The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Limpopo held its ordinary Provincial Executive Committee meeting at the beginning of this month, which was attended by our unions, our COSATU locals and the alliance – The African National Congress and the South African Communist Party.
The Provincial Executive Committee received a report from the Central Executive Committee (CEC) which took place on 27th – 29th May 2019 and accepted its decisions as clear directives to continue strengthening the federation in defence of the rights of workers. Subsequent to our PEC, a Provincial Organizational Building and Campaigns Committee meeting was convened in order to put up an action plan arising from the resolutions.
The Provincial Executive Committee noted and appreciated the work of the National and Provincial Office Bearers of the federation on their relentless efforts to support our affiliates. Part of this work includes but not limited to efforts to unite, strengthen all unions and interpose where there are internal disputes. The Central Executive Committee has reaffirmed its commitment to building a giant, united, progressive COSATU that unites all workers.
To do this, the Central Executive Committee has directed that its locals, provinces and unions must focus on improving the basic services that members get on a daily basis. The federation expects all its affiliated unions to ceaselessly and fearlessly champion the rights and interests of workers by assisting them at the workplace to deal with wage bargaining, unfair dismissals and discrimination at the workplace. This will also, include campaigns to ensure compliance by employers to the country’s legislations such as Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and the National Minimum Wage Act 9 of 2018
The federation has resolved to roll out a nationwide recruitment campaign, with realistic but ambitious targets. COSATU needs to grow both quantitatively and qualitatively and as such in our implementation of the CEC directive, we resolved to launch a massive provincial recruitment campaign on the 30th August 2019 in Lephalale, Waterberg District. This will be followed by a recruitment campaign in all our locals, workplaces and all the sectors.
We also pleased to report that the PEC elected new Provincial Office Bearers following vacancies of the Provincial Chairperson and Provincial Treasurer as follows:
|1. Cde Calvin Tshamano||Provincial Chairperson||NEHAWU||Male|
|2. Cde Esther Mokoele||Deputy Provincial Chairperson||SADTU||Female|
|3. Cde Given Masidzeneli||Provincial Treasurer||CEPPWAWU||Male|
|4. Cde Gerald Twala||Provincial Secretary||COSATU||Male|
The PEC appreciated that its meeting took place after the May 2019 General Elections where the ANC in Limpopo won with 75.49%. However, it is very worrying that whilst our province received the highest percentage of support nationally, the low voter turnout represented a message of disenchantment by our people.
The federation noted and cautiously welcomed the appointment of new Members of the Executive Council and Legislature Committees in the province. The PEC denounced the fact that there was no proper consultation of the alliance when such deployments were discussed and finalized. Our view has been that it would appear we have an ANC leadership that does not recognize and appreciate the existence of the alliance in the province. This is a matter that was expressed by the federation during our bilateral with the officials of the ANC in the province on the 15th July 2019. The PEC also specifically congratulated its former Provincial Chairperson, comrade Essop Mokgonyana, as the Chief Whip of the majority party – the African National Congress and the former SADTU Provincial Chairperson, comrade Ronny Moroatshehla who is now a Member of Parliament.
COSATU in has since the beginning of the year analyzed the state of the ANC and the alliance in the province and noted several strange political developments. The PEC noted that whilst the majority of members of the ANC are committed to the unity of our movement post-Nasrec, there are effectively those whom we characterize as beneficiaries of state capture, corruption and VBS looters who will fight any attempt to strengthen, renew and unite the ANC.
Our provincial analysis points to amongst others the following strange political developments:
- Money-driven factionalism that has become systematic and institutionalized
- Blatant disregard and undermining of decisions/directives of the highest decision-making structures of the movement – the ANC NEC and NWC
- A well-coordinated scheme to undermine ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and the programme to renew and unite the organization
- A well-coordinated scheme to oppose any attempt at fighting corruption in the province
The PEC therefore resolved:
- That there must be consequences for those who openly defy decisions and directives of the higher structures of the movement
- That the ANC PEC must be seized with the responsibility of uniting the alliance and to rein in ill-discipline amongst its members and structures
- To call on workers to be on the ground in ANC branches defending and contributing to the unity of our movement
- To call for the convening of the Provincial Alliance Summit following the establishment of the 6th Administration in the province
On anti-corruption and VBS looters
The federation marched in November 2018 demanding action by the provincial government and arrest of those implicated in the VBS looting. Whilst we appreciate the firm decision by the ANC in recalling Mayors in all the VBS implicated municipalities is it our view that those within our movement and government, who looted and engaged in corrupt practices, cannot continue roaming the streets of our province freely. It is for that reason that the federation has resolved to embark on yet another anti-corruption campaign to demand answers and arrests as follows:
§ To convene Local Anti-Corruption Imbizos on the 21st August 2019 in the following municipalities/areas; Greater Giyani, Collins Chabane, Thulamela, Makhado, Lepelle-Nkumpi, Mogalakwena, Ephraim Mogale, Elias Motsoaledi, Fetakgomo and Greater Tubatse
§ This will be followed by local Anti-Corruption marches in all the mentioned municipalities on the 19th September 2019
§ The above activities will culminate in a Provincial Anti-Corruption March on the 07th November 2019
On the reconfiguration of the Limpopo Provincial Administration
The Limpopo Provincial Government held its firsts Executive Council meeting of the 6th Administration on the 11th June 2019 and amongst others discussed and resolved on the reconfiguration of the Provincial Administration. This resolution came as a shock to the federation in that no prior discussions ensured within the alliance on this critical matter.
The federation, therefore, rejects the decision of the Executive Council on the reconfiguration of the Limpopo Provincial Administration as it was arrived at without consulting workers and the alliance. We, therefore, demand that this decision be revoked pending consultation with our unions and the alliance.
On racism in the workplace
COSATU has declared war against racism in the workplace and will be using all avenues to hold racists employers to account. We call on all workers to speak out against racism and use all measures within the ambit of the law to fight against racism.
The federation will, therefore, continue to embark on campaigns against racism in our workplaces and in society. Our focus, for now, will be a demonstration against racism at CURRO Holdings – Northern Academy in Polokwane. There are serious allegations that at this institution qualified black teachers are reduced to assistants and paid low wages whilst their under-qualified white colleagues are appointed as senior teachers and paid higher wages. The PEC has therefore resolved that such a demonstration should be organized as a matter of urgency.
Business rescue in the mining sector
The federation continues to be alarmed and deeply concerned by the ongoing job losses in a number of economic sectors. Our province has not been immune from this economic crisis as increasingly more and more mines are closing down leading to thousands of workers losing their jobs. Dilokong Chrome Mine in Driekop, Sekhukhune District has been on business rescue since 2017 and there is little movement with regard to the process to re-open the mine tore-employ more than seven hundred workers who lost their jobs.
The PEC resolved that a meeting should be urgently arranged with the MEC for LEDET, Thabo Mokone, to discuss measures to fast track the process of the business rescue of Dilokong Chrome Mine
On non-appointment of Post-Community Service Nurses and allied health professionals
The federation received and discussed the matter of non-appointment of Post-Community Service Nurses and allied health professionals in the province. The fact that more than two hundred qualified nurses remain home and unemployed in a rural province like Limpopo points to lack of planning by the government. The PEC, therefore, resolved that the federation and our public-sector unions must embark on workplace pickets that will culminate in an urgent meeting with the Premier to intervene for the employment of nurses and allied health professionals. The federation is ready to declare war to ensure the employment of our graduates.
Issued by COSATU Limpopo
Gerald Mkhomazi Twala (Provincial Secretary)
79A Biccard Street
Mobile: 071 587 2872/076 522 8864