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st George Hotel and Conferences, Pretoria

Blow-by-Blow accounts of the Cosatu Central Committee brought to you every hour.

[su_tabs][su_tab title=”29 May 2017″]

[su_note note_color=”#e3e3e0″]Monday, Day One: We, the Trade Union representatives here present firmly commit ourselves to a unified democratic South Africa, free of oppression and economic exploitation. we believe that this could only be achieved under the leadership of a united working class. [/su_note]

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10h00: The COSATU Central Committee is happening today in Pretoria. It is the 6th Central Committee of the Federation.

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Abridged version CEC Discussion Document for COSATU’s 6th Central Committee can be found here:

[su_note note_color=”#e3e3e0″]http://www.cosatu.org.za/list.php?type=Discussion[/su_note]

11h00: Registration is underway. The hall almost full to capacity.

11:10 – For extra information and accounts of the conference check out the COSATU twitter account.

11:20 – Affiliates are still submitting registration as required. The conference is now experiencing full attendance. all COSATU affiliates are in attendance. The mood is jovial, with songs reverberating everywhere. It looks like no weather could put this workers gathering off. all clad in warm red unions regalia, its really on for this conference.

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11:45 – 1st Deputy President, Cde Tyotyo James has now taken to the podium to open the COSATU 6th Central Committee. Delegates are requested to rise and sing the South African anthem.

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11:50 – COSATU Deputy General Secretary, Cde Solly Phetoe is now on the stage reading out the register.

12h00: The conference still discussing on the adoption of the agenda. The ANC will be represent by Dep President cde Cyril Ramaphosa.

12:14 – Deputy SG, Solly Phetoe of COSATU is now going through the house rules. these are guidelines that will be followed throughout the four day conference. It is a protocol in all COSATU conference to have the house rules read out and explained to all in attendance.

12:23 – The house is now discussing the adoption of the minutes of the previous Central Committee. The minutes are adopted.

12:30 – COSATU President, Cde Sdumo Dlamini is leading the delegates with a song. He is about to start with the opening address.

COSATU President opening remarks at the COSATU 6th Central Committee Conference, Irene, Pretoria

