The Congress of South African Trade Unions sends its best wishes to the ANC for a successful Policy Conference. We strongly hope that the delegates will focus their attention on the political and economic challenges identified in the Discussion Papers and not allow divisive leadership contests to sidetrack them. It is critical that the leader of the alliance, the ANC, emerges from this Policy Conference stronger, coherent and more united, to lead society around a programme for economic and social transformation.
We want a stable ANC and a functional alliance so that we can collectively work to confront the challenges facing the country. The federation hopes that unity shall be at the centre of this policy conference. Part of what COSATU wants to see coming out of this conference is the push for a review of the fiscal and monetary policies that have compromised the fiscal sovereignty of our country, in that for an example we no longer have a policy on exchange control and that means the inflow and outflow of money in South Africa is not regulated.
We want a total a departure from the ANC’s current macroeconomic policies that have left the country of 55 million having only 15 million of its citizens employed, more than 9 million of them unemployed and 17 million on welfare.
The ANC also needs to resolve this issue of the elevation of the state over the movement and that has sometimes seen uncritical defense of the inherent horrible deficiencies of the inherited colonial and capitalist state, leading the masses to gradually lose confidence in the capacity of the ANC to drive transformation.
The movement should also avoid getting bogged down on discussing lexical semantics regarding economic transformation but should work on developing solid content and outline practical proposals on how to help those at the bottom end of the economic pyramid. It would be wise for delegates to learn and summon from the grave the wise words of Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, who said; “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice”.
They should also heed the words of an African Marxist revolutionary; Amilcar Cabral , who said , “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”.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
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