/ 5 January 2011

Strong alliance

Cosatu has always worked in alliance with the ANC, the SACP and SANCO and we will continue to play our role in uniting and strengthening this alliance.

We are encouraged by the recent successful ANC National General Council (NGC), where delegates categorically stated that the NGC must go down in history as “the gathering that marked a decisive turning point in tackling, arresting and reversing the negative tendencies that have eroded and threaten to erode the political integrity and moral standing of the ANC among our people.”

Importantly, the NGC reaffirmed all the economic resolutions of Polokwane, summarised in the five ANC manifesto priorities. The framework of a new growth path emerged from the NGC, committing the ANC to the principle of creating decent work opportunities.

Further, the Declaration “reaffirms the ANC’s approach that the transformation of the South African economy should always be holistic and comprehensive, covering all sectors of the economy. In this regard, the ANC should ensure greater state involvement and control of strategic sectors of the economy, such as mining, energy, the financial sector and others.”

At the time when we were concerned that government was giving in to the agenda of capital and other interest groups mobilising against the introduction of the National Health Insurance, the NGC moved decisively to state that “the implementation of NHI should be fast-tracked”.

We all hope that the New Growth Path, after a proper process of consultation and engagement, will provide a way forward to build an economy based primarily on manufacturing industry, so that we beneficiate our own resources, using them to add value by turning them into manufactured goods, and begin to reach the government’s goal of creating five million decent, sustainable jobs over the next ten years.

The NGC constitutes not only a defence of Polokwane but significant pro-worker and pro-poor advances. The overriding lesson we have learnt throughout our 25 years of existence, however, is that paper accepts anything written on it. Our challenge is to use a combination of strategies to continue to push for fundamental transformation.

Overall, the NGC should bring alliance formations closer, but it will all depend on consistent and decisive leadership to take forward the NGC’s pro-poor and poor-working class policies.