11th National Congress

[su_spoiler title=”11th National Congress Closing Remarks by President ” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]We would like to thank Gallagher Estate particularly the workers who gave us excellent service. We would like to thank the staff members of COSATU for their tireless commitment to give service to this workers organisation. You make us proud! We would like to congratulate all the recipients of awards which included our staff members to the first Shop Steward. These awards represent workers gratitude on your commitment to our revolution. We know that the service you provide to our movement is priceless. Comrades, we would like to thank you for demonstrating your trust in this leadership. We do not take your decision to retain this leadership for granted. We will not succeed without your support. We will not disappoint you, we promise and commit to work as a collective and ensure unity and coherency amongst the NOBs and in the federation as a whole. The unity of this Federation will be based on simple things, which include the fact that this collective you have elected will have the right and responsibility to whip over unions. You have told us that a strong COSATU must mean a strong coordinating centre with authority to direct our struggle. We want affiliates that respect and implement their own decisions in the federation. In this context there shall be no union that is above COSATU and there shall be no individual who is above COSATU. We shall all subject ourselves to the discipline and traditions of this federation and the Congress movement as a whole. In the next three years this collective will ensure that COSATU leads from the front to ensure Unity in the Alliance. There is no time for petty squabbles our people are crying out for our leadership. We will work to ensure that the federation as a whole remains united behind a fighting programme whose primary focus will be to give excellent service to the workers. We want everyone to know that COSATU will remain strong, COSATU will not die, not now and not at any time in the future. For as long as there is Capitalism whose existence is about the exploitation of our people COSATU will continue to hit hard. This federation of Wesley Mesina, the federation of Violet Seboni, of Alina Rantsolase, of Chris Dlamini, this federation of Xolile Nxu will not retreat. No worker no matter how strong, clever, skilful or brave they might be, will ever be able to advance their struggles alone. Small groups as well will never succeed in advancing the struggle of workers. It is in this context that we call on all workers to unite in one movement. That movement is COSATU. Workers continue to say it loudly that COSATU is their home! We call on all those workers who out of anger left to join other unions. Come back and raise your issues inside the organization. We will address them! This 11th Congress was a reminder of what COSATU is about and what we have always been about. It reminded us of the declaration of SACTU adopted in its founding Congress on 5 March 1955 when it said “Organize… or Starve! Reminding us that “history has shown that unorganised workers are unable to improve their wages and conditions of work on a lasting basis. Only where workers have organised in effective trade unions have they been able to improve their lot, raise their standard of living and generally protect themselves and their families against the insecurities of life. The whole experience of the Trade Union Movement the world over has furthermore established the fact that the Movement can only progress on the basis of unity and in the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity of all workers. Trade Unions must unreservedly reject any attempts to sow disunity among the workers, on the basis of colour or nationality or any other basis. Just as the individual worker, or any group of workers, are unable to improve their lot without organisation into Trade Unions, so is the individual trade union powerless unless there is in existence a coordinating body of trade unions which unites the efforts of all workers. For such a trade union federation to be successful, it must be able to speak on behalf of all workers, irrespective of race or colour, nationality or sex. The future of the people of South Africa is in the hands of its workers. Only the working class, in alliance with other progressive minded sections of the community, can build a happy life for all South Africans, a life free from unemployment, insecurity and poverty, free from racial hatred and oppression, a life of vast opportunities for all people. But the working class can only succeed in this great and noble endeavour if it itself is united and strong, if it is conscious of its inspiring responsibility. The workers of South Africa need a united trade union movement in which all sections of the working class can play their part unhindered by prejudice or racial discrimination. Only such a truly united movement can serve effectively the interests of the workers, both the immediate interests of higher wages and better conditions of life and work as well as the ultimate objective of complete emancipation, for which our forefathers have fought.” Every week in every workplace there will be a union leader to speak and listen to the workers. In every community struggles there will be a COSATU local at the forefront working with our communities. Comrades we will continue to maintain a link between workplace struggles and the political struggle. We draw lessons from international experience where workers who ignored political processes suffered the consequences. In the next three years, South Africa will see Unity in Action. The streets of South Africa will be covered with red T- shirts, of COSATU and the SACP, the Black Green and Gold t- shirts of our ANC. We will be marching side by side with SASCO, with COSAS, with the ANCYL, with ANCYWL, with the Progressive Women`s Movement, with workers in the informal sector, with church leaders and the progressive civil society! One thing we will not do is allow ourselves to be associated with those that want to liquidate our movement and sow disunity amongst our people and inside our movement. It is for this reason, that we are not friends with any groups that use and abuse the name of our movement. This is our movement and we will defend it with everything we have. The battle cry is one – we want total emancipation! We want to live in the South Africa of the Freedom Charter and not of the National Development Plan unless such a plan is predicated on the vision articulated in Freedom Charter. We want a decisive ANC that can return the economy of our country back to the masses. Masses did not elect the National Treasury to power, they elected the ANC led alliance and we want the ANC led alliance to use this power. Our freedom cannot be delayed by Bureaucrats. We want decisive action and not just words; we want to practically see radical changes in favour of the working class as a dominant defining feature of the second phase of our transition. We want government to start with one simple thing – Ban Labour Brokers! The radical Second phase of transition requires a leadership that is decisive about transferring the economic power to the people. The breakthroughs that we see in Brazil, in CUBA, in Venezuela and the other parts of Latin America and the world were as a result of both the heightened struggles by the masses and the decisiveness by the revolutionary leadership. We go out of this congress to report back to our members and to immediately start mobilizing our people for action. There may never be such a moment in the history of our revolution where the current leadership of the movement as a whole is as ready as the masses to push forward for a decisive breakthrough. Such moments are rare in history. We are now going out to prepare for Mangaung and we hope the ANC will take lessons from this congress and the Congress of the SACP. We have seen extension of social protection, the extension of grants to all vulnerable children, and income support for the unemployed; and the adoption of National Health Insurance as government policy. If you can do this what will stop you from taking decisive steps to make the freedom charter a reality in our life time. Comrades as we leave this Congress let me restate what we said in the opening taking from the words of the Great Oliver Tambo Oliver when he closed the Morogoro Conference in 1969, “wage a relentless war against disrupters and defend the ANC (and the Alliance as whole) against provocateurs and enemy agents. Defend the revolution against enemy propaganda, whatever form it takes. Be vigilant, comrades. The enemy is vigilant. Beware of the wedge-driver, the man who creeps from ear to ear, carrying a bag full of wedges, driving them in between you and the next man, between a group and another, a man who goes round creating splits and divisions. Beware of the wedge driver, comrades. Watch his poisonous tongue.” We wish all of you safe journey home![/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”11th National Congress Declaration” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]We, the 3000 delegates representing 2.2 million workers, coming from the workplaces in every sector of the economy, from both big and small cities and rural areas, gathered at COSATU`s 11th National Congress, speaking with one unified voice, call on our members and all working people to support this Call to Action. The workers of our country have spoken, and COSATU, their organisation, has listened. We have confounded many predictions that we will devour our movement! We are meeting at a time of a global economic crisis, and massive domestic challenges. On the one hand this crisis worsens our triple crisis of poverty unemployment and inequality. On the other, space has now opened up for countries to pursue radical economic alternatives. The moment to act is now! After 18 years of freedom the patience of our people is running out! COSATU`s 11th National Congress – the Workers` Parliament – has declared: We are not prepared to tolerate massive levels of unemployment! We want labour brokers banned now! We will not accept widespread poverty! We cannot live with grotesque levels of inequality which have made us the most unequal society on the planet! Workers whether in far flung rural areas, or urban slums, say that they are no longer prepared to tolerate poverty wages: Mineworkers, who produce our wealth in the belly of the earth, are earning a tiny fraction of the surplus they produce. Farm workers who produce our food work under near slave conditions. Retail and commercial workers, many casualised women without basic benefits barely make enough to pay for their transport. Security workers who protect us, and transport workers who take us to work, work unbelievably long hours for a pittance. Our nurses, teachers and police are not being fairly paid for the valuable services they provide. The majority of these workers, together with workers in the clothing factories, the foundries, and countless plants around the country work long hours and face dangerous conditions for poverty wages. Over half of South Africa`s workers work for less than R3000 a month! Workers are demanding that the People Shall Share in the Country`s Wealth. Our members are speaking through our structures, demonstrating their lack of patience through wildcat strikes and service delivery protests. Our members are sending us a clear message: They are demanding an end to starvation wages that in the main affects the black working class. They are demanding that the unions should spare no efforts to fight against these poverty wages and near slavery working conditions in most of the sectors of the economy. They are telling us that they have had enough of the unfulfilled promise to implement the Freedom Charter. They demand a radical change in their socio-economic conditions, and the creation of a powerful developmental state, which intervenes decisively in strategic sectors of the economy. This requires a radical shift in economic policy, and a full implementation of the Freedom Charter! They are communicating a strong message that political freedom may soon be meaningless without economic freedom. They are calling for the abolition of the apartheid wage structure, the creation of strong collective bargaining institutions in all sectors of the economy, and comprehensive social protection for the unemployed! They are calling for decisive action to end abusive practices particularly labour broking, and casualization, and the super-exploitation of vulnerable workers! They are calling for the creation of decent living conditions where they live, rural and urban; they want urgent steps to address the crisis facing the public health system, and for us to work to address the education crisis, in particular the dysfunctionality of most of the working class schools; they want affordable, accessible and efficient transport so that they do not continue to be the main victims of the ongoing road carnage; they want provision of houses close to where they and in a manner that ends the apartheid spatial development. They are demanding powerful worker-controlled unions in all sectors! They want their unions to in the main focus on a battle to improve their wages, improve conditions of employment and defend their jobs. They demand responsive and accountable local government. They demand councillors and government officials that are selflessly dedicated to improve their conditions by embarking on a series of joint campaigns aimed at turning their situation around. They have had enough of corruption which is an elite programme to steal from the poor. They do not take kindly to the obscene displays of public consumption by the elite, a message that says we don`t care about your crisis of poverty – we have arrived. They have been waiting to hear the news that the labour brokers have been banned. We know that we cannot afford to fight silly battles against one another when the house is on fire. We have agreed that a radical agenda of socio-economic transformation must be the core element of the second phase of our democratic transition! We call this our Lula moment to speak to a successful transformation that has changed the lives of millions of workers and peasants in Brazil. We, the workers gathered here today, pledge to embark on a united and radical programme of action to realise workers legitimate demands, and to engage our communities and the broader democratic movement, to support us in these efforts. The programme of action will be based on the following four pillars: I. ABOLISH THE APARTHEID WAGE STRUCTURE: FORWARD TO A LIVING WAGE! Too many workers and their families are living in poverty. It is totally unacceptable that half of all employed workers earn R3000 a month or less, meaning that the majority of South African workers can`t afford the basic necessities of life. Combating low wages is at the heart of addressing poverty and inequality. Congress agrees on the following urgent measures to abolish the apartheid wage structure, and put a more equitable structure in place. As a matter of extreme urgency, we will take the following steps: Call a National Bargaining, Campaigns and Organising Conference before the end of the year, and a Special CEC after this Congress, among others to consider proposals on measures to transform the apartheid wage structure, and craft a new national wage policy. These proposals include a National Minimum Wage, mandatory centralised collective bargaining, as well as ensuring social protection for the unemployed. The national minimum wage, if adopted, would be linked to a minimum living level, as a basic wage floor above which affiliates will negotiate sectoral wage levels All COSATU affiliates will urgently review wages and collective bargaining strategies in their sectors, and develop demands to take forward this programme of transforming our wage structure. This will include innovative bargaining strategies which move away from an over-reliance on across-the-board percentage increases, as well as challenging entrenched discriminatory grading systems. We will convene urgent meetings with government and the ANC, at the highest level, to discuss the development of a new wage policy for the country, which will be aimed at deliberately and systematically transforming the current apartheid wage structure. Congress expressed its determination to protect the integrity of collective bargaining, and to resist all attempts by employers to undermine it. Congress reaffirmed the strike weapon as the primary tool of exercising power that workers have at their disposal. It was agreed that we need to step up our solidarity in strikes, that we should campaign for amendments to the Gatherings Act, and that we should investigate the establishment of workable strike funds, within the framework of a Federation-wide policy. II RADICAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION: THE PEOPLE SHALL SHARE IN THE COUNTRY`S WEALTH! We agree with our Alliance partners that the core of this second radical phase of the transition of our NDR must be a fundamental economic shift, to transform the structure of our economy, and address the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality. While we have made important advances in the areas of democracy, human rights and social benefits, for which we give full credit to the efforts of our Alliance, and the ANC government, socio-economically, workers` lives have not been transformed. As a result of the structural fault-lines of the economy we inherited from colonialism and apartheid, the disastrous neoliberal policies of the 1996 class project, and the worldwide crisis of capitalism, working people face mass unemployment, widespread poverty and widening inequality. The shocking levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality lie at the heart of the increasingly violent protests we are seeing in both workplaces and communities. It is creating what until recently we have called `ticking`bombs. In the context of the events in the mining industry, and the growing service delivery protests, we now must talk of `exploding` bombs. We have clearly not come close to achieving the demands in the Freedom Charter that: The people shall share in the country`s wealth; The national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people; The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole; All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the wellbeing of the people.” This Congress therefore resolves to embark on a programme of action to drive the radical economic shift in line with the demands of the Freedom Charter. Key demands include: The call for decisive state intervention in strategic sectors of the economy, including through strategic nationalisation and state ownership, and the use of a variety of macro-economic and other levers at the states disposal, which can be deployed to regulate and channel investment, production, consumption and trade to deliberately drive industrialisation, sustainable development, decent employment creation, and regional development, and to break historical patterns of colonial exploitation and dependence. The urgent need to radically overhaul our macro-economic policy in line with the radical economic shift which we all agree needs to happen. To this end we will engage with our alliance partners in the run-up to the ANC Mangaung conference, on the macro-economic policy review. The radical economic shift requires that institutionally, the Treasury, which constitutes the biggest obstacle to the government`s economic programme, needs to be urgently realigned; a new mandate needs to be given to the Reserve Bank, which must be nationalised; and the National Planning Commission must be given a renewed mandate, to realign the national plan, in line with the proposed radical economic shift . Aspects of the New Growth Path also need to be realigned in line with the proposed new macro-economic framework. All state owned enterprises and state development finance institutions need to be given a new mandate. Urgent steps must be taken to reverse the current investment strike and export of South African capital. There is currently R1,2 trillion lying idle in social surplus which employers are refusing to invest. These measures need to include capital controls and measures aimed at prescribed investment, and penalising speculation. The urgent introduction of comprehensive social security. This Congress resolved to lodge a Section 77 notice around demands for a radical economic policy shift including: On the role of Treasury, monetary policy and the Reserve Bank; State intervention in strategic sectors including through nationalisation; Measures to ensure beneficiation, such as taxes of mineral exports; Channelling of retirement funds into productive investment; Comprehensive land reform, and measure to ensure food security; and The more effective deployment of all state levers to advance industrialisation and the creation of decent work on a large scale. The CEC will elaborate the Section 77 notice based on these demands and other socio-economic demands which have been raised by Congress. Congress notes the Constitutional Court decision to allow the implementation of E-tolls. Congress warns the government not to even think about implementing e-tolls, while negotiations are continuing, and we will continue to do everything in our power to reverse this regressive tax on commuters. At the same time, Congress is encouraged by certain new directions in government policy, including some steps towards a coherent beneficiation strategy, local procurement, an infrastructure programme aligned to an industrialisation and development strategy, IPAP, and the beginnings of a new approach to regional development. However much more urgency is required. In addition Congress is convinced that these initiatives will only have their full impact in the context of an appropriate macro-economic strategy, through which the state is able to maximise the developmental impact of its interventions on the economy. In addition, certain amendments need to be made to legislation aimed at curtailing monopoly capital, to strengthen and broaden the power of competition authorities. In terms of workers collective savings we pledge to work towards: The consolidation of retirement funds and the creation of a central retirement fund investment vehicle in the private sector, along the lines of the PIC, aimed at directing savings of workers into productive investment, and development. The establishment of a Workers Bank. Congress calls for a coherent regional strategy to promote African economic development and industrialisation and the development of the African market. We further call for the involvement of African trade unions in continental development processes. III BUILD STRONG WORKER-CONTROLLED UNIONS: ORGANISE OR STARVE! Congress asserts that it is only through strong worker-controlled organisations and unity that workers can make gains, defend these gains and sustain them over time. We will therefore embark on a concerted organisational drive to consolidate, build and further democratise our organisations; extend our organisations to areas where workers are currently unorganised; and to act decisively to combat practices, or conditions, which lead to worker disunity or fragmentation of our organisations. This Congress therefore calls on all of us to go back to basics, focus effectively on workplace issues, organisation and recruitment, deliver service to our members, and implement our 2015 Plan! It is only through building powerful, unified organisation that workers will have an effective engine to drive the changes we want to see at the workplace, in the economy, and at a political level. Congress calls for a mindset change in COSATU. It needs to ensure greater focus on the expectations of our members at the workplace, as articulated in the 2012 Workers Survey. This includes their need for us to fight for greater job protection and living wages. We need to ensure greater solidarity and unity in action. We need to make leadership more visible, and interactive. We need to communicate more effectively with our members. We therefore pledge to combat: Social distance between leaders and members, by entrenching deeper forms of accountability and worker control; Bureaucratisation of our structures, at affiliate or federation level, by ensuring that we remain a campaigning mobilising organisation; Divisive and undemocratic conduct in our unions, which attempts to undermine worker unity, or create splinter unions We pledge to: Build strong worker-controlled unions, focused on issues of concern to our members, at the workplace, socio-economic and political levels; Organise the unorganised, particularly farm workers and other vulnerable and super-exploited workers, and bring all workers under the umbrella of this mighty Federation. Congress mandates the CEC to develop a detailed 3-year strategy to systematically take forward the 2015 Plan, monitor implementation of this strategy, and present a report on progress to our 2015 Congress. We also mandate the CEC to update the 2015 Plan, in line with current conditions, and the discussions and Resolutions of this Congress. Congress agreed that new recruitment targets need to be set for each sector, and that affiliates must report progress in recruitment on a regular basis to the CEC. It was further agreed that we should target in particular the following categories of workers for recruitment:- young workers, women workers, vulnerable workers (very low paid, contract, part-time, seasonal etc), non African workers and migrant workers (including foreign nationals). An urgent engagement must take place with government to ensure that the Department of Labour is given adequate resources, to develop the necessary capacity to implement labour laws, especially those aimed at protecting the most vulnerable. On organising and servicing members, Congress agreed that we take steps to improve all levels of service to members. We need to ensure that adequate resources are invested into the proper training of shop stewards, organisers and leaders.. On our COSATU Local and Provincial structures and activities, it was stressed that these are the engine of the Federation and require maximum support. Congress mandated the CEC to ensure that they are properly capacitated and review the resources allocated to them, to enable them to fully play their role. As a means of advancing international worker unity and solidarity, the Congress resolved to retain its affiliation to the ITUC, and in addition agreed that in principle that it will affiliate to the WFTU. The CEC will investigate the modalities of implementing this decision. COSATU will seek to use its influence at the international level to build greater co-operation and ultimately unity between international organisations of workers. In relation to the current crisis in the mining industry, and the situation post-Marikana, the Congress observes that organisationally, the history of workers struggles in South Africa shows: Wild cat strikes and undirected outbursts of workers grievances, while they can achieve significant gains in the short term, will in the longer term leave workers isolated, vulnerable and exposed to worker-bashing tactics by employers, if this militancy is not transformed into sustainable organisation, both at a company and industry level. There is no short-cut outside of the building of strong worker-controlled unions. COSATU is the Federation of choice, and the home for the vast majority of organised workers in this country. Therefore, workers who build their organisation within the Federation multiply their power, and can draw on the solidarity of millions of fellow members. Equally those who choose to move outside the organisation, weaken themselves immeasurably. We need to expose and combat the deliberate ploys by employers to promote splinter unions, provoke unprotected strikes, and undermine centralised bargaining, as ways of smashing worker organisation. Business and their opportunist political bedfellows want to play the old strategy of divide-and-rule, so that they can reverse the workers` victories and resume and intensify their super-exploitation of the workers and amass even bigger profits. We reiterate the call made in our Declaration on the Marikana crisis, that there must be a Independent Commission of Inquiry into the mining industry, to look at measures to transform the sector; and that COSATU will fully support a fighting programme for a more equitable distribution of the surplus to mine workers, in line with our campaign for wage equity throughout the economy. IV CREATING OUR OWN LULA MOMENT: DRIVING THE SECOND PHASE OF OUR TRANSITION! The Lula moment starts now! Congress agrees that we need to drive a programme of action together with our allies, which will engineer the transformation we desire. The Congress endorses the proposal for a national agreement contained in the Secretariat political report (pages 45-46), as a basis for engagement with our allies, to be further elaborated by the CEC. This will be our key input into the second phase of the transition, and our contribution to our `Lula moment`. The second phase of the transition requires that The programme of the movement is clearly biased towards the working class, and is based on an agreed platform which is implemented by government We deliberately build an activist interventionist state The ANC-led Alliance constitutes the strategic centre of power The Political Report, together with affiliate proposed resolutions, proposes a series of interventions which need to advanced by the Federation, together with our Allies, including effectively transforming the state, dealing with challenges of corruption and non-delivery, ensuring representative and accountable leadership in the movement, swelling the ranks, build political unity inside and outside COSATU, building the mass democratic movement, and developing the Alliance as the engine of transformation. In addition, a specific matter which Congress said must be addressed is the abolition of the Provinces. The CEC must look at how to best elaborate these proposals and take them forward. While the country is facing serious challenges, we must not sink into despair and feel that there is nothing we can do. Developments in Brazil and other Latin American countries have shown in practice that policies to reduce poverty, create employment and speed up economic growth can start to turn the tide. They have confounded the prophets of doom who say there is no alternative to the neoliberal, free-market system of capitalism which is based on the super-exploitation of workers and lies at the heart of our crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Of course the policies implemented in Brazil cannot be implemented mechanically in South Africa but they give us hope that there is an alternative. COSATU emerges from this Congress stronger and more united than ever. This Workers Parliament has unanimously re-elected its National Office Bearers for the next three years. We pledge to support the COSATU leadership collective in decisively implementing this radical programme of action we have agreed on today. Now is our moment! Seize the day! A luta continua[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Address to 11th Cosatu Congress by Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]COSATU President Sidumo Dlamini General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi National Office Bearers of COSATU and affiliates SG of the ANC and Leaders of the Alliance International and local guests Delegates, comrades and friends It is a real pleasure to address this parliament of South African workers, the federation of Violet Sebone and Alinah Rantsolase, the organisation of Elijah Barayi and Chris Dlamini, the voice of more than two million women and men who toil every day to produce the wealth of this country. This Congress takes place at a time of enormous challenge for the movement. A Congress confronted by the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. A Congress faced with a deep crisis in the global economy, with the worst economic performance since the Great Depression of the 1930s. A Congress needing to deal with the painful tragedy of Marikana and its legacy for industrial relations and for the mining industry. A Congress committed to develop a fighting vision for the next half decade. It is a Congress that needs to use the weapon of unity that you so eloquently demonstrated with the elections on Monday. Use it to defend the lives of all workers, including the NUM members, some of who continue to be killed in the last few weeks. Use it to close ranks to defend the disciplined system of collective bargaining that COSATU helped to create. Use it to deal with our country’s challenges and to inspire the nation. In the debates here today and tomorrow, we see democracy in action, through the depth of discussion, the pulse-take on the conditions on the shop floor, the clarity of resolutions that we expect will come from your discussions. Comrades and delegates Five years ago, you sent leaders to the Polokwane Conference of the ANC and they took part in the discussions that led to a watershed decision, namely, to place the creation of decent work at the centre of government’s economic policy. Through the Alliance, you co-shaped the ANC Elections Manifesto which took these ideas to the people of South Africa and obtained an overwhelming mandate. You sent us into government with the request that we now develop and implement a job-centered economic framework. This administration began its work three years ago, in the middle of a jobs bloodbath caused by the global recession. We are now past the mid-term of the Administration. It is the right moment to report back what we have done. The global recession hit the country particularly hard. South Africa lost a million jobs. The median household income dropped by almost 10%. Mostly because of job losses but also because of short time, many families had to live on less than they had in the year before. We recognized the crisis exposed an old growth path that left the country vulnerable. It was based on a model that: promoted large-scale consumption without adequate expansion of the productive sectors relied on deepening levels of debt, and resorted to massive imports of consumer goods. You asked us in the Polokwane resolution on economic transformation and in the ANC Manifesto to address three critical challenges to change that old growth path. To place jobs at the centre of economic policy and develop a jobsbiased economic framework. To use infrastructure to drive employment-creating economic growth and improve conditions for our people. To re-industrialise the economy and place industrial policy at the heart of our efforts. I want to address our actions against these commitments. What we have done and achieved to date, where are the gaps and problems – and what are we doing about them. The NGP The first goal was to address the need for an employment-driven economic framework. This was done through developing the New Growth Path. It sets a jobs target of five million new jobs by 2020, as part of a move to full employment. It made decent work the cornerstone of economic policy. By decent work we mean more jobs and better jobs. We are one of the few countries globally with a jobs target as the central economic target of government. The New Growth Path identified some sectors as central jobs drivers. They are: infrastructure the mining value chain which includes beneficiation agriculture, agro-processing and rural development, manufacturing the green economy and tourism, the creative industries and high level services. It identified the social economy and the public sector as key contributors to employment. It called on us to build advanced, knowledge-based sectors for the jobs of the future, in higher education, in pharmaceuticals, in ICT. It identified African economic integration as a high priority for jobs and solidarity. The New Growth Path called for tighter policy integration so that macroeconomic policy as well as micro-economic policies are aligned and directed at promoting jobs and broader development outcomes. The New Growth Path recognized that to achieve our ambitious goals, we need to have partnerships. – A broader set of Accords or social agreements, developed with unions, the business sector and communities, so that all South Africans work towards common goals. Last year we concluded four Accords based on the New Growth Path: COSATU joined with government and business to commit to the goal of five million new jobs and joint action to achieve it. These Accords cover local procurement, the green economy, skills development and basic education. In the 21 months before the New Growth Path was adopted, the economy lost 869 000 jobs. In the 21 months after we adopted the New Growth Path, the economy created some 472 000 new jobs. There are now 13,4 million South Africans who are working. While this is going in the right direction, there are still 4,5 million unemployed South Africans. Add the 2,3 million people who are discouraged workseekers. This amounts to 6,8 million fellow South Africans who need jobs, whose numbers swell every year as young people leave school to join the labour market. The rate of job creation must offer hope to unemployed citizens. As we focus on further job creation, we do so in a tough global environment. The European economy remains stagnant and this affects us very directly. Europe is our largest single market for manufactured goods, and our exports to Europe dropped by 6% since January this year. Growth in exports to China and the US has slowed significantly. These trends first affect the main export industries, especially manufacturing and mining. Yesterday’s manufacturing jobs data clearly demonstrates this. But experience in 2008 shows that falling export demand ultimately lead to further job losses in the informal sector, light industry and services. We need to strengthen domestic and regional demand to offset this risk. In the short run, we are accelerating growth in the public employment schemes, in particular in the Community Works Programme. But we cannot deal with unemployment in the long-run mainly through public employment schemes. To create jobs on scale require structural changes and the creation of sustainable, secure jobs in the mainstream economy, in the sectors that you organise. It is this that constitute the bulk of the New Growth Path. Infrastructure The second goal we set was to invest heavily in new infrastructure, to lay the foundations for long-term growth and social equity and to provide basic services to our people. The New Growth Path identified infrastructure as the trigger jobs driver, which can unlock the potential across the economy. Government developed a National Infrastructure Plan that contains a 20-year project pipeline to allow for a long-term planning horizon, so that we move away from stop-start infrastructure build. The Infrastructure Plan was finalized in February this year and announced by President Zuma in the State of the Nation Address. It was presented among others to the Cosatu CEC where it was received with enthusiasm. It is a bold effort to transform the economy, laying the basis for growth and jobs. The National Infrastructure Plan identifies 18 Strategic Integrated Projects, or what we call SIPs. The SIPs range from economic development corridors; to focused efforts to improve basic productive and household infrastructure; to integrated efforts to upgrade schools, universities, hospitals and clinics. They provide a way to integrate our efforts. Let me talk about just a few SIPs to show how important they are for economic transformation. In three SIPs, we are coordinating the provision of railways, road transport, water and energy provision to unlock the vast mineral wealth in Limpopo, North West and Northern Cape. Reserves of coal, chromium, manganese, iron ore, palladium and platinum can thus be mined commercially. But at the same time, we are looking at ways to use both infrastructure and other policy instruments to beneficiate more of the mineral wealth in the country, creating industrial jobs in the process. This include plans for a new manganese sinter and smelter plants and expanded port facilities in Ngqura, Richards Bay and Saldanha and new development corridors to help industrialise Mpumalanga and Free State. Together with these industrial plans, we have identified the need for social infrastructure plans, to provide housing, schools, hospitals and basic services to the new townships that will be needed, and instead of a growth in shantytowns and informal settlements, we can support the development of new, post-apartheid towns and cities. It is that weakness in the past lack of planning that the tragedy in Marikana so cruelly exposed. In a number of SIPs, we identified investments to unlock rural economic development. In the Eastern Cape for example, we will develop the Mzimvubu Dam and irrigation system and at the same time upgrade the road and bridges linking Eastern Cape to KZN, to connect rural communities, link small farmers to markets and cut travel time between East London and Durban by some two hours. Mthatha airport and urban upgrades will complement this strategy in the eastern part of the E Cape. The De Hoop Dam in Limpopo must benefit the greater Sekhukune area and transform livelihoods of our people. In two SIPs, we are identifying key investments in the poorest 23 municipal districts across the country as well as specifically in the North West province. This will lay the basis for changes in