COSATU calls on Workers to Vote for the ANC on Monday (1 November 2021)

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is calling on all workers to come out in their numbers on Monday,1 November 2021 to vote in the Local Government Elections. The President of South Africa, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa has declared Election Day (1 November 2021) as a public holiday throughout the country. This means that workers are not expected to be at work on the day and cannot be bullied by employers to be at work, as previously happened.

The Federation is deeply troubled to discover that some local shop owners (especially of Pakistani and Somali origin and local loan sharks) continue to confiscate people’s Identity Documents in many townships around the country when they buy goods on credit.

This is totally unacceptable conduct that needs to be resolved immediately. Many poor people will be denied an opportunity to exercise their democratic right to freely participate in the upcoming local government elections. We are calling on law enforcement agencies and relevant departments to act to clamp down against this illegal practice. 

We also remind members and workers who have applied for Identity Documents to collect them at Home Affairs. The Department of Home Affairs will be open for additional hours in the run-up to the elections to help those who have lost their Identity Documents and need to apply for temporary IDs.

COSATU is urging all its members and workers, in general, to vote for the ANC on Monday. The Federation’s Central Committee resolved to campaign for a decisive ANC victory in the 2021 Local Government Elections. This was done after assessing the overall political landscape, the challenges and the progress that has been made to fix the country and improve the economy.   

In the context of the reconfiguration of the Alliance, the Federation welcomes the open, democratic, and inclusive process of the drafting of the 2021 election manifesto as well as the broad outline of policies and priorities in the manifesto.

We support the key priorities identified and derived from the resolutions of the NASREC conference namely, education, health, jobs for all, safety and security, rural development, and youth development. 

The Alliance remains the only weapon in the hands of the people to deepen transformation and take our National Democratic Revolution to new heights. The ANC – the oldest liberation movement in Africa, which has led the struggle for a united, non-racial, democratic, and prosperous South Africa. 

The ANC has publicly acknowledged its challenges and weaknesses and is gradually working to fix them. People are not allowed to act with impunity anymore and law enforcement agencies have been given a mandate and the freedom to do their work without any interference.   

What also informs our position on these upcoming elections is our class position and class interests. Workers cannot stay neutral or vote for political parties that are hellbent on defending the Apartheid inherited privileges of a tiny minority.  

Our vote is one weapon we must use to stop people who want to “deregulate the labour market”, repeal laws that protect workers from abuse by employers, and limit workers’ constitutional and legal rights.

Many of these political parties want to make it easier for employers to fire workers and do away with centralised bargaining. They want to push us back to the apartheid days when employers could do whatever they wanted with their workers.

A vote for the ANC is a vote for progressive labour policies, commitment to job creation and decent work, rural development, the national health insurance scheme and many more. Workers also have countless opportunities to hold the ANC accountable through Alliance structures and other available political platforms. 

Workers should remain vigilant of political parties who use progressive political rhetoric to hide their own corruption. They indicate left while turning right. These parties do not mind taking the votes of workers and the poor and handing them over to right-wing political parties through unprincipled coalitions for their narrow interests.

They have also set themselves an agenda to disrupt the organisations of the people, the workers, at political and workplace levels. That is why they keep sponsoring and talking about building an alternative trade union federation, which would create disunity and conflict within the working-class movement. Voting for these organisations is to vote for people who are not transparent, unprincipled, and unreliable. They change their positions without consulting their members and are not accountable.

Let us work together to vote for the ANC, fix the country and create a better life for all.

Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson) 

Tel: 011 339 4911
Cell: 060 975 6794