COSATU Gauteng PEC statement
The PEC meeting was convened as part of the constitutional obligation and requirement of the federation and was attended by all affiliated unions in the province and also locals. The meeting was also honoured to be addressed and briefed by Alliance partners being the ANC, SACP and SANCO. The PEC received a report from the National Office Bearer’s and in particular by the President of the Federation, Cde Sidumo Dlamini. The Provincial Chairperson highlighted the immediate challenges and tasks facing the federation in the province.
International Balance of Forces
The meeting noted the recent developments around the world since the emergence of Donald Trump as the President of the United States of America. The meeting noted that the emergence of Trump as the President of the USA does not augur well for World Peace and Development. The meeting noted further that his emergence represents fundamental shifts in world politics and a rejection of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the USA Treasury’s failed policies.
It is these institutions and their policies, which had triggered the 2008 global economic crises, which has not yet ended and that affected all countries in regardless of their status as developing of developed. The world economic growth has not recovered and difficulties still persist across the continents. The growth which has been experienced in some countries and including the USA has not benefited the working class and the poor. The recent report by the OXFAM on the concentration of the economy to the few is one typical example on how those, who have caused the crises are benefitting from the crises.
The 2008 global economic crises further explained the developments in Latin America in countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia among others. I
The working class is therefore called upon to be united and defend it gains across the globe. The war is going to escalate as these new administrations that are being elected in the Western Hemisphere will push for further unregulated capitalism and it will get more aggressive on the removal of trade regulations, privatizations, outsourcing and casualisation of labour.
The PEC further noted the developments in Africa and regretted the admission of Morocco as a member of the African Union. This development marks a serious blow to the struggle for the people of Western Sahara for self determination. It also marks a serious weakening lack of political ideology within the Continent.
The meeting further noted the recent developments in Lesotho and the implication of the vote of no confidence to the Prime Minister as resolved by Parliament and that this represent a set back to the stability, peace and development to the Kingdom.
The PEC resolved to intensify the struggle for the Freedom of the People of Palestine. It called upon the United Nations to speedily intervene and resolve this conflict before it is too late. The Province further agreed that no amount of intimidation will ever deter us from providing support and solidarity with the people of Palestine to have peace and development. The PEC resolved to establish an international Committee to coordinate and provide a practical meaning to the solidarity with the people of Palestine and Swaziland among others. It also called for the intensifying of the call for the removal of blockade against the Cuban people by the Imperialist regime of USA.
The PEC noted the change of the political landscape in the country , especially in the Gauteng province. The loss of the Metropolitan Municipalities and some of the municipalities in the last local government elections are self inflicted-pains by the African National Congress and its allies. The PEC in its analysis reflected that both subjective and objective factors played a critical role and contributions to our losses of three Metro’s and the some other municipalities in the country. The PEC in the main identified the following as some of the key reasons as to why we lost the metros and our majority reduced across the country.
– E-Tolls Saga.
– Nhlanhla Nene Debacle.
– Guptarization of the State.
– Tax Law amendments.
– High level of crime and corruption.
– High level of unemployment.
– High level of poverty.
– Poor service delivery in many areas of our people
– The global economic crises and its negative impact to the country.
– Labour Brokering and Outsourcing.
– Nkandla Gate.
– The infighting within the ANC structures and jostling for positions in the municipality.
– The grievances on the list process within the movement and murders or political assassination that followed the process.
– The imposing of Mayors without the approval of the masses such as in Tshwane.
The PEC was also expressed concern that the ANC seems not to be conscious of the fact that it has received a serious a warning from the electorate to change its bad ways. Some within its leadership still behave as if nothing has changed. In this regard, the PEC identified the following as issues that have continued to take centre stage and continue to impact on the ANC brand are a serious threat to the 2019 national and provincial elections.
– The Drama that has been taking place at the SABC.
– The recent decision of charging of Minister of Finance by the NPA.
– The Withdrawal of the charges against the Minister of Finance before appearing in court.
– The alleged capture of the state by the Gupta Family.
– The Public Protector Report outcome on these allegations.
– The subsequence failed interdict by the alleged appointed Ministers by the Gupta’s.
– The subsequence challenge by the President and a sudden withdrawal of the challenge.
– The continuation of the intent to charge the Minister of Finance on the establishment of the rogue unit.
– The high level of factionalism in the movement still continues to detract our movement from its strategic objectives.