living conditions, encompassing basic infrastructure such as sanitation, tarring of roads and fixing potholes, clinics, schools and running water. This includes the infrastructure platform for the NHI, so that we have affordable, quality health care. Another SIP aims to connect human settlements with economic growth points, and improved public transport in the twelve largest urban areas, to reduce the burden of long hours spent by workers travelling to work. In all these areas, we will incorporate a strong commitment to local procurement, so that new jobs are created not only in construction and by supporting new private investment, but also in suppler industries. This new Infrastructure Plan is a key lever for the developmental state. The Plan shapes a fiscal policy centred on public investment for the benefit of our people. It aims to increase public investment to 10% of the GDP and reverse the decline in infrastructure spending. We are developing a Skills Plan for every SIP and have begun to appoint project coordinating agencies so plans move from the drawing board to concrete, bricks, steel and tar, in other words, from planning to implementation. We need the organised power of the working class to support this effort, to ensure our success and effectiveness. We cannot afford to get this wrong, and we need your help to get it right. Industrialisation The third area is industrialization of the economy. The New Growth Path, and in its manufacturing driver – the Industrial Policy Action Plan – recognizes that strong and dynamic economies must build the productive sectors and in particular manufacturing. It must move away from an old growth path in which we were principally a supplier of raw materials to factories in Europe, the Americas and Asia, selling minerals and importing consumer goods. Manufacturing brings innovation, jobs and industrial skills to an economy. Over the past three years, we took clear and bold steps to promote industrialization, through increased industrial funding, higher levels of localization, support for key sectors as well as new industries such as the green economy, linking competition policy and jobs more clearly, improving skills, promoting small business funding and expanding trade within the African continent. I would like to share some of our work, successes and challenges with you. On sector promotion, we identified key industries such as autos, clothing and textiles, machinery, food and beverages, biofuels, chemicals, plastics and paper, pharmaceuticals, the manufacture of green technologies, mineral beneficiation and aerospace. We introduced a new scheme for the auto industry, geared to industrial deepening through new supports for the component sector, where many more jobs can be created. It has already seen close to R15 billion in investment commitments from assemblers and component suppliers. I am pleased that through these efforts, Toyota SA is restarting local production of minibus taxis, BMW has expanded its production of the 3-series vehicle, Ford is using SA as a base for exporting the Ford Ranger to more than 100 countries and Mercedes Benz nominated East London as one of a few global centres of production of the new C-Series car. Our estimates show that these investments will create about 11 000 jobs in the auto industry over the next three years. Labour-absorbing sectors such as clothing and textiles remain important for an economy with high levels of unemployment. We cannot afford to abandon sectors going through industrial challenges. The new Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Programme has helped to stabilise production and employment in the sector, providing over R1,5 billion worth of approvals in support of 206 companies employing almost 50 000 workers. The agro-processing sector is vital for food security as well as a driver of jobs in agriculture and manufacturing. We used a combination of actions by the competition authorities and new investment by the IDC to drive growth in the food and beverages sector. FAWU is familiar with some of the new investments for example in production of chickens in the Free State, creating 1 300 jobs in a chicken broiler. Two soya beans crushing plants are being built in different locations. A quarter-billion agro-processing Fund is being rolled out, financed from competition fines imposed on a food company which colluded to increase the price of bread, flour and other basics. As part of our focus on industrialization, we identified new opportunities in industries set to take off as part of the green industrialisation wave. In November last year, we finalised an Accord with the NEDLAC constituencies on the green economy, Government committed that 40% of new energy over the next 20 years must come from renewable sources. This is a huge target. The 17 000 MW of green energy is about four times the total installed electricity generation capacity in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. Every day we install about 500 new solar water heaters and to date 290 000 units have been installed. These are opportunities for local manufacturing and we have now introduced measures to make components for wind and solar energy plants, locally. The IDC has put aside some R25 billion to support the green economy industrial projects and investment in new factories to produce solar water heaters. We introduced new fuel blending regulations so that a part of all the petrol you use will come from sugar-beet and sugar-cane grown locally. One major bio-fuels investment in Cradock in the Eastern Cape can ultimately improve the livelihoods of thousands of small suppliers. A country that wants to grow its industrial sector needs to protect strategic industrial capacity. Last year Anglo announced it was divesting from the Scaw Metals group, a major producer of steel products used in infrastructure and across manufacturing. To protect and expanding strategic industrial capacity, the IDC made a bid for SCAW Metals, so that this critical company is protected from asset stripping and large-scale job losses. We are also supporting a new foundry at Dimbaza. This raises the question of the role of the state in periods of industrial uncertainty. We can support companies through difficult periods and help them weather the storms, but we need qualified management, partnership with workers, viable business plans and effective execution. In 2009 we introduced two measures which have helped to lower job losses. The training layoff fund, negotiated with trade unions and businesses, provided an alternative to retrenchments and a number of Cosatu affiliates used the scheme. One company which used it was BMW. Instead of retrenching, it retrained workers. That decision meant that BMW kept its capacity to grow when market conditions improved. Since then, the company recovered well and this year it launched its new production facility, expanded its production greatly and is due to employ 600 more workers to produce BMW 3-series cars mainly for export. A second scheme was the IDC’s R6 billion Fund for companies in distress. When Bell Equipment in Richards Bay was faced by a sudden loss of orders in 2009, it turned to the IDC for assistance. Instead of closing down, the company was able to stabilize its operations and has grown back to 3 500 workers. The funding from the IDC saved quality jobs at Bell – and saved an enormous asset for our industry. Trade policy must be supportive of industrial policy. For this reason, we have put in place a developmental approach to trade instead of a simplistic free trade approach. This means looking at the evidence to see whether tariffs should be increased or lowered, on a case-by-case basis. The effects of the change in direction are already tangible and saving jobs. Over the past 18 months, ITAC recommended increases in import duties for some chemical products, water meters, artificial turf, stainless steel sinks, canned pineapples and tomato paste. Tariffs were reduced through rebates, to reduce the cost of imported inputs that are used in products manufactured locally. They included components used in the manufacture of computer monitors and minibuses, polyester fabrics for hats and caps, caustic soda for uranium extraction and goods for the construction of yachts. The developmental state should play a role in supporting industries that can generate employment and ensure a more equitable economy and sustained growth. It must think ‘ahead of the market’ in order to lead sustainable diversification and industrial deepening. For this reason, we worked with the IDC to more than double the amount of money it will commit for industrial development over the next five years, to R102 billion. In the past year, the IDC increased funding in project approvals by 55%. That in itself will sustain or create around 46 000 jobs. The IDC is driving the development of renewable energy and agro processing, for which it set aside dedicated resourcing and expertise. We have changed the Board of the IDC and I am pleased to advise that Zwelinzima Vavi now serves on the IDC Board and can contribute to ensure the IDC places jobs at the centre of its investment decisions. These measures have been complemented by a new drive on local procurement across the state but also in the private sector, to counter the loss of export demand and to deepen our industrial capacity. In October last year, COSATU joined with government to sign an Accord with organised business and community representatives on local procurement. We jointly set a target of 75% for local procurement. That is, for every R100 that companies or government spends, R75 should be used to buy goods from local producers. In line with the Accord, business is now identifying where it can scale up its local purchases. Government introduced new regulations that give us the power to designate sectors or products that must be bought from local factories by the state. In June this year, we designated bus bodies, power pylons, rolling stock, canned vegetables, clothing, textiles, footwear, leather products, set-top boxes and oral solid pharmaceuticals. We expect a second set of designations in the next few months and invite Cosatu affiliates to work with us on this initiative. As you know, in the past COSATU pointed to imports of buses as a slap in the face of domestic industry. The new regulations will correct that. Now, when cities renew their bus fleets, workers in the auto and transport goods industry will reap benefits in the form of jobs. For instance, the City of Johannesburg published a tender which states that bus bodies should have a minimum of 80% local content and bus chassis should be assembled locally. Suppliers have to state how they will create local jobs not only in manufacturing but also in subsequent servicing and what training workers will get. I can give examples from PRASA, Transnet and Eskom, covering locomotives, carriages, doors, windows, seats, cables and wires, wheels, shock absorbers, brakes and lighting, steel power pylons, valves, cables and conductors. The benefits of localisation will cascade through the economy.In order to industrialise, we must deal with monopolies and cartels in the economy and ensure jobs are prioritized in competition hearings. The competition authorities have adopted a strategic focus on ending collusion in the pricing of inputs to industry and infrastructure; and basic goods that every working family needs. They had several major successes in ending abuses. They include a R1 billion settlement around food processing with Pioneer Foods, the breakup of SASOL’s fertilizer blending factories and their sale to local companies; and the investigation into competition abuses in the construction industry. On mergers, we are ensuring that the public interest requirements of the law which include the effects on jobs – is taken seriously. Government intervened in the Kansai takeover of Plascon Paints and secured an agreement with the new Japanese owner to protect jobs, build a new factory and invest in local research and development. We intervened in the Walmart takeover of Massmart to ensure that retrenched workers are taken back, local suppliers are supported and small businesses are protected. The courts are still considering the conditions to apply to the merger, but already hundreds of jobs have been saved and local procurement will be strengthened, including by providing resources to support new suppliers. The New Growth Path says all workers should have access to training. The new Green Paper on post-secondary education and training expects that by 2030, we will have ten times as many young people in FET colleges and twice as many at universities. That will open the doors of learning and culture for millions of young people from the working class. In line with a longstanding demand of the labour movement, Transnet and Eskom have agreed to return to their historical role as a key centre for training artisans. Under the National Skills Accord, Eskom and Transnet agreed to train 1500 artisans this year– in fact, they have now exceeded that target, as well as its targets to train people in scarce skills like engineering and technician training and place matriculants in trade skills programmes. We set a target of 30 000 new artisan learners to enter training across the public and private sector, and reached 81% of the target. Eskom agreed to train 1100 people in scarce skills programmes like engineering and technician training. It trained 1438. It agreed to place 2500 matrics in trade skills programmes. It placed 2802. Similarly, Transnet undertook to train 500 artisan trainees. It trained 854. It agreed to place 1491 people in scarce skills programmes. It placed 2652.We concluded a Basic Education Accord. It commits social partners to adopt underperforming schools. Unions and business launched the accord in Butterworth last year while provincial launches took place in Gauteng and the Northern Cape. Some companies and unions have adopted schools but there is room for us to move with more purpose to implement this accord. Every union here should consider adopting at least 20 under-performing schools and providing support for effective teaching and learning. We are creating a supportive environment for smaller enterprises and for the co-ops movement.We merged the national small business lending agencies to form the new Small Enterprise Financing Agency or SEFA. It now has R2 billion funding to lend to SMMEs and coops. We established a Business Hub and Training Programme in collaboration with the SA Institute of Chartered Accountant to train unemployed accounting graduates to enhance their practical accounting skills and workplace readiness. Government is working on a comprehensive strategy to assist co-ops. It includes establishment of a funding mechanism and an academy. But experience internationally demonstrates that co-ops can grow only with the solid support of the organised working class. We need concrete, practical support from the unions for the co-op movement to achieve the New Growth Path’s target of a quarter million new jobs in the social economy. South Africa cannot develop as an enclave – it needs development in the rest of the continent. In June last year, President Zuma convened a meeting of heads of state to work toward an free trade area to cover 26 countries between Cairo and Cape Town. It has about 600 million people and an estimated market potential of US$1 trillion, creating a huge market for African industrialisation. The IDC has expanded its efforts to mobilise capital for developmental investments elsewhere on the continent. Its holdings in the rest of Africa are now worth over R6 billion in market value. It will leverage these holdings to build integrated value chains that can bolster job creation across our continent. Conclusion Comrades and friends, I have taken you under the bonnet of government, showing some of the machinery of job creation. We recognise that our mandate, our need as a country and our people require that we do more. We cannot be complacent. The huge and bitter legacy left by more than 150 years of the colonial and apartheid growth path require huge efforts on our part to change it. We must re-double our work to address this legacy but also to deal with new risks and opportunities arising from the global economy. The outcome of the ANC Policy Conference, where Cosatu played a key role in the Commissions, provides a basis for strengthening the economic element of the transition over the next five years. Next steps What then are some immediate next steps? First, we are considering a proposal in government to set up a high-level forum in the context of Nedlac, to be chaired by the President, on economic policy and strategy, including to respond to the global economic slowdown and its impact on local jobs. Second, we propose an Infrastructure Accord that can build a common set of undertakings to deliver quality and cost-effective infrastructure. Such an Accord can address a number of key issues. Containing costs so that contractors don’t profiteer at the expense of the public through price-fixing and tender abuses. Encouraging retirement funds to invest in infrastructure. Strengthening the anti corruption components of the tender system with clear action against transgressors in the public and private sectors. Developing an industrial relations system for infrastructure projects that will protect workers, avoid industrial disputes and help to speed up delivery of projects. This is about mobilizing for development. Third, we will deepen the link between infrastructure build and local procurement. This means working with new investors to set up production plants for the components we will need in the country’s biggest-ever infrastructure development. Fourth, we must take into account the fact that patience is running out with the deep inequalities that remain. Inequality is the enemy of a social compact and a common vision. We must do more in the period ahead to tackle inequality. One means that we should consider is to formulate a broad framework to deal simultaneously with high levels of wage inequality as well as multi-factor productivity and earnings across the economy, which includes managerial performance. Fifth, we must address youth unemployment. Government has proposed a youth employment accord, to provide concrete measures to deal with jobs for young people. The proposals include establishing youth brigades; upscaling training, internships, and the second-chance matric; and setting targets for youth employment across certain of the Jobs Drivers. The challenge is to ensure that youth employment creation is part of a strategy to increase overall jobs, so that we don’t pit one group of workers against others. Finally, we seek to step up the implementation of sector strategies, including agro-processing, and the new small business and industrial funding, to ensure we achieve the jobs gains across the economy.ComradesEach age brings its own fresh challenges. Our contemporary challenges are big and urgent. Our organizations have taken on big challenges before. We look to this Congress to emerge with ideas, with unity of purpose and with the political will to transform our economy, banish hunger and poverty, build a dynamic economy and strengthen the democracy. Thank you.[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Secretariat Report to the 11th COSATU National Congress” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]Political Report Part I: Political Overview This Political Report takes stock of political developments since the last National Congress in September 2009. It identifies key political challenges facing the working class. It also assesses developments in relation to the three key mandates of the 2009 COSATU Congress: political transformation; particularly in relation to the Alliance, governance, and advancing a working class political agenda; building of working class consciousness and ideological cohesion; and building the organisational engines of COSATU and the working class. Introduction Franz Fanon said “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfil it, or betray it”. This is the task we have today as revolutionaries, to discover our mission – fulfil it or betray it. This is our moment – this is our burden – and this is our challenge. This report seeks to get us out of our comfort zones by forcefully presenting our situation to the worker leadership. The report in its totality presents an argument that says we must change by adopting a new mindset or simply perish!.. We must recover the very purpose of why COSATU was formed 27 years ago! COSATU has won many friends and admirers- some are genuine & want the best for the worker`s movement. Others are opportunists wanting to influence us for their narrow interests. Others are demagogues. Former SACP General Secretary, Cde Charles Nqakula put it clearly: “Demagogy is an attempt to stir up popular emotions in order to secure a bigger slice of the action for an elite.” He went on to say, “… to voice the concerns of the poorest of the poor is not demagogy. To help marginalised communities organise themselves for transformation is not demagogy. To speak the truth, however awkward or unwelcome, is not demagogy. Demagogy is to lie to the people about what is possible and what is not. Demagogy is to foster dependency through patronage. Demagogy refuses collective responsibility and collective discipline. Sometimes demagogy masquerades as left militancy, but it is always, through and through, reactionary.” COSATU`s Political Strategy The 2015 Plan states that the overall thrust of our political strategy is to “assert working class hegemony of society to counteract the entrenched power of capital. To that end, we seek to combine state and social power in a way that consistently tilts the balance of power in favour of the working class. Freedom must bring tangible and real benefits to the working class” Over the last few years, COSATU has played an increasingly powerful role in shaping the politics of the country. Through its activities, mobilisation and strategic focus, it has assumed the role of leader of progressive civil society. Previously marginalised by those in power, now few key policies or national issues affecting workers are able to move forward without the Federations input. The organisations political impact is far reaching, both inside and outside the state. The Political Environment But strategic political advances by COSATU take place in a political environment which is far from ideal: Heightened contestation for the soul of the movement, and control of the state, continues between progressive forces, on the one side, and remnants of the 1996 class project, and the new predator elite, on the other. This contestation takes place at all levels of the state and movement. This contestation results in constant political zigzagging between different positions, in the movement and state, leading to instability and conflict, instead of a coherent political project. This is worsened by declining political morality and ideological cohesion, and growing nepotism, corruption, and abuse of the movement for selfish accumulation by people in positions of power. Post-Polokwane advances in consolidating the Alliance, are constantly undermined. The Alliance lurches between good coordination and unity, to dysfunctionality; and only sees the need to meet when there is a crisis While important interventions have been made in the movement and the state in an attempt to respond to these developments, lack of consistency by the political leadership in arresting this situation has meant that we perpetually lurch from temporary advances to political crisis. Because leadership structures are so compromised by these negative features, and contestation by different forces, they appear unable to forge a principled and coherent platform to place our politics on a different trajectory. At best, political leadership are confined to managing the effects of this situation. At worst, the leadership continues to act to reproduce these negative features. So COSATU`s political strategy, as set out in our 2015 plan, is at a crossroads: on the one hand, we have shown that a multi-pronged political strategy of engagement on many fronts is effective in ensuring not only that organised workers have a coherent voice in society, but also that they play a key leadership role. At the same time, we continue to confront the severe limitations placed on this strategy by an untransformed state; and an ANC, and Alliance which appears unable, for reasons summarised above, to move the country forward. We therefore need to consider whether our current strategy is adequate, and what more, or different, can be done, to move the country onto a new political path. Assessing the 2015 Plan It is nearly 10 years since COSATU adopted its landmark 2015 Plan at the 2003 Congress. It is therefore a good moment to stand back, reflect on progress made in implementing the Plan, honestly assess advances and setbacks, and take the necessary corrective steps to ensure more rapid advance by the time we report to the 2015 Congress. The period since the 2015 Plan was adopted, has seen many achievements which the more than 2 million workers organised under COSATU can rightly be proud of. Some highlights of COSATU`s achievements in the areas identified in the 2015 Plan include: Organisational achievements A growth in COSATU membership of over 422 000 members, or 25% over 9 years. This makes COSATU one of the fastest growing trade union Federations in the world. But this is short of the target we set ourselves. COSATU remains a vibrant, militant, democratic trade union movement, despite a number of challenges to this organisational culture, and has successfully mobilised its members, together with millions of other South Africans, around a series of important national, local, and workplace campaigns and struggles. Surveys reveal that organised workplaces continue to achieve the greatest improvement in working conditions, wages, and a range of benefits, although often off a very low base. Socio-economic achievements COSATU played a key role in shifting economic policies & programmes including shifts in industrial & trade policies, procurement, investment, infrastructure etc. as reflected in IPAP & the NGP. It has campaigned for improvements in labour laws to protect all workers, with some progress; while defending existing gains against those wanting to roll back worker rights. It has campaigned for extension of social protection, the extension of grants to all vulnerable children, & income support for the unemployed; & the adoption of National Health Insurance as government policy. COSATU has been a key force in defeating privatisation, defending the public sector, pushing for a developmental mandate for state enterprises, and expanding employment of those providing frontline public services. It was a key driver of the 2008 National Framework Agreement in response to the global financial crisis, which promotes many of the proposals in the 2015 Plan. Political achievements COSATU was key in defeating attempts by a right wing clique in the movement to collapse the Alliance, and redirect the NDR into a narrow nationalist project focused on winning elections. It played a key role in the Polokwane breakthrough, and the progressive policy shifts adopted at the 2007 Conference. It was central in the progressive posture adopted in the 2009 elections, and the drafting of a pro-worker elections manifesto It has forged improved relations with the ANC & government, and exercised a greater influence over policy. It played an important role in winning acceptance of the need to shift to a more interventionist developmental state. It has been a key player fighting against all forms of corruption It has won respect from society for consistency in advancing a programme based on solid principles, solidarity and sacrifice. International achievements COSATU & affiliates have played an important role in the international trade union movement It has played a significant role in Africa, particularly the Southern African movement, despite weaknesses It has been an important player in the International Labour Organisation, and has advanced the agenda of decent work both in the ILO and at home It has been an active participant in the struggles to advance a developmental trade agenda at the World Trade Organisation It has mobilised solidarity actions in support of workers, both in the region, as well as struggles in other parts of the world. Overall assessment It is important to celebrate these achievements. But we need to avoid complacency or triumphalism, which only serve to mislead ourselves, rather than our adversaries. A careful assessment of the 2015 Plan reveals a mixed picture of progress & setbacks, bold action to achieve the Plan`s goals in some areas, & inaction on other fronts. We briefly capture some of the more important advances & challenges below. The 2015 Plan aimed to avoid a worst – case scenario, defined as entailing: A rapid decline in membership to below 1 million by the 30th Anniversary of COSATU in 2015. The persistence of financial challenges, ultimately forcing a cutback in our roles on a range of issues. The coherence & unity of COSATU being undermined leading to splits. The collapse of the Alliance & in that context the ANC & the SACP also facing splits. A full- blown “skorokoro” scenario as painted by the September Commission Report. This reports analysis reveals that we have avoided many elements of this scenario. But there are warning bells we need to heed. To drive transformation needs a stronger Federation and stronger unions. Back to basics means being focused on strategic workplace, social, economic and political issues, without being captured by palace politics. If we lose touch with our members concerns there is the danger of finding ourselves the new TUCSA, outflanked by the new independent unions which are emerging as a result of dissatisfaction from the shopfloor, just as it happened with the Durban Strikes 39 years ago. COSATU must rediscover its very purpose of existence if it wants to make a real impact. Assessment on the organisational plan The 2015 Plan has proposals aimed at: Dramatically increasing the size of COSATU membership Improving the quality of our organisation On increasing membership, we need to improve on current growth, based on a systematic annual recruitment plan, driven by affiliates and the Federation The 2015 Plan has proposals aimed at improving the quality of our organisation, increased democratic participation, education and servicing and benefits to members. It calls for a comprehensive programme of organisational renewal. Does the current reality on the ground reflect this proposed shift? There are pockets of organisational excellence in the Federation. However, some worrying trends are emerging which need to be addressed: Growing social distance between union leaders and the membership. Different lifestyles and material realities are creating a leadership which is not fully in tune with what members are facing. Perceptions are setting in that some union leaders are reluctant to take up certain issues for fear of embarrassing the ANC. Perceptions in the union survey among some workers of `growing corruption` amongst union leaders, and the sense that union leaders are being co-opted. While only a small minority (just over 10%) of members had actually witnessed or were directly aware of corruption in the union, this number is still far too high. Worryingly, nearly 35% of members believed that there was some form of corruption or selling out of workers by leadership, even if they hadn`t seen it themselves. While these perceptions may be fed by misinformation up to a point, we need to act decisively to arrest any practices which are feeding these perceptions amongst workers. COSATU interventions to assist unions, facing disgruntled members or internal difficulties, at times get resisted. Some see it as an attempt to undermine affiliate leadership, instead of welcoming that COSATU is playing its proper role. COSATU leaders who persevere with these interventions are then targeted, in an attempt to discredit them. We need to appreciate the right of the Federation to intervene, but in a manner that will foster cooperation with affected unions. Worryingly, internal problems are now leading to splits in unions. Old loyalties aren`t sufficient to stop workers from deserting their union, if they feel their interests aren`t being served. Some workers are being too easily misled by opportunistic splinter groups, raising questions about the level of political education and organisational democracy in these unions. Disgruntled leaders who have fallen foul of organisational discipline are mobilising support, using populist tactics, & exploiting our organisational weaknesses. This can lead to launching of new organisations, as we have seen with NATAWU being set up by former SATAWU leaders in opposition to SATAWU. We have seen the potentially devastating impact of opportunistic splinter groups on the unity of workers, most graphically seen recently with the activities of AMCU, set up by a former NUM leader in opposition to NUM. Leaders are also getting drawn into narrow factional disputes. The COSATU leadership needs to be given a strengthened mandate to be able to act effectively to defend the unity and integrity of the Federation. Lack of proper attention to members concerns is leading to a proliferation of small independent unions springing up. Neglect by some unions of basic organisational controls & procedures is leading to some affiliates being deemed to be in violation of the LRA. Particularly disturbing are reports from the Department of Labour, although contested by affiliates, that a large number of affiliates have not complied with registration requirements. Focus on COSATU`s organisation-building culture is diminishing- e.g. only 1/4 of union members in the workers survey had participated in a union educational programme. Just over half had attended a union meeting in the past year. Distance of leaders from the membership is illustrated in the Survey by the fact that only 6% of the members knew who their union General Secretary or President was. The labour movement is weakest where the working class has been most restructured, through casualisation, labour broking etc. The 2015 plan calls for unions to develop targeted strategies to address the needs of specific layers and sectors of workers, including youth, women, atypical workers, migrants, and the vulnerable unorganised workers. Some work has been done by affiliates e.g. in terms of focusing on young workers, workers employed by labour brokers etc. But the Federation still needs to develop overall organising strategies, for these and other groupings of workers, drawing on the more successful approaches adopted by particular affiliates. Assessment on socioeconomic plan The matter of macro economic policy is at the heart of many disagreements on the economy, particularly questions relating to fiscal & taxation policy, monetary policy, exchange rate financial sector & investment policies, & matters relating to the movement of capital. Many countries around the world show that the ability of developmental states to regulate, lead &direct their economies, depends on the extent they have exercised control over these economic levers, compared to states which have abandoned this control to market forces. Central to achieving the 2015 Plan, therefore is progress in breaking the deadlock on macro economic policy. The ANC Policy Conference agreed to initiate a review of macro economic policies, for consideration at Mangaung. This needs a serious engagement. A key question needing attention is the question of investment policy, to deal with the crisis of unemployment, & counter the investment strike by private capital. The private sector is hoarding close on 1,2 trillion Rand in uninvested cash. This is social surplus which workers have produced, and which business are refusing to invest productively. Any national agreement needs to address the need for measures to harness and direct this capital, through fiscal regulation, incentives, prescribed assets etc. The public sector too is sitting on far too many assets which are not being productively utilised. There needs to be a national investment framework and strategy which deliberately harnesses all these assets for development. The 2015 Plan raises the need for more coherent strategies on wages, collective bargaining and social protection issues. It proposes far greater co-ordination by the Federation around the area of wages and collective bargaining, and suggests that it develop a clear framework, or model demands, to guide affiliates in their negotiations. This has not been implemented. In line with the Plan, the May 2012 CEC discussion paper addressed the need for a coherent policy framework on wages and collective bargaining, including proposals on the need for a national minimum wage, the need for government to adopt a national wage solidarity framework, the need for comprehensive collective bargaining arrangements, and a connection between these labour market policies, and the establishment of comprehensive social protection, particularly for the unemployed. Within this framework of a coherent wage & collective bargaining strategy, it would be important to revive the notion introduced in the 2015 Plan, of Federation-wide living wage model demands, which would guide affiliate negotiation strategies. This could be a key instrument for closing the apartheid wage gap, substantially raising wages particularly of low paid workers, and is aimed to promote greater convergence in standards across all industries, and fight for democratisation of the workplace. Naledi should be requested to draft a proposal, drawing on the international experience, & the CEC discussion paper, on how such a wage strategy could be implemented. We urgently need to engage with government and the ANC on the need for a coherent wage and collective bargaining policy, since the current arrangements are failing to overcome the inherited inequities in our labour market, and are leading to an explosive situation in the country, which requires leadership. The 2015 Plan calls for comprehensive social protection. COSATU has campaigned for a Basic Income Grant, to cover those who have fallen through the social security net. A ministerial task team on comprehensive social protection was supposed to address this matter, but again a Department of Social Development proposal for a workseekers grant was opposed by Treasury. Now the ANC is considering a jobseekers grant for young people. We need to engage with this proposal, and determine whether all unemployed workseekers would qualify, since to limit it to those of a certain age would be discriminatory; further, whether conditions to be attached are reasonable, and would not lead to coercion of workseekers to accept unacceptable work; and finally, what the scale and duration of the benefits would be. The 2015 plan proposes that Retirement Funds direct investment into the productive sector. At a policy level, some progress is being made: ANC Policy documents, & the Economic Development Department, are floating the possibility of prescribed requirements for investment of RFs; & promoting the desirability of a public investment vehicle, such as a development bond, through which workers can direct their savings. While some engagement has taken place, far more work needs to be done by COSATU to drive greater control by workers of their investments, as part of a broader strategy to leverage control of the economy. We need to look at creative ways for workers to take greater control of their funds, including through the creation of an investment institution similar to the PIC, to invest private sector funds; a strategy to take forward the proposal for an administration company; measures to control the conduct of service providers; amendments to the Pension Funds Act; and the creation of a workers bank. We have taken a number of similar resolutions on retirement funds before. Congress needs to ask why we are not taking these forward. At another level, Treasury has attempted to delink discussion of retirement reform from the comprehensive social protection reform process. COSATU has strongly opposed this, including proposals from Treasury to unilaterally transform Provident funds, and force mandatory savings, outside of the provision of broader social protection. This is something workers will never accept, and we have warned Treasury that they are playing with fire on this issue. We are confident that we will stop this proposal from going ahead in its current form. Assessment of the political plan On the political front, we outlined above the considerable gains we have made since 2003, when the Alliance was in crisis, COSATU was marginalised, the ANC was a conveyor belt dominated by a topdown government culture, and government policy continued to be characterised in most areas by neoliberal approaches. This relatively desperate political situation has been replaced by a new set of political challenges, which we discuss in detail in Part III below. We focus discussion here only on the specific proposals contained in the 2015 Plan. The 2015 Plan proposes “to combine state and social power in a way that consistently tilts the balance of power in favour of the working class”. The Plan calls for the organised working class to be a factor in ANC 2007 conference, & the SACP Congress. Polokwane, despite problems, represented a revolt from below, & assertion of policies biased to the working class. The Plan calls for active participation by COSATU in the elections campaign, & to help shape the ANC`s Manifesto, both of which