[su_box title=”Speech by President of COSATU”]We give special salute to the delegates from unions representing the more than 1, 7 million workers organized under COSATU also representing the plight of approximately 13.72 million workers that don’t belong to any Trade Union or to any form of industrial organization which protects the rights of workers. Today we come to this 6th Central Committee more united than we were in 2015 when we went to the Special National Congress and the 12th National Congress. We want to say thank you to the workers, the members of COSATU. It is you who stood up when the federation was going through a storm. It is you who said we should stop fighting amongst ourselves and direct our energies and resources to heighten our struggle and consolidate our unity against our primary class enemies. It is you who instructed that our focus must be on leading workplace struggles.  As a result of your instruction, we went out and intervened at the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga. Since the tragic collapse of a sinkhole that buried three workers and left several of them injured, we campaigned to see some justice and relief for the Lily Mine workers. We were first able to force the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane to agree to a commission of enquiry and an investigation into the reasons behind the Lily Mine accident. Today we can report that  the families of missing miners (Mrs. Pretty Mabuza, Mr. Solomon Nyarenda and Ms Yvonne Mnisi), who are still trapped underground at Lily Vantage gold mine in Mpumalanga since the 15th of February 2016 have been paid the R200 000 that was promised to them. We also welcome the payment of R10 000 to the 75 injured miners that were promised a payment of R50 000, and we shall continue to work to support the fundraising efforts to raise money so that workers can receive the additional R 40 000. We remain very clear that any company that takes over operations at Lily Mine needs to prioritise the repatriation of the bodies of the trapped miners first. We also want to see the continuation of an investigation that will help determine the cause of the accident and we demand that those found responsible should be held accountable We also went to intervene at Umbhaba farm estate with the aim of helping the 3000 Umbhaba workers that were sold out by a union which is not affiliated to COSATU. These workers were dismissed after they went on a legal strike fighting for the recognition of the same union which abandoned them.  We are continuing to engage with the lawyers and we will continue to help these vulnerable workers and will tirelessly fight to ensure that they get justice at the end. When we call ourselves a fighting federation we really mean it. We are more united and continue to be on the ground than ever before.  It is not us who say this but COSATU union’s work speaks for itself. This is corroborated by the 2015 report by the Department of Labour which pointed out that COSATU unions which on amongst others include  NUM, NEHAWU, SADTU  displayed the shares of working days lost at above 10% in 2015. In this regards, NUM was ranked the top at 15.1% in 2015. It you the workers who led from the front and shook South Africa from its foundations in the struggle against compulsory preservation of your retirement fund benefits when you declared nothing about us without us! It is you the workers who forced government to finally release and table the discussion paper on the comprehensive social security and retirement reform. It is you the workers who led the struggle for the implementation of the National health Insurance system. Through your struggles, the NHI is being piloted in some provinces.  Part of this have included the screening of 3.2 million learners in quintile 1-5   and 15 % of them  were found to be suffering preventable ailments which are making it impossible  for them to learn effectively because of hearing and sight problems . The cervical vaccine provided to girls in education as part of the NHI is of the most progressive campaigns carried to open the doors of health for the poor. The de worming campaign in schools is bringing health on the door of the poor. The implementation of NHI will allow our country to have the capacity to confront the new challenge of TB which has become a new number one killer in our society and it has killed more people than Ebola. The fact of the matter is that medical aids are unsustainable because, they are about profit maximization and not pubic good. Our campaign on the implementation of NHI will also have to focus on the establishment of a state pharmaceutical company, funding; and to challenge the immoral hospitals and schools that are listed in the JSE reducing both health and education into a commodity. It is you the workers who must defend the NHI from being stolen by business it is you the workers who must direct the NHI away from the profit making logic. We are currently fighting to ensure that the NHI is not donated to the Clinton foundation; we are also fight to ensure that the redistribution of resources through the NHI favors the working class. We are saying that financing the NHI should not allow the use of VAT, as it would create a situation where a big share of the poor’s incomes is spent on health compared to the rich. We are also fighting against any attempt to introduce a multi payer system, instead of a single fund, intended to ensure that the rich subsidize the poor.  We are committed not only to the creation of the NHI but also to the transformation of the health system, including the operations of the institutions. The death of more than one hundred psychiatric patients in Gauteng stands as a monumental reminder of the dangers of outsourcing and agencification of the state. Governments need to act decisively to do away with outsourcing and use of private healthcare providers in the health system. It is through the struggles by COSATU members that  a new Unemployment Insurance Act has now been  signed into law  ,coming with progressive changes which include increased UIF benefits from 8 months to 12 months (238 to 365 days); covering  workers who lost working hours due to reduced time at their work place at their previous full time hours; Including learnership programmes under the UIF; increasing  maternity leave benefits from 54% to 66%; separating  maternity leave from UIF benefits and claims; providing  maternity leave benefits for women who had miscarriages during the third trimester or a still born birth; allowing the family and/ or nominated beneficiaries of deceased claimants to receive their remaining due benefits; prohibiting the charging of fees by any party to a UIF claimant; allowing  the Minister for Labour to issue special regulations for domestic workers and employees of small businesses and enterprises to ensure that they are covered; prohibiting the exclusion of  workers from UIF and maternity leave benefits if they are members of the Government Employees Pension Fund (thus cover public servants if they are dismissed from work).The next phase of the struggle is to fight for the  expansion of  access to the UIF for vulnerable workers. It is through the struggles led by you COSATU members that the democratic government has become more decisive in reversing the legacy of the land dispossessions which has always been at the centre of our liberation struggle. This victory has meant real and concrete benefit for farm workers who today can claim co -ownership of land with their former employers. It is through struggles led by you the workers under the banner of COSATU we have secured a victory which saw the signing of a declaration towards the process that will lead to a legislated National Minimum Wage. This is part of the struggle for a Living Wage which you have   waged and led with courage and tenacity. When we say we are a fighting federation we mean it. We continue to fight both in the streets and in the boardroom with equal precision and political finesse. Ask any honest member of parliament they will tell you about our well researched and well thought out quality policy presentations which covers more than 20 sectors of the economy and our presentations and research work is quoted by various reputable academic institutions and scholars. Ask any employer they will tell you about the forever combat ready unions of COSATU who know how and when to draw a red line on the sand, when forced to that position. Honest employers who negotiate with COSATU unions will tell you about how COSATU unions can demonstrate tactical finesse, show calculated bravery, courageous leadership and can take the fight to the bitter end when the moment calls for it.  When we say we are a fighting federation we really mean it. We salute you the members of COSATU who stood up when the federation was facing the storm and told us to never to compromise the tradition of robust and frank engagement regarding our organisation and the struggles of the working class and to do so using the platform of our constitutional structures and within the parameters of our constitution. Today we stand here in front of you to tell you that your federation is alive and kicking. Your federation is united and our unity is not unity in general but class unity and principled unity. The President is now on COSATU victories, explaining how the federation has registered a number of successes. He pointed of health issues, ad how the National Health Insurance (NHI) is geared up to eradicate inequalities, giving everyone a chance to access quality healthcare without a medical aid scheme. The NHI whose objective is to realise universal health coverage is now finally government’s policy. It is the mandate of the government ,as endorsed by the overwhelming majority of the citizens, first in 2009 and again in 2014. It is also a constitutional mandate in terms of Section 27 and an international undertaking and obligation in terms of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The establishment of a single payer NHI Fund is what we have been calling for, and it will effectively remove the role of profit-driven medical aid administrations in the system, thereby generating savings from the current wasteful and largely corrupt medical aid industry. For more see COSATU website[/su_box]

