion of the US. China and Russia should show more of their advanced strategic missile technology so as to counteract the worldwide effects of the US' anti-missile propaganda. 
US Missile Interceptor Test Has Other Targets Than North Korea: Expert
By Yang Sheng
Global Times
2017/5/31 23:38:40

Test breaks strategic balance among nuke armed countries

A ground-based interceptor missile takes off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on Tuesday. The US military said it had intercepted a mock-up of an intercontinental ballistic missile in a first-of-its-kind test that comes amid concerns over North Korea's weapons program. Photo: AFP

The successful test of a US missile interceptor will break the strategic balance between the US and other nuclear armed countries, and is also an indication that the US is steadfastly preparing for military action on the Korean Peninsula amid rising tensions, analysts said.

US military officials said a ground-based long-range interceptor missile launched Tuesday from a California military base shot down a simulated incoming warhead as part of a US defense system test, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The ground-based interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California, 250 kilometers northwest of Los Angeles, at a mock-up of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fired from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

"This test is similar to actual combat because it used X-band radar to track and lock on to the target - an ICBM - by itself. In the past, the US used a medium-range missile and the defense system had the data and information about the target before the test," Yang Chengjun, a senior military strategist on missile studies from the PLA Rocket Force, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Officials said the interceptor missile traveled at 27,040 kilometers per hour and hit its target over the Pacific Ocean.

The test came a day after North Korea tested its ninth ballistic missile this year, which traveled 450 kilometers before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, Xinhua reported.

Pentagon spokesperson Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the test had been planned for some time and was not timed specifically as a response to North Korea. "In a broad sense, North Korea is one of the reasons why we have this capability," he said in a statement.

"They [North Korea] continue to conduct test launches, as we saw this weekend, while also using dangerous rhetoric that suggests they would strike the US homeland," Davis said.

Pyongyang confirmed it successfully test-fired another ballistic missile on Monday, the third inside a month, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The test was aimed at "verifying the technological indices of the new-type precision guided ballistic rocket capable of making ultra-precision strike on the enemies' objects in any area," KCNA said Tuesday.

Yang said the US test indicates it is preparing for military action as tensions in Northeast Asia mount.

However, North Korea's test only proves that it has medium-range missiles, not ICBMs, so the US' missile defense system is targeting nuclear powers like China and Russia, which could launch ICBMs to strike US territory, Yang said.

The US interceptor has an uneven track record, having succeeded nine times out of 17 attempts against missiles in tests since 1999, although the most recent test in June 2014 was a success, Xinhua reported.

Arms race

The US has 26 interceptors based at Fort Greely in Alaska and four at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Last week, the Pentagon presented its 2018 budget to Congress, proposing spending $7.9 billion on missile defense, including $1.5 billion for the ground-based mid-course defense program, Xinhua reported.

"The balance between nuclear armed countries is based on 'Mutual Assured Destruction' (MAD), and the development of missile defense systems is for the US to seek absolute security. But it's actually damaging the balance and it will surely bring about an arms race among nuclear armed countries," said Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations.

"China also has its missile defense system, with technology very similar to the US', but the system is not as comprehensive as the US system," Yang noted.

US President Donald Trump currently needs to unify his country's polarized society and satisfy the military-industrial lobby, so he needs to talk tough about "absolute national security" and "overwhelming advantage to other countries" at this time, Chu told the Global Times on Wednesday.