were effectively implemented. The problems relate to what happened after the elections: the sense that the Alliance was being used as an election machine, & that the ANC failed to assert control of the state`s agenda. The 2015 Plan proposes that COSATU assert the role of the Alliance as a Political Centre & table the proposal for an Alliance Pact. COSATU took both of these forward. Despite us tabling these proposals, & agreement in the 2008 Alliance Summit on the Political Centre, this was subsequently reversed. Lack of agreement on these 2 critical issues- the Alliance`s modus operandi, & its policy platform- led the Alliance to constantly zigzag between functionality & dysfunctionality. Little progress has been made on these fronts, & it remains a key outstanding task of the 2015 Plan. There is an agreed to 2011 Alliance programme on transformation, but this has not been implemented The 2015 Plan calls for a campaign to ensure that the working class swells the ranks of the ANC, as part of the contestation for the soul of the movement, & `jealously defend the progressive & working class bias of the ANC` by calling on its members, shop stewards & leaders to join the ANC en masse. Many organised workers have joined the ANC since then, & COSATU members form a significant component of ANC membership. The ANC`s membership has grown by over 300% since 2002: membership rose from 416 846 members to 1 270 053 in January 2012. The 2012 COSATU workers survey reveals that over a quarter of COSATU members `are active in their ANC branch`. This suggests that around half of ANC members are also COSATU members, given that a quarter of COSATU members nationally totals about 550 000. The question is what has been the impact of increased membership, & growing participation of workers, & what has driven this membership growth. Ordinary branch members are not well positioned to change the policy direction of the organisation, because of the top-down character of policy processes. Members only make a significant impact at big policy gatherings, after which the organisation returns to old patterns. Further, there is little to suggest that organised workers are changing the character of ANC leadership. It may be necessary to consider whether COSATU needs to be more active in giving guidance to workers in ANC branches, including on policy questions, & popularising its criteria for leadership. At the level of the SACP too, there has been a significant growth in membership. In 2007 the Party reported a membership of 51 874, and this had increased to 154 220 members by its 13th Congress in July 2012. A significant trend however, is the reported concentration of SACP membership amongst the unemployed However, the 2012 Workers Survey reveals that 6% of surveyed COSATU members are active in the SACP. This translates to over 130 000 COSATU members. If correct, this would suggest that the vast majority of Party members are COSATU members. The 2015 Plan states that “the SACP is the vanguard of the working class, & we seek to build it into a strong, mass- based organisation that truly can be the bedrock for workers.” The Plan calls for the Socialist Commission to develop a minimum platform of work, & to take forward the work of the Socialist Forums. Despite many discussions & bilaterals with the Party, the Commission has not yet been established. It also calls for us to encourage members to join on debit order, to encourage young workers to join the YCL, & to continue financial support to the Party. This has been done, but the question of financial self sufficiency remains an ongoing concern, not only as an organisational matter, but in terms of political independence. The 2015 Plan calls on COSATU to step up its work in terms of ideological contestation & political education. It calls for the Federation to invest more resources on internal political education. The lack of progress in developing our political education is a serious weakness which we need to address as a matter of urgent priority. The 2015 Plan proposes 2 elements to support the Mass Democratic Movement & social movements: Firstly for COSATU to support MDM formations, such as the student movements which need assistance, & to continue relations with the various coalitions, & our traditional allies. Secondly, it sets out 6 criteria for working with social movements. COSATU maintains healthy relations with traditional MDM formations, coalitions, & progressive civil society, & prioritises this work. Relations with the `new social movements` are more complex, as a few define themselves primarily in opposition to the ANC, & indirectly to COSATU, because of the Alliance. However, more nuanced rights based social movements are beginning to emerge such as SECTION27 & Equal Education Campaign, which respect our independence, & are developing a healthy relationship with the Federation. The key challenge is for COSATU, & our allies to act to rebuild our traditional mass based sectoral MDM formations, & organs of peoples power. The absence of street committees in most areas, the weaknesses of SANCO, & weakness or collapse of many MDM organisations, has left many communities leaderless, & without organisational structures, which can sustain & give progressive direction to their struggles. Organised workers need to play a more active role in rebuilding these structures. ANC branches themselves must act as a social movement, not as appendages of local Councils. Mass formations, & progressive civil society remain in a weak state, and an approach to rebuilding the MDM requires greater strategic focus, as well as robust engagement in the Alliance on our understanding of the role of progressive civil society in this second phase of our transition. We have seen the upsurge of right wing political parties, & foundations. The DA, using right wing populist rhetoric, has openly targeted COSATU as its primary political adversary, in an attempt to occupy the political centre in the country, appropriate certain ANC programmes & symbols, and target in particular the unemployed youth as their entry into the African constituency. We are also seeing the re-emergence of FW De Klerk & his foundation, aligning with the DA, in an anti-majoritarean attack on the movement On democratising the state the Plan calls for the Alliance to “assert its hegemony over the state and governance based on an agreed programme for change”. Although we could not reach agreement on the Alliance Pact, the Alliance programme of action contains an agreement on the Political Centre which will be constituted by the Alliance NOB`s. This Political Centre can play a meaningful role if it was to function strategically. Regrettably the Alliance Political Centre has not been meeting and consequently does not drive any programme. Alliance ideological and political contestation since 2007 has shifted the centre of political gravity in the state. A significantly different agenda emerged post-Polokwane, with an emerging focus on the need to build a developmental state, promote the decent work agenda, state-led industrial policy etc. While some of these shifts were, and remain highly contested, they reflect a far greater imprint of the working class on emerging policies, than pre-2007. The 2015 Plan`s call for greater engagement by COSATU in shaping policy has been advanced in a number of areas. The decision to set up the Ministry of Economic Development has created a counterweight to Treasury, which has already been evidenced eg through the emergence of new policies on procurement, beneficiation, & broad based industrialisation linked to infrastructure development. The setting up of the Planning Commission, too, was a shift towards long range planning by a developmental state, a demand which we had ourselves put on the agenda. The content of the planning nevertheless remains highly contested. The 2015 Plan, linked to the agenda of building a developmental state, also calls for the defending & building of the public sector. Important advances have been made in that regard & COSATU has been a key force in defeating or rolling back privatisation, defending the public sector, pushing for a developmental mandate for state enterprises, & expanding employment of public sector workers providing key public services. Other proposals of the 2015 Plan aimed at transforming the state include an Alliance Deployment strategy for public representatives, & proposals for a mixed electoral system, which would combine the PR & constituency based system. We have subsequently also called for a broader deployment strategy by the Alliance to deal with all strategic appointments into the state. Neither of these interventions, which are aimed at creating greater accountability by cadres deployed into state have been taken forward The 2015 Plan proposes that we monitor the performance of Ministers & public representatives, & communicate assessments to our members. In the current electoral system, it is difficult to create accountability as there is no democratic mechanism of recall. Closer bilateral relations with Ministers & other deployed leaders, & greater openness in the movement to consultation over appointments, has created an improved environment for COSATU to input our concerns. The Movement and the Revolution at a crossroads ” …The issues of the developmental state or the defence of the revolution are no longer prominent… This erodes the principle of unity, respect, collective leadership & adhering to policies that advance the revolution & its defence. When interests are at stake, the issue of leadership becomes a matter of “do or die”. The issue is not how the organisation will or should be led, but how the interests of certain people must be protected… the money issue has become a big sickness in the organization. It is used to promote self-interest & that impacts on how the organisation is run. This affects not only the ANC but also the Alliance as a whole. This is a challenge that faces many liberation movements in the second decade of liberation… In some cases the organisations change and become something unrecognisable. We need to uproot this sickness so that our organisations… can become instruments of the revolution rather than instruments of certain classes and certain people. … If we do that we will restore respect, comradeship & dignity in the ANC and the Alliance. We will stop the situation where what should have been the healthy and constructive contradictions within the broader movement become antagonistic and turns comrades into enemies of one another. We will stop clique-ism and gossip and adhere to the revolutionary way of doing things. We will restore the character of the ANC. These tendencies must be fought by all who still call themselves revolutionaries.” Comrade Jacob Zuma, address to the COSATU CC, June 2011 ..The country is facing a multiple crisis. The ANCs Policy Conference in June 2012 focused on some elements, in particular the crisis of poverty, inequality, & unemployment, & the movements emerging organisational crisis; & called for the launching of a second phase of our transition, which should concentrate in particular on a radical shift in economic policies. This echoes the view of COSATU that the policy trajectory of the last 18 years has failed to address key challenges of the NDR, & that a qualitative economic shift is required if we are to avoid the total derailing of the NDR. ..The ANC assertion that it cannot be business as usual, given these multiple challenges, is welcome. However, the movement must ensure that the language of a radical shift is matched by radical content in what is proposed. We need systematic progress to implement the demands of the Freedom Charter. The movement needs to build capacity to deal with the crisis of non-implementation & the culture of mediocrity. This Congress must be about how we give content to this 2nd phase, & how we create our own `Lula moment`, to assist our country in forging a new direction. It is important that there appears to be emerging convergence on the challenges confronting us. However, deeper analysis reveals that far more work needs to be done in reaching consensus in the Alliance on an: Analysis of the character and extent of the crisis; and therefore on What needs to be done. The emerging multiple crisis A multiple crisis is emerging in society, which, if not addressed, has the potential to result in an organisational implosion, and social explosion, which could reverse the gains of our democracy, and prevent us from advancing the core tasks of the NDR. This is a scenario which we cannot allow to happen. We need to be shaken out of our comfort zones, and develop a totally new mindset, if we are to appreciate the extent of this emerging crisis, and what measures are needed to address it. Key elements of this emerging multiple crisis include: An organisational crisis A crisis in the state A social crisis of poverty, inequality, & unemployment A crisis of political legitimacy An emerging organisational crisis, in which the ANC, in particular, is increasingly wracked by factionalism, patronage and corruption, and is unable to reassert the mission and strategic vision of the organisation. Struggles are increasingly over control of the levers of accumulation. Those challenging these abuses find their lives in danger. There is growing social distance between the leadership and the rank and file. This emerging crisis was clearly identified by the 2010 ANC NGC, & the organisational renewal paper to the 2012 Policy Conference. This crisis is systemic and relates to broader crises in the state & society. Because the ANC is the ruling party, & leader of the Alliance, & society, this situation has profound implications more broadly, for governance from national to local levels, for all state institutions, and for progressive civil society, including the labour movement. Success in addressing this crisis is therefore critical in resolving other dimensions of the crisis. The ANC is embarking on an organisational renewal programme to fight these threats to the movement. We must do everything we can to assist this fight, & make sure that the ANC succeeds. A crisis in the state, in which years of neglect, fiscal cutbacks, & contracting out of state responsibilities – combined with endemic corruption, and a failure of political & bureaucratic leadershiptogether render elements of the state apparatus increasingly ineffective, or even dysfunctional. The most devastating indictment of this failure has come from the AG: Only 3 of 36 government departments received clean audits in 2010/11, and only 13 of 343 local governments in 2011/12! This institutional crisis in parts of the state is directly related to the crisis of non-delivery which confronts many working class communities. It is also linked to the legacy of economic policies, which commodified and privatised basic services, as well as underfunding public services, and shifted the burden to the working class. Inappropriate economic policies, & problematic funding & institutional frameworks form a toxic combination, which lead to the types of crises we have seen recently with electricity provision, housing, public transport, public health & public education. The role of Provinces has also been sharply raised by these crises. The textbook saga in Limpopo, which demonstrated an area of total state dysfunctionality, provides a serious wake-up call on what may face us, on a larger scale, if these trends are not arrested through a set of deliberate interventions. Failure to act decisively, is partly a result of divisions in the movement, & paralysis in the state. The areas of crisis are tending to overshadow important areas of advance in the democratic state, & drag down the morale of the public sector, & the entire society. A danger is that failure to act to arrest this trend will also lead to defeatism about the possibility of building a developmental state. A crisis of poverty, inequality, & unemployment, reproduced by the structural features of our economy. This systemic crisis is a function of inherited economic relations, but also worsened by inappropriate neo-liberal policies, & policies focused on promoting elite economic empowerment. It is now accepted, in our broad movement, & government, that even higher rates of economic growth along this problematic growth path will not succeed in addressing these challenges, but will continue to produce the same structural problems which generate the triple crisis; & that we need to embark on a different growth path. It is now agreed in principle that there is need for a `radical shift` in economic policies. Despite the Polokwane Resolutions providing clear support for this, contestation continues in the movement & state on what should constitute the policy shift. A powerful bloc in the political leadership & bureaucracy (supported by capital) strongly resist a change from conservative macro-economic policies. This has led to economic policy paralysis, & failure to drive a coherent agenda, leading to progressive elements of industrial & other policies failing to make sufficient impact. There is also failure to grasp the nettle that addressing this crisis requires a systematic programme of income redistribution, social protection and wage policies, which can radically reduce poverty & inequality in the short term; as well as appropriate economic interventions providing the economic stimulus, to underpin a major recovery in employment. This is the lesson of Brazil. An emerging crisis of political legitimacy & disillusionment. These 3 sets of crises- in the movement, state, & economy- are laying the basis for growing disillusionment in society, & even questions about the legitimacy of the leadership in the movement & state. Opinion polls, which should not simply be dismissed, are increasingly showing worrying trends, particularly amongst the youth, which suggest increasing political demobilisation and alienation of society. This includes suggestions that growing numbers of the electorate don`t intend to vote in 2014, & increasingly negative perceptions of the leadership. Any programme of radical transformation, if it has hope of succeeding, must rely on mobilisation of the people. These trends should not be taken lightly, or dismissed as a creation of the media. The hostile agenda of certain sections of society & the media, can only be effectively countered by a credible leadership, which communicates effectively, & takes meaningful action to turn the situation around, including by taking drastic steps to improve the image of the movement. Opinion polls continue to show the worrying trend of people losing faith in the current leadership, & still focusing on Comrade Nelson Mandela as their saviour. While we don`t agree that the liberal anti-majoritarian organisations are the main problem, there are a number of right wing organisations which are attempting to orchestrate a sense of crisis, and the impossibility of moving forward, using a range of tactics, including through the courts. However it would be a mistake to paint all critics, or those using the courts, with the same brush. In the context of growing social distress, & desperation of the unemployed, alienation from the movement can easily be replaced by right wing populist alternatives, which aim to divide workers from the unemployed, South Africans from migrants, promote tribal divisions etc. Spontaneous protests about community problems are too easily dismissed as being the work of opportunist elements. South Africa is now the protest capital of the world. Further, local government elections showed an alarming trend for the ANC to lose support to the DA, including in traditional ANC areas. Despite these trends, we still have a huge reservoir of support & goodwill in the country, which we need to mobilise through acting decisively to reverse these negative trends, and implementing a programme which shows that we are serious about transforming peoples lives. The value of a revolution is largely measured by the people in terms of material improvement in their lives. But who have been the main beneficiaries of our democratic revolution in the first 18 years? The socio-economic section, shows that the main beneficiaries have been capital, particularly white monopoly capital, and a small emerging elite. While profits rise, workers are receiving a declining share of GDP. The combination of high unemployment, low wages, and limited social protection, mean that in real terms the income and living standards of many workers and their families have not improved. Socially, many of the initial gains made in terms of `delivery` have not been sustained, because of commodification, & lack of accountability by state structures & public representatives, especially in poor communities. Further- linked to a growing crisis of corruption and dysfunctionality in provincial and local governance- there is an emerging crisis in public delivery of services, particularly in the areas of education, health, transport, housing, and electricity. Redistribution of assets, including land has not taken place in any meaningful way. There is emerging agreement in the Alliance that this trajectory of the last 18 years therefore has to change. Africa itself, & revolutions elsewhere, has seen too many liberation movements with noble ideals, hijacked by corrupt individuals, predatory classes, & foreign interests, for us to close our eyes to that danger now. It is the working class, and the poorest of the poor, who always end up the worst victims of these failed revolutions. Our liberation movement, and our struggle, will never be up for sale. While the rich have more resources to cushion themselves, a predator state, will ultimately eat away, and consume the whole of society. No one is immune. But as we have seen in recent times, it is up to the organised working class to stand up, and mobilise society, against corruption, greed, and abuse of power and resources. Impact of these crises on COSATU “COSATU has influence but on issues that has nothing to do with workers… like Polokwane and Mangaung, that`s where you`ll start to hear COSATU, but when it comes to worker issues on the ground and to influence government to change policies that affects workers you find it asking ” Workers focus group, Peddie Eastern Cape, June 2012 This multiple crisis will have a direct & indirect effect on the cohesion of COSATU, & ultimately lead to a crisis in the organisation, if we don`t handle things correctly. Most obviously, the deepening crisis facing the working class will put growing stress on workers & the Federation, particularly if it is not seen to be responding adequately to their most pressing challenges. Further, measures taken by capital to restructure the economy, and transform the nature of employment relations, puts new pressures on the organisation, as challenges of organising atypical and vulnerable workers grow increasingly difficult. At a macro political level, differences within the Federation about its political posture, and strategic and tactical approaches to challenges in the movement, the state and society, are placing growing pressure on the cohesion of COSATU`s leadership collective, as we outline in some detail in this political report. Historical consensus which had emerged since the mid 90`s on our strategic posture is increasingly being undermined, & political differences magnified. Therefore COSATU has a direct stake in the development of a more coherent political response to these challenges by the movement as a whole. In addressing these challenges COSATU needs to defend its traditions of addressing matters robustly and honestly, promoting openness in debating the issues, and respect for organisational decisions. Importantly, the organisation needs to avoid: Factional politics taking root Denialism about the extent of the challenges; or Shirking responsibility for our role in addressing them We analyse challenges to COSATU`s political cohesion in this Political Report, particularly concerns which have arisen over the last year. These concerns are serious, and their potential impact on the organisation should not be underplayed. At the same time, the organisation remains in a relatively good position to advance alternatives in response to the different dimensions of the emerging crisis: In relation to the organisational crisis, COSATU remains a movement which is on the whole controlled by its members, & challenges of corruption & undemocratic practices are not dominant. In relation to the crisis in the state, our members are at the coalface of delivery, and conscious of the need to transform a range of practices & dynamics in the public sector. Our unions have embarked on a number of campaigns to improve & transform the public service, although far more needs to be done. Our members are key activists in the fight against corruption. In relation to the economic crisis, & the triple challenge, COSATU has been at the forefront of promoting alternatives on issues such as employment creating industrial and trade policy, the need for alternative monetary and fiscal policies, transformation of the financial sector, and redistributive labour market and social protection policies. In relation to the legitimacy crisis of our broad movement in society, the Federation is relatively well placed. COSATU`s credibility in society remains high, because of the organisations consistency in speaking honestly about the challenges facing the country, raising its concerns without fear or favour, and preparedness to be self-critical, where necessary. Most importantly its ability, and willingness, to mobilise its members and society to act in the interests of ordinary people. A recent survey, published in July 2012 showed that among a range of respondents, from workers to higher income groups, COSATU commands a great deal of respect. The organisation has managed to establish this degree of credibility despite ongoing attacks on it, around issues such as the wage subsidy, certain issues of economic policy etc. However, we need to avoid complacency, and recognise that our handling of certain matters could be improved. We must continue to find ways to engage the media & society in the battle of ideas, to ensure that the perspectives of workers are properly & fairly reflected. Most importantly we need a shift in our mindset to recognise that the labour movement needs to renew itself, and re-establish its very purpose of existence, by placing much greater emphasis on issues which matter most to workers. Impact of these crises on the left Failure to turn the situation around will be devastating for the progressive forces, & the left project. Ordinary people will rightly question why, having repeatedly been given an overwhelming mandate to lead transformation of society, our government has continued to advance policies which in effect entrench the structures of power and privilege in society, with modifications aimed at incorporating a new elite; while the lives of poor communities and working people continue to be characterised by poverty, disease, ignorance and unemployment. If their movement continues to fail them, they will be forced to look for an alternative. And international experience shows that this alternative won`t necessarily be a left alternative. In approaching these matters we need to avoid two extremes- being overoptimistic, by ignoring reality, & as a result losing credibility; or exaggerating the negatives, completely losing hope and demoralising our people. We approach the following scenarios in the spirit of avoiding either extreme. The low road scenario Let us paint what seems to be an extreme scenario: The downward slide in the movement & the state continues. Delegates go to the ANC Conference in Mangaung focused on the leadership contest only, and policy questions fall by the wayside. A grinding machine in the Provinces and Regions sifts who gets to the Conference. You have to be part of this machinery to control the conference. Nearly everyone there has a material stake in the results. Principle is replaced by politics of power & patronage. The ANC leadership in most Provinces & regions are compromised, by the presence of tenderpreneurs in their ranks. The ANC Conference is an expression of pure slate politics, & good people from either side are excluded. Those who lose out form a camp of the disillusioned and disgruntled. Divisions are so deep, that talk of a second phase of the transition is mere lip service. The ANC is too weak and divided to drive a new agenda. As a result, the ANC again loses part of the electorate in 2014. Many voters don`t participate because of disillusionment. We increasingly move towards US-style politics, because of apathy, where a minority of the population participate in elections. Politics shift to the right, the DA further consolidating its hold on the minorities, and makes inroads into the majority vote. The non-racial and national project slips away. The working class project is marginalised, as is the gender project. Instead of asserting hegemony, the ANC becomes increasingly discredited in broader society, although a core still remain loyal to the ANC. Having placed all its eggs in the ANC basket, the left finds itself marginalised – because the ANC is seen as a discredited faction which has betrayed the people, and the Party & COSATU are perceived to have been part of that betrayal. The revolution has reached a dead end. People start searching for solutions elsewhere. The working class must do whatever it takes to stop this low road scenario from materialising. It is not an option for us to allow a derailed revolution, or the emergence of a DA or other reactionary government in future. A high road scenario – the Lula moment Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone`s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children. Amilcar Cabral The ANC is proposing to launch a second, more radical, phase of the transition, which will coincide with the second term of the ANC post-Polokwane. This raises interesting parallels with the Brazilian experience, where the first term of the Workers Party (PT), led by President Lula from 2002-6 was fraught with all sorts of difficulties. In President Lula`s second term (2006-10) he engineered a dramatic turnaround, which saw a series of amazing achievements in terms of improvements of the living standards of the working people of Brazil. These achievements continue to this day, under the leadership of his successor, President Dilma. We refer to this turnaround as the `Lula moment` and pose the question as to whether we are able to drive our own Lula Moment, given the challenges, and possibilities we have outlined under the low road scenario. What is happening in Brazil A revolution is taking place in peoples living standards in Brazil, & many parts of Latin America. Strides are being made in reducing poverty, creating decent work, & reducing inequality and unemployment, over a short period. At the heart of the gains in the labour market, is the consolidation of national minimum wages, and collective bargaining, with a deliberate strategy driven by progressive governments, to substantially increase the real level of minimum wages, and address the plight of the working poor. The other key leg of this strategy to raise peoples incomes, is the introduction of social protection measures to ensure that all the poor, including the unemployed, have access to basic income. These redistributive policies have been effectively combined with state-driven industrial and investment strategies. How have these achievements been driven politically in Brazil? In the first term of his government (2002-2006), President Lula was tainted both by the adoption of neo-liberal economic policies, as well as a serious problem of corruption in the Party and in government: During Lula`s first administration, conservative fiscal and monetary policies prevented any significant improvement of the country`s social indicators, and wages and employment stagnated. To cap it all, in the run-up to the 2006 elections the administration was battered by a relentless succession of corruption scandals backed up by media and political hysteria which suggested that Lula might be impeached or, at the very least, defeated in his bid for re-election. Lula, together with allies in the Workers Party (PT), state, and the broader movement, acted decisively to turn this around, in his second term, moving to address these problems in policy and leadership, both in government and the party. Policies were implemented which radically increased the income of workers and the poor (see p. 36 political report) Government and Party leadership was changed, and important policy shifts were engineered, regaining the support of worker and peasant organisations, and led to a huge increase in support from the masses. By the end of Lula`s second term (2010), surveys put his support at 80%, making him the most popular leader in the world. An interview in November 2010 with a progressive Brazilian economics Professor, a left critic of Lula`s government, acknowledges the progressive impact of this turnaround, & outlines how this was done, including: “He recomposed his top team, decimated by the scandals. Heterodox economists (economists who draw from various schools of thought), & nationalist diplomats aligned with the PT were appointed to head the Ministry of Finance, the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs and the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), the largest development bank in the world… they have been able to implement activist and distributive fiscal and financial policies, and to moderate the Central Bank`s orthodoxy…. “The administration pushed up the minimum wage gradually and consistently, and embarked on a reasonably ambitious `programme of growth acceleration` focusing on investments in infrastructure, transport and energy. In the higher education sector, 14 new federal universities were created, staffed by thousands of new academics, to cater for 210,000 new students.” “The government`s social programmes were also expanded, especially `bolsa família` (an income support programme for poor households). The buoyant economy created 14 million new formal sector jobs… the social benefits paid in the poorest regions supported local production, rather than fuelling purchases of imported durable goods. The strengthening of the domestic market, the expansion of production and careful banking regulation helped to shelter the Brazilian economy from the ravages of the global crisis: “GDP is poised to grow by 7.5% in 2010. The minimum wage rose by 67 per cent between 2003 and 2010 … the Gini coefficient fell from 0.57 in 1995 to 0.52 in 2008, and salaries rose from 58% of GDP in 2004 to 62% in 2009… Lula`s government has also played an important role in the political stabilisation of Latin America and, in particular, supporting the left-wing administrations …None of these outcomes is revolutionary, but they are real enough. For these reasons…Lula`s popularity among the poor, and in the poorest regions, is overwhelming. ..” These major advances in Brazil don`t mean that it has solved its fundamental problems. It remains a capitalist society, with high levels of inequality, poverty, violence and landlessness. Even though it has begun to make huge strides in reducing some of the most negative features of Brazilian society, the Brazilian government continues to face criticism from the left on a number of issues. Lessons from Brazil A more detailed study is required of the Brazilian experience, but some initial lessons include: Decisive political leadership enabled the Brazilian leadership to navigate out of an emerging crisis, and use the need for change to chart a new path. They were not blackmailed by pressure from the conservative establishment, or problems in their own ranks, to abandon their programme of social transformation. Instead they became more focused and decisive. These developments in Brazil are part of the resurgence of left alternatives throughout the continent, particularly over the last decade. Seven of the ten major Latin American countries now have left or centre left governments, namely Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Ecuador, and Peru. Increasingly this bloc of progressive states (despite some differences between them) is characterised by: A rapidly expanding state role in the economy, with strategic ownership of key sectors; active promotion of social ownership, particularly through a huge increase in cooperatives; pursuit of expansionary macro economic approaches; and lastly, progressive interventions to transform the labour market, by formalising employment, combating atypical work, raising wage levels and promoting collective bargaining. In the case of the more left governments, such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Argentina, governments have actively promoted popular participation, and the growing assertiveness of the working class and peasantry. This has led to new forms of popular democracy. We need to draw political lessons from this Brazilian and Latin American experience. In the next section we look at some of the interventions which could be pursued in South Africa, during this second phase of the transition, which could help us to create our own Lula Moment. This strategic path is not an option, but a necessity for the working class, if we are to play our role as the leading motive force, putting the NDR on track, and keeping it there. A high road scenario for South Africa It is said that a crisis represents both a threat & opportunity. At the international level, the financial crisis has opened up possibilities, particularly for the global South, to do things differently. Similarly, our domestic crises could, if approached correctly, create an opportunity for us to break with past practices, & approach things differently in the 4 identified areas: Organisationally, to take radical steps to reassert the values of sacrifice, selflessness, service to the people, democratic participation, harnessing of peoples power etc, including acting decisively to combat conflicts of interest in the movement. The ANC Organisational Renewal paper makes a call that the “Mangaung Centenary Conference should strive to be a watershed by addressing some of the persistent challenges that have plagued our movement since 1994”. This will also contribute to narrowing social distance between leaders and the masses. At the level of the state, to take urgent measures to arrest the downward slide, and implement strategies to systematically build an effective and capable developmental state, which leads social and economic transformation. In terms of the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment, to develop and implement a coherent set of policy interventions, which, in reality and not just at the level of rhetoric, constitute a radical shift, putting the creation of decent work, and redistribution, at the centre of policy. Economically, this means a total break with orthodox neoliberal policies, which have failed our country. Visible progress in these three areas will go a long way to combating the emerging alienation and legitimacy crisis of the movement, and renewing the confidence and involvement of our people in driving the revolutionary project. But we need to do far more to engage our people, dynamically interact with them in finding solutions to these challenges, and communicate far more effectively on this radical shift, if they are to appreciate what it is we are trying to achieve. The strategic interventions proposed by this Congress need to focus on transformation in the 3 key pillars we have identified – the movement, the state and the economy: In relation to the ANC, we need to ask what interventions are required to ensure a leadership which is uncompromised, and is primarily driven by its desire to address the needs of the people; an ANC which operates in a democratic and accountable manner, and takes responsibility for transformation; and an Alliance which is able to shape the strategic direction of the movement and the state. At the level of the democratic state, we need to spell out what needs to be done to take full control of the levers of governance; make the leadership and bureaucracy accountable to the democratic mandate; and answerable for their performance. Failure to do this will mean that powerful centres in government and the state continue to drive agendas which are contrary to that of the movement; and leaders and bureaucrats continue to abuse public resources with impunity. At the level of the economy, we need to spell out what could constitute the `radical economic shift` which would change the trajectory in terms of distribution of income, employment, access to assets etc. It would require a coherent package of economic policies which ensure that macro-economic policies, industrial policy, labour market policies, and social protection, are driven by the same agenda, unlike the current situation, where policies contradict each other, and are held hostage by key centres of economic power, particularly Treasury and the SA Reserve Bank, which needs a new mandate. It would also require a strategic set of interventions to harness the power of the state to redirect the economy. Failure to do these things would mean that we continue to pay lip service to economic shifts, while in reality the market, and power centres aligned to finance capital, or the new elite, continue to drive the agenda. An understanding of the power dynamics summarised above is important to help appreciate why progressive resolutions, or stated policy shifts, aren`t in themselves sufficient to change the trajectory of the country. Many progressive resolutions from Polokwane, the 2010 NGC, and the Alliance Summit remain unimplemented because