 

14h00: Breaking for lunch

15h00: The house in back now, the 2nd Dep President has now requested the COSATU GS, cde Bheki Ntshalintshali to come to present the Secretariat Report.

COSATU GS remarks at the COSATU 6th Central Committee

[su_box title=”Remarks by COSATU General Secretary”]15:03 – COSATU GS is now on stage. The report talks about the following: 1. Building unity within the federation, within the affiliates and with other federations. The 2015 Special National Congress said that “we accept that in the discussions regarding the unity and cohesion of the federation, issues related to leadership were discussed but not exhausted. In this regard we call for honesty, integrity and collective leadership in building the genuine unity and cohesion”. On the issue of Venezuela, We note with great concern the developments currently in South Africa with the fake reports and fake news trying to convince the world that South Africans support the offensive against the current government of Venezuela. On the contrary, we want to state it categorically clear that such news are ridiculously false. We are clear, based on our strong historical ties with Venezuela and our resolve as progressives that we will support the progressive people and government of Venezuela both in word and in action. 15:20 – On the African stage, the Africa Trilateral Corporation is the historic relationship between COSATU (SA), NLC (Nigeria) and TUC (Ghana), amongst the foremost trade union movement on the African continent. It is a relationship born in the trenches of the struggle against apartheid, colonialism and military dictatorship at various times of our countries historical development. COSATU has also been re-appointed Coordinator of the SATUCC Solidarity Committee, which seeks to actively champion the cause of workers and poor throughout the whole SADC region. The BRICS Trade Union Forum The BRICS Trade Union Forum continues to be a force, that is growing to assert itself on a global stage and yo occupy a  critical space in shaping a different world of work. It is build on the Declaration from Moscow, South Africa, Brazil and Russia. The Declaration that was presented to the meeting of labour ministers constituted as the BRICS Working Group on Employment  contained key elements of the various declarations we always develop together and strengthened in India. In essence, these are the general trends and perspectives that are broadly reflective of the BRICS trade union fraternity  each year and in each country. It is becoming more and more bold and in close proximity of eachh other’s concerns and  shared views of the world and the crisis we face together. Back to basic campaign The Federation is emerging and recovering from a difficult period of internal organizational challenges. but despiteall of these challenges it can be said without fear of contradictions that since the 2015 Special National Congress and the 12th National Congress the presence of COSATU has been visibly felt and recognized by both our friends and foes alike in all strategic centers of power in our society, particularly in workplace struggles and strategic policy development platforms. The Listening Campaign The Listening campaign has been conduct in a manner that links it directly to recruitment programmes. The Federation has been able to reach all sectors organized by COSATU affiliates including the unorganized workers who are now joining COSATU affiliated unions. In all the visits workers were inspired to see their own leaders coming to listen to them and work to find solutions together with them. There is current a process underway to report back on the task and issues raised by workers.[/su_box]

