The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Northern Cape province held its ordinary Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting from Thursday, 07th to Friday, 08th July 2022.
This was the second PEC meeting in the year 2022 and second one after our Provincial Congress which took place in February this year.
The PEC meeting was attended by the majority of COSATU affiliates representing just over 42 000 members in the province.
It has been our stance and inherited mandate that we do not only represent workers organised under our Federation, but equally represent the hopes and aspirations of thousands of casualised, unorganized and highly exploited workers in the farms, the retail industry, government, and the industrial sector in the province.
We have a responsibility to emerge from this meeting with a pragmatic program of action that will defend and service members who will be led by a strong and campaigning COSATU. The unity displayed will be maintained beyond this PEC meeting. We will continue to put into practice our principle of an “Injury to one is an Injury to all”.
The PEC took note of the continuing job losses that have worsened our rate of unemployment, the impact of accelerating electricity cuts and the fuel price hikes that are raising the cost of living for workers.
The meeting is calling on government to take drastic steps to fix these problems and stop shifting blame and its responsibility to the private sector.
We also call on government to extend the temporary fuel levy reduction of R1.50 beyond the 31st of May, while exploring a more sustainable solution.
2. On organisational Matters
The PEC acknowledged the recent Provincial Summit of Young Workers which concluded with progressive resolutions and programmes that we believe will take the struggle of young people forward. It also congratulated the newly elected leadership which did not waste time but showed vigour by immediately embarking on an outreach programme that delivered pairs of shoes, sanitary towels and dignity packs to the needy learners at a school in Griekwastad during Youth Month (June). We resolved to unconditionally support this structure but also urged our affiliates to follow suit in ensuring that the same committees are established at all levels of their respective affiliates.
The meeting also conducted a thorough assessment of the 2022 May Day Rally that was held in Upington. We believe that although many workers attended the event, there is still a lot more to be done to ensure that we bring back enthusiasm and pride for workers to own and fully embrace this important day.
The meeting further adopted programmes for the re/launch of COSATU Locals and capacity building of elected Office Bearers and Shop-stewards across five (5) regions of the province.
All attendees resolved to recommit building an effective COSATU, its affiliates and to maintain unity.
We intend to revitalise our organising drives and to work with our unions to strengthen the framework for collective bargaining to improve service delivery to members and grow the unions.
Workers can survive the capital onslaught only through a vibrant, revolutionary and campaigning Federation.
3. On Socio-economic matters
The meeting noted with serious concern the rise in fuel prices which affects costs of basic necessities needed by many to survive. This is further exacerbated by the hike in electricity tariffs that have a direct bearing on the livelihoods of workers and the poor masses.
It is our firm view that something drastically ought to be done and to this end, we have resolved to embark on a series of mass actions that involve picketing, demonstrations and full blown strikes in July and October 2022 respectively.
The PEC reaffirms its resolution that Land Reform and Rural development MUST be central towards the attainment of a developmental state and to grow the economy of the province.
We should be very worried about the high rate of crime in our province, GBV, Rape, Murder and Robbery as they remain high. There is therefore a need to resist this as a Federation, government and members of the community.
Corruption – the law enforcement agencies must speed up the process of prosecution, incarceration, and recovery of stolen money. We also demand that the provincial government to STOP harbouring and protecting people that are facing serious crimes.
We note with great dismay and will continue to fight the tendency of moving people from one department to another instead of dealing with the problems.
We congratulate the leadership of the SACP particularly leaders from COSATU who were elected to serve as PEC members.
We pledge to work tirelessly in deepening our work to re-build a united COSATU and her local structures to defend the ANC and campaign tirelessly while working closely with the vanguard party (SACP).
However, as the Federation, we are mindful of the fact that the ANC has not brought about fundamental change to the modus operandi of the revolutionary alliance; in particular, the continued marginalization of workers and lack of proper consultation on matters of governance.
There is an uncountable number of memoranda of demands that were handed over to the ANC led government that were NEVER responded to. This calls for an even more radical action to vent the insurmountable anger that is suffocating the workers.
We have since requested an Alliance Political Council and Bilateral meetings without success.
Our view is that the ANC is very inward looking in as far as the challenges facing the organisation and communities at large are concerned.
Working with the SACP, we will ensure that we develop a common and left-axis approach on a job-centred economic development policy that is pro-working class and for the poor but also ensure the realisation of the Reconfiguration of the Alliance.
5. On International matters
As workers in the Northern Cape, we will deepen our international solidarity campaigns. In this regard we commit ourselves to reviving our solidarity programmes with workers in Namibia.
We pledge our solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Ukraine, Western Sahara, Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela, workers in Greece, Portugal and all oppressed nations.
The PEC further resolved to hold a symposium on 03rd of October 2022 in celebrating WTFU day which will be a joint programme with the SACP.
Issued by COSATU Northern Cape
For any further clarity, please contact Orapeleng Moraladi (Provincial Secretary) at 078452 6891 / 060 978 5651