they threaten vested interests who continue to dominate the policy agenda. Therefore any decisive advance depends on a radical shift in power relations. This, amongst others, requires a focused leadership collective with the necessary political will, including to challenge entrenched interests in the movement, state and capital. The outcome of Mangaung will indicate whether this is on the agenda. COSATU`s political strategy of mobilising social power combined with engagement in all forums and sites of struggle remains valid and correct. However, in the absence of meaningful agreements to implement a programme at the level of the ruling party and the state, gains arising from this strategy are limited and difficult to sustain. COSATU can contribute to this reconfiguration of power relations if we are able to advance a clear proposal on what needs to be done to achieve such a comprehensive agreement. This requires that the Federation itself is united on a minimum platform, or set of interventions which are required to break the political paralysis. If COSATU can agree on what should constitute such a platform, this will also help deal with emerging political divisions in the Federation, and harness the power of organised workers to such an agenda. This would in itself be a major contribution towards advancing a radical shift. This will not by itself be sufficient. The ANC would need to share our view on the necessity for such a platform. The 2011 Alliance Summit agreed on an Alliance programme of action. This is a step forward in agreeing to take forward a programme on certain issues, but falls short of a comprehensive policy platform, which addresses the identified crisis areas. This Political Report outlines problems we have encountered in securing agreement on the strategic Political Centre, and need for an Alliance Pact, as mandated by COSATU Congress. However, conditions have changed in important respects, which suggest that prospects may have improved: There is now agreement in principle that we need to make substantial political changes in the functioning of the movement and the state; and that a radical economic shift is required. Conditions described above (the multiple crises) are putting huge pressure on the forces for change to put forward a united front on an alternative platform. The international situation has also created new policy space to promote progressive alternatives. Therefore there is objectively a greater basis for the Alliance to agree on a platform than there was in the past. It is less important whether this is called a Pact, or an agreement. More important is the content of what is agreed, and the need to ensure that meaningful commitments are made on the critical issues. A National Agreement Elements of such an agreement which should be considered include: . Measures to ensure representivity and integrity of the new leadership collective, at national provincial and local levels, and to combat social distance. . Legislation to govern conflicts of interest in the state and the movement; policy to prevent those convicted of certain types of offenses from holding certain leadership positions; as well as a package of interventions to combat corruption. Interventions to advance a radical economic shift, including specific commitments to align macro-economic policies, & all institutions of state, to the agenda of promoting decent work, & interventions to dramatically scale up the state`s role in strategic sectors of the economy. A commitment that appointments to strategic positions will be reviewed to effect these changes in strategic Ministries, including Treasury, the SA Reserve Bank, and key SOEs and DFI`s, and that their mandates be changed accordingly. A more focused mandate should also be given to the National Planning Commission to realign the planning process to reflect this radical shift. Implementing proposals to promote a more effective, coordinated developmental state, including the Alliance agreed proposal to implement a Council of State. A coherent labour market, wages and incomes policy, including a legislated national minimum wage, linked to a minimum living level, and comprehensive collective bargaining; and social protection measures. Special intervention programmes to address crisis situations, in public health and education, and other identified areas of service delivery. Agreement on a protocol on the Alliance and Governance to ensure effective implementation of ANC and Alliance policies, and co-ordination with the work of government. Related to the above, an Alliance mechanism to receive reports, monitor and ensure implementation of identified strategic or priority Alliance decisions which seek to contribute to this radical shift. E.g. Resolutions from the NGC on state ownership in key sectors of economy, and transformation of the mining sector, and, various Polokwane and Manifesto undertakings on the economy, corruption and state transformation etc. Given the limitations of the existing Alliance POA, what do we do to achieve such a comprehensive Alliance agreement? Once the ANC Conference is over, the danger is that the urgency for such an accord would be lost. Therefore, if an Alliance agreement, as set out above, were to have the necessary impact, its key elements would preferably need to be agreed before December, for endorsement at the Mangaung Conference. This should be a clearly spelled out agreement, not something with vague statements of intent. It should set out a clear sequence of practical commitments to advance each of the identified areas within reasonable time frames. To counter growing public scepticism that radical-sounding statements are merely hollow rhetoric, it would be important to embark on a set of concrete confidence-building steps, to re-establish the belief amongst people, and the broader movement, that a real change is being advanced. Such concrete actions could be identified for each of the elements of the platform, in a way, which demonstrates that we are indeed embarking on a radical shift, rather than a business as usual posture. One area needing special emphasis is the urgency of building capacity to implement policy directives. Polokwane, the Manifestos, State of the Nation Addresses, ANC Conferences (including the NGC and recent Policy Conference) contain many positive and progressive announcements on what will be done, yet the sorry track record of non-implementation, has led to the disillusionment referred to in this report. One of the main reasons for this state of affairs is the organisational weakness we have referred to, as well as mediocrity, which is a by product of slate politics and divisions. We need to take responsibility for our failure to implement, and take corrective measures. This Congress needs to address the risk of us repeating history, by basing our actions purely on trust. We have to mobilise the working class, and broader society, around the urgency for such a comprehensive set of interventions. We must avoid the danger that we reach an agreement, but post December, are unable to hold leaders to account in terms of meeting its conditions. We analyse in this political report how, in recent years, leaders have been pulled in many different directions by competing interests, and factions, and as a result have been unable to act decisively. How do we avoid this situation recurring? What will be different this time? We need to ensure that we mobilise pressure from below. The current balance of forces in the movement suggests that a mobilised working class has the best opportunity in a long time to set clear conditions under which the new leadership will be given a mandate. We have the possibility of creating our own Lula Moment. We dare not fail! Part II: The International Balance of Forces post the Global Economic Crisis: Implications for South Africa On the international balance of forces COSATU has always argued that the international balance of forces in which neo-liberalism was dominant, were not insurmountable and required intelligent strategy to manage rather than conceding without a fight. Nevertheless, shifts in the international balance of forces, and the alignment of states around different policy trajectories, greatly enhance the ability of peoples and states to forge a progressive policy agenda. Therefore the emergence of the international economic crisis, and the collapse of neo-liberalism as the dominant policy agenda, certainly creates greater possibilities for the assertion of progressive alternatives. The international situation post the global economic crisis The global financial crisis which erupted in 2008, was a systemic crisis, which quickly developed into an all-round economic crisis, with its centre of gravity in the advanced capitalist countries, but with devastating impacts for countries of the South. The first phase of the crisis suggested that the world was entering into a new post neo-liberal era, which would see huge Keynesian type demand stimulus interventions (particularly through government spending), extensive state involvement in ownership, through nationalisation, and much tighter regulation of capital, particularly in the financial sector. The second phase, which is still unfolding, saw the reassertion of neo-liberal policy interventions, to secure the financial sector, in the face of massive debts run up by governments in the first phase. The centre of economic gravity has shifted to the South, particularly China. The developed North has become increasingly dependent on the developing world to stabilise its economies. Economic orthodoxy has been shattered, even amongst the proponents of capitalism. Global financial architecture, & economic governance, is now the subject of growing contestation. Sustainability of the economic growth model, is being questioned, in relation to: The impact of growing inequality and poverty in creating systemic crises. The environmental limits of uncontrolled, destructive growth. The viability of a one-sided export led growth model, which depends on growing demand from the developed world, now in crisis. Responses to the crisis Governments, and multilateral institutions, have adopted a range of different responses to the crisis. These include: Bail-outs of the banks Stimulus packages vs. Cutbacks International multilateral interventions South South alliances The attack on labour in the North We focus on a few of these. Stimulus packages vs cutbacks: Much of the economic stimulus package in the North went to the exercise of rescuing the financial sector. While it pumped some stimulus into the economy, there was a huge cost. It has left governments with massive debts, which have laid the basis for the `austerity backlash`. The opposite approach was followed in China, which introduced a $600 billion stimulus package, to generate domestic demand. International multilateral interventions: Bodies like the G20, which include leading developing nations, began to displace the historic role of the G8 developed nations club. This was an advance. However, the question is whether the various G20 summits achieved anything concrete. The attack on labour in the North: The crisis is being used by the powerful, particularly in the developed North, to engineer a process of `creative destruction`, to re-establish conditions of profitability for the owners of capital, by imposing economic restructuring on the working class. The living standards of the populace in developed capitalist economies is being attacked on a number of fronts: Massive cutbacks in public sector services and jobs Attacks on social protection, unemployment benefits, pensions etc Attacks on collective bargaining and other union rights Attacks on income and wages. The struggle in Europe: The attack on workers in Europe, has led to an upsurge in mass struggle. There has been growing mobilisation in a number of countries, with workers leading some of the largest demonstrations since World War II. There are four structural factors underlying this upsurge: Firstly, rising unemployment. Secondly, growing social and income inequality, reflected in declining labour income as a percentage of GDP since the late 1970`s, (from 68% of GDP in 1975 to 57% in 2005). Thirdly, public expenditure on social protection has declined. Fourthly, a decline in labour and social rights. Global alternatives to neo-liberalism Progressive states and global unions are beginning to advance practical alternatives to the neo-liberal response, including through engagement in international institutions. These include promoting global economic stimulus, and advancing redistribution, fair labour standards and social protection; reforming international financial architecture; promoting international wage bargaining; developing forms of regional economic organisation delinking countries in the South from current patterns of domination; and interventions to promote a green economy. While these proposals are not socialist, and can best be described as `radical reforms`, taken together they could support transition to a different type of international order, movement away from the current dangerous threats of economic implosion (as well as military aggression), on an even larger scale, and promote economic democratisation. Global Jobs Pact In 2009, The ILO`s Labour Conference adopted a Global Jobs Pact. There are significant similarities to the Framework for South Africa`s response to the Global Economic Crisis, adopted in February 2009. The ILO Global Jobs Pact proposes fairly far-reaching interventions to respond to the crisis, with a heavy emphasis on macro-economic stimulus, decent work, redistribution, social dialogue and social protection. International collective bargaining If there is an international battle taking place with forces committed to restoring the reign of neo-liberalism by attacking workers and their organisations; there needs to be alternative strategies and centres of power to counterbalance and outmanoeuvre them. A key element of this would be to find ways to develop international institutions of collective bargaining. This would require both international collective agreements, as well as transformation of unions into international structures. Some Global Union Federations, and unions organised in global corporations, have begun to advance Global Framework Agreements, which could constitute a step towards new institutions of international collective bargaining. An example of this is the agreement negotiated at Lukoil, Russia`s second largest oil company, spearheaded by the Russian trade union movement, binding on all its international operations. Regional economic alternatives Shifts in economic power to the South, create the possibility for a more assertive regional economic strategy, de-linking countries from economic domination by advanced capitalist states, & multinationals. This promotes greater control over natural resources, their beneficiation, & prices, thereby undermining a key cornerstone of colonial, & neo-colonial domination. The Latin American model places emphasis on more autonomous development of the region, making it less dependent on the economies of the North. This shift to regional trade does not necessarily decrease trade, but places greater emphasis on trade within the region. In Africa a mere 10% of trade is between fellow countries on the continent (it is 80% in Europe). Changing the trade balance promotes greater regional self-sufficiency, & reduces carbon intensity of economies, given the dramatic reduction in the transportation of traded goods. African regional development challenge Can Africa use its access to strategic minerals to implement an alternative regional development plan, and as a launch pad for a broad based industrialisation strategy? To do this, needs a critical mass of progressive governments, with political will to harness resources for the benefit of our people, rather than external interests, as the basis for a new type of integration. Only then could the recently launched African Free Trade Area (FTA) be moved in this direction. Leaders of 26 African countries launched negotiations in June 2011 to establish a free trade area pulling together 3 regional economic areas: the Common Market for East & Southern Africa, the East African Community, and SADC, with a combined GDP of US$860-billion, and population of 590-million. The 1st phase of setting up the FTA comes into effect in 2 years. The next step aims to include West African countries. It is hoped the appointment of Cde Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to head the AU Commission, will help revitalise the continental body & foster a coherent vision. A fresh strategic vision needs to be based on a scientific analysis of Africa`s political economy, to identify the required building blocks for a new growth & development path. The dominant features of the African political economy include: The deliberate entrenching by the former colonial powers, multinationals & comprador African rulers, of colonial economic patterns of extraction of Africa`s minerals, raw materials, & agricultural products; Related to this, the failure to develop a diversified industrial base, & the relatively small size, with few exceptions, of a developed industrial proletariat; The perseverance of pre-capitalist relations of production, & semi-feudal social relations, combined with the destruction of traditional forms of production, & the emergence of a large landless or semi-landless peasantry, with a tenuous hold on the countryside; The reliance by the majority of Africa`s working people, together with semi-subsistence agriculture, on informal employment, self-employment, & atypical forms of work, most of them underemployed, & struggling to survive; Combined with the resultant narrow fiscal base, the lack of a developed physical, social, & human development infrastructure, which is then a fetter on economic development. Physical infrastructure, including roads, port & other transport nodes, are focused on servicing colonial hubs, rather than internal development or trade in the region; In the absence of the expanded reproduction of society`s economic base, the middle class, & emerging capitalists, rely disproportionately on accumulation via the state apparatus. The Rise of Brics Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have constituted themselves into an alternative economic bloc, BRICS, who use their unity to contest space in multilateral institutions. These BRICS countries are expected to contribute one third of the world`s GDP increment in 2015, by which time their total economy will surpass America. Estimated on the basis of current market exchange rates, the BRICS grouping would make up about 22 per cent of the world economy Lessons from the international situation COSATU & the Alliance should make a strategic assessment of the possibilities opened up by the shift in the international balance of forces, implications for the international labour movement, & entire progressive forces, as well as lessons for the transformation project in South Africa. The Alliance should develop a joint document on how this dynamic international situation can be harnessed to intensify efforts to implement a second, more radical phase of the transition. We need a focused series of engagements to draw on relevant experiences of other countries who have advanced an alternative agenda, particularly in Latin America; as well as engagement with our government & relevant multilateral institutions, to explore how the labour movement can play a more active role in the unfolding realignment of international affairs. In particular we should share lessons & experiences with our allies in BRICS, the G20, & regional institutions in Latin America & Africa. We need to explore how countries are carving out a new economic policy agenda, given the growing policy space which has emerged. To examine policy instruments being used by countries in key areas such as monetary policy, financial regulation, industrial policy, & questions of strategic state ownership & control of the economy. Also, to focus on ways in which labour market, wage & income policies have been used, not to promote wage restraint, but to abolish working poverty, reduce inequality, increase social protection, & promote the growth of formal decent employment. Finally, to examine progressive responses to the challenge of incorporating youth into the mainstream economy, & combat youth unemployment. Political lessons from the international situation include: . Movements need to offer a coherent alternative in situations of crisis, as opposed to rehashing conservative socio-economic prescriptions. Otherwise people will look for political alternatives, including from the right wing; . Parties & governments mobilising people around concrete interventions which make a real improvement in their lives have a greater impact. Political rhetoric without action leads to cynicism & demobilisation. . Youth & other economically marginalised constituencies must be incorporated into a left national project. Spontaneous eruptions of political energy tend not to have a coherent strategic direction, & run out of steam or get hijacked by opportunistic elements. . Bad alliances with parties which compromise workers will lead to unions eventually losing members. Further, mishandling of politics leads to splits in unions. . Workers and unions need a strong progressive civil society, combined with a left government, to sustain a left project. . New conditions need new organisational strategies by unions. . The international trade union movement has a key role to play in forging a strategy to respond to the new international situation. Radicalisation of workers in the global North creates an opportunity to close the gaps which have existed with workers in the South. Progressive unions need to develop a strategy to build a joint platform for the international labour movement to respond to the new situation. Part III: The Complex Political Environment post Polokwane Challenges of political transformation This political report covers the period from December 2007 to July 2012. It has probably been the most dynamic and volatile 41/2 years in South African politics since the democratic breakthrough 18 years ago. This period began with a popular political revolt in the ANC Conference at Polokwane in December 2007 Significance of Polokwane The Polokwane Conference represented nothing short of a revolt by ANC delegates against practices, policies, and a leadership, which had deviated from the movement`s historic policy perspectives, democratic organisational culture, & collective traditions. The outgoing leadership & organisational style was regarded as individualistic & elitist; abusive of government power; and having imposed inappropriate policies, which failed to take into account the views or needs of the people. Organised workers, as ordinary members & leaders of ANC branches, played a leading role in this revolt. Delegates articulated views, which had long been advanced by COSATU, the Party, and many in the ANC, although these views had previously been suppressed, ridiculed, and vilified. This report outlines the political, socio economic and international policy significance of Polokwane – see p 64 We recognise that the run-up to Polokwane, & the period beyond, also saw some negative features which were both a function of the destructive politics which went before it, & were to lay the basis for some new problems in the movement. These included: . the growth of indiscipline, a culture of disrespect, & the entrenchment of slate politics; . the phenomenon of the `walking wounded`, which united those who had in some way fallen foul of the previous leadership, including those who themselves had conducted politics in a problematic way, as well as those who had genuine objections to the way in which the movement was being misled. This resulted in a coalition not bound by shared principles, which inevitably would fracture as the different agendas of its components emerged. . The lack of a coherent programme to renew the movement, and address the destructive legacy of previous years. This meant that some of the problematic practices which the Polokwane revolt was aiming to overcome continued to characterise the movement The complex political environment We need to ask whether our defences were down at the 2009 Congress. In the aftermath of the post-Polokwane euphoria, the removal of the Mbeki administration, the improvement of Alliance relations, & the election of a new government on a progressive Manifesto, it seemed that the challenges of the previous period had been overcome, & that we were moving into a new era. Clearly, this misjudged the extent of contestation, & different agendas, both within the ANC & the State. It soon became apparent that matters were not going according to plan. Operation ANC ibuyile was supposed to return the ANC back to members, and hold leadership to account, both in the organisation and in government. The call at Polokwane was for the ANC, together with the Alliance, to reassert leadership of all processes of governance. But where does the power lie today? Luthuli House? Presidency? Treasury? The Executive? Parliament? The Alliance? The ANC is not on top of processes in government, & policy decisions continue to be made in an untransparent way, without the meaningful participation of the ANC, or Alliance. For example, some of the key policy debates referred to in this Report (such as the outcomes process, the new growth path, the national development plan etc.) weren`t debated in the structures of the ANC, let alone broader society, before being adopted. It had become apparent that elements of the pre-Polokwane order in the state & ANC, together with their allies amongst monopoly capital, were continuing to advance their agenda; & at the same time, the new predatory elite, together with their allies, were attempting to take control – both these powerful, and overlapping groupings, were therefore contesting progressive forces in the ANC, COSATU, Alliance & government genuinely trying to advance the Polokwane mandate. This made for a highly contested & unstable political environment, in which our politics zigzagged wildly, depending on which forces had the upper hand at a given moment. Because there is no stable, agreed Alliance platform from which to proceed, this political environment has been particularly difficult for COSATU to navigate. We have had to embrace & encourage positive initiatives, no matter how limited they may sometimes be, at the same time as opposing a whole host of problematic agendas & practices, emerging from the state & the movement. Therefore it has been particularly important, to appreciate from a working class standpoint, the character of these different agendas, positive & negative, & how to position the working class at any point on key questions which affects their interests, & those of broader society. COSATU`s challenge of internal political cohesion has in large part arisen from this complex terrain the organisation has had to navigate, in correct ly managing our relationship with government, the ANC, as well as the SACP. The ongoing challenge this posed has been the source of emerging tactical & strategic tensions in the Federation. We ignore this challenge to our internal cohesion, at our peril. COSATU cannot afford to confront this watershed period, from a position of organisational & ideological incoherence. This would be a disaster for broader society, & in particular the working class, given the historical role COSATU has played, & continues to play. An analysis of the state of affairs as it has unfolded over the last five years reveals the wildly zigzagging nature of the political situation we confront. The August 2010 COSATU CEC Discussion document on Alliance at a crossroads – battle against a Predatory elite and political paralysis, correctly painted a very gloomy picture of a fraught polit ical environment, in which the predatory elite, & the emergence of other negative tendencies was paralysing both government & the Alliance from taking forward the Polokwane mandate; & in which areas of progress were constantly being frustrated. The discussion paper arrives at a number of conclusions: Firstly that, despite some important gains, we are far from achieving the bold vision set out by ANC Conference delegates in 2007. Indeed, we run the risk of moving even further away from that vision. Secondly that, if we don`t act decisively, we are heading rapidly in the direct ion of a full-blown predator state, in which a powerful corrupt elite increasingly controls the state as a vehicle for accumulat ion. Thirdly, the Alliance is facing political paralysis, which needs to be unblocked. The paper argued that there had been 3 phases between Polokwane & when the paper was written in 2010 – the initial honeymoon period; then a mixed bag of contestation & zigzagging; followed by a period of limbo, leading to paralysis of the Alliance, & certain processes in government. It further argued that from a class analysis, we are sitting with a paradigm of continuity, and change: “Continuity, in that the 1996 class project was a long-term project which has rooted itself with concrete class interests in the State & society. “Change, in that the relative prominence of a predator class, which relies on access to state levers for accumulation … is growing by the day, in the most frightening way, with the Mittal deal and ICT consortium being the most prominent example of this. This could foreshadow a form of accommodation between these two centres of capital. In the nearly 2 years since that discussion document described this environment, the picture has changed many times, positively & negatively, & often presents a mixed story. In April 2012 the CEC discussion paper Navigating a complex political terrain, updated this analysis, & argued that this unstable political environment remains a major challenge for COSATU in advancing its agenda. It mentions on the positive side, at an Alliance level, an important ANC NGC in September 2010; & the constructive Alliance Summit in February 2011. During the same period negative elements include the ANC & SACP backlash against the COSATU-led civil society conference in October 2010; difficult Local government elections in May 2011; a degree of mishandling of local government candidate selection etc. At the level of government, some economic policy shifts took place, with the announcement in 2012 of an important infrastructure development plan. We also saw some action against corruption & the predatory elite. But there were some problematic developments in government, including the release of a conservative NDP; ongoing conservative policies from Treasury; a number of problematic initiatives such as e-tolling, Protection of State Information Bill, some of the proposed amendments to the Labour Laws, etc. COSATU addressed these developments on their own merits: welcoming the positives, & opposing the negative interventions, particularly those with implications for our broad constituency. COSATU`s actions and active engagement on a number of these issues played a key role in shifting the external political terrain in positive directions. However, COSATU`s actions not only made powerful forces in society uncomfortable; but also had an impact on internal cohesion in the Federation. Congress needs to analyse this phenomenon. Further, we need to consider how we continue to consolidate our impact on the broad political terrain, at the same time as consolidating our own organizational cohesion. Key Political phases post Polokwane This political report outlines 6 overlapping political phases, for the purposes of political analysis: pp69-73 The report identifies these phases as: Polokwane and the end of the Mbeki era The Alliance honeymoon Fight back & contestation Political paralysis New development strategy and defeat of the predatory elite The movement at a crossroads The political report draws these conclusions from its analysis of the 6 phases: Both the Alliance & the State are now highly contested. It has become clear that a major difference in the pattern of the political trajectory between the pre- & post- Polokwane era, is that of political zig zagging, and lurching between different political postures, whereas there was a much firmer (although reactionary) trajectory imposed from above by the previous leadership, at least in the State. This recent pattern of zigzagging characterises not only the Alliance, as during the Mbeki era, but also characterises developments in the State. It is apparent that the class basis & character of the State are undergoing rapid transformation, and that the working class is fighting a fierce battle for the soul of the ANC & the State. The progress registered at Polokwane, the NGC, and in the State on the five priorities, among others, will never be sustained unless the working class is able to exercise its hegemony. We must not confuse the 1996 class project with the new tendency. The former were clear about their class agenda & followed this agenda with military precision. The difference is that with the current clique such ideological clarity is absent. The new tendency largely depends on demagogue zigzag political rhetoric in the most spectacular & unprincipled fashion & is hell bent on material gain, corruption & looting. Politically, therefore the main tasks are to defend the ANC against attempts by these various interests to capture its soul; advance the resolutions that emerged in Polokwane; & support the leadership in taking this project forward. A failure to defend & advance this project, & the implosion of the ANC as a result of the machinations of the predatory elite, could be used by the liberal-right & capital in the country, not only to drive their agenda through the State, but also to mobilise more effectively for a change in the ruling party & reversal of those policies which are pro working class. Such a disastrous scenario will not be as much a failure of left policies, but rather a failure of the left to politically deal with & defeat the contestation by these various class forces for the soul of the ANC & the State. The ANC leadership have committed a number of mistakes, which have undermined COSATU`s ability to effectively mobilise support of workers for the movement. Some actions by the ANC leadership have tended to discredit the movement, & have unnecessarily placed themselves in opposition to COSATU. Such errors have ranged from failures to take forward ANC & Alliance resolutions at the level of government; failure to decisively respond to issues effecting workers at local & national government level; refusal to consider COSATU views on important policies such as the militarisation of the police, & others; failure to respond effectively to calls by communities to ensure proper service delivery; & an insistence on retaining old, discredited economic policies. On some occasions, the leadership have attacked the Federation without provocation. This has been worsened in certain instances, by inappropriate conduct, which has undermined the battle against ill discipline & corruption. All this conduct has given oxygen to the new class project to deepen & exploit divisions in the ANC & the Alliance. On the other hand, the type of decisive leadership demonstrated at the 2010 ANC NGC, showed how appropriate interventions can make it far more difficult for these class forces to manoeuvre. Discussion point: What must COSATU do to defend the ANC and the working class against these class forces, and ensure that the leadership of the ANC advances the Polokwane mandate, and succeeds in its implementation? What can the ANC do to help COSATU promote these objectives? The poisoned environment and the predatory elite Attempts by the new tendency to seize control of the movement & state, as levers for personal accumulation have thrown the peoples project into a crisis They use naked racism or tribalism, or radical sounding political rhetoric, whatever serves their cause best at a particular moment. Since some of these elements come from our ranks, they are aware of the weaknesses of the movement, how to foster divisions, & how to whip up popular sentiment. They associate their agenda with a political slate, to give it the veneer of respectability. They lack conscience about the fact that they are betraying their movement, & their communities; or that they are responsible for denying services, social grants, medicines, school books, to our people. In many ways they are a more difficult & dangerous enemy than our historical adversaries in the state & capital. They are willing to kill to achieve their criminal ends. They are poisoning the political environment. At a national political level, politics of principle are being replaced by politics based on ambition & accumulation. There is a poisoned atmosphere of divisions & fast-forming cliques & cabals, innuendos, gossip, backstabbing, political & even physical assassinations This is the moment of slate politics & the winner takes all philosophy, of sidelining talented individuals in favour of the weakest, because they are on the correct slate & so called progressive camp. These divisions have made us tolerant of mediocrity & we celebrate the lowering of standards, a time where double standards reign supreme! Something is going wrong! The people we hate most today are not the enemy or white monopoly capital but one another. The people we spend more time talking ill about are not our class enemies or those opposed to our revolution but another comrade perceived to be on another slate & another clique. We use labels in an attempt to discredit those who hold a different view. Unless we stand up we shall continue to go to funerals to bury comrades where the person suspected of engineering the killing is the very one delivering the keynote address in the funeral. We shall continue to count comrades who fall by the wayside after sustained campaigns to assassinate their character have succeeded in demobilising them, thus robbing our revolution of yet another cadre who should be making a contribution to building a better life for all. The Demon of Tribalism The resurgence of tribalism, in our national politics, & in the labour movement, is a major cause for concern. The toxic combination of primitive accumulation through abuse of state resources, tribalism, regionalism, and xenophobia, will destroy the liberation movement & the labour movement, if left unchecked. Corruption and the Predatory Elite Because of the frightening emergence of a powerful predator elite, abusing access to the state to accumulate wealth, the question of tackling corruption is a growing national priority. Corruption threatens to get out of hand. It is seemingly now more endemic than in any other period. Some argue that the media is full of stories on corruption because government is fighting & exposing corruption. There is some truth to this, but workers` concerns about growing corruption reflects society concerns. The seriousness of the extent to which it has infected our organisations, our polity, & society is shown by: . Emergence of death squads in several provinces, linked to corruption, & murder of people who have taken a stand, or whistle blown; . The open way prominent `business figures`, linked to top political leaders concoct illegitimate deals worth billions of rands deepen perceptions that there is blatant abuse of power; . The extent to which factions are increasingly not about ideology or political differences, but about access to tenders. Suggestions have been made that COSATU`s motives for raising the issue is to target political opponents. This is untrue. The fight against corruption has to target culprits regardless of political affiliations or ideologies. COSATU has tackled every person facing allegations of corruption without any regard to which factions they belong to. Most members of the Alliance, like all South Africans are deeply concerned that corruption, particularly abuse of public office for private enrichment, is a cancer, threatening the foundations of our democracy. The overwhelming majority wants us to defeat the `grab what you can whilst you can` mentality. Corruption is stealing from the poor. It must be fought wherever it occurs, in the public & private sectors. Not just as a moral crusade, but also an important political struggle to defend & deepen our democracy in the interests of workers & the poor. The majority of public representatives & senior officials are honest, dedicated servants of the public, not involved in any form of corruption. But for as long as a minority can get away with corrupt activities, it will undermine public confidence in all officials & the whole democratic system. The politics of patronage is destroying the service ethic that characterised the movement for decades. It is a cancer eating slowly at all components of the mass democratic movement, from branch to national level. Notwithstanding the work of government, a danger exists that if the current trajectory continues, the entire state & society will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Given that state procurement is on a massive scale (over R800 billion for infrastructure over 3 years), failure to deal with endemic corruption would create a huge challenge. Corruption covers a range of activities in society, but the most dangerous is the systematic abuse of access to state power & political contacts, to accumulate capital illegally or immorally. This includes abuse of political influence to corrupt state tenders & procurement processes, and illegitimately win contracts; & abuse of political access or manipulation of BEE provisions to manufacture illegitimate business `deals` (e.g. Arcelor Mittal, AMSA, and ICT) etc. All these practices have