 

16h00: Its been an intertwined occasions, with speeches after speech accompanied by singing.

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16:17 – Minister of Higher Education cde Blade Nzimande is now on the stage giving his support speech on behalf of the SACP.

Speech by Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education

Cde blade Nzimande at COSATU 6th central Committee Conference in Irene, Pretoria

[su_box title=”Speech by Cde Blade Nzimande”]The SACP wishes to take this opportunity to wish this 6th Central Committee of COSATU successful deliberations. Our message today to this gathering is divided into five parts: Current and immediate challenges facing our revolution Progress, achievements and weaknesses since 2009 The centrality of driving a second, more radical phase of our transition Necessity to solidify relationship between SACP and COSATU and necessity to reconfigure our Alliance Some of the tasks facing the SACP 14th Congress Cde President and delegates, it would be disingenuous or untruthful for the SACP not to admit upfront that our revolution and the liberation movement as a whole are facing enormous threats and challenges at the present moment. Failure to overcome this may actually lead to a serious reversal if not defeat of all we have achieved, especially since the 1994 democratic breakthrough. It is for this reason that we must take to heart, what Cde Oliver Tambo – in this year of his centenary – said on 2 May 1984 at the Solomon Mahlangu College in Tanzania: “Let’s tell the truth to ourselves even if the truth coincides with what the enemy is saying. Let us tell the truth”. It is important to remind ourselves of these pearls of wisdom from those who came before us also in order to expose those who always accuse us of working with the enemy whenever we tell the truth about the weaknesses in our movement. Their aim is to silence us. Let us refuse to be blackmailed into silence so that our revolution can be saved. Whilst monopoly capital remains our strategic enemy, but the most immediate threat facing our revolution are the parasitic networks encircling the state and our economy, at centre of which is the Gupta family working with some of the most senior comrades in our movement and the state. Sometimes our detractors say but why is the SACP fighting these parasitic networks but not monopoly capital. But this is a lie! Since our formation in 1921 our primary struggle has been against both national oppression and its economic foundations based on especially mining capital. Since 2000 we have waged a heroic struggle for the transformation and diversification of the financial sector, including the banks. We have sometimes been accused why the pre-occupation with the Gupta family. This is another lie! When the Kebbles tried to capture some of our comrades in the ANC Youth League, we stood firm as the SACP. Till today we say no to Kebbleism, Guptarisation or any other form of capture of our movement or the state. Even here, working with COSATU we have said no to business unionism – the capture of progressive trade unions by business interests. We also want this Central Committee to stand up with us and say no to corporate capture of our organisations, our movement and the state! The fifth democratic administration, and particularly since December 2015, has seen the dramatic destabilisation of the pre-existing, but always unstable, post-Polokwane relative co-relation of forces within the ANC and government. Essentially this has been the result of a more determined, more reckless, but relatively well coordinated, and well-resourced drive by a networked parasitic-patronage faction connected to the narrow BEE tendency and actively supported from the highest echelons of the ANC and state. For more, visit COSATU website[/su_box]

 

17h00: More singing and the deputy President, Cde Tyotyo James elaborated on the programme for the following day of the conference.

18h00: The meeting adjourned till tomorrow 09h00am

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[su_tab title=”30 May 2017″]

[su_note note_color=”#e3e3e0″]Tuesday, Day Two: We, the Trade Union representatives here present firmly commit ourselves to a unified democratic South Africa, free of oppression and economic exploitation. we believe that this could only be achieved under the leadership of a united working class. [/su_note]

 

09h00: Open of the second seating of the Central Committee by President of COSATU,  Cde Sdumo Dlamini.

