File: Cosatu reiterated its plans to embark on a massive strike if the new pension reforms are not changed.
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JOHANNESBURG – It is time to deal decisively with the factional battles that have paralysed the ANC and the tripartite alliance, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Sunday.
“The federation has noted with unease and disappointment that the ANC’s share of the national vote has decreased dramatically during these past [municipal] elections, Cosatu said in a statement.
It was lamentable that the ANC had failed to hold onto some the big metropolitan municipalities across the country.
“While these are disheartening developments, it would be insincere to pretend that there were no visible signs of a gradual decline of our movement. The narrow focus on internal factional battles, the corruption scandals and the growing distance from the people have gradually eroded its high moral ground and weakened its political capacity and that of its leadership,” Cosatu said.
The elections also took place in the midst of a stagnant economy with high unemployment, poverty, and inequality.
“Some of our people have also been left torn apart and disappointed by the scale of corruption and some of the service delivery failures.”
Cosatu believed that the below-par election results should provide the alliance with plenty of food for thought. There was a need for deep reflection and analysis of the outcomes, especially on what they “represent and mean for the revolution”.
The ANC needed to go back to the people of South Africa and embark on a listening campaign that would include doing something drastic to kick-start the economy that had alienated many people, ban labour brokers that had created “the underclass of the working poor”, and also do away with the universally rejected e-tolls in Gauteng.
“This is no time to wallow in self-pity and allow demoralisation or frustrations to sidetrack us because at this juncture we are all called upon to defend our revolution.”
Cosatu would use its upcoming central executive committee meeting to assess and do a deeper analysis of the election outcomes.
The federation called on all mass democratic movement structures across the board to show that they were equal to the task by being frank and honest with themselves about the state of the movement and the revolution.
“The time has arrived to deal decisively with the factional battles that have paralysed the movement and the alliance,” it said.