in common the systemic creation of a network of patronage & corruption- over time no-one will be able to do business with the state, without going through corrupt gatekeepers, who don`t merely demand bribes, but leverage their power to control large chunks of the economy. Once this becomes the norm, we will have become a predator state. Contestation in the State Intense contestation has developed in the state post Polokwane. This is an important reason for the political zigzagging, during this period. The core focus of this contestation is around economic policy. In late 2010 COSATU audited economic policy developments post Polokwane. We summarise & update the conclusions below. Economic policy contestation in government has seen inter alia: Initial blocking of agreement on a New Growth Path proposal The failure to clarify & legislate the mandate of the Economic Development Department, entrenching the de facto control of economic policy by Treasury Attempts by the Minister for the National Planning Commission to usurp the function of economic planning, & to assert overall control of government policy, through the Planning Green Paper- both by COSATU`s opposition, & opposition within the state. Nevertheless a conservative draft NDP is released in November 2011, & an even more problematic final NDP in August 2012; The half-hearted implementation by government departments of the farreaching Framework Agreement in response to the economic crisis; The attempt by Treasury to develop a new macroeconomic policy, & assert control over economic policy co-ordination, including through controlling allocation of resources to new policy areas; The failure to realign the Reserve Bank`s mandate in line with the approach contained in the 2009 ANC Elections Manifesto, despite the devastating impact of contractionary monetary policy on the economy; The promotion by Presidency of an outcomes approach containing conservative economic policy perspectives. ; The proposed introduction of a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) process which would vet all laws and policies based on the regulatory burden they place on business; The introduction by Treasury of the wage subsidy proposals, which, together with other reforms proposed by Treasury, including exemptions from collective agreements, would further entrench the dual labour market, if accepted; Progressive Ministers struggle to assert the new Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP2), New Growth Path, rural development agenda, National Health Insurance (NHI), social protection policies etc., in the face of Treasury`s obstructionism The welcome introduction of IPAP2, but concerns that inadequate resources were being released for it. Further, that it would not have the policy instruments it required to succeed, in the absence of an overarching shift in the macro economic framework. Part IV: How COSATU has dealt with these political challenges Our political framework The 2011 Central Committee & August 2011 CEC, adopted an overarching political framework for the Federation. The resolution on the NDR stated: “Our task in the current conjuncture is to defend the ANC 52nd National Conference progressive resolutions & ensure that we embark on a series of campaigns to ensure their effective implementation. The political task of the working class in this conjuncture is to defend the leadership collective elected in this conference against those who have from inception launched campaigns to put this leadership on the back foot & who have undermined their authority. “Our task is to work with government to realise the common objectives summarised in the ANC elections manifesto of 2009, & ensure that the programme of decent work is taken forward. We want the government to succeed on its five priorities because we know their failure will spell disaster for the working class. “We will do so not by becoming uncritical supporters of both the ANC & government leadership. We shall at all times engage strategically with the ANC to ensure that it builds capacity & has the necessary confidence to act decisively to lead the Alliance & society. At the same time, when the leadership allows paralysis & lack of confidence in our movement, we shall, in a principled fashion, speak out & embark on campaigns to ensure that the revolution stays on track. We shall at all times engage the ANC leadership on our concerns so that they may appreciate why we have chosen to embark on such campaigns.” Therefore the political mandate contains the following six elements of consensus: We need to defend the Polokwane progressive policy framework, & Manifesto undertakings, & build on these as a basis to make further advances; In engaging with the ANC leadership on this political platform, we need to be constructive but critical, & refuse to allow political paralysis. We need to ensure that they help us to help them; The new tendency of tenderpreneurs represent a serious threat to the revolution, & must be isolated and exposed; We need to defend the ANC`s leadership collective elected at Polokwane, against the new tendency attempting to destabilise it put it on the back foot; It is premature to engage in succession debates, as this distracts us from the primary political tasks of taking forward our transformation mandate. We will encourage our members to assess the leadership of all Alliance formations, at the right time; We need to continue to engage from a working class perspective, unapologetically pursue our class struggle, & continue to analyse our political challenges based on material realities which confront us, rather than a narrow commitment to any grouping or leader. Political posture of the Federation “We want the government to succeed on its five priorities because we know their failure will spell disaster for the working class. We will do so not by becoming uncritical supporters of both the ANC & government leadership. We shall at all times engage strategically with the ANC to ensure that it builds capacity & has the necessary confidence to act decisively to lead the Alliance and society. At the same time, when the leadership allows paralysis & lack of confidence in our movement, we shall, in a principled fashion, speak out and embark on campaigns to ensure that the revolution stays on track… Articulation of COSATU positions in opposition to the government or even other components of the Alliance policy positions should not be seen as public spats. It also does not take away the right & responsibility of comrades to engage robustly on any political question as they try to find answers to the burning questions of our society. This articulation should happen in a manner that seeks to build consensus & unity of the Alliance & should not degenerate into name calling and labelling.” COSATU CC resolution adopted by August 2011 CEC The political posture of COSATU has aimed to reflect its political mandate, & organisational traditions: steadfastly advancing a progressive agenda, together with its Alliance partners; through engagement with government, & other sites of power; outspoken & firm on issues of principle; flexible in terms of using a range of instruments & approaches to advance workers interests, including through social dialogue, building social coalitions, court battles, etc; militantly mobilising its members to defend their interests; constructive, yet critical & independent; accountable to its membership. This combination of approaches, however, has ruffled feathers amongst the right, the ultra left, business, government, elements in the Alliance, & amongst some within our own ranks. Principled & militant pursuit of one`s policies can put you on a collision course with your allies. The criticism has been made, by some in the ANC, & others in the Alliance, that our posture is too oppositional, & negative. This criticism revolves around our stance towards government, & the ANC. Further, concern has been raised about our public posture, with a sense that we should be raising these issues internally. An examination of the record of COSATU`S engagement with government & the ANC doesn`t bear out the criticism that COSATU has been oppositional in its stance. Both at a public level, & in terms of our internal engagements, we have pursued the approach of both support and criticism. The posture of the Federation in relation to the ANC over the last 5 years has been to- reinforce Polokwane: we have consistently supported the ANC where it is taking forward this mandate, & criticised it where it is failing to do so; support the combating of tenderpreneurs & corruption: together with the Alliance leadership we have identified this as a serious problem ; Advance a progressive agenda on issues of principle, such as, decent work & economic policy, fighting inequality, corruption etc. It is sobering to consider what critics of COSATU`s allegedly `oppositional` political stance would want COSATU to do, & what would the opposite of oppositional be? Would they expect COSATU to passively toe the line of the leader of the Alliance, as we were told to do under President Mbeki? This is a recipe for a sycophantic, or lapdog, Federation, which would discredit itself amongst workers. In our bilateral with the ANC in March 2012, the COSATU memo turned the issue on its head, and asked whether it was not elements in the ANC & government who were being `oppositional` in their posture, since they were opposing the popular mandate. “What worries us as COSATU is that the policy content of the ANC-led government is actually oppositional to some of the historic demands of the NDR. Many of the contentious policies that COSATU so vehemently opposes are actually taken from the DA!” Tactics and strategies There is a clear relationship between the ongoing political challenges facing the Federation, & the internal challenge of organisational cohesion it is facing. Emerging differences on strategy & tactics appear to arise, to a greater or lesser extent, from different perspectives on: The character of, & dynamics in, the current government, the ANC, and the SACP, & how COSATU should relate to these; What tone & posture COSATU should adopt in its political engagements, both at the public level, & internally, with our allies; The character & role of a revolutionary trade union movement in this period, & its relationship to the liberation movement &working class party; What social forces constitute our strategic opponents, & strategic allies; The role of coalition politics in building working class hegemony in society. Debates raised by our allies, & in the Federation, about the Federation`s posture, precisely relates to this strategic & tactical assessment of what should be the appropriate response, on the many & complex issues the Federation has to deal with. This is why it would make no sense for COSATU to either adopt a purely oppositional stance or an uncritically supportive approach to government, or the ANC. We need to engage with key issues on their own merits. Sometimes, tactical & strategic judgement calls may differ, depending on comrades` interpretation of the implications of different issues. Thus it is crucial for the leadership collective to thoroughly debate its assessment, on the merits of any issue, of the stance we need to adopt, & then stick to the decisions we take, no matter how politically uncomfortable it may make some of our allies feel. It also means that our analysis needs to be ongoing & dynamic as, given the fluidity of our politics, the situation is constantly changing. Building unity in COSATU The 2011 discussion paper Building Political Unity discussed the challenges to internal unity in COSATU. While the February 2012 CEC stated that there have been some improvements since then, serious challenges remain. Some of the challenges relate to genuine political differences on strategy & tactics. However, we are also seeing deliberate undermining of organisational processes. The April 2012 CEC discussion paper Navigating a complex political terrain argued that if such conduct is not arrested, it could lead to divisions, & ultimately organisational splits. While we are far from this point, there is no room for complacency. As our political paper to the 2005 CC argued, based on international examples, to avoid splits we have to open the space for debates & let comrades confront each other politically. Respect for democratic processes of the organisation is a non-negotiable. In order to deepen our culture of respect for worker democracy which is so central to the character of COSATU, there needs to be ongoing political engagement on organisational processes, aimed at ensuring that: When constitutional structures take decisions, there is clarity on the implications of those decisions, particularly in relation to controversial questions of their national political implications; There is an understanding that all are bound to defend and adhere to such democratically taken decisions, regardless of the position they took in the debate; No external organisational mandates or influences, whether open or hidden, should be used to undermine internal democratic processes. We derive our mandate from our members. Engagement with our allies, & other forces, must primarily be through formal engagements; Organisational procedures, & ultimately sanctions are put in place, to deal with those violating our democratic processes. The media, & our relationship to it, have also played a critical role in our difficulties. Leadership of both Federation & affiliates need to check carefully what they say in their public statements. It has become increasingly difficult to defend us from headlines that seek to present us as a divided house. All reports link these divisions to different relationships with the ANC & SACP leadership. There is exaggeration in some reports, but there is also a level of reality, substantiated not least of all by statements of some affiliates themselves, some of which are issued prior to any internal engagement. It is easy for political temperatures to get out of control in such circumstances. We need to keep cool heads in dealing with these, & related matters; otherwise we may end up deepening the problem, & playing into the hands of those who want to divide COSATU. The COSATU leadership, collective, particularly the President and General Secretary, have a special responsibility to address these challenges The November 2011 CEC discussion paper on Building unity raised the need for an organisational protocol, including on: How to encourage expression of a diversity of views, and openness and honesty in discussions. Specifically, to encourage articulation of strategic and tactical differences; How to combat practices undermining tolerance of diverse views, such as pigeonholing and caricaturing comrades holding different positions; How to allow comrades the space to confront suspicions about hidden agendas, without promoting factional or destructive conduct; How to discourage demagoguery of whatever variety; How to combat tribalism, factionalism, slate politics & other backward practices, which substitute gutter politics for the politics of principle. Leadership contestation in COSATU Affiliates went to the Tenth Congress in 2009 determined to avoid leadership contests that would reopen the healing wounds left by the bitter 2006 9th Congress. Unions managed their disagreements on tactical & strategic matters, & on the election of national office bearers with a high degree of maturity. Unlike in 2006 we did not see tribal and regional mobilisation, posters, divisive songs, negative posturing, or affiliate blocks. The Congress delegates and the CEC must be commended for this. This is what is called a matured dynamism. It is hoped & assumed that the same level of maturity will be displayed in the 11th National Congress. COSATU and the balance between politics, organisation and economics There should be no debate about the need for COSATU to be involved in politics. It is in the DNA of the Federation, as a revolutionary trade union movement. However there is a case to be made that too much of COSATU`s energy & time is being absorbed in politics, & particularly in `palace politics`, around ANC leadership contestation. This has a number of consequences: The central work of COSATU on socio-economic, industry & workplace issues tends to suffer; This undermines the organisational base & focus of COSATU on its core functions of addressing workers bread & butter needs, and weakens our ability to deliver real sustainable benefits to workers on the scale we should be doing; The issues dividing the organisation tend to be around issues of political contestation, & therefore a one-sided focus weakens the power of COSATU; Narrow political struggles also tend to obscure the Federations broader political strategy. Question for discussion: do we agree with the assessment that there is currently an imbalance in our work? If so, how do we concretely address this imbalance? The organisational and ideological character of COSATU “A trade union is the prime mass organisation of the working class. To fulfil its purpose, it must be as broad as possible & fight to maintain its legal status. It must attempt, in the first place, to unite, on an industrial basis, all workers (at whatever level of political consciousness) who understand the elementary need to come together and defend and advance their economic conditions. It cannot demand more as a condition of membership. But because the state & its political & repressive apparatus is an instrument of the dominant economic classes, it is impossible for trade unions in any part of the world to keep out of the broader political conflict.” (Joe Slovo, The SA Working Class & the NDR, 1988) Just because workers are experiencing frustrations with political movements does not mean that it would be appropriate to transform the Federation into a vanguard working class organisation or party. Classics of Marxism are clear on the fact that a trade union has a distinct character, which separates it from workers parties. One cannot substitute for the other. This also applies to a revolutionary Federation, which is highly politicised, but nevertheless constrained by the inherent characteristics of a trade union, which limit its ability to be a tight political formation. Question for discussion: how do we combine the development of working class consciousness & ideology, with the inherent open & diverse character of trade unions, in a way, which promotes workers unity, but also more advanced working class consciousness? The Battle against Corruption and the Predatory Elite COSATU has been pushing consistently for decisive steps to be taken, particularly by our allies & government, to act against various corrupt practices, & to implement measures agreed at Polokwane. We have also argued that additional measures should be considered to address the scale of the challenge the country is facing The August 2010 CEC decided on the following focus around corruption: . Massive intensification of the anti-corruption campaign. We need to go beyond moral condemnation, & deal with the systemic issues, which are reproducing corruption. To do this we need a far-reaching programme to fight this cancer. Fighting the scourge of corruption requires clear leadership. We must develop a programme with civil society & our allies, & host a Summit with a broad range of society. We need to put the predatory elite on back foot. We need to strike a strategic blow against the elite- e.g. by reversing, or taking legal action against the Mittal deal. We need to commission serious research on the nature of the problem. Action against corruption must be incorporated into our Section 77 demands at Nedlac. . Building a powerful anti-corruption institution of civil society with the capacity to conduct preliminary investigations, & process these with the relevant authorities. This decision was implemented, with the launch of Corruption Watch in 2012 (See Organisational Report ). . We should commission research on the size & character of this new elite; their connections to the state; their relationship to different factions in the ANC; their relationship to elements of big capital; & their relationship to foreign business and governments. . A coalition of civil society organisations, responding to COSATU`s invitation to engage with us in the run-up to Congress, have requested that we take the matter of party funding forward. They request that we propose at the ANC National Conference the importance of “expediting the comprehensive regulation of transparent & democratically accountable party political funding… (&) the establishment early in the first term of the 2013 Parliamentary session of a multi-party Parliamentary committee to consider public submissions on a comprehensive regulatory framework that enhances and protects democratic participation, transparency & accountability in political party funding”. Congress should consider supporting this proposal. Engaging with government departments In line with our overall strategy of not putting all our eggs in the Alliance basket, we have ensured that we build stronger & privileged relationships with Ministers & Departments that will play a critical role in transformation, & in particular the decent work agenda The relationship with government departments has improved as a result of the 2007 change of political scenery. We have scaled up our interaction & engagement with various government departments. We have also used the platform of the CEC to open up space for a more detailed interaction between the government departments, & COSATU & her affiliates. Part V: COSATU and the Alliance Key strategic debates Discussion Point: We have not won the demand that the Alliance be a political centre or that the Alliance must develop a strategic Pact that will institutionalise working class power. The 2011 agreement on the programme of action has not sufficiently transformed the relationships to meet our demands. We continue to experience the problem of agreed ANC & Alliance positions not being implemented by government. Our Alliance Pact document proposed the need for a Protocol to govern the Alliance`s interaction with government. It also mooted the creation of a COSATUPresidency channel, which would meet on a regular basis. We propose above the need to engage on a comprehensive national agreement. How do we break the political deadlock? Discussion point: Should COSATU propose a framework for deployment, possibly as part of the governance protocol, for adoption by the Alliance, to combat abuse, identify key strategic posts, which require attention, and mechanisms to ensure accountability of deployees? Unblocking paralysis: The question of leadership In this year of the Mangaung Conference, there is naturally a major focus on questions relating to leadership in the ANC. For COSATU, this has three major elements: What role, if any, COSATU leaders should play in the ANC NEC & other leadership structures; Discussion on the ANC leadership composition & criteria for assessment of leaders; Whether COSATU should support or propose candidates for the top 6 and/or NEC. Proposals to improve representivity of ANC leadership & criteria for assessment of leaders: The Discussion paper on the Leadership Challenge tabled at the 4th COSATU Central Committee in 2007, proposed a package of measures aimed at ensuring a more balanced ANC leadership collective, with progressive orientation, & greater working class representation. It proposed a framework to ensure working class leadership; & a limit on the representation of certain interest groups, particularly cabinet members and big business. It also contained criteria by which leaders should be assessed. It makes the important statement that “Before we can even begin to think about individuals, workers should go back to lead the ANC. Before emotions take their toll on all of us & before we get trapped into pro this and anti that caucus, we must agree on the framework & criteria for electing leadership.” This statement remains as valid today as it was then. The COSATU leadership document proposes: Five criteria to assess leadership- Commitment to a radical NDR & thoroughgoing transformation; Proven commitment to the Alliance; Commitment to make this decade truly a decade of workers and the poor; Commitment to the unity of the ANC & the democratic movement; & Internationalism. The need for measures to ensure greater working class leadership in ANC structures, given that “the working class has been displaced in the leading structures of the ANC”, which also proposes extending the quota to ensure that the demographics & class composition of the membership is broadly reflected in leadership structures; The need for measures to limit the over representation of business people, bureaucrats & government ministers in these structures. Will the proposal to reduce the size of the NEC unintentionally worsen this problem? Other alternatives were: to have a bloc of seats allocated to COSATU leadership; or To have the entire ANC leadership collective election process subjected to rigorous criteria to ensure representivity, as is currently done with gender requirements. No significant advances have been made in realising this package of proposals on leadership. The ANC 2012 Organisational renewal document focuses mainly on arresting problematic practices such as the use of election slates, vote-buying etc, & how to combat abuses. It doesn`t address the question of improving the representivity of leadership structures. The NEC has used its powers of cooption in this past term to address the obvious weaknesses. However, this is an ad hoc mechanism which can be deployed at will. A clear policy framework is still required. We should consider engaging in a discussion on this matter at the Alliance Political Council, before the ANC Conference takes place. Role of COSATU leaders in the ANC NEC: This year the ANC President made a strong call for COSATU leaders to make themselves available to sit in the ANC leadership structures. This call is in line with COSATU policy. The reason why the call made news is that it was personalised around the COSATU General Secretary who had refused to stand for positions of both the ANC and SACP in the past, & had declined to serve in the Cabinet. But the motivation for the call is that if worker leaders don`t participate in the NEC, they won`t have the opportunity to influence its direction. This is why COSATU has long been urging its members & leaders to swell the ranks of the ANC & SACP. Further, this will help to redress the current imbalance, where very few working class leaders sit in the NEC. On the other hand, an equally strong case has been made that if COSATU leaders, particularly National Office Bearers, but also other members of the CEC, sit on the NEC, the lines of accountability & mandates will be compromised, particularly when the two organisations` leadership collectives decide on different policy approaches. This could cause serious confusion & undermine the legitimacy of those leaders amongst workers. Therefore we need to debate policy options, which seek to maximise the benefit of COSATU leaders participation in the NEC; but minimise the problems of confusion of mandates. The quota option, which has been floated by the September Commission & the COSATU 2007 paper on the Leadership Challenge, as well as the Political Committee of the ANC in 2006, could achieve these twin objectives. In this option, NOBs of COSATU would not make themselves available for elections to the NEC, as ordinary members. Rather a quota (a number of at least four had been suggested by the ANC political committee) would be set aside for direct representation of COSATU leadership. COSATU would need to determine who its representatives are. They would then sit ex officio on the NEC, and would be subject to recall by the COSATU CEC. This would not prevent other trade unionists being elected to the NEC through normal ANC processes. The ANC Political Committee suggested that a similar approach could be followed in Provinces, and at REC level. COSATU`s September Commission considered the quota idea as a proposition arising from the ANC Lekgotla in 1997, & responded positively to it. The September Commission stated “These measures will enable COSATU to participate in ANC deliberations before they are concluded, rather than being consulted after decisions have been made.” Issues for debate Points for discussion: 1. Should the Congress support the introduction of a formal proposal to promote The quota approach of setting aside seats for COSATU in the NEC, PEC, etc A proposal for a leadership framework to the Alliance 2. How should we approach the 2012 ANC Conference, and promote a NEC, which is progressive in content, & representative in composition? 3. Should we endorse the decision not to support specific candidates? ANC Policy conference June 2012 The June 2012 Policy Conference reflected two things. Firstly, the major organisational challenges the ANC is facing, & the extent to which its Provincial leadership is divided and compromised. But secondly the growing radicalism & militancy of the ANC membership, and the demand for a change in policies coming from the ground. Swelling of the Ranks DISCUSSION POINT How do we succeed in this strategy in light of our experiences to date? More importantly how could we ensure an effective implementation and monitoring of the strategy moving forward? Developments in the Alliance See Report pp 108-121 The Alliance at provincial level The provincial reports indicate with important variances, that the Alliance has not functioned ideally in the provinces over the last few years. In a few cases there has been open hostility between Alliance formations. Common features reported are as follows:- Where Alliance Summits have been held, & programmes adopted, there has not been much focus on implementation. Most COSATU Provinces report that there are few Alliance meetings outside of Alliance Summits, election activities, & Alliance Deployment Committees . COSATU Mpumalanga has been dismissed from the Deployment Committee, together with the SACP. Western Cape states: “It is still not able to function optimally, even though there are good relations at a personal level, it does not translate into a clear protocol of meetings & the definition of a clear programme of action”. Relations between COSATU & Alliance partners at a local level are almost non existent – relating to the organisational weaknesses of Alliance partners at a local level (especially the SACP and SANCO) COSATU & the SACP After a successful bilateral the CEC agreed on a detailed programme to build a joint platform with the Party see report pp 115-119 Discussion Points: Is the platform adequate? How do we ensure the Party is properly resourced & capacitated, & that deployment of Party cadres into various centres of power doesn`t compromise the effectiveness of the SACP? How can COSATU help to overcome current political differences with the Party? Part VI: Progressive civil society Youth Our youth are not immune to the impacts of global neo-liberalism. Not only are prospects of employment limited by South Africa`s high levels of structural unemployment, but jobs are becoming increasingly precarious. The challenge of youth unemployment is addressed in the Socio-Economic Report. This section looks at the political response of our youth to the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty & inequality. The 2 youth formations of our allies – the ANCYL & the YCL – exist in a world where the increasing marginalisation of youth in the economy has resulted in growing levels of discontent & radicalism. Expressions of high levels of youth discontent have burst out worldwide in the form of the “Arab spring” in North Africa, the 2011 riots in London, & at home, in frequent local protests around service delivery. A seeming contradiction to these high levels of youth discontent is the world-wide phenomenon of youth disillusionment or disinterest in formal politics. This creates challenges for political youth formations such as the ANCYL & the YCL. Discussion Point: How does the working class movement provide leadership to the progressive youth movement & win the best of this generation to the banner of socialism? To what extent does the ANCYL`s double speak arise from its character as a multi-class youth wing of the ANC? To what extent does the ANCYL`s economic radicalism stem from the strength of the black working class youth in the organisation? How can the task of building a radical youth movement be connected to the task of building the SACP`s capacity to engage in class struggle & weave various struggles against neo-liberalism into a concerted struggle against capitalism in all its forms? Working with civil society Successive COSATU National Congresses have committed the Federation to work closely with progressive civil society – womens, rural and youth organisations, social movements, NGOs, progressive academics, small business & street vendor associations, taxi associations, religious bodies, environmental groups, indigenous peoples` groups & other progressive formations. Informed by this, COSATU has worked consistently with many such organisations over many years on a wide range of issues. (See list). Areas of cooperation have included joint campaigns on the World Trade Organisation, HIV/AIDS, the Basic Income Grant, the Peoples Budget and international solidarity campaigns. In addition we have convened two major civil society conferences to broaden the jobs & poverty campaign & on 27-28 October 2010 organised a Civil Society Conference attended by close to 60 community based organisations, NGOs & the MDM, including SANCO, to take forward the 2010 post-World Cup Declaration.The Conference focused on three main areas : Social Justice Economic Development and the New Growth Path Advancing rights to health and education Local government elections The 2011 Local Government elections campaign were the most difficult and contested election ever held. The people are more directly in contact with government at the municipal level and thus all the inherited experience of unequal social and economic opportunities, inferior social and economic infrastructure, mass unemployment and poverty play themselves out at this level, in municipalities. We have seen sporadic service delivery protests spiralling in a number of municipalities across the country. Apart from developing a local government manifesto, deploying cadres into local government and campaigning to win local government elections, the Alliance needs to do more to confront the glaring constitutional, legislative, political, administrative and service delivery crisis of our emerging local government system and turn the tide in order to build a developmental local government. Service delivery and community protest action In 2004/05 there were 7,382 peaceful incidents reported, and 622 unrest incidents. By 2011/12 the figures had risen to 9,942 peaceful incidents and 1,091 unrest incidents. Unrest incidents rose from 1.7 day in 2004/05 to 3 a day in 2011/12. This represents a very high level of ongoing, largely urban unrest which is not currently matched anywhere else in the world. Hence the label of “rebellion of the poor” given to these events by UJ academic activist Peter Alexander, who has been researching the phenomenon for some years Frustration was the common thread, with all the indications being that even where local councillors had the will to resolve local grievances, they lacked the resources to do so. Where destruction of property occurred, the common explanation of protestors in the research went along the lines of: “It is the smoke that calls….the Premier will come when he sees the smoke, but not before then.” The results of the 2012 COSATU Workers` Survey show that 25% of the COSATU members surveyed participated in service delivery protests in the past four years. Amongst the workers who say they participated in protest action, the most commonly cited reasons related to the availability, quality and cost of electricity, water and housing. Corrupt councillors and city officials ranked fourth, and crime and poor policing fifth. Around 3% of workers say they joined protests against foreigners (see the section on Migration and Xenophobia). We owe it to the memory of Andries Tatane who was beaten and shot to death by police in Ficksburg on 13 April 2011 to do the following:- At a local level, to provide leadership and support in the community protests that are erupting with greater and greater frequency To ensure that our national engagements on service delivery and poverty alleviation, whether in Nedlac or elsewhere, are informed by the real experiences of working class communities To deepen and broaden our campaign for jobs and against inequality To continue to demand a greater allocation of resources to local government To continue to engage the ANC and government on strategies to improve local government accountability and delivery Conclusion To the best of our ability, we have attempted to summarise the key political events of the past three to four years into these rather long pages. This reflects in most respects the views not of the individual presenting this report but the collective that has steered the ship through a very complex and political challenging terrain. Any reader will attest to the complexity of the political situation we are trying to capture. The report is unavoidably detailed but it is a report of a formation serious about transformation and the revolution. This is what the federation has been about. This is what we stand for. This is what we will always be about. AMANDLA!![/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Professor Somadoda Fikeni’s Presentation at COSATU 11th National Congress” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]Programme director The leadership of the COSATU Union Federation, The ANC-led Alliance Leadership present here, The distinguished audience and all invited guests, I am humbled by the honour of being invited to make a presentation on the occasion of the 11thNational Congress of COSATU. Let me first congratulate the elected COSATU leadership and wish them well on the task of leading this great labour union federation as it navigates the challenging path ahead of fulfilling its historic mission. Labour movement has always been a preparatory incubation school for ANC leadership and being the most organized muscle of the alliance. That you defied many predictions of a bitter leadership contest is quite commendable. The genius of ANC and its alliance partners’ ability to manage and sometimes overcoming serious contradictions has become the hallmark of our long liberation struggle history. Scholars and knowledge workers of all shades are yet to fully comprehend this exceedingly fascinating phenomenon. At this juncture, however, COSATU, the ANC (with all its Leagues) and the SACP face their most challenging task and a defining moment of making real the promises of democracy and the National Democratic Revolution in the face of the most daunting adversities, both internal and external, current and historical, structural and agency. As a knowledge worker I have come to appreciate how complex South African transition is, as it defies most of simplistic and often sweeping characterization that we often read about. In this brief presentation, I will highlight the context of the current historical conjecture and the defining features of SA transition. I will then make reference to key features of the Brazilian recent experience of a developmental state, what the COSATU president referred to as the “Lula Moment” born out of a clear vision and decisive state intervention. Factors that inhibit or enable SA from making a great leap forward as a developmental state will be highlighted in this context. I will simply highlight most of the issues without delving into nuanced details given the time limitation. Some of the issues will be raised as questions than answers with the hope that they trigger some reflection as no one person can be naïve to think that he can have all the answers to these complex issues. Africa is shaped like a question mark and the base dot is where South Africa is. Today we live in a world where global capital is experiencing acute crisis that has seen decline and stagnation of old western economies, the rise of new economies from the South plus Russia and Africa holds the key in terms of its reservoir of resources and demographic dividends, the Middle East hub of oil production is experiencing serious political instability. How then can Africa and South Africa, the economic powerhouse of Africa, take advantage of this geopolitical reconfiguration. Are we in a position to? It is increasingly become obvious to most of us that South African democratic transition is one of the most complex and yet we lack tools and theories to properly dissect it. Absence of a robust public discourse and severe limitations of the “Would-be” public intellectuals has contributed to this state of affairs. It is for this reason that, among others, Leslie Dikeni & Mervin Gumede have written about the Poverty of Ideas and Eddy Maloka also wrote an article on The Crisis of Black Intellectuals. The irony is that intellectual enterprise on South Africa flourished during the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid liberation only to stagnate and fade during our democratic transition. The sound-bites and guest columns that we provide for the media are not to be confused with deep, robust and sustained public intellection or discourse. Generally, the superficial manner in which we continue to characterize our democratic transition immediately reveals the aforementioned limitations. For an example, by 1970/80s there was a general consensus on South Africa as a colonialism of a special kind in which both the colonizer and the colonized cohabitate the same geographical space with no distant metropole that the settler community would claim as home. What then are the implications of this in a post-apartheid state? In other words, what is The Post-Colony of a Special Kind? What are the implications hegemonic power structures in the political, social and economic spheres? Who then set the national agenda? Where is the locus of power? Does political power and authority immediately translate into socio-economic power? What are the implications of the compromised political settlement of the early 1990s and what are the manifestations of its structural arrangement? Has the liberation movement led by the ANC clearly separated the tactical choices which are temporary in nature from the strategic options which are long-term? For an example, has the sunset clause outlived its shelf life? Professor Ali Mazrui has characterized South Africa’s political settlement after an impasse where the liberation movement was to strong to lose but yet weak not to impose its will as the case of a jewel and a crown in which Whites generally remained with the Jewel (economic wealth) whereas Blacks received the crown (political authority). Is this a fair characterization? Lifting the superficial vale of South African exceptionalism and do comparative analysis of why revolutions succeed or fail around the world. Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children…” Amilcar Cabral: Tell no lies: extracts from party directive 1965 ANC-led government has done so much in terms of leading a process of setting up democratic institutions (democratic architecture) as well as numerous programmes of service delivery (electrification, roads & transport infrastructure, water provision, school feeding schemes, housing, social security grants, access to health etc). Taking the recent ANC policy conference, SACP conference and the current COSATU discussion documents as well as many other independent studies there is a consensus that whereas SA seem to have made great strides in establishing institutions of democracy there has only been a very modest progress on social and economic justice. The colonial and apartheid geography still defines our landscape with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality being the dominant feature that afflicts the historically disadvantaged. I challenge the notion that we face triple challenges when the cancer of corruption is so widespread, I am yet to understand why we cannot elevate corruption to join the club of terrible three (poverty, unemployment and inequality). BEE model of acquisition of shares are not yielding any empowerment dividends South Africa has earned a dubious distinction of being one of the most unequal societies in the world. How do we explain the paradox and irony of a democratic transition led by a movement that has always embraced egalitarian values degenerating into such inequality? How do we account for the rise of crass materialism even among the ranks of revolutionary cadres? Do revolutionaries transform institutions they occupy or do they get transformed and assimilated into those institutions? Would such inequality not translate into social distance between the elite (business/political) and the masses? In this context what are the features of the sins of incumbency? As Joel Netshitenzhe exclaims in his article: Why good people go bad? In his book, “The Wretched of the Earth”, Franz Fanon describes the sins of incumbency when he speaks of The Pitfalls of National Consciousness.” In specific terms how do we describe the sins of incumbency in our South African context. The shrinking role of post-1994 State, increase of consumptive sector and shrinking productive sector: privatization and unbundling of state assets and over-tenderization of state thus leading to diminished state capacity. Tenderpreneur parasitic relationship with the state and decentralization of corruption. The Limpopo book saga and the open toilet saga as some examples. Inverted relationship between the primary objective of service provision and secondary allocation of tenders has fundamentally distorted state effectiveness in service provision. BEE model of acquisition of shares not yielding any empowerment dividends. State inefficiency: Duplication of roles and competition than complementarities. Horizontal and vertical inefficiencies and lack of effective monitoring and evaluation. Limitations of national intervention to provinces and provincial interventions to local spheres of government. Growing wasteful, fruitless expenditure and fraud, currently at R22,7 Billion in the previous year’s expenditure. Structural arrangement: Treasury-driven government programmes than strategy driven allocation resources. Myriad of complex compliance regimes. These make state to be less-responsive and more technocratic even during the times of crisis. A well-meaning social security (social grant), political risk of dependency and entitlement in a welfare state arrangement and sustainability. Uncontrolled immigration and implications for resource allocation and development planning. Implications for labour, security, retail sector, skills development. High policy and agency turnover: From RDP to Gear to ASGISA, to New Growth Path, ANC Policy proposals for radical shift and the National Plan. Monopoly capital and concentration of power in many sectors (Banking, media, construction, mining, telecommunication[fixed and mobile], private health and medical aid schemes). Implications for the balance of forces and policy direction. Relationship between business and politics: Interpenetration and political security The current global economic crisis(recession) and its local manifestations: rising cost of living, commodity prices and steady rise of salaries pegged at inflation rate as well as swelling ranks of unemployment particularly among the black youth as a high risk. There is growing violent political rhetoric within and between parties and political formations. Violence has become means of expression or making demands and is being accepted as part of our political culture. Implications for country’s stability and consolidation democracy. Security strikers and Marikana being prominent examples of this. Declining internal democracy within political formations and high premium on acquiring a position as a form of social mobility thus creating a permanent contestation mode with service delivery taking a secondary role. Minority political players (opposition parties, trade unions, NGOs) have found expression through courts and the media as well as some Chapter 9 institutions. This trend, if not managed, may erode legitimacy and effectiveness of these institutions. ANC Broad Church Character and internal contestations. Some contradictions. Do we all understand the implications. Lessons to be drawn from Marikana Lessons from the book saga & national intervention in provinces through section 100. What lessons can we get from the Polokwane moment. The end justifies the means. Perhaps the identification of a national vision and policies to deal with our triple + one challenges may not be as difficult than getting the right cadres, state capacity and political will to implement it with bold resolve driven by the courage of conviction. South Africa may not address its problems if it adopts an incremental development stance it is in a need for a great Leap Forward akin to the Roosevelt New Deal to deal with the Great Depression, the Marshal Plan that reconstructed Europe from the war years as the fierce urgency of the moment is such that not attended to these challenges may grow into social disorder and political instability. “The Lula Moment”: Brazilian experience and some lessons on a democratic developmental state great leap forward. President Silva da Lula turned around Brazil in just ten years. The Brazilian Model of a developmental state is most relevant to us given the similarities between between Brazilian demographic features and history and that of SA. That this developmental state operated, unlike Asian Tigers, outside the Cold War context and had democratic credentials which were not necessarily the case in Asia. China has its anomalies in both scale and form. In just ten years Silva da Lula of Worker’s Party had become the most popular Brazilian and Latin American president for taking out 24 million people from poverty through his no hunger programme, infrastructure and industrial policy programme that stimulated growth and manufacturing thus moving Brazil into 8th largest economy in the world, Brazil within 3 years balanced its budget and paid its public foreign debt and begin to achieve surplus while removing Brazil from the dubious position of being the most unequal country in the world. For SA to move out of this current situation and deal with a leap forward will, among others, have deal with the following five deficits: Honesty deficit Courage deficit: Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can`t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage. Maya Angelou Common sense deficit Leadership deficit Vision deficit Going back to basics, heal and unite the ANC & Alliance and embark on a bold, creative journey to fulfil its historic mission. It is swim or sink, drink or drown, do or die moment. Thank you[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Address by Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]100 years of the ANC, 27 years of COSATU – congratulations! You are an inspiration and many many union movements have been proud to stand at your side in solidarity against apartheid and through the birth and growth of your magnificent COSATU, as a union movement now at the heart and soul of the fight for a democratic and socially just Africa. I come from a country, Australia, where the revolutionary struggle of COSATU has always been and will always be an inspiration and I know there are other international friends and comrades in the room who likewise share this deep friendship. I congratulate the leadership on their re-election yesterday and look forward to your solidarity and wise counsel in defence of our shared values in workers struggles everywhere. So Comrade President and Comrade General Secretary I am proud to stand among you again…..and let me acknowledge George Mavrikos of the WFTU. Indeed we all share a global struggle against the dominant capitalist model that imposed the greed that drove the financial crisis, now a bitter crisis of unemployment, and the subsequent attacks on workers’ rights everywhere. But before I elaborate let me extend sympathy from all our affiliates for the senseless loss of life in the mining tragedy before, during and since the massacre. The mining companies have much to answer for with the greedy drive for profits, that leaves workers impoverished and desperate. I commend your will to take up the fight for the restructure of the industry and your commitment to the central values of non-violent struggle. Indeed this tragedy underscores the fact that the 20th century model of capitalism has not and will not work for working people. With profits before decent work, a declining wage share, precarious work, a reduction in social protection, tax evasion, rampant speculative capital and serious growth in the desperation of the informal economy – this is not acceptable to our people and our communities as a basis for this century. Yet those who benefit, proudly defend this capitalist model with everything they have – they defend the jungle of the financial markets and they go to war on workers, on our rights, our job security, our workplace safety, our wages and our pensions. The want to hire and fire at whim – to use the intergenerational tragedy of youth unemployment as an excuse to fire the mother or the father and hire the son or daughter on lower wages. They couldn’t care less for the impoverishment of workers they are responsible for. And they have allies – the international organizations have joined forces, the IMF, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and sections of the OECD amongst others – champions for labour market deregulation – now conditionality in debt-torn countries – Portugal, Spain, Greece, Latvia, Ireland and spreading like a cancer. Not satisfied with the damage to workers’ lives with wage cuts, pension cuts, attacks on collective bargaining rights and more the latest demand of the European Commission on desperate comrades in Greece is to work a 6 hour day for five days’ pay…..kill the 40 hour week ….take both wages and family time away from workers….. Thatcher and Regan have been re-incarnated! These atrocities must galvanize us all in opposition! We have sat with many of the workers in crisis countries and captured their stories. They break your hearts, they make you angry but most of all they make you determined to fight alongside them. These workers and many more around the world are in the frontlines; the frontlines of a war on workers from the very forces that brought the financial system to its knees in 2008. But now having stolen tax payers money to recapitalize they are now looking for the blood of workers. And having a taste of the blood of workers the organized employers have now taken this fight inside the ILO, challenging governments to abandon the ILO jurisprudence, beginning with the right to strike. Therefore our fight is now inside the ILO, with right wing employers as well as against employers and weak and exploitative governments globally. We know that this fight is in the context of a world of incredible tensions; the alarming growth in inequity is pitting people against people, Unemployment levels are stripping people of hope and marginalizing our children and grandchildren, Increasingly, emerging economies express deep discontent with the dominant economic and trade model, The banks and other financial institutions have lost all trust from the people they once served, social unrest is on the rise and threatens economic and social cohesion, climate change is threatening communities and livelihoods, and workers rights, wages and social protection are in the sights of pure class enemies. In this reality it is not surprising that people are losing faith in elected leaders and indeed in democracy. Our own global poll conducted just two months ago demonstrates the fear and insecurity of people in almost all countries and this resulting lack of trust in governments. 66% of people believe that the next generation, our children and grandchildren, will be worse off. Wealthier countries like Belgium and Germany demonstrate much higher levels of pessimism. 71% of people believe that they lack legal protection for secure jobs. Plus 79% can`t save any money. Only 13% of people believe that as voters they have any influence on the economic decisions of democratically elected governments. But people disagree with their governments imposing austerity – they say put jobs before debt, with only 10% backing austerity first. People know that fiscal consolidation is not possible if jobs, decent jobs, are not part of the equation. However the basis of demand in our economies is at risk when only 11% of people believe they have increased their income. The overwhelming majority say they have gone backwards. People want an alternate approach. The majority of people have a different view to their governments. People know what they want, and governments need to deliver for voters. In addition to secure jobs and incomes, working people and their families want affordable access to health care (93%), education (94%), decent retirement incomes (91%), access to childcare (90%) and unemployment benefits (81%). Optimism is evident only where economic governance and policies support working people. Some of that is evident in Brazil and here in South Africa. You have a good base to work with, but globally it is imperative that we fight back; to take on the fight of generations. Let’s start with social protection; unemployment benefits, pensions, child protection, maternity protection, health, education for all, housing and sanitation. When 70% of the world’s people have no social protection, this is core union business. The dignity and survivability of these fundamentals for the poorest people is a test for us – can we make the universal social protection floor such a prime demand globally that no government will deny this responsibility. Can we pressure the wealthy governments to pool funds to implement these guarantees in the poorest of countries? If not, what do we stand for? Then let’s channel the fight for a minimum wage on which our people can live. Let`s see an end to the hideous reality of the working poor. Let`s bring workers in from the shadows including from the informal sector. Then there is collective bargaining rights and practice that delivers a fairer share of the wealth – this is our business – the tools to share the productive wealth of workers. And when governments don`t implement labour laws and institutions to ensure that employers bargain in good faith, we should use our power at the ballot box to see them off And then serious investment in jobs, jobs and jobs. Full employment remains our goal and the dignity of labour – of decent work – our central ambition. But we don’t just make empty demands, we have progressive answers. As just one example ITUC research has demonstrated that you can both transition to a green economy and create jobs, quality jobs. You are leading that demand with your green economy accord and COSATU led us in the fight with governments last year at the Durban Climate Conference. With 2% of GDP invested each year for five years in just 12 countries we studied this year governments could create 48 million new jobs; jobs in construction, in energy, in manufacturing, in agriculture, water and other sectors. If that is the reality in 12 countries, the potential in 50 or 100 nations is worth investing in. And we have underutilised power, 25 trillion dollars of pensions funds invested in the global economy – and more in mutuals that service working families. Just as COSATU says we must use the power of our own capital for a just future. Comrades, globally governments are weak and the dominant orthodoxy shaping our economies and our societies is still that of the failed policies of neo-liberalism. Failed policies that keep on driving more failure. We must take on the fight for just alternatives. But do we have the heart for this fight? If we seriously do then it will take a determined focus beyond our traditional advocacy…. for the reality is that we must build the power of workers. With just 7% of workers organised globally, unions have to build more power to effect the change to the economic model we want. Even with workers in China and Vietnam with who we have close engagement and Cuba where I am working to strengthen our engagement we are a mere 15% of 2.9 billion workers. Corporations can buy government policy – we must have the power of working people. We must organize industrially and politically to engage people to fight for our alternate future. But we must change for we need to organise in the informal sector as well as the formal sector…we must organise women and young people and create space for different structures and leadership styles. We need to listen to workers everywhere. The ITUC is focussed on this challenge. It requires serious change in our own approach. When you took the decision with friends in Brazil, in Australia and other progressive unions to join the then ICFTU, we did so to unite workers, to strengthen the global labour movement – to make change. Two years ago you elected me to deepen that change. Today I stand before you and tell you that we must organise, organise, organise. In Africa you are 6% organized in the formal sector. This power imbalance must change and ITUC colleagues with me – Wellington Chibebe your Zimbabwean comrade and our Deputy Secretary and Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, your African Secretary know first-hand that challenge. While our African unions have been proudly persistent and strong in fighting violations of rights throughout the region, if we don`t change this picture of low unionisation we will not lift the oppression of poverty. So while we will always stand with the oppressed in the fight for peace and democracy, the ITUC is focussed on 3 central objectives; union growth, sustainable jobs, secure wages and social protection and, realizing rights. Let me paint for you a picture of just one of our fights. QATAR Qatar runs a slave state. With 92% of the workforce as migrant workers they are building a hugely wealthy nation on 21st century model of slavery. Desperate workers from Nepal, India, the Philippines and other nations are conned into paying illegal fees for the right to work in Qatar; they arrive to find their passports confiscated; the working conditions oppressive and unsafe, pitiful wages are often withheld; loving arrangements are inhuman and their freedom is curtailed. There is no freedom of association, workers cannot form unions and yet despite these atrocities the UN has decided to hold the 2012 climate conference there – this is shameful. But equally shameful is that FIFA has seen fit to award this country the 2022 World Cup – the football game so many workers support around the world – and those stadiums are being built now by our brothers in these shocking conditions. More workers will die building the stadiums than players will play on those fields. We can`t and won`t accept this. If there is no Freedom of Association, no unions with collective bargaining rights, there will be no world cup in Qatar. And we need your help for this fight. The Government has refused our entreaties so now we fight. We have launched a new newspaper, a digital newspaper for the world`s workers. Called Equal Times, it has an action platform that allows you to be part of the fight. Go to equaltimes.org and take a seat in the Al Rayyan Stadium. Join the fight for rights in Qatar. Don`t let Qatar shame the game of football. And I know COSATU will join me in Qatar in December to do what we do best – stand with workers and expose injustice. We need COSATU and your fighting spirit with us on this job and many, many other fights. There are no rights and there is no decent work where workers are oppressed, This brings me to make a couple of brief remarks about one significant difference with the WFTU. First let me explain why you never hear me or anyone on my team criticize the WFTU. We believe in freedom of association and while it is preferable to have unity, pluralism can and does emerge from that most fundamental human right for workers. So while it annoys me to hear the misinformation and misguided criticism of the ITUC you will not hear me respond. The last thing workers need is unions fighting – it undermines their confidence in our collective voice and is just counterproductive. George, my door is always open to dialogue and I hope there is a time when we can unite all the workers in the world. However we do have a fundamental difference and it is not communism or socialism. You know I am a proud woman of the left. No, rather it is our determination to fight oppression everywhere and when workers in liberation struggles, workers who want the right to elect a democratic government and form free trade unions are attacked with guns, tanks and bombs – tortured for their commitment to the ideals you, here in South Africa, have shed blood for, they must be supported. Come with me to the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan or the Libyan camps in Tunisia, hear their stories of oppression and torture and still protect those Governments and the so-called unions that back them in. Take a good look at the ETUF leadership who will work with any Government, irrespective of ideology, to control the destiny of workers and oppose genuine Freedom of Association in the interests of their own oppressive power. The workers who went to the streets in Egypt, who went to Tahir Square, were not led by ETUF. On the contrary the ETUF leaders and the Minister hired thugs and camels to attack the workers. These and others examples of oppression of liberation struggles would be good to discuss. There is the oppression of women but let me simply say I too hope there is a time beyond the dictators club when we can fight together. And frankly dialogue never hurts. Maybe we could start with a dialogue on Palestine where we are both committed to seeing an end to the occupation, an end to the land grab of the illegal settlements and a free state. I have been there five times in the two years I have been in the job and stand in awe of workers fighting occupation but at the same time building a strong union base and fighting for social protection, a minimum wage, gender equality and safe work. Unity is an ultimate goal for all workers but we pledge to begin with respect for all comrades and friends committed to the shared values of democratic freedoms, fundamental rights and equity. These goals require us to fight for our rights; to organise from Qatar to Swaziland, to Guatemala, to Egypt and Indonesia and all places within. Workers and their unions are the Frontlines. They are the Frontlines in building democratic freedoms, in fighting oppression, discrimination, greed and inequity and they are the frontline of defence again exploitative corporations, oppressive governments and other national and international bullies. I am proud to be your General Secretary, proud to stand with COSATU, and we need you shoulder to shoulder to build the power of workers; to fight for our rights; to take back a sustainable planet and to see our children guaranteed the dignity of labour. Viva COSATU Viva Viva Africa Viva Solidarity![/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”COSATU 11th Congress Declaration on the Lonmin Marikana platinum mine tragedy, the mining industry, and general poverty wages” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]We the 3,000 delegates to the 11th COSATU Congress, in the presence of over 500 invited guests, and in the true spirit of “An Injury to One is an Injury to All” wish to express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of at least 60 people killed in the course of the Lonmin and Impala disputes. These include 5 killed at Impala Patinum, 6 at Aquarius Platinum, and 47 at Lonmin Marikana (10 before 16th August, 34 on 16th August, and 3 after the 16th August). We wish a quick recovery to all those who have been injured. We declare our solidarity with all the working class communities in the affected areas whose lives have been shattered by the ongoing violent disputes in the mines. COSATU stands ready to join all South Africans and the progressive peoples of the world who genuinely want to see real peace and stability return to the affected mines through finding a just solution to the violent crisis. We welcome the Independent Judicial Commission of Inquiry appointed by the government that will investigate all the events leading to fateful day of 16th August 2012. As COSATU we pledge to do our part to ensure that all the relevant factors and evidence that led to the violence and tragedy of 16th August are revealed by ensuring that by ensuring that our members who witnessed violence before, during and after the tragedy cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry. We will do everything possible to help prevent any further deaths. We condemn violence, warlordism and intimidation from any quarter and strongly support the principle of Freedom of Association, especially for the working class. Membership of any union or any party should never cost a life. We reiterate the position expressed in a resolution taken at a previous COSATU Congress that we abhor the use of unnecessary force by the police against workers in all labour disputes, and believe that police officers are unfairly placed in situations which they are untrained and ill equipped to deal with. We also renew our call for the demilitarisation of SAPS. We promise to defend our affiliate the NUM against ongoing violent attacks on its members and leaders. And we pledge to fight for the reinstatement of all the 2500 workers who were dismissed by Implats earlier this year, and the 800 who were dismissed by Lonmin last year. We are extremely concerned that the events of 16th August and the ongoing violence, whose main victims remain the exploited masses, has shifted the focus and blame from the Platinum bosses who have systematically undermined collective bargaining and promoted division amongst workers, and who have been sitting in the shadows enjoying profits from the very workers whose families have now been robbed of their only breadwinners. We call for a second Independent Commission of Inquiry that will work parallel to the Judicial Commission already appointed by the President. The terms of reference of this second Commission must be to investigate the employment and social conditions of workers in the mining industry, historically and at present. The Commission will have also to look at the global context of the industry. It should be of a scale similar to the 1979 Wiehahn Commission into Labour Legislation and the 1995 Leon Commissions into Health and Safety on the Mines. The Commission will be linked to a COSATU campaign for the complete transformation of the mining industry. We commit ourselves to constantly working to improve the service that we as unions provide our members, including to protect and advance collective bargaining and to fight against attempts by employers and other expedient groups to promote employer unilateralism and the fragmentation of worker power. We pledge that we will continue to strive to unite all workers in the struggle against poverty and exploitation, and for safe working conditions, decent and quality jobs, comprehensive social security and comprehensive social services South Africa: the national and global crisis of capitalism and the centrality of the mining industry to the South African economy and society South African capitalism has its origins in, and has flourished on the back of the exploitation of black and African labour; it serves, and is owned and controlled by, a tiny white population and its foreign backers. In 1994, the African National Congress government inherited a collapsing colonial economy and society of South Africa, from the departing Nationalist Party. In this economy and society, Black people in general, and Africans in particular, suffered mass poverty, widespread unemployment and were victims of extreme forms of inequalities. Mass poverty, widespread unemployment and extremely unequal social, economic and cultural conditions have been the burdens of Black and African people in South Africa before and from its inception, in 1910, to date. The struggle for liberation was in fact waged in order to overthrow this situation: a situation in which the majority of the people of South Africa lived subhuman lives while the white population lived affluent lives. The Freedom Charter accurately captured the aspirations of all peace, democracy and justice loving South Africans, thus it became the revolutionary programme of the Liberation Movement in South Africa. Today, the whole world is reeling under the weight of the worst ever global crisis of capitalism. From 1996 onwards, South Africa moved rapidly to integrate fully into the global capitalist economy. Today, South African workers, like all workers of the world, are suffering the effects of the global crisis of the world capitalist system. The global capitalist crisis has seen the capitalist class scrambling to claw back its rate of profitability. And as with every crisis of capitalism before it, capital is rallying by attacking the working class. In the workplace the attack is being effected through the relocation of production, casualisation, sub-contracting and labour broking, through reducing the size of the workforce, factory closures, and through changes in production processes. Attempts are being made to undermine trade union rights including collective bargaining, and a growing emphasis by the bosses on performance pay (usually meaning not negotiated), and the reduction or elimination of employer contributions to the social wage and to social security payments. Outside of the workplace the squeeze in many countries is being effected through cuts in social services and increasing privatisation of basic services such as health, education, water and electricity. At the same time, food prices and the price of basic services such as water and electricity are increasing dramatically. In all capitalist countries, of which our own is no exception, the state plays a central role in bolstering capital’s efforts to resolve the crisis by increasing levels of exploitation and accumulation. Calls for fiscal austerity are part of this. The working class, through its organised formations, has to contest this, and mobilise for responses to the crisis which shifts the burden of responsibility to those generating the crisis; and protects workers and poor communities from bearing the cost. A feature of the current global capitalist crisis is that while attacking the working class, the ruling class increasingly rewards itself with grotesque pay and bonuses, engages in corrupt practices, and isolates itself from the rest of society by creating a privatised cocoon for itself. Never before has the gap between the rich and poor grown so rapidly. The impact of the global economic crisis is being felt by the working class in growing unemployment (globally 210 million in 2010, the highest ever level of unemployment), a growing precariousness of employment, declining household incomes, reduced pensions, and reduced social services. Social cohesion, trust and solidarity invariably take strain under these conditions. However, these processes of attacking the working class have never happened without a fight-back from the working class. And the fight-back invariably leads to attempts by the state, acting in the interests of the capitalist class, to put down resistance through coercion or force. That is why we have seen bloody clashes between protestors and police in the past year in Madrid, in Wisconsin, in London, in Seoul, in Cairo and in Athens. In this context, the actions of the police in labour disputes in South Africa, most recently in Marikana, reinforces the perception that rather than protecting ordinary people, police are advancing the narrow interests of employers. The South African crisis of capitalist accumulation and the centrality of the mining industry There is one major difference between South Africa and the rest of the world: the global capitalist crisis is worsening the already existing triple crisis of mass poverty, widespread unemployment and extreme inequalities in South Africa. In this 11th Cosatu Congress we will once again, through our Socio-Economic Report, show just how desperate the conditions of life of the majority of the South African working class have become. It is this which explains the desperation, anger and frustration of the majority of the South African working class who are largely Black and African: the inherited triple crisis is being compounded by the impact of the global crisis of the capitalist system! Cosatu has consistently warned that the poverty, unemployment and inequalities affecting millions of South African workers are a ticking time bomb! But there are features that make our situation different in other respects as well. One of those features is that our government has a commitment to increased social and infrastructure spending, as opposed to deep cuts in these areas. That is to be welcomed, even if as we know, there are challenges in implementation. But the other feature which makes our situation unique is the absolute centrality of the mining industry to our economy. This uniqueness has an ugly side to it, which is both historic and current. The proposed Commission must trace the history of the mining industry in South Africa, including its past and present discriminatory practices, its historical reliance on cheap labour, and the history of treating mine workers as subhuman, The mining industry directly employs around half a million workers, with another 400,000 employed indirectly by suppliers of goods and services. The combined direct and indirect contribution of the industry to our gross domestic product is around 18%[1]. Mining also accounts for over half South Africa’s foreign exchange earnings. These are seemingly “neutral” statistics. But the industry has what the NUM has described as a “killing face”, reflected in ongoing fatalities, rapidly growing occupational diseases, unchecked environmental degradation, and squalid living conditions for many mine workers. Between 1900 and 1994, 69,000 mine workers died as result accidents and over a million were seriously injured. While the rate of fatalities and injuries has declined, it is still totally unacceptable, and has given reason for the NUM to call regular strikes on safety. 2301 workers lost their lives in the ten years between 2001 and 2011, and nearly 43,000 were seriously injured. The mining industry has been found to be linked to 760,000 new TB infections per year given the effects of silica dust, poor living conditions and the prevalence of HIV and AIDS. This is a catastrophic figure, given that TB is an infectious and often deadly disease. The social consequences on the Southern African Region could be disastrous. In addition, silicosis (caused by the inhalation of silica dust underground) on its own is a killer disease, claiming the lives of thousands every year. As the NUM has put it “Many mining workers employed underground will not live to see retirement without bodily harm. They will either be killed, injured or fall sickly.” Not only is the mining industry characterised by death and disease, it is also characterised by remnants of apartheid. We all know that the industry was intertwined with apartheid through its use and promotion of tribalism and racial segregation and discrimination, so it should be no surprise to us that these are still to be found in many of our mines. It is not unusual, for example, to find white workers using separate shaft lifts. Racism is also institutionally entrenched through continued occupational segregation. While 83.7% of the total workforce in the industry is black, 84% of top management remains white! 72% of middle management are white, and 68% of professional workers and artisans are white. While progress has been made in recruiting and training women in the industry, the environment remains hostile. Discrimination, violence and rape are not uncommon. Binky Moisane, an NUM comrade in the platinum sector, was earlier this year murdered underground. Inequality is at its most extreme in the mining industry. It is no coincidence that the highest paid executive directors in South Africa in 2009 were in BHP Billiton (average R41m), Anglo American (average R20.5m), Lonmin (average R20m) and Anglo Gold Ashanti (average R17.5m). Compare these grotesque salaries to the current median wage of R4000 per month (or R48,000 per annum)[2] and median minimum of R3600 a month (R43,200 per annum) of NUM members! The mining industry is peculiar in that reduced demand for its output does not necessarily result in reduced profits. Profit depends on the price of the commodity, and that price can be manipulated by artificially manipulating supply and demand. So, for example, despite reduced demand for platinum in Western Europe and the US due to the recession, the three platinum companies Lonmin, Implats and Anglo Platinum registered an operating profit of more than R160 billion in the past five years! The centrality of the mining industry to our economy is reflected in urban development which is driven by the sector. Just as Johannesburg was built on gold, Rustenburg is currently growing in a fashion which only meets the short term and rapacious interests of the platinum sector. Instead of a people-centred, sustainable modern city, the fastest growing city in Africa is characterised by no planning, mushrooming informal settlements (38 at the last count), and poor service delivery. Corruption is rife, and politics is murderous. Anarchy prevails. This is the context that our affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers organises in. The NUM has made huge strides over its 30 years of existence achieving massive improvements in the pay and conditions of mine workers. 