– The insult thrown to the veterans by some in the movement for raising serious issues around the state of the movement and the revolution.
– The lack of implementation of the National Health Insurance
– The lack of implementation of the decent work agenda.
– The continuation of the E-tolls.
– The failure to speedily resolve the fees must fall campaign.
– The recent death of 94 mentally ill patients.
– The SASSA saga by the Department of Social Development and including the failure to address many grievances affected workers in the sector.
– The arrogance still displayed by some leaders of the movement.
– The announcement of closure of power stations by Eskom.
– The corruption charges hanging over the head of the President of the ANC.
The Provincial Executive Committee resolved that the upcoming national and provincial conferences of the ANC must be used as a starting point to deal with these systematic challenges facing the movement ;and the failure to decisive deal with these matters would be very costly for the 2019 elections. Our failure to confront these issues without any fear or favour would have a very catastrophic to the National Democratic Revolution. It will set back the revolution of our people and unfortunately recovery is not guaranteed as it has happen in many other liberation movements across the globe. Our won experience in the Western Cape is another typical example on how difficult it is to regain power after you have donated it.
The federation will be preparing itself to approach the upcoming events of the movement with a hope to contribute positively and rebuild the African National Congress to its glory before it’s too late.
The PEC also welcomed the Central Executive Committee decision to identify the ANC Deputy President to succeed Cde Jacob Zuma as the President of the ANC in 2017 also of the Country in 2019.
The PEC further recommended that the President on his own would not tilt the balance of forces but this requires a strong National Executive Committee that is strong, vibrant, militant and dedicated to advance the radical economic transformation in the country. The radical economic transformation need to be given the content as it might end up being a slogan without necessary uplifting our masses from the yoke of imperialism and Apartheid legacy.
The radical economic transformation must be about the people as whole and not few selected individuals ,who are connected politically and economically. The radical economic transformation must be about bringing development and empowerment to our rural people. It must be about bringing real freedom to farm and domestic workers. The economic freedom must be about freedom for the working class from the yoke of capitalism and exploitation. Anything that does not address this will never be a radical economic freedom but it will represent the continuation of the status quo and looting of the state.
The PEC invested a lot of time discussing the state of the organization. The PEC accepted that the federation while weakened by its internal challenges over the past three it is still very much capable of advancing and campaigning for the interest of the working class.
The PEC rejected the statements from those that view themselves as our main enemies that have had already written an obituary for the federation. We reiterate that our main enemy is monopoly capital. The PEC acknowledges that the organization is now relatively stable and beginning to focus on its key task of advancing the interest of the workers and the poor. The PEC endorsed the internal discussion paper on rebuilding the engines of the federation.
It further endorsed the three months program of going back to the basic and ensuring that the interest of its members and the working class take the centre stage in our programs. The PEC in that regard resolved to go back to the workplaces across the province and engage with the members on the current program to revive worker control and build basic unit of the federation at the locals and in all industrial areas.
The PEC further noted serious challenges facing its affiliates as a result of both subjective and objective factors and resolved that all the efforts must be put in place to assist and help the industrial unions ,which are facing massive onslaught by our class enemy through various programs and campaigns to weakening the federation and the affiliates.
The PEC further resolved to kick start capacity building across the province and in the main targeting Shopstewards, officials of the unions and leadership. The PEC acknowledges that there has been a serious turnover of leadership from the shop floor level to all locals and provincial leadership. The POB;s are then tasked to develop such a program for adoption in the for implementation in the next PEC which will also include technical, administrative, organizational, political and ideological training of the cadres of the federation for the next three years as part of the program to rebuild and reposition the federation to confront its challenges.
The PEC noted that 2017 May-Day celebration will not be an ordinary celebration given that it marks 100 years of the Bolshevik Revolutions which is an important milestone for the Russian Revolution and the working class across the world. The PEC resolved Gauteng May Day will take a march to the Johannesburg Stock exchange to hand deliver a memorandum of demands on various issues affecting the working class and the poor.
The details on the preparation will be communicated in due course.
The PEC noted various developments which have occurred in the country and also nationally around these issues. The PEC on the Life ESidimeni resolved to convene an urgent meeting with the Premier and also with the MEC for Health to deal with some of the challenges facing the health sector and the processes embarked upon to resolve this trajectory.
The PEC further also welcomed the report as tabled and thanked the Premier and also the Minister of Health to auctioning the recommendations which had emerged from the report.