10h00: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver his speech

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Message of support from Deputy President of South Africa Cde Cyril Ramaphosa

Cde Cyril Ramaphosa speaking at COSATU 6th Central Committee Conference

[su_box title=”Speech by Cde Cyril Ramaphosa”]I greet you in the name of the African National Congress on the occasion of this critical Central Committee meeting. As the African National Congress, the people’s movement, we salute you, COSATU, the leading representative of the workers of this country. We salute you for the tremendous struggles you have fought and for the great victories you have achieved. We salute you because you are the most progressive and the most potent weapon that the workers of this country have. We salute you because Cosatu is the home of the workers of this country. It is through Cosatu that the workers of this country have a voice. It is through Cosatu that they exercise their power. It is through Cosatu that they fight for their rights. The unity of Cosatu is therefore paramount. We should never lose sight of our founding principle of ‘one industry, one union’ and ‘one country, one federation’. We know from the history of workers’ struggles in this country – from our lived experience – that we are stronger united, and that we are at our weakest divided. We know that discrimination, exploitation and injustice will never be defeated until the workers are united. For as long as workers are not united, poverty, unemployment and inequality will remain the defining features of our society. It is therefore imperative that we work to advance unity within Cosatu, within its affiliates and within the Alliance. It is imperative that Cosatu and its affiliates reach out to unorganised workers. It is imperative that Cosatu and its affiliates engage with other federations and unions on common platforms of action. Cosatu is the home of all workers not simply because it claims to be. Cosatu is the home of South African workers because it has demonstrated that it can organise, mobilise, recruit, negotiate and advance the interests of workers most effectively. More on the COSATUwebsite [/su_box]

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Lucas Qakasa of SANCO speaking at the COSATU 6th Central Committee

[su_box title=”Message of support from SANCO”]This morning receive herewith the fratenal greeting from the leadership and membership of the vanguard of our communities, revolutionary civic movement the South African National Civic Organisation As we draw inspiration from Ho Chi Minh, one of the great revolutionaries of the twentieth century who excelled as a leader, a teacher, a journalist, a strategist, an internationalist, a unifier, a negotiator, a creative thinker, a poet, a guerrilla fighter who endured decades of exile, prison, torture and decades of war when he said, (quote)” Remember that the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability. “(close quote) Having survived worst storms since its formation and in recent years, I guess that COSATU, the giant federation can identify with the profound words by the guerilla leader who lived with his comrades in the most basic possible conditions in the caves of Cao Bang, often having to forage for food. And yet, his dedication to the cause of the Vietnamese independence, unification, and global socialism never faltered. As a guerilla leader who later became president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh fought against French, Japanese and US colonialism with relentless energy, profound intelligence and undying passion. Like our very own Oliver Reginald Tambo, Ho Chi Minh led his people through every up and down from the early 1920s up until his death in 1969. Ho Chi Minh provided the major inspiration and strategic vision for the Vietnamese revolution, promoted and build maximum national unity against imperialism, bringing the peasantry, working class, intellectuals and patriotic capitalist elements together in order to struggle against imperialism. He led the work of inspiring, organising and educating the masses of the Vietnamese people for their long struggle against imperialism and for socialism. It was through consistently making correct analysis of the prevailing balance of forces along with other top leaders of the Vietnamese resistance that Ho Chi Minh scored historic victories such as the capture of power in August 1945, the defeat of the French occupation in 1954, the building of socialism in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), and the Tet Offensive of 1968, which served as the major turning point in the war with the US. This Central Executive Committee meeting affords COSATU an opportunity to analyse the prevailing balance of forces, adjust its sails to weather the storm and or alter the cause. More than ever before, the revolutionary alliance is required to strive for principled unity and deal decisively with the challenges facing South Africa. We can no longer afford to be on the periphery while capital is in the cockpit with a political elite that is seemingly guided by self-preservation, advancing its own interest, those of its families and cronies above those of the masses of our people who are in grinding poverty. As the vanguard of our communities, we have appealed to the African National Congress(ANC) as the leader of the revolutionary alliance and society to move with speed to self-correct and disassociate itself from skilled manipulators who have enticed some of its leaders with money, corrupted our political system, appropriated themselves the authority of the state, its economy and wealth. The delay in appointing a judicial commission to investigate allegations of state capture and associated looting has given traction to and united counter revolutionary forces. It is doing more harm to the image of Africa’s oldest liberation movement and destroying the credibility as well as the brand that has been the only hope for the masses of our people for over a century. Although it has come a bit too late to convince us that it was its desired intention to bring the matter to finality, we nonetheless welcome the ANC NEC’s support for the probe. We hope that government will no longer stall the process but implement the decision without further delay. Judicial overreach will not occur if the executive adheres to good governance, prudent financial management, accountability and is upholding the constitution in carrying out its duties as well as exercising responsibilities per its constitutional mandate. The impression that State owned enterprises are cash cows for the political elite and the Guptas does not bode well for our fledgling democracy. It suggests that our decision-making processes including deployment to key levers of power and other organs of state have been hijacked or outsourced from Luthuli house and Union Building to Saxonworld. The Brian Molefe saga suggests that the centre is no longer holding. If it is, then someone need to explain to us how an individual facing damning corruption allegations can waltz his way in and out of parliament with millions following him and procedures being flouted left right and centre. [/su_box]