30 years ago the industry was uniformly characterised by the very lowest pay, tribal factionalism, the physical abuse of workers, and dismissals without hearings. The industry was almost inaccessible to organising. Through struggles in the trenches led by the NUM, much has changed. But as indicated, there is much that remains unchanged in the structure and general characteristics of the industry. The fact that there is still so much that needs changing is not as a result of weaknesses of the NUM, but due to the entrenched position of the industry in our economy, and its resistance to radical transformation. To change the mining industry we need maximum unity of workers Our affiliate the NUM has been at the forefront of calling for radical change in the industry. But its efforts have been frustrated by unilateralism on the part of the bosses, by the blind encouragement of splinter unions by the bosses by competition for positions of shop steward, by the resuscitation of tribalism in some areas, and the resistance of our government to ban the practice of labour broking. In the Platinum sector, employer resistance to centralised bargaining has added to frustrations. What has made matters worse is that where divisions have resulted in physical attacks against NUM members, SAPS has consistently failed to act. This has lead the NUM to conclude that sections of SAPS are part of an anti-worker, ultra-nationalist “state within a state” which is acting to support a narrow grouping of business people and politicians. COSATU supports the NUM in its call for proper policing in the form of investigations, arrests, prosecutions and convictions in the case of reports of violence against NUM members or workers in general. This call for proper policing is not to be interpreted as a call for the violent repression of protesting workers. COSATU has unequivocally condemned the killings of 16th August. Workers in the mining industry are clearly ready to tackle the need for deep change. The divisions amongst workers, and the other factors described above, combined with the appearance on the scene of uncountable numbers of opportunists seeking to pull workers this way and that way, are creating serious obstacles for the NUM to take the struggle forward. In the face of all of this, COSATU recognises that the changes that are needed in the mining industry require the following of the Federation:- A clear message to mine workers that “united we stand, divided we fall”. While breaking out of the NUM’s fold might appear to bring short term gains to some workers, in the long run it will weaken the power of mine workers to change the industry and improve conditions overall. A strong appeal to any NUM member who has a genuine grievance against the union to channel this through the union, or via COSATU if necessary. Ongoing discussion at all levels of the Federation of how best to practically support the NUM going forward. A clear message to the SAPS and the Judiciary, that where there are continued violent attacks on mine workers and their families, these should be speedily investigated, and we must see arrests, prosecutions and convictions. The urgent establishment of a Commission into the historical and current working, social and living conditions in the mining industry. We demand that the Mining Industry takes urgent steps to comply with the Mining Charter. The proposed Commission will be linked to a Federation-wide solidarity campaign for the complete transformation of the industry. Such a campaign will be for an industry that reflects what is right and fair in a democracy. Every COSATU local and every affiliate will be expected to engage on how the struggle for transformation in the mining industry links to transformation in other sectors. It will include the demand for people centred urban development which is not anarchic as we have seen in Rustenburg. Attacking poverty wages and inequality Over and above the special attention to the mining industry, COSATU promises a militant campaign to tackle poverty wages in general. It is totally unacceptable that half of all employed workers in this country earn R3000 a month or less. The proposed elements of this campaign are spelt out in the Organisational Report to Congress, but in sum include:- A campaign to radically raise the lowest levels of pay in our country, with demands based on calculations of living requirements. As part of this, Congress will debate the principle of a National Minimum Wage. A demand for compulsory centralised bargaining in all sectors. We are convinced that we would not have seen the unfolding of events in the platinum sector if the mining bosses had seen beyond their own self interests to agree centralised bargaining. A pledge to move away from across the board percentage increases only, which we recognise have created inequalities between unskilled and skilled workers. While wages have on average beaten inflation, the real wages of many of our lowest paid members have actually declined. A campaign to move away from grading systems which have been imposed over time by the bosses and which disadvantage workers such as the rock drill operators in the mining industry. Workers who are central to any operation, and those who do dangerous or heavy work, should be rewarded accordingly. The fact that they do not “make decisions” as per the evaluation of the bosses should not be the sole factor in determining pay. COSATU condemns, in the strongest terms, the opportunistic political exploitation of the plight of workers and incitement to violence by any groups or individuals for their own selfish ends. We remain committed to doing whatever it will take to rebuild the confidence of the working class in the mines in the NUM and the unity of the Federation. We will work with the NUM to ensure that the mine workers who have left the NUM are brought back into the COSATU fold and to the home where they belong, and that their legitimate concerns about working and living conditions in the industry are addressed with maximum solidarity from all workers in the Federation. Defend the NUM Transform the Mining Industry Forward to Decent Work for All Aluta Continua[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Speech delivered by SACP General Secretary, Cde Blade Nzimande, to COSATU`s 11th National Congress” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]Defend the gains of the working class Take responsibility for the national democratic revolution On behalf of the SACP, I bring you revolutionary greetings from our Party, which has just emerged from a very unified 13th Congress; a unity we have pledged to use to contribute to the unity of our Alliance and its components. This Congress meets in the shadow of an intensified offensive against the working class in SA. It is an offensive directed primarily against the best organized detachment of our working class – this federation, this COSATU, especially the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and all these affiliates. The intensified offensive is born partly out of desperation on the part of our class enemies. Capitalism continues to be enmeshed in a deep-seated crisis. Everywhere global capitalism seeks to defend its profits and its power by displacing the impact of its crisis onto the workers, the poor, and the Third World. It violently foments civil war and destabilization of countries with an anti-imperialist track-record. It embarks on mass retrenchments, casualization, budget cuts and suffocating austerity measures at home and abroad. To carry through this butchery, global capitalism everywhere seeks to defeat the organized working class – a powerful barrier to its anti-popular strategies. Here in SA we are no strangers to this offensive. Here, too, the anti-union offensive has intensified and grown more desperate in recent months. It is an offensive also supported by sections of imperialism. We have even seen the DA attempting to out-Malema Malema by leading a march on the COSATU head-quarters with a rag-tag army of suburbanites and desperate and misguided township youth. This middle-class flirtation with anarchy is partly the result of the all-round capitalist crisis, in which it is also deeply affected. Much as the working class is bearing most of the brunt of this crisis, the middle classes are now also increasingly feeling the pinch. Unlike some of the middle classes in other parts of the world who have joined workers in protest against neo-liberal capitalism, our middle class, especially its white sections, has turned its venom against the ANC government, including racist attitudes rearing their ugly head anew, especially through the internet. Equally, small and often elitist sections of the black middle class which also feels the economic hardship are working with some of their white counterparts to blame government, even for their own failures to make use of narrow BEE to accumulate wealth. In fact the common ideological platform for both sections of the white and black middle classes is that of the so-called lack of leadership in society. This is no honest debate but a rightist putsch and an ideological fad, aimed at discrediting the ANC and its government. It must be treated and dismissed as such. But desperation by the elites is also rooted in the fact that since at least 2007 and the defeat of the 1996 class project, we have an ANC ruling party that (however unevenly) is committed to our tripartite alliance, and an ANC-led government that has abandoned (however unevenly) neo-liberalism, privatization, anti-communism, and anti-worker positions. Of course this progress within the ANC itself, and within government is not something to be taken for granted. It is contested space – and WE MUST, comrades, CONTEST it. Because of these positive developments, increasingly the anti-union offensive in our country has been left to opposition parties in Parliament, to renegades expelled from our own ranks, to demagogues and opportunists of all stripes, supported by big money and broadcast through the megaphone of the mainstream media. But if this intensified anti-union offensive stems partly from desperation in the face of the capitalist crisis, it is also an offensive that, from time to time, becomes emboldened by our own divisions and factionalism, by our own distractions, by our own neglect of our core tasks of organizing in the work-place and in our communities, by our own failures to deal decisively with corruption, tender-preneuring and business-unionism. Comrades, it is imperative that we close ranks. It is essential that we face up to this offensive as a united and disciplined COSATU, as a united Alliance, as a Liberation Movement strengthening, but also strengthened by a democratic state. Learning appropriate lessons from Marikana All of the above is the immediate context against which we need to understand the Marikana tragedy. In the space of a decade, the platinum sector has gone from boom to near-bust as a result of the global capitalist crisis and particularly the stagnation in Europe (the major importer of our platinum. For years the mining houses – and particularly the platinum mining houses – have sought to break the back of NUM. Who can forget the late 1990s and the rule of terror that prevailed as a result of the so-called Five Madoda and their pseudo-trade union “Workers Mouthpiece”? We ask: who can forget? And yet so many in our country, unfortunately including some former COSATU leaders, DO forget. In that reign of terror in the Rustenburg region, vigilante thugs associated with the pseudo-union murdered 34 NUM shop-stewards. What we also DO know for sure is that through the years of the platinum boom, impressive investments were made on the platinum belt. And yet, through this boom, virtually nothing was done for the living conditions of the work-force. We failed these workers and their families. We failed to leverage effective social responsibility requirements out of the mining houses. We were too focused on using the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Act to enforce BEE shareholding. Another negative reality, born of abject desperation, began to take root in many of these squalid shanty towns around the platinum mines. The Five Madoda and their “Workers Mouthpiece” infiltrated the informal settlements – and used coercion and patronage to gain control over shebeens, prostitution, minibus operations, shack-lordism, and the muti and mashonisa businesses. These lumpen-patriarchal networks exerted a reign of terror over many settlements, in the same way as similar networks are doing now. What is to be done? The SACP fully supports government’s crackdown on the illegal carrying of weapons, on intimidation and on incitement to violence. The ring-leaders must be dealt with and separated from the mass of misled strikers (many of whom are not actually employees of Lonmin or even workers). Those possessed of mysterious wealth, who have never worked a day in their lives, those who were recently anti-unionisation in the army, those who are now happily inciting others to kill and be killed must be dealt with. We also require a thorough investigation into where their funding is coming from, whether locally or internationally. Any formal structures of the ANC that are collaborating with the so-called Friends of the Youth League must themselves face suspension from our movement. We have given opportunism far too much space and tolerance. Together as an Alliance and with our local structures, together with government agencies, we need to help to restore basic norms of safety and security into the lives of our mining communities. The SACP also fully supports the establishment of the Independent Judicial Commission of Inquiry. We must leave the detailed investigation into the events leading up to August 16, the day itself, and the violence in the ensuing days to the Commission. Without interfering, we must ensure that it is thorough and unbiased in its work. Any wrong-doing by the police must be uncovered. At the same time, it is absolutely important that the Inquiry hears evidence from the communities and contextualizes its understanding of the immediate events. The SACP is working with our structures in these mining settlements to take evidence and sworn affidavits. We know that NUM is doing likewise, and we urge the ANC and other COSATU affiliates, where relevant, to ensure that the Commission is presented with a broad and objective picture of the situation. Finally, we must reject the apartheid and racist notion that what is happening in Marikana is inter-union rivalry, as if the NUM and pseudo union, AMCU were the same thing. Back to basics: workplace organization to roll back neo-liberal restructuring This important gathering is also taking place against the background of intensified attacks on the national democratic revolution, including attempts to try and present our movement as being at sea and not knowing what is to be done to deepen the national democratic revolution. We however need to state from the onset that if we focus most of our energies at this congress lamenting about the challenges we face instead of focusing on what is to be done, we would have wasted this very important opportunity. Analysis, yes, lamenting no! The current global capitalist crisis has seen the intensification of attempts to increase the rate of profit of capitalism at the direct expense of the working class. With the increasing casualization and labour ‘brokering’ of workers in South Africa, today less and less workers for instance have access to provident fund and medical aid. The impact and implications of this reality are enormous. For instance this means that the burden of looking after the health of labour brokered workers becomes the sole responsibility of workers themselves without any employer contribution. Similarly, lack of access to provident fund means an additional burden on the state when these workers retire. This means that both workers and the state are increasingly and directly subsidizing the profits of the bourgeoisie. The impact of this massive restructuring of the workplace has also placed in danger the existence of significant sections of the trade union movement itself. In fact the growth of the trade union movement over the last decade years has been more in the public than the private sector, as COSATU’s own statistics show. The trade union federations in our country, especially our ally, COSATU, must develop a comprehensive campaign to strengthen the trade union movement in the workplace. In tackling the challenges facing the workplace we also need to ask some serious questions about the state of the trade union movement in South African today, including its strategies to confront the huge restructuring of the workplace undertaken by the capitalist class over the last one and a half decade. Could it also be that our reaction to attempts to relegate the role of the trade union movement by the 1996 class project to workplace issues unintentionally led to bending the stick too much in the opposite direction; that is, focusing on broader political struggles at the expense of workplace organization? Could it also be that good trade union organization has declined, in the same way as mass organization has taken a knock after 1994? There is also an emerging threat for our progressive trade union movement, where there is collusion between business unionism, elements bought by bosses and tenderpreneurs whose goal is to divide and weaken the trade union movement as part of capturing these unions and turning them into sweetheart unions. The most aggressive of this tendency is to be found in the current offensive directed against the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Way back at our Special Congress in 2009 we warned against an emerging new tendency within our movement, which is anti-working class, anti-communist and even having proto-fascist features. We further warned against being confused and fooled by a call for nationalization whose aim was to bail out a section of mining BEE in a crisis. We further said none within our ranks must by any means flirt with this tendency. Today we are being proven right, as it is this same tendency that is in the forefront of trying to destroy the NUM, with the intention to divide and weaken COSATU as a whole. This is a tendency whose goal is to accumulate by all means, and whose mission has been to capture our movement for purposes of self-enrichment and accumulation. It is a tendency, we are convinced now as the SACP that is backed by powerful imperialist interests who are threatened by the prospects of a leftward shift in our movement. These are thieves who will stop at nothing to pillage the resources of the state, and are prepared to even sell our country to the highest imperialist bidder. It is a tendency that must be defeated, and only a united and better organized working class can do so! Once more the SACP calls upon this Congress to come out unambiguously against this tendency. No amount of political sophistry or big-sounding English should justify anyone from within our ranks justifying working with these demagogues. There must be no `ifs` or ‘buts’ in our attitude towards the new tendency. The struggle of the working class is not for sale!!! Instead we are calling for the federation to close ranks, isolate and defeat this tendency. The SACP’s position is that the struggle for decent work must incorporate a variety of dimensions and not simply be reduced to wages, important as this is. The struggle for decent work must involve the campaign for a living wage, a decent social wage and transformed workplaces free of racism, patriarchy and managerial unilateralism. The anti-majoritarian liberal offensive and necessity to build a working-class led mass movement As the SACP we have consistently been raising the need to defeat the anti-majoritarian liberal offensive. Its agenda is that of undermining black majority rule using all manner of methods, including attempts to capture institutions supporting our democracy and its intensified attacks on the working class. Of late it is becoming vocal against what it sees as the danger of big unions and big government, and essentially calling for the weakening of the labour movement in general, and COSATU in particular. It is seeking to place the blame of unemployment on the employed, and especially organized workers. We are told, the basis for inequality in our society is no longer race, nor the class inequalities between the bourgeoisie and the working class, but the basis now is between the employed and unemployed!! The SACP has consistently raised this matter, and again warning that none within our ranks should be confused by this liberal agenda and be tempted to form alliances blindly. Liberals, as has always been their history, cherry pick the battles they want to wage, and sometimes opportunistically want to be seen as friends of the working class. They will stand up against e-tolling in Gauteng, not because they really care about the working class, but in opposition to the ANC government, and yet be completely silent about the fact that the DA has tolled Chapman’s Peak in Cape Town and seeks to build more physical structures there! They will take the ANC government to court over textbooks in Limpopo, but not go to court when the DA is unilaterally closing schools in the Western Cape. Whilst liberals will form a new NGO on a variety of matters where they oppose government, they have formed no NGO to fight against the brutality against farmworkers; nor are there new NGOs formed to fight the scourge of labour brokers by liberals. They opportunistically seek alliances with the working class in order to advance elite interests, embarrass the ANC government, but tell the working class to go jump when it comes to challenging established capitalist interests. Whilst we accept that COSATU may form tactical alliances with various formations at different points in time, caution must always be taken against who are our real friends. We are also concerned about the tone of the political report on some of these matters. Strongly implied in the report is a more critical stance towards the Alliance, and uncritical praise and elevation of tactical alliances with a whole variety of other forces. This is, we believe an incorrect posture by COSATU. The more recent ideological offensive against our movement and revolution is that of a charge that there is an absence of leadership in society and an attempt to project our movement as being at sea, not knowing what to do. Here we see a very clear convergence between the liberal offensive and what we have characterized as the new tendency. Our leadership and movement is not being judged on progress made in terms of commitments made for instance around our five priorities, but through a targeted attack on the movement as a whole, especially COSATU and the ANC, with a particular focus on the President of the ANC and the republic, Cde Jacob Zuma. The print media is actually at the centre and forefront of this offensive. It is our considered view as the SACP that the principal task of the working class at the present moment is that of building a working class led people’s mass movement to drive transformation on all fronts. Whilst NGOs are important at no stage should they become a substitute for the people’s voice. For that matter not all NGOs are progressive, and many are captured by particular class interests, not least those of their often (imperialist) donors. But, of course, not all NGOs are retrogressive either. We, the Alliance as a whole, need to actively engage in this terrain of “civil society” and contribute to the building of a progressive NGO movement as part of revitalizing the Mass Democratic Movement to be led by the working class. The question of a working class-led people’s movement assumes even more importance in the light of the Marikana and related experiences. Organization of mineworkers has to be accompanied by the progressive organization of adjacent mining communities in order to defeat warlordism and shacklordism that are often exploited to weaken and destroy working class organization in the workplace. Building on our advances to address the triple challenges of our revolution At our 13th Congress we said if the aim of our Special National Congress in December 2009 was to assist our broad movement to understand the global capitalist crisis, the reasons for the persistence of structural unemployment and racialised poverty and inequality, and the challenges facing our movement since Polokwane, the 13th Congress focused on what is to be done to consolidate, defend and advance our revolution. One of the primary challenges of our revolution now and in the coming period is that of translating the many important policy breakthroughs made over the past four-to-five years into palpable changes that must transform our current semi-colonial economic growth path for the progressive benefit of the overwhelming majority of the workers and the poor. It is very important to remember that being part of the Alliance as working class formations, it is our responsibility to protect, defend and deepen the unity of our Alliance. Part of this responsibility and revolutionary duty is that we cannot choose to sometimes step aside and behave as if we are outside our Alliance and revolution, and have the luxury to lament or criticize as outsiders, often encouraged by the media. To choose to act as if we are outside the Alliance when things get tough, and to seek to prioritise media recognition is nothing but rank opportunism; and such behavior does not belong to the ranks of the working class. Problems or disagreements amongst ourselves as Allies, which are inevitable anyway, cannot be subject of press conferences or tweeter messages, but need to be tackled within the structures of our Alliance and through principled bilateral engagements. At no stage should we celebrate the difficulties facing any of our Alliance partners. We simply cannot elevate tactical alliances with other social formations (no matter how important we think they may be) above our Alliance. Of course it is absolutely essential that our working class formations must jealously guard their independence. But such independence must serve to assert the working class as the principal motive force of our revolution, as the foundation of the unity of our Alliance, and not as an oppositionist or opportunist element within our Alliance. Nevertheless whatever challenges we face must never make us lose sight of the advances we have made since our democratic breakthrough in 1994, and those especially made since Polokwane. A correct approach for revolutionaries is not to lament about these problems or use them in a populist fashion for short-term political gain. The challenge of true revolutionaries is to recognize advances we have made and seek to build on these in order to address existing challenges. In particular, since the ANC Polokwane conference, we have seen some important policy breakthroughs and other achievements that we dare not lose sight of. Amongst these are the following: The development of an overarching industrial policy, within the context of proposals for a new growth path. This new policy emphasizes the need to beneficiate our mineral wealth, rebuild the manufacturing sector as part of the industrialization of our economy and take job creation to higher levels. The key challenge is to align our macro economic policies to these objectives. A clear move away from emphasis on privatization of the early 2000s to a commitment to a more active role by the state in economic development. A clear commitment by the ANC and government to move away from the ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ model of land reform, to a more radical redistribution of land, including expropriation as provided for in our constitution. The major state-led investment in infrastructure as announced by the President in the 2012 State of the Nation address responds to a call that has long been made by the working class for more investment in infrastructure. The key task of the working class is to ensure that monies invested in infrastructure are not stolen by tenderpreneurs who want a quick buck out of shoddy work. It is also important that we mobilise to demand that all companies that win major infrastructure projects from government must not use labour brokers and must also be committed to the training and skilling of workers. Since Polokwane, government is now embarking on a pilot for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) a long standing call by the SACP in particular when we launched our campaign on health for all around 2004-5. But one of the biggest achievements by this Zuma-led administration is that life expectancy of our population has gone up, largely due to the provision of ARVs to our people and the slowing down of mother to child transmission of HIV. This is one of the biggest achievements we have made and is a far cry from the disastrous path of AIDS denialism that was with us prior to 2007!! The ANC and our Alliance has now prioritized education as an apex priority of the five priorities. Government has already embarked on important measures to improve access to education for the poor. For instance, now more than 60% of our schools are no-fee schools, and more than 8 millions students benefit from the school nutrition scheme. In addition, FET college education has now become free for students who come from poor families if they are study occupation related programmes – a first in the history of our country! Another crucially important development in the lead up to this Congress has been the ANC’s National Policy Conference. The most significant commitment made by that conference was that the principal challenge of our revolution is that of earnestly effecting a second radical phase of our transition, principally but not exclusively by focusing on a radical restructuring of our economy. Some of the contradictions notwithstanding, this is a significant opportunity for the working class to make further impact on the national democratic revolution and, for us, as our most direct route to socialism. A critical challenge of the second phase of our transition is that of building a developmental state, with a public service that is capable of driving transformation. In this respect we must use the fact that in the public service we have a multi-year bargaining agreement to reflect on the role of progressive public sector unions in building such a developmental state. All the above constitutes the immediate terrain upon which the working class must act as the principal motive force of the national democratic revolution and the struggle for socialism. This is taking responsibility for the NDR! The relationship between, and the respective responsibities of, the SACP and COSATU We are here today to pledge our solidarity and commitment to our relationship with COSATU as part of the socialist axis of our Alliance. Ours is a relationship built on a common commitment to deepen the struggle to defeat the capitalist system and build a more rational and humane system of socialism in our country and the world. The current global capitalist crisis is not only an economic crisis, but it is a profound crisis of the idea of neo-liberalism; a crisis forthe idea that the market dominated by 500 or so transnational corporations is the solution to the problems facing humanity. This crisis presents a unique opportunity for all socialist forces globally, and not least in our own country, to intensify the ideological and mass struggles against capitalism and its failures to address the needs of the overwhelming majority of our people. As part of its contribution and taking greater responsibility for the NDR and the struggle for socialism the SACP emerged out of its 13th Congress with a firm commitment to working towards these five Party building objectives over the next five years, which are important to share with you: Building the organisational capacity and a renewal of the SACP Political Education and Cadre Development Policy Capacity Battle of Ideas – The SACP will devote enormous attention to train and equip its cadres to engage in all terrains of struggle to advance the interests of the national democratic revolution and socialism, including exposing the most immediate ideological threats to our revolution – the neo-liberal capitalist offensive and the new tendency. This will include engaging in all terrains of struggle through the media and other outlets. Deepening mass work – The SACP intends to deepen mass work on all critical fronts of struggle, including work amongst the workers, the youth, the intelligentsia, women, rural masses and the cultural, performing and sports fronts. We call upon COSATU to join us in all these efforts. As the SACP we once more assert our principled position that we respect your independence – just as we expect COSATU to respect the Party’s independence. But this is not to say that we are indifferent observers at each other’s respective Congresses. Now more than ever it is important that we close ranks. If we are to defeat the intensified offensive against the working class, against the trade union movement, against COSATU and its affiliates, and therefore against the whole Alliance and the NDR then, , on behalf of the SACP and its Central Committee, I am honour bound to convey one single and simple message. Comrades, the SACP expects that out of this Congress a COSATU, and a COSATU collective leadership will emerge that is united around a militant programme of action, directed at deepening the national democratic revolution as our most direct route to socialism. If on Thursday this Congress rises on that note then, collectively, you will have sent a powerful and resounding response to all of those vultures circulating around the tragedy of Marikana – that motley crew of demagogues, rank opportunists, misguided do-gooders, DA union bashers, pseudo-unions, lackeys of imperialist interests hoping to turn anarchy into a South African Arab Winter. As the SACP we trust that the delegates to this Congress appreciate their responsibilities, and that they appreciate the high stakes involved. The imperialist forces and their transnational corporations – the BHP Billitons, the Lonmins, the Anglos, the Impalas, the Arcelor Mittals – and their local compradorial minions – are not standing idly by in the midst of their crisis. Everywhere they are fighting back. Just as the SACP and COSATU are not, and cannot be, indifferent observers of each other fates, so both our working class formations must take a deep and responsible interest in the ANC’s Mangaung Conference. Our Alliance, indeed our country, requires a united ANC, united around a radical programme of transformation, united around a collective leadership committed to our Alliance, committed to intensifying the fight against corruption and tenderpreneurship, committed to building upon the important policy breakthroughs already made, committed to dealing decisively with all forms of demagoguery and populism. Out of this Cosatu Congress we expect a commitment to build independent and militant red trade unions committed to our revolutionary alliance and aligned to the anti-imperialist, class-oriented, international trade union movement. Out of this Cosatu Congress we also expect a firm commitment to the swelling of the ranks of the ANC, and to joining the SACP. This also means preparedness for workers and their leaders to serve in the leadership structures of the ANC, SACP and SANCO. If you are a worker leader, and you are not active in ANC or SACP structures where do you get your politics from? How do you ensure an organic link between the politics of the ANC and SACP and the organized working class? Is there not a contradiction in calling for the swelling of the ranks of the ANC and Party, but implying that there is a problem in accepting leadership positions in our formations? Who do we want to lead the ANC and the SACP after all? We say to you, you are not spectators to our revolution; you are an important component of the leading motive forces of our revolution and therefore TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION!! With these words we wish you a successful Congress!![/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Address by ANC President, Comrade President Jacob Zuma, at the COSATU National Conference” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]President of COSATU, Comrade S`dumo Dlamini; General Secretary of COSATU, Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi; Vice Presidents of COSATU; General Secretary of the SACP, Comrade Blade Nzimande; ANC National Executive Committee members here present; COSATU National Office Bearers and Members of the Central Committee; Comrades delegates; I bring you warm and revolutionary greetings from the National Executive Committee of the ANC and the membership on this historic occasion of the 11th National Congress of COSATU. COSATU marks 27 years of existence this year. The formation of COSATU was a victory and a major milestone, not only for the workers, but for the entire democratic movement in South Africa. Today we are reminded of the critical role that the workers of our country have played in the struggle for liberation. We are also reaffirming the importance and centrality of the ANC Alliance in advancing the national democratic revolution. Chief Albert Luthuli referred to our unique alliance through an analogy that said that the ANC was the shield and the trade union movement, the spear. President Oliver Tambo made his timeless remark in his speech at the 60th anniversary celebration of the South African Communist Party. He said; “Ours is not merely a paper alliance, created at conference tables and formalised through the signing of documents and representing only an agreement of leaders. “Our alliance is a living organism that has grown out of struggle’’. It is a special relationship that grows stronger and deeper when we face challenges, enabling us to confront them together and emerge victorious at all times. On this special occasion, and also given that we are marking the centenary of the ANC; allow me to pay a special tribute to the working class leaders in our history. We salute Elijah Barayi, Chris Dlamini, John Gomomo, Jay Naidoo, Oscar Mpetha, Ray Simons, Moses Mabhida, Moses Kotane, Raymond Mhlaba, Govan Mbeki, Edwin Mofutsanyane, Dan Tloome, John Nkadimeng and many others. They served workers and the mass democratic movement with distinction, and serve as an inspiration as we join COSATU today for this important congress. Comrades, This Congress provides an opportunity to reflect on the achievements as well as the socio-economic challenges facing our country. We have made substantial progress since 1994, after inheriting a dysfunctional State and gross underdevelopment of the black majority. In 1994, the ANC government began transforming the State through creating new institutions and building a democratic society, based on the principles of non-racialism and non-sexism. During the first ten years of democracy, 789 laws or amendments were passed, which removed the apartheid legal machinery to institute new progressive laws for a democratic era to reconfigure society. The dismantling of the legal framework of apartheid and the transformation of many state institutions has led to the visible improvement of the socio-economic conditions of millions of people. You will recall comrades that in 2009 the ANC undertook to make a difference in five priorities – education, health, creating decent work, rural development and land reform as well as the fight against crime. We have made considerable progress, but have at the same time stated that many challenges remain. The triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment continues to afflict our people. The ANC Policy Conference in June re-affirmed that despite major achievements, the structural legacy of Colonialism of a Special Type including patriarchy, remain deeply entrenched. This is reflected in the colonial, racist and sexist structure and character of our economy and development. In this regard, we agreed at the policy conference on the need for a radical economic and social transformation programme, in the second phase of our transition from apartheid colonialism to a National Democratic Society. There are some practical examples which indicate the road we must still travel on economic transformation. The gross black ownership of South African assets at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is equivalent to only 6.8 percent. In addition, the Employment Equity Commission Report of 2012 has reaffirmed the assertion we made at the national policy conference, that whites, especially white males, still dominate the top management positions in the major companies in the country. A shocking finding of the report was that the Western Cape Province is the worst performer in terms of race and gender at nearly every occupational level. The authorities in the Western Cape need to be assisted to promote non-racialism at all levels to be in line with the country’s mission and vision to build a non-racial society. Comrades, Despite the skewed ownership and control of the economy, the global economic situation also makes the situation worse for workers. The high food and petrol prices make workers feel their take home pay does not stretch far enough. This is exacerbated by the fact that most workers support large extended families due to the high unemployment rate. Such socio-economic inequalities and realities have come into sharp focus in Marikana in the North West, where more than 40 people tragically lost their lives. We have extended our condolences to the families of all who lost their lives in the tragedy. We also offer condolences to the National Union of Mineworkers, which lost shopstewards who were brutally killed during the first week of the illegal strike. Another NUM shopsteward, Mr. Dumisani Mthinti, was tragically hacked to death in Marikana last week. Worker rights are enshrined in the Constitution, and there is legislation giving effect to the constitutional provisions. Employers and employees have the mechanisms to manage relations in the workplace. There is no need to resort to violence. The Judicial Commission of Inquiry will establish the facts around what happened in Marikana. But there are a few immediate lessons. Firstly, we have to find a way to restore workplace stability and labour peace. Violence cannot become a culture of our labour relations. Workers and employers need to use the laws of the land which spell out clearly how to handle disputes between themselves. Congress will hopefully deliberate on the balance of forces currently and how to strengthen the federation, in the current climate especially in the mining sector. Comrades, Given the levels of violence and intimidation in Marikana, government deployed law enforcement agencies to stabilise the situation. This does not take away the rights of miners and