Alliance cracks don’t dissuade ANC backers

Unity within the ANC and its alliance partners is crucial as the ruling party celebrates its 102nd anniversary, the South African Communist Party (SACP) said on Wednesday.

"Unity is fundamental for us, particularly for the achievement of the goals of the Freedom Charter," SACP spokeseperson Alex Mashilo said in a statement. "Divisions are a luxury we cannot afford. They do not belong to us and will not serve our people, but the enemy and his agents."

The ANC's election manifesto is expected to be unveiled on Friday in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. It will be officially launched on Saturday at a rally at Mbombela Stadium, where President Jacob Zuma will deliver the keynote address.

The Mail & Guardian on December 20 reported that Cosatu's largest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), announced its boycott of election campaigning on behalf of the ruling party.

The SACP said it reaffirmed it confidence in the ANC. "Regardless of all sorts of attacks that the ANC and our alliance have endured for a while now, and regardless of which angle these are launched, the ANC will be victorious in the forthcoming elections through our support and most importantly, through the support of the overwhelming majority of our people."

Potent weapon
The Communication Workers Union (CWU), an affiliate of Cosatu, congratulated the ANC on its milestone. "We are proud of the role that current and past generations of trade union leaders have played and continue to play in building and shaping the ANC into a potent weapon in the hands of our people," it said.

The CWU said it was confident that the ANC, together with its alliance partners, would succeed in accelerating the creation of an equal society and address the social needs of South Africans.

The ANC in the North West said the province had already started implementing the resolutions made at the party's national conference in Mangaung in 2012, supported by provincial programmes and using the National Development Plan as a blueprint.

"As we celebrate our anniversary, we call on our members and supporters to ensure an overwhelming victory for the ANC in the national and provincial elections that would take place this year," said provincial secretary Dakota Legoete. "An ANC victory will ensure that we continue with the work that was started in 1912 by our founding fathers," he said.

Shrugged off
Meanwhile, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday shrugged off Numsa's recent boycott announcement.

"When they said individual members can do what they want to do it means metal workers will campaign for the ANC," said Mantashe, speaking at a media photo opportunity following the ruling party's two-day national executive committee meeting in Nelspruit this week. "The only thing they will withhold is their money. I was trying to think back: how much has Numsa given us in the last election?" he asked to laughs. "But it's symbolic for them to have that pronouncement that they will not give money to the ANC."

Trade union federation Cosatu's largest affiliate, Numsa, will not campaign for the ANC this year or support the party financially, the union resolved at a special national congress towards the end of December, the Mail & Guardian reported. It also decided to withhold its R800 000 monthly subscription to Cosatu.

"Numsa as an organisation will neither endorse nor support the ANC or any other political party in 2014," general secretary Irvin Jim told journalists at the time. He said Numsa officials or workers could campaign for the ANC but would have to do this "in their own time and using their own resources".

But Mantashe has read the union's controversial decision optimistically. "For us, if they allow individual metal-workers to campaign for the ANC it is quite important because in any case, unions do not have a block vote – whether in the ANC or in the elections. Individual citizens who are organised with the trade unions do go and campaign and vote."

Numsa under Jim has rallied against both Cosatu and the ANC following the suspension of Zwelinzima Vavi. Jim has since lambasted the party, but chosen to stay in Cosatu without actively supporting the ANC. "It is clear that the working class cannot any longer see the ANC or the SACP as its class allies in any meaningful sense," Jim said at the union's conference in December.

Numsa also resolved to persuade Cosatu to break off its alliance with the ANC and the SACP, which it claims has been co-opted by right-wing forces. Instead, Numsa plans to establish a new "united front" that will co-ordinate struggles in the workplace and in communities in a similar way to the United Democratic Front in the 1980s. – Sapa, Verashni Pillay

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Guest Author
Verashni Pillay
Verashni Pillay is the former editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian, and inaugural editor-in chief of Huffington Post South Africa. She has worked at various periods as senior reporter covering politics and general news, specialises in mediamanagement and relishes the task of putting together the right team to create compelling and principled journalism across multiple platforms.

Related stories

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Public protector’s ‘mistakes’ were made to nail the president, court hears

Busisiwe Mkhwebane discarded facts that were inconvenient to her when she investigated the CR17 campaign, Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers argued

CR17 report is not perfect, but the investigation was rational, court hears

So says public protector Busisiwe Mkwhebane’s lawyer, who said she had reason to suspect the money was being laundered through the campaign

#CR17 fight heads to the Constitutional Court

amaBhungane’s arguments about the disclosure of campaign funding are also expected to be heard

Editorial: Political meddling won’t save the SABC

For years, in moves that harked back to the repressive regime of the Nats, the public broadcaster has been used by the party as its political football in internal factional battles, or to censor dissent.

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

Between dark and light was Maradona

The life of Diego Armando Maradona, who died this week, will always remind us that the smell of shit is as important as the perfume of flowers, writes Niren Tolsi

Public protector’s ‘mistakes’ were made to nail the president, court...

Busisiwe Mkhwebane discarded facts that were inconvenient to her when she investigated the CR17 campaign, Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers argued

Student funding scheme gets new chief executive and board

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme has been under administration for two years after its board was dissolved and its boss resigned not even halfway through his term

General Council of the Bar slams Zuma Foundation

Another summons has been served on Jacob Zuma at his Nkandla residence, requiring the former president to appear before the Zondo Commission next year

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…