11h00: Conference breaks to commissions. These are places where the Central Committee issues will be discussed in details. The different commissions will then compile a report to present in the conference, tabling what they have come up with in terms of the issue/s that were on their agenda.

  1. Commission One will look at areas that talks to strengthening COSATU Engines (structures). It will be discussing (a) capacity building for shop steward in the workplace (b) capacity building COSATU locals (c) capicity of COSATU provinces (d) capacity of COSATU affiliates (e) capacity of Young Workers structures (f) coordination capacity of COSATU Head Office.
  2. Commission Two will be focusing on the state of the NDR and the Alliance. In details the group will be looking at (a) the state of the Alliance (b) SACP and state power (c) working with social movements and other organs of people’s power (d) the state of the youth movement (e) youth unemployment (f) the free young workers and the strategies around their organization.
  3. Commission Three’s focus areas is (a) the international balance of forces (b) the struggle for developmental state in Africa (c) Building the African Trade Union Movement (d) South-South Relations and BRICS (e) building capacity for policy, strategic technical drive for a progressive for a progressive working class agenda.
  4. Commission Four (The role of the media and asserting the hegemony) takes stock on (a) ownership patterns (b) COSATU’s media strategy (c) asserting working class ideas in society (d) using media as a tool of engagement in our work including on policy and campaigns (e) COSATU’s internal medial capacity to communicate with its structures and the society
  5.  Commission Five speaks to (a) Radical Economic Transformation (b) Future of work and the impact of the 4th industrial Revolution (c) workplace transformation

12h00: [su_note note_color=”#e3e3e0″]Discussions in Commissions are still on[/su_note]

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18h00: Conference adjourned

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[su_tab title=”31 May 2017″]

[su_note note_color=”#e3e3e0″]Wednesday, Day Three: We, the Trade Union representatives here present firmly commit ourselves to a unified democratic South Africa, free of oppression and economic exploitation. we believe that this could only be achieved under the leadership of a united working class. [/su_note]

 

10h00: Day three of the conference is chaired by Cde Zingiswa Losi, 2nd Dep President of COSATU

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International Guests are giving their speech of support to the Central Committe

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[su_note note_color=”#e3e3e0″]Boycott. Diversy. Sanctions message of support to COSATU Central Committee[/su_note]

Kwara Kekana from BDS giving message of support to the COSATU 6th Central Committee