residents to protest, peacefully and unarmed, as provided for in the laws of the land. The agencies have been told to be firm, but to respect the rights of residents and strikers. This applies not only to labour disputes but also in service delivery protests which are at times also accompanied by violence including the destruction of property. We appeal to some political party leaders in the country who have been vocal to desist from the irresponsible language of comparing the Marikana law enforcement campaign to apartheid era measures. They know that what they are saying is not true. They are unashamedly using a tragedy to score political points instead of putting the interests of the workers and the country first. Comrades, We also wish to urge the workers and their employers to find solutions to the dispute without further delay, given its ongoing impact on the economy. Our financial indicators indicate that the total rand value of production lost in the gold and platinum group of mines due to work stoppages over the past nine months is close to 4.5 billion rand. Losses in the coal sector, adds another 118 million rand to the total. The National Treasury estimates that through its indirect impact on the economy, the strike actions in addition to other stoppages have subtracted close to 3.1 billion rand already from the national fiscus. The impact goes beyond the mining sector. The manufacturing sector, especially the Fabricated Metal Products sector is already showing signs of strain. We cannot afford to go into a recession, and revert to the 2008 and 2009 period where the country lost close to a million jobs, which we are still battling to recover. We wish the employers and workers well as they seek a solution to this wage impasse. Government will continue to provide support to the negotiations, through the Ministry of Labour. Comrades, Let me also reiterate our call to employers to implement the provisions of the Mining Charter. The Charter takes into account the fact that we have had a particular history as a people who emerged from colonial oppression and apartheid. It is also informed by the fact that the industry itself has had an unfortunate history in terms of the treatment of workers in the more than 100 years of mining in our country. As a result, companies intending to invest in mining in South Africa must understand that they are, in terms of the law, expected to redress past imbalances in the mining industry. These past imbalances are related to the failure of the colonial system to invest in the labour force and the local economy and to protect the environment. Therefore, our legislation requires investors to commit to the Mining Charter, the Social and Labour Plan, and sound environmental management. Mining companies are required to improve the housing and living conditions of workers and also to invest in skills development, employment equity, ownership as well as local community development. They have to meet certain targets for the conversion and upgrading of single sex hostels formerly used by migrant labourers into family units or single occupancy accommodation by 2014. Companies are also expected to facilitate home ownership by 2014. Our monitoring indicates that 50% have complied with the provisions relating to improving living conditions. We applaud those companies that are complying with this provision, to humanise the living conditions of workers. At the same time, we know that the situation is complex in some instances. Employers argue that some workers prefer to take a living-out allowance and do not want to use the improved mine accommodation. In that way, the campaign for better living conditions is undermined by the development of informal settlements. Comrades, it is clear that the mining sector needs a lot of discussion in our country. The transformation of the mining sector will also feature in the ANC national conference in Mangaung in December. Comrades, The challenges in Marikana and also the protests that arise from time to time, should not deflect attention from the progress that we have made in transforming the country since 1994. We should not listen to those who are making a career out of rubbishing our country and the gains of our national democratic revolution. The fact is that the ANC government has reduced the numbers of people experiencing the worst levels of income poverty significantly. We have achieved the United Nations Millennium Development Goal target of reducing the number of people living on less than one US dollar a day. Most of the achievements in poverty reduction have been achieved through our comprehensive social protection programme. To date more than 15 million people receive social grants while others enjoy free access to health care for the poorest. Others receive free basic services to indigent members of our society. South Africa has also made progress in health care, especially the fight against HIV and AIDs as well as TB. About 1.7 million people are on treatment following, an increase from 600 000 in 2009. A total of 20 million people have been tested for HIV since the launch of the testing campaign by the President in April 2011. Our most dramatic success is in the rate of mother to child transmission, which has dropped from 8% in 2008 to 3.5 per cent in 2010 and to 2.7 percent in 2011. We thank health care workers for running this campaign successfully. We also thank COSATU for consistently being part of the campaign against HIV and AIDS. These successes are our successes jointly as the Alliance and the ANC government. This year we have started piloting National Health Insurance scheme in 10 districts to lay the ground for improving health care for all especially the poor and workers. With regards to basic education, the numbers of children attending school are over 95 percent, which means we are close to meeting the universal access goal. The number of girls attending primary, secondary and tertiary education has also improved significantly which augurs well for gender parity. We would to urge parents to continue supporting the ANC government by sending children to school. The situation in the Northern Cape is shocking, where parents have for the past four months prevented children from going to school because they want a tarred road. Government is engaging with the parents to make them see the danger of abusing children in this manner. To further expand access to education, over eight million children are now in no-fee schools. More than eight million children in more than 20 000 schools receive food at school. These measures are aimed at reducing the impact of poverty on academic performance. Work is also ongoing to eradicate mud schools, with 8.2 billion rand having been allocated to the programme. The matric percentage pass rate is on an upward trend and we have to improve the quality of the teaching of maths and science as well as the teaching of literacy and numeracy. We also continue to improve the functioning of schools, especially the improvement of school management, teacher knowledge and levels of accountability. The schools must also have the tools of the trade, such as workbooks and textbooks. I know that this matter is close to your hearts as COSATU as you were worried about the failure to deliver textbooks on time in Limpopo and other areas. The Department of Basic Education has been directed to improve the distribution logistics so that books arrive in schools on time next year. I will in a few days announce action we are taking regarding the Limpopo textbook debacle. The Presidential Task Team has submitted its report. There may be difficulties in some provinces in education, which are being attended to, but all in all let us continue working together to improve our education outcomes. Comrades, Skills development remains critical in order to improve the performance of the economy and of the country in general. That is why we have expanded access to higher education through converting loan to bursaries for students from poor households, and making study at Further Education and Training Colleges free for children of the poor. We need more artisans, engineers and technicians to mention a few. As workers and parents, we need to encourage our children to consider careers as artisans and technicians. We need more electricians, welders, fitters, plumbers, builders and others. The National Skills Accord signed by the ANC government with social partners made numerical commitments to increase apprenticeships. That will be most helpful in boosting the country’s skills development plan. Comrades, the ANC government continues to steadily improve access to basic services as well. Over two and half million houses have been built for the poor giving shelter to over ten million people. Six million households have gained access to clean water since 1994 and electricity has been connected to nearly five million homes. Crime statistics show a decrease in most crimes, including armed robberies, housebreakings and contact crimes. The fight against corruption requires all of us to play a part. We have to unmask those who divert for their own use, funds aimed at improving the lives of our people. Between January and the first week of September, I have signed 10 proclamations authorising the Special Investigating Unit to investigate some government departments for maladministration or corruption. We must unite as the ANC Alliance to deal a blow to corruption which is giving the ANC and its government a bad name. Comrades We have not done very well with regards to land restitution. In Polokwane we undertook to redistribute 30 percent of agricultural land. We have only transferred less than 10 percent. This matter will be discussed and finalised at the national conference in Mangaung, more so given that we are approaching the centenary of the 1913 Land Act. On creating decent work, we continue to implement the New Growth Path. Our massive infrastructure programme, which is one of the New Growth Path job drivers, has identified 17 strategic infrastructure projects that aim to improve electricity, railways, roads, dams and social infrastructure. The programme is coordinated by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, and is expected to create jobs while improving access to infrastructure in many communities. There is a lot more that we have achieved as the ANC government in implementing the mandate of the people. As the Alliance we need to acknowledge these achievements and build on them to improve where we still need to do more. Moving ahead to the national conference in Mangaung, we should re-affirm the gains of Polokwane as agreed in the policy conference. We reaffirm the Polokwane economic transformation resolution, with the premise that our most effective weapon in the campaign against poverty is the creation of decent work, and creating work requires faster economic growth and to address monopoly domination of the economy. We acknowledge the contribution of COSATU at the policy conference.At the policy conference we also reflected on the role that South Africa should play to deepen the African agenda and promote Africa’s development. We wish to remind congress as well that in March next year, South Africa will host the fifth BRICS summit in Durban. COSATU may want to reflect on how the mechanism can be utilised to promote meaningful economic development. In conflict resolution, the ANC will continue to support a credible inclusive dialogue between Palestine and Israel on the basis of a two state framework. Comrades at this point, allow me to extend our deepest condolences to the Palestinian people and government on the passing of the Ambassador of Palestine to South Africa over the weekend. He will be sorely missed by many comrades in the ANC and Alliance. On Western Sahara, the ANC supports a negotiated settlement with the government of the Kingdom of Morocco under the auspices of the United Nations. We continue to pledge our solidarity with the government and the people of Cuba and we call for an immediate end to the US embargo on CUBA and support the release of the Cuban five. Comrades and compatriots, All revolutions reach a point where they face a challenge, where interests begin to diverge in the post-liberation period. It usually happens after the first two decades or so of freedom. This calls upon us to remain vigilant and united as the Tripartite Alliance, and be ready to defend our revolution with everything at our disposal. Let me emphasise that the ANC Alliance remains the only truly liberatory force in our country. It is the only force that has the interests of our people at heart. Let me also reaffirm the character of the ANC, as a disciplined force of the left, with a bias towards the working class and the poor. Given this orientation of the movement, regardless of its multi-class nature, the working class element should always fight for a bigger space so that it can continuously influence the nature of the organisation. Therefore, workers in organised unions must swell the ranks of the ANC at all levels, and defend our revolution. For workers to be able to do so, COSATU must emerge from this congress stronger, united and ready to continue protecting and advancing the interests of workers. COSATU must be united and ready to continue its role of strengthening and defending the liberation movement as it has done together with the SACP, for decades. Let me thank you again for the invitation to the ANC to address this congress. We wish you success and strength in your deliberations over the coming days. Amandla![/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”COSATU 11th National Congress – Opening address by COSATU President Sidumo Dlamini” open=”yes” icon=”folder-1″]Members of the Central Executive Committee, The delegation of the ANC led by President Jacob Zuma The delegation of the SACP led by the General Secretary comrade Blade Nzimande, The delegation of SANCO led by its President comrade Ruth Bhengu The delegation of the ANC Women`s League led by its President Angie Motshekga The delegation of the ANCYL led by its Deputy President who has taken the responsibility of being the President, Comrade Ronald Lamola The National Secretary of the Young Communist League, Comrade Buti Manamela and your delegation; The President of SASCO comrade Ngoako Selamolela and your delegation; The President of COSAS comrade Bongani Mani and your delegation; The President of FEDUSA Koos Bezuidenhout and your delegation; The President of NACTU Joseph Maqhekeni and your delegation; The General Secretary of ITUC comrade Sharon Burrow and your delegation The General Secretary of the WFTU comrade George Mavrikos and your delegation; Our distinguished International guests; Invited guests from all civil society formations, Representatives from various government departments, and other statutory bodies, Comrades before we can proceed with anything we want to make a special announcement we have received news that today the high court of Swaziland will be handing down sentence against comrade Amos Mbedzi who was convicted by the Swaziland High Court, presided by Judge Bheki Maphalala in August this year. Comrade Mbedzi was charged with contravening Section 5 and 2 of the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act of 1938 after it was alleged that he unlawfully attempted to damage the Lozitha Bridge on 20th September 2008. The charges included murder after it was said that on the same date, he killed Musa Dlamini and Jack Govender. He was further charged with contravening Section 8 and 9 of the Explosives Act of 2009 for possessing explosives without a permit. Comrade Mbedzi pleaded not guilty to four of the charges. We are calling on all democratic and peace loving people including our Alliance formations, the MDM formations and the international community to come out and make a call that the Swaziland monarch should not give a death sentence to comrade Mbedzi but release him with all other political prisoners so that negotiations for a truly democratic Swaziland may commence. We call on the Swaziland monarch and leaders in Swaziland to start an open and free dialogue that can result in an end to the political conflict and a sustainable solution designed and created by Swazis. We know that through our collective action there can be freedom in Swaziland. The time to act for freedom in Swaziland is now! Comrades and friends we want to give our special greeting to the delegates, who represent millions of COSATU members across the length and breadth of our country. It is you who have built this COSATU into a sharper instrument of class war that has over 27 years given bosses sleepless nights. There have always been attempts to weaken and destroy COSATU but you always rose and defended your organisation! It is through your victorious struggles in the workplace and activism in communities where you live that have made this federation an attractive protective shelter for the millions of workers and the working class in general. It is because of your courage, resilience and fortitude that has resulted to millions of workers wanting to join COSATU resulting to growth in our membership from nearly 1.8 million members in 2003 to nearly 2.2 million members today, an increase of over 422 000 members in 9 years in the context of rampant retrenchments and casualisation. We are proud that you have made COSATU one of the fastest growing trade union Federations in the world. It is you the workers who get mercilessly exploited by the employers. Yet it is through your sweat, that they count billion and trillions of rands in their bank accounts. It is through your sweat that they drive luxurious cars, live in pouch houses, take their children to private schools, smoke expensive cigars whose price is equal to your salaries, and yet they give you poverty salaries that leave your eyes wet, expecting you to say “thank you” and not to demand more, expecting you to accept anything they give you because in their minds, you know nothing better! This is your congress to table your views on how we should together build and strengthen this organisation into an even sharper instrument of class war which has the capacity of taking up the problems and challenges facing working people and their communities. This Congress is your opportunity to build programmes of unity in action to resist exploitation of workers and attempts by capital to divide and mislead workers. These four days will be your opportunity to tell us on our faces where we have deviated. This is your congress to point out where the organisation has done right and where it needs to consolidate. An Organisation becomes stronger by purging itself! Comrade delegates even during this challenging moment confronting our organisation and our revolution we must never compromise principle to achieve shot cut solutions. We must continue to call for and work towards unity of the workers based on a dynamic approach which combines firmness on fundamental principles, with flexibility to allow us to overcome non-antagonistic differences. In the last Congress, you gave us your organisation to lead and when you gave it to us it was intact. We have come to give it back to you and we can say without any equivocation that your Federation, the federation of Elijah Barayi, the federation of John Gomomo, of Violet Seboni, of Alina Rantsolase, of Chris Dlamini, of Xolile Nxu is still as intact and as sharper as when you gave it to us. Comrades as we stand here today observing the damage of capitalism unfolding in the world and in our country, especially where this is accompanied by the systematic attacks directed at COSATU and the liberation movement as a whole, we can only conclude that indeed the Communist Manifesto is correct when it asserts that “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. ….The modern bourgeois society … has… established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones…..Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other – the bourgeoisie (on one side) and proletariat ( on the other side)”. The glaring failures of Capitalism manifested through the Global economic crisis and how governments and capital all over the world responded have drawn clear class battle lines. It is now an open class war! The question which this Congress must provide practical answers to is whether we have a requisite organisational and political capacity to respond pound for pound and emerge victorious from this class war. Day in and day out we wake up to the painful reality wherein the living and working conditions of the working people is worsened whilst the rich continues to live luxuriously and enjoy profits of unimaginable proportions. Governments all over the world pass laws which make it easier to take from the poor and give to the rich in the name of bail outs and taxes. Policies are developed and regulations deliberately ignored or policy loopholes deliberately created to allow capital to amass more wealth and squeeze the working class into a dark corner of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Day in and day out we see the rich continuing to award themselves with huge bonuses, extract our country`s resources but hideaway profits generated from plundering our resources and refuse to invest in our development, leaving our countries with deepening inequalities. They take the assets and money acquired through exploiting our resources outside the borders of our countries to tax havens. Some of these people hide their wealth into so called trust accounts. According to the report by the Tax Justice Network, the super-rich are currently hiding away wealth estimated between 21 trillion US Dollars and 32 trillion US Dollars in tax havens such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. When questions are being raised about this, the common answer is that “there is nothing illegal about it”. We have observed with pain how during the Economic Crisis Governments have intervened and acted to protect the interests of Capital resulting to a situation in which capital maximises its accumulation even under conditions of economic crisis. According to Forbes International, since 2008 the world`s billionaires saw their wealth grow by 50 percent, and their ranks swell to 1,011, from 793. Europe had 248 billionaires, and the USA had 403 billionaires whose wealth could do more than cover the 2008 US federal deficit, with money left over for the states. On average, each billionaire had his or her wealth increase by 500 million US dollars[1]. Despite this increasing wealth by capital, Governments still came in with rescue packages to save them. It is estimated that the US government alone in total, used 425 billion US dollars to bailout banks, insurance companies and automakers and provided 45 billion US dollars in housing program assistance. In Europe the German constitutional court has recently ruled in favour of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) allowing it to put aside about 700 billion Euros of public funds to bail out banks and hedge funds that have loaned money at exorbitant interest rates. All this is sending a message to us that Capital is decisive on advancing their agenda and we should ask if we are as equally as decisive! As the world`s rich are being cautioned to become richer, the reality of poverty, unemployment and inequality continues to be harsher for the working class. As we speak, according to the report by the European Commission about 115 million people, or 23 percent of the EU population, have been designated as poor or socially deprived. Among the causes are unemployment and low wages, with more than 8 percent of all employees in Europe now belonging to the “working poor?” There is a similar trend in the USA where it is reported that families living in poor neighbourhoods rose from 8 percent to 17 percent and the proportion of families living in middle-income neighbourhoods fell by 21 percentage points within the same period. In UK 2.62 million people are officially out of work, the highest level in 17 years, and a rate of 8.3 percent of the economically active population. Youth unemployment in the UK grew by 18,000 to 1.02 million. It is therefore not surprising that according to the survey conducted by the Globescan across 25 countries; it shows that there has been a sharp fall in the number of Americans who think that the free market economy is the best economic system for the future. In South Africa we are observing a similar trend wherein during the economic crisis opulence is on the rise existing side by side with worsening abject poverty, unemployment and inequality. The country`s 20 richest men enjoyed a 45% increase in wealth in 2010 at the height of the economic crisis and the number of billionaires nearly doubled, from 16 in 2009 to 31 in 2010. Pine Pienaar, CEO of Mvelaphanda Resources, made R63 million in 2009, 1875 times as much as the average worker. It is interesting to note that the majority of the richest people in South Africa come from the mining sector. If this is compared with the conditions of the working class in a similar period we can only conclude that Socialism is the only way out. In 2010, half of South African workers earned less than R2 800 a month. On average, 75% of South African workers earned R1 939 in 2010 and 90% of South African workers earned an average of R3 327 a month. This is coupled with the fact that in South Africa total job losses from 2009 up to the first quarter of 2012 amounted to 744 000, these job losses amount to an average R107 billion loss in workers` income over the three-year period. Research also shows that within the same wavelength the exploitation of workers have increased in South Africa. The share of workers in national income has fallen below 50%. The profits earned by capitalists are equal to the total amount of wages earned in the South African economy. This gross inequality is confirmed by the fact that 50% of South Africans survive on 8% of national income[2]. As we speak here today, more than 3.4 million workers in South Africa work for more than 45 hours a week. Only 32% of all those who work had medical aid benefits, 71% “Demagogues are the worst enemies of the working class. The worst enemies, because they arouse base instincts in the masses, because the unenlightened worker is unable to recognise his enemies in men who represent themselves, and sometimes sincerely so, as his friends. The worst enemies, because in the period of disunity and vacillation, when our movement is just beginning to take shape, nothing is easier than to employ demagogic methods to mislead the masses, who can realise their error only later by bitter experience”. of those employed were not unionised, 5.8 million workers have no access to paid maternity/paternity leave, 4.2 million workers have no access to paid sick leave and 4.7 million workers are engaged in contract and other short-term type of employment, 5.7 million workers have no access to a pension or retirement fund and 4.4 million workers do not have access to paid annual leave. The reality of South Africa is that 54% of the workers receive no regular wage increments or have their wages determined solely by their employers. Yet Capital has been calling for the need to decentralise or even abolish collective bargaining. The reality is that currently bargaining councils cover just 9% of the workforce, while only 23% of the workers` wages are negotiated directly through unions. Comrade, these are the conditions which have resulted to what we saw and continue to see happening in Marikana and in the mining sector as whole. The problem in Marikana is not rivalry between unions nor can it simply be put as being a widening gap between leaders and members. This will obviously be a matter which we will have to honestly confront during our discussions but the central issue is that workers in the mines are rising against their continued exploitation by employers. The reality of the matter is that this exploitation is happening in all sectors of the economy. Mine workers cannot be expected to keep quiet and say “thank you basi” when they know that the Financial Officer of Lonmin, Alan Ferguson earn R10 254 972 a year or R854 581 a month, which 152 times higher than the salary of a Rock Drill Operator. We can relate to similar experiences in other sectors. For an example in 2007 more than 55% of workers in the wholesale and retail sector earned less than R2000-00 per month while CEO packages on average were in excess of R35 million. The average package of CEOs in the wholesale and retail sector is almost 1000 times the average wages of workers. The painful reality which confronts our people includes the fact that more than 6 million workers in South Africa live on less than R10 a day. These workers in turn support on average an additional 4 people in the household. This means that 30 million South Africans live on less than R10 a day and R10 can barely buy one loaf of bread. It is for this reason that we will continue to argue that it is mistaken to think that any kind of job will reduce poverty. If employment is to be the primary instrument to fight poverty and inequality, then such employment will have to be decent and Labour Brokers cannot deliver decent jobs and similarly the Youth Wage Subsidy cannot deliver decent jobs except making employers richer through the provision of cheap labour by our children. Given all these conditions it should be clear that what we see happening in Marikana and elsewhere is that workers are essentially demanding a living wage. Workers are simply saying we produce wealth and we want our reasonable share and they expect to be given a fair share. It is not just workers from North West that are speaking; this is a reflection of the demands being harboured by millions of our people. We cannot hide the fact that the plight of workers is being used by some to weaken strategic components of the Alliance seen as a threat towards Mangaung. The strategy include buying the emotions of the masses and society and use that support to stamp COSATU, and the liberation movement at the back and allow it to bleed to near death so that the same people uses the 53rd National Conference of the ANC as a moment where they come as heroes to save the movement. It will be a mistake for us to think that we can defend COSATU without defending the ANC and the SACP at the same time. The attack on the NUM is a gateway to weakening COSATU and the SACP which are being seen as gaining influence in the ANC under the current leadership. This attack is not different from an attack by the DA which decided to march to COSATU offices demanding the Youth Wage Subsidy. It was a calculated move to set COSATU against society as part of a broader strategy to set the movement as a whole against society. The majority of those in the DA march were the African people being instigated to march against other African workers. A strategy that was used by the Apartheid government to set blacks against each other. The same strategy we saw being used at Marikana where African workers are being set against each other. Comrade Mandela when he wrote an article titled the Shifting Sands of Illusion in June 1953, speaking about the DA of that time he warned us that “though apparently democratic and progressive in form, are essentially reactionary in content. They stand not for the freedom of the people but for the adoption of more subtle systems of oppression and exploitation. Though they talk of liberty and human dignity they are subordinate henchmen of the ruling circles. They stand for the retention of the cheap labour system and of the subordinate colonial status of the non-European masses together with the Nationalist Government whose class interests are identical with theirs. In practice they acquiesce in the slavery of the people, low wages, mass unemployment, the squalid tenements in the locations and shanty-towns”. Comrades we must not make a mistake and underestimate the enemy. The systematic attack we see today directed at us is based on evidence of what a united Alliance is capable of doing to defend and advancing the NDR. They have seen shifts in industrial and trade policies as reflected in IPAP and the NGP. They know that through COSATU and the SACP and majority of ANC members we secured commitment at Polokwane to align all economic policies with the objective of creating decent work. They see that today through COSATU and the SACP there has been an extension of social protection, the extension of grants to all vulnerable children, and income support for the unemployed; and the adoption of National Health Insurance as government policy. They have seen what a united Alliance can achieve. They have seen us as a collective defeating attempts by a right wing clique in the movement to collapse the Alliance, and redirecting the NDR into a narrow nationalist project focused on winning elections, while rendering people timid and becoming spectators in their own revolution. They have seen the strength of our unity in combating the abuse of the NDR as a vehicle for private accumulation. It is because of this proven track record of resilient struggle and victories that the right wing and the demagogues would prefer to have us divided and weak going to the 53rd National Congress of the ANC. These are the same elements which said there is no co governance and that education must be declared an essential service. They are mistaken on one thing; we will not go to Mangaung divided but we will go there with a clear class agenda to defend and advance the progressive outcomes of Polokwane. It is for this reason that we want to call on the Alliance and MDM formations to ensure that there is unity around our class interests. We must not allow tactical differences to be elevated to strategic differences. It is for this reason comrades, that in responding to the developments in Marikana including on attacks against us we need a principled and sustainable response which will not take away our focus and energies to the strategic task of advancing the National Democratic Revolution and the struggle for Socialism. We need a response that will draw everybody`s attention and energy on the total restructuring of our economy, so that it can be placed on a labour-absorbing trajectory. We need a response that will ensure an end of the domination by the mining/finance complex and building the industrial sector based on meeting the basic needs of our people. We need a response that will focus the country on the distribution of wealth and nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy, and as well as for effective land redistribution, in order to ensure that the Freedom Charter demands that the wealth of our country is controlled to enhance the wellbeing of the people is realised. We must not fall into a trap of competing with demagogues. Instead we should honestly be with the workers to listen to them and engage the employers, force them to address the demands raised by the workers. If we are patient and consistent in our organisational and political work, the truth will be revealed and workers will see demagogues for what they are and comrades, there are no shot cuts to this task. In the words of comrade Oliver when he closed the Morogoro Conference in 1969 we call on our members to “wage a relentless war against disrupters and defend the ANC (and the Alliance as whole) against provocateurs and enemy agents. Defend the revolution against enemy propaganda, whatever form it takes. Be vigilant, comrades. The enemy is vigilant. Beware of the wedge-driver, the man who creeps from ear to ear, carrying a bag full of wedges, driving them in between you and the next man, between a group and another, a man who goes round creating splits and divisions. Beware of the wedge driver, comrades. Watch his poisonous tongue.” Responding to the systematic attacks to our movement and the developments in the mining sector including the situation in Marikana must be connected to our initial question on how this Congress must provide practical answers as to whether we have a requisite organisational and political strength to respond pound for pound and emerge victorious from the international class war. The starting point should be that victory for the united working class is certain and on the bases of the strength of our unity and the strength of our organisation we should force a moment of decision in our movement. It is through being decisive that the workers of Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru have been able to set a new course, leading the national liberation struggle of Latin America and the Caribbean towards a second independence. They are building societies based on social and economic justice. Venezuela has fostered new institutions free of US and Canadian influence. The new institutions are, for example, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, an agency that coordinates the energy policy of Latin American oil-producing states, the Bank of the South, CELAC -the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, a regional cooperation bloc. The progressive trends and new institutions defeated the imperialist Free Trade Area of the USA. When the International Capital led by the USA tried to undermine these developments intellectuals, professionals and many nations and social movements came together in Cuba to form an International Committee in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, the Nations and Processes of ALBA. Its purpose was to let imperialism know that the world supports the independence struggles taking place in Latin America and the Caribbean. With this political mobilisation and being decisive we have seen how Brazil under President Lula Da Silva defied conventional economic prescriptions, and instead advanced economic strategies which put redistribution of incomes at the centre of their approach, especially through raising wage levels and social protection. They have decisively built state capacity to drive these changes through strengthening their labour inspectorates, and massively increasing training in tertiary institutions to ensure sufficient qualified people were available to staff key state institutions. This national economic strategy was linked to a broader economic development strategy in the region which was aimed at asserting an independent development path. We need to build from the ANC Policy Conference which agreed that this second phase of the transition should be characterised by more radical policies and decisive action to effect thorough-going socio-economic and continued democratic transformation, as well as the renewal of the ANC, the Alliance and the broad democratic forces. We must make the second phase of our transition to be our own South Africa`s Lula Moment whose content will on among others ensure that the state exercises its popular mandate to break the power of white monopoly capital The Lula Moment must mean that the state should be decisive in ensuring that there is access to quality education, skills development and training, healthcare and housing should be extended in working class communities in both urban and rural areas. The state will ensure access to quality and affordable public transport, including by people in rural areas and provide the appropriate macroeconomic framework, underpinned by the restructuring of the entire tax system with a view to introduce progressive taxation, to finance meeting the basic needs of our people. The Lula Moment or the radical phase of our transition will not happen if we do not build a radical and militant campaigning COSATU, SACP and ANC as mass based organisations, which derive their perspectives from the masses, we need to build these as organisations that do not identify with the people out of pity but grounded on the masses and connects with community struggles, build them as organisation that see people as capable of presenting solutions to the challenges confronting society, build them as fighting organisations that must continue to enjoy respect and credibility by the working class. These are the tasks we can only ignore at our peril! We know that demagogues occupy the front ranks of this class war from the side of the enemy camp and comrade Lenin taught us that “Demagogues are the worst enemies of the working class. The worst enemies, because they arouse base instincts in the masses, because the unenlightened worker is unable to recognise his enemies in men who represent themselves, and sometimes sincerely so, as his friends. The worst enemies, because in the period of disunity and vacillation, when our movement is just beginning to take shape, nothing is easier than to employ demagogic methods to mislead the masses, who can realise their error only later by bitter experience”. We will expose and crush demagogues with political honesty, theoretical clarity, well articulated vision, our organisational strength and a coherent implementable programme. This federation of the brave combatants–the federation of Vuyisile Mini, of Lesley Mesina, of Luksmart Ngudle, this federation of revolutionary combatants, the federation of Ray Alexander, of Elizabeth Mafikeng, of Mabel Balfour, of Liz Abrahams, of Marry Moodley, of Sophie De Bruin, of Viola Hashe, of Rita Ndzanga, of Phyllis Altman will never die, it will grow from strength to strength giving employers, capital and all enemies of our revolution sleepless night. We will fight to the bitter end, guided by the concluding words of the Communist Manifesto that “the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Proletarians of all countries unite! Let this 11th Congress of our glorious Federation be a congress of working class unity, let this Congress be dedicated to our members. Let us take COSATU to the members! Comrades, the 11th Congress is declared open! Amandla![/su_spoiler]