Since the ANC conference in Mangaung, which re-elected Zuma as party president, Cosatu has been battling to deal with divisions between supporters of Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and its president Sdumo Dlamini.
With general elections drawing closer, the ANC is worried that the continued in-fighting with Cosatu will impact on its election campaign.
Addressing delegates attending from the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), Zuma said the unity of the alliance was paramount and in the interest of the people of South Africa.
“We cannot achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves and create the society envisioned in the Freedom Charter without the unity of our movement and our people. It was because of this understanding that the ANC declared this year to be the year of unity in action towards socio-economic freedom.” said Zuma.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to implementing the national development plan – which has come under criticism from some within Cosatu.
“The adoption of the national development plan was informed by the need to abandon ad hoc planning and eliminate the overreliance on market forces to resolve social and structural problems,” said Zuma.
He said the government would embark on intensive ideological, political, academic and moral training of a critical mass of patriotic South Africans who are public servants.
“Through institutions like the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy, we must deepen the consciousness of our public servants about the tasks of the revolution and the important role they have to play in improving the lives of our people,” he said.
He encouraged the Nehawu delegates to discuss the issue of corruption within the public service.
“We cannot allow corruption to be so institutionalised in government such that public servants, be it at the licensing or housing departments, expect to be paid a bribe for performing their duties which they get salaries for. We must never accept this kind of practice to define the ANC government of the ANC alliance,” he added.