The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Northern Cape held its normal Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) Meeting on Thursday, 08th April 2021 to reflect on the work of the Federation and to assess the implementation of its Resolutions of the last PEC, Central Executive Committee (CEC), Central Committee (CC) and both the National and Provincial Congresses.
The PEC acknowledged that the workers and the poor masses have been hit hard by the effects of lockdown brought by COVID-19. The workplaces have shrunken, thousands lost their jobs, many people joined the already skyrocketing number of the unemployed, poverty is thriving and the gap between the poor and the rich extensively widened.
We further note the rigid stance of the government under the current minister of finance to vehemently refuse to honour the collective agreement in the public sector and now spreading over all sectors, is negation and a serious antithesis of what the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) should advocate.
On Organisational Matters
- The PEC took a decision to revive and strengthen all its constitutional structures and ensure that, COSATU locals are empowered to carry out their mandate since the Federation has dedicated this year to Locals.
- The Federation also reaffirmed its commitment to worker-solidarity and to build unity among its affiliates.
- We have acknowledged that, 2021 is the year of our Provincial Congress that will be preceded by the Provincial Gender Conference and therefore, the Federation vowed to work very hard to ensure that, these activities become a success.
On Socio-Economic Matters
- The PEC noted the province’s official unemployment rate that stands at 28.7% while the expanded rate, which includes those not actively looking for work, is 41.8%.
- We previously have made demands to the Premier’s office and met with key departments to raise our concerns about their snail pace approach and often refusal to implement the ANC’s Manifesto for job creation and service delivery.
- We have identified Mining and Agriculture as the two main Sectors to support and enable job creation and opportunities in the province. We are of the view that, the Provincial government’s strategy to enhance economic activities in these sectors is not sufficient and aggressive enough to fast track the devastating effects of poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
- We therefore need an urgent Alliance Political Council with the view of convening a Provincial Summit that will focus on job creation and economic development in the Province.
- The PEC reiterated the Federation’s stance on the government’s failure to honour the 2018 collective agreement on salary increase of public servants and therefore, call on the ANC led government to respect legislation and be exemplary to avoid undue chaos.
- The PEC sends a stern warn to the Provincial government on the imposition of Moratorium on Recruitment/Employment amid shortage of staff in sectors like health and education. We believe that the government has got an obligation to consult us in order to engage in meaningful discussion before any substantive decision can be taken particularly that affects the service delivery and employment.
- Another worrying factor is the devastating state of the municipalities across the province. There are constant water cuts and overall sub-standard provision of service delivery which breeds anger, rage, and sometimes violent service delivery protests. Sol Plaatje Municipality is one example of poor and incompetence of our local government. The PEC therefore urges the ANC to quell political tensions in the municipalities and ensure that communities do not become victims of its internal squabbles.
- We appreciate the cash-injection to bail-out Sol Plaatje Municipality and will be watching and monitoring the utilization of such funds very closely in order to avoid misappropriation, corruption or any form of looting.
- The PEC further urges the Provincial government to assist all other Municipalities in distress and those in need of similar financial assistance.
On Political Matters
The PEC took the following decisions:
- That it is the Federation’s duty to unite all Alliance partners.
- That we should build structures of the SACP, COSATU and SANCO.
- That we need to fast track the reconfiguration of the Alliance and place the Alliance at the strategic centre of power to advance the NDR led by the left.
- That there is a dire need to meet all Alliance partners in an endeavour to address the current challenges.
- That members of COSATU affiliates may participate as individual members of the ANC in various Conferences of the ANC but MUST be cautious of the risk of dividing workers in these processes.
- That a platform should be created to assess each and every identified leader by using tools like through the eye of a needle.
- The PEC further took place took a decision NOT to pronounce on any leadership preference and to respect the outcomes of the ANC’s Regional and Provincial Conferences.
On international Matters
The PEC further reaffirmed its support to all solidarity programmes of the Federation in the continent and across the globe.
We are pleased with the work currently underway and reiterate our position of building close ties by twinning at a provincial level with the workers in Namibia.
Issued by COSATU NORTHERN CAPE
For any further clarities please contact Orapeleng Moraladi (Provincial Secretary) 078 452