The PEC called upon the opposition parties to desist to use the trajectory of our people as a political football.
2017 Provincial State of the Province and Budget Speech
The PEC welcomed the state of the provincial address and the Provincial Budget Speech and committed itself to work with the provincial government to realise the 10 pillars of the current administration.
National Minimum Wage
The PEC noted developments around the national minimum wage and congratulated the tireless work of the federation to demand that our country must have the national minimum wages across the economy. The R3500-00 does not represent our demand however it is a start in the right direction which needs to be supported by all in the country. The national minimum wage would uplift millions of workers across the industries from absolute poverty and also it will have a positive impact to the economic growth and development.
Our view is that the R3500-00 and the national minimum wage are not a living wage and therefore the federation called upon all of our affiliates to intensify the demand for the living wage campaign.
Closure of the Power Stations by Eskom
The PEC noted the recent unilateral announcement by ESKOM to close about five power stations in the country without any consultation and engagement with labour and the communities. The PEC while supports the green economy and reduction of emission caused by various industries in the country however such must not be at the expense of the working class and the poor.
The PEC resolved that the federation must fight this unilaterally decision by Eskom and in this regard we would develop a program to interact with various communities and civil society formations to mount pressure on Eskom to develop a clear program that would not result in Job losses which would not only affect ESKOM employees but the entire value chain and more important the communities around these power stations and coal mines.
The PEC noted lack of significant progress on the roll out of the public transport in the province and in the country. The PEC has been disturbed by the recent developments in PRASA which is supposed to be playing a leading role in this regard. It is the view of the PEC that the Board and Management of PRASA are found wanting in this regard hence we welcome the dissolution of the board and the establishment of the interim board.
We are however concern about the recycling of some of the individuals who have cost us the elections with their e-toll system in our roads. It is on this basis that we would be urgently convening a meeting with the interim board to have a proper discussion on how do they intend to speed up the roll out of the public transport system.
We would also be convening a meeting with the SANRAL BOARD and the CEO to discuss on when are they going to scrap the E-tolling in our province which has a very negative impact to our country and the liberation movement.
The PEC further noted the announcement on the roll out of the public transport system for the few who are rich and middle class in a form of Gauteng. The PEC mandated the POB’s to engage with the Gauteng government to desist from engaging in projects are bias towards the rich at the expense of the working class and the poor.
We would also continue with the mass protest to demand the public transport system that is accessible, intermodal and reliable.
Support to the Department of Social Development Strike
Cosatu in Gauteng support the demands of our members in the Department of Social Development which are long overdue and legitimate.
These demands are
- Placement of Assistant Community Development Practitioners (Masupatsela cadres) on the correct salary level
- Entry level for support staff from salary level 5 – 6
- Abolishment salary level 2 and 3 for support staff
- Immediate roll-out of uniform for cleaners and security officers
- The review of OSD for Social Service Professionals and Occupations
- The introduction of rural allowance
- The provision of tools of trade
- The absorption of unemployed Social Workers on a permanent basis
- The permanent employment of all employees who are under the Gender Based Violence Command Centre
- Improved conditions of service for all employees in the Department of Social Development
- The implementation of the 2015 Social Work Indaba resolutions
- The in sourcing of all Public Secure Care Centres outsourced to Bosasa.
- The protection and respect of our noble council for Social Service Professionals.
Developments on SASSA and the Social Grants
We have noted the recent constitutional court judgment around SASSA and social grants. It is our view that the crises what deliberately and consciously created to continue to serve the interest of some individuals within SASSA and the Department of Social Developments. We once more call upon the Minister to save our movement and the integrity of our government and resign before we force her to do so.
We view her incompetency as an insult to our struggle and to many other heroes and heroin of our struggle. Her conduct smells of counter-revolution at its best and therefore she must resign before she does more damage to the revolution.
Free Education for the poor and the working class
The PEC noted lack of progress in achieving the free and compulsory education in our country for the working class and the poor. The PEC further noted that there is a process initiated by the President to investigate the best possible model to achieve this objective.
The PEC is calling upon the commission that is engage with this process to speed up the process and release its findings I order for the society to engage with its recommendations.
Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada
The federation in the province is highly disturbed by the wrong information peddled by some in the media on the health status of our hero and stalwart of the revolution and peddling false news.
We wish him a speedy recovery from his illness and wish GOD to be with him as he recovers from the hospital.