ANC needs to plug the holes, says Vavi

The ANC must rediscover its “revolutionary morality”, so its leaders can be selfless, honest, and live with integrity, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Tuesday.

The ANC had to “fix its house before it landed on its head”, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told about 2 000 Gauteng shop stewards.

To do this, decent jobs, quality education, food security, healthcare, and crime had to be addressed as a priority, he said.

“We are saying we have got to succeed in these areas, because if we don’t succeed we can no longer be a fountain of hope that the ANC has been for the past 100 years.”

Cosatu is an alliance partner of the ANC, along with the South African Communist Party.

Vavi said Cosatu had to stay united to achieve its goals, because it was through unity that the trade union movement in South Africa was internationally respected.

“Without our numbers and without our unity we are nothing. We are building this organisation so that workers can improve their lot in the work place and society in general.”

Vavi said Cosatu could not be divided by people with agendas outside the organisation.

The Polokwane progressive policy framework also had to be defended by a united trade union movement.

Cosatu had to refuse to allow political paralysis on the framework and ensure the ANC remained in dialogue on the issues it covered.

Tenderpreneurs represented a serious threat to the working class and those who thought they had an “ordained right to eat on behalf of the masses” had to be isolated and exposed, he said.

“We don’t care who is involved. Don’t tell us we were together in Polokwane.
We are not together in corruption.”

But Cosatu had to defend the ANC leadership as a collective, saying the tenderpreneurs who had put the ANC’s leadership on the backfoot had to be stopped.

There was a responsibility to defend the collective leadership, not in a factional way, but as a whole in the ANC, Vavi said.

He added the issue of leadership had to be debated in the right structures, not on Facebook, Twitter, and letters to the editor.

Vavi said it was premature to discuss succession in the ANC.

“It is not healthy to have an organisation where debate is on leadership and not on the programmes of the government,” he said.

At the beginning of his hour-long speech, Vavi said the Eastern Cape government and the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union were on the verge of ending their differences and that an agreement would be announced on Wednesday.—Sapa

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