[su_box title=”Message of Support”]Receive warm revolutionary greetings from the boycott, divestments, and sanctions against Israel movement in South Africa. We extend our sincere message of gratitude to the leadership COSATU and its affiliates for giving BDS SA an opportunity to interact with workers. Comrade Chairperson of the session 2017 marks 69 years since Palestinians were expelled and ethnically cleansed from their homeland in the process of the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948, 2017 also marks 50 years of the Israeli occupation of Palestine which means Palestinians live with a 24 hour military presence, are unable to control access to basic resources such water in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), are unable to access certain lifesaving medical services, Palestinians are also not allowed to live in the Jewish only Israeli settlements-which are illegal under international law, based In the OPTs and are unable to travel freely in and out of the OPTs. Military occupations based on the legal definition are meant to temporary, however it does not seem to be the case where Israel is concerned. With the deteriorating situation in Palestine in all facets of life, it becomes imperative and incumbent upon those of us who President Tambo characterizes as “those who are free to eat and sleep at will, to write, to speak, to travel as we please; we who are free to make or break a revolution, let us use our comparative freedom, not to perpetuate the misery of those who suffer, nor give indirect aid to the enemy they fight by withholding our own contribution”. 2017 also marks 12 years since the call to boycott, divest and impose sanctions against Israel was issued by Palestinian civil society organisation, since then there has been major and significant victories registered particularly by the trade union movement, with the latest victory coming from Norway’s largest trade union federation, representing over a million workers, this May 2017, adopted full boycott of Israel to advance Palestinian rights. In Brazil trade union federations, such CUT and others played a key role in the campaign for a military embargo and helped to lead a successful campaign that led to the state of Rio Grande do Sul cancelling a major collaboration deal with Israel’s military company Elbit systems. The global BDS movement has come under heavy attack from the Israeli regime, indicative of the potency and effectiveness of the movement. Israel in 2014 characterized it as a strategic threat, in 2016 Israel Ministers said that they will be embarking of “targeted civilian assassinations of BDS activists”, with the Israeli parliament passing legislation barring BDS activists from entering Israel. There is an urgent need for the international community particularly here in South Africa to intensify isolation campaigns against Israel, especially various of government sanctions, such as governments affirming the right to do BDS and protecting human rights defenders similar to what the Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish governments have done, we also call on for a downgrading of the South African embassy in Tel-Aviv to a representative office, the South African government foreign policy needs to express great disapproval to the blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights and the disrespect for international law by the Israeli regime. We thank COSATU, its affiliates and the entire membership for the continued commitment to international solidarity, we hope to register more concrete victories against Israel in 2017 together as we commemorate 100 years of Oliver Tambo.[/su_box]

Cde Makweyiba, President of WFTU and NEHAWU giving a message of support to the conference

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11h00: [su_note note_color=”#e3e3e0″]Discussions on Midterm Review Report is underway[/su_note]

 

17h00: Meeting adjourned

18h00:

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[su_tab title=”01 June 2017″]

[su_note note_color=”#e3e3e0″]Thursday, Day Four: We, the Trade Union representatives here present firmly commit ourselves to a unified democratic South Africa, free of oppression and economic exploitation. we believe that this could only be achieved under the leadership of a united working class. [/su_note]

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09h00: The conference is continuing with giving back reports from different commissions that sat to discuss issues as delegated to them by Central Committee.

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  • Delegation makes an input in the plenary…. Comrade Thulas Nxesi, SACP Deputy chair makes an input on the platform.
  • Liberated Metal Union of SA the only home of all metalworkers in South Africa…. makes an input in the plenary
  • Monopoly capital is the enemy of workers and the working class in general…. Communications Workers Union says Alliance must unite
  • We must reassert our hegemonic influence in the Alliance to take forward the goals of the NDR… NEHAWU on the plenary floor

13h00: [su_note note_color=”#e3e3e0″]The COSATU General Secretary is reading out the COSATU 6th Central Committee Declaration[/su_note]

[su_box title=”Declaration coming soon”][/su_box]

Right now the President of COSATU is on the podium reading out his closing speech of the worker’s midterm review conference.

[su_box title=”Closing speech coming soon”][/su_box]

14h00: Meeting closed

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More interesting reading:

History of Trade Unionism

South African May Day