COSATU’s 36 Anniversary statement 

COSATU’s 36 Anniversary statement   

01 December 2021 

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is celebrating its 36th Anniversary today and we salute all our members and former leaders past and present for their contribution to building the federation.  

This anniversary offers us an opportunity to reflect on a 36-year journey that has been full of ups and downs. This birthday arrives in a very difficult year for the workers in general, with our economy continuing to shed jobs, resulting in growing inequality and deepening poverty.   

Despite all these problems COSATU has continued to defy all predictions by growing from strength to strength. This year we successfully convened a Central Committee and will be finalising nine provincial congresses next year in the build-up to our national congress.   

In the more than three decades, the Federation has led from the front in defending workers, waging campaigns, and driving the policy discourse. The 13th National Congress made history by electing three women and three males in the top six positions, leading by example when it comes to gender parity. The federation also for the first time elected the first female president.   

We have navigated some difficult periods and overcome them. We remain a united, combative, and powerful worker-controlled federation.  

We remain focused on meeting the expectations of our members at the workplace, including fighting for greater job protection, and living wages. We also appreciate and recognize that we are trying to achieve all of this under qualitatively different conditions, which include a dire economic situation, automation and mechanization, and a deadly pandemic.  

The situation in the country is not getting any better with the economy continuing to remain stagnant and the scourge of corruption sinking the country further into the abyss.    

In the public service, we are seeing austerity measures that have seen the government on the offensive attacking nurses, teachers, police officers, cleaners, and other workers for wanting to earn a decent wage in the public service.    

All our actions going forward shall always be informed by the need to unite workers and ensure that the goals and aspirations of the working class are prioritized  

We recognise the fact that our nation is passing through a special period, which demands extraordinary dedication and urgency on the part of all social partners in defense of its founding principles.  

The task of rebuilding this country lies in all of us working together. We have gathered enough experience over the last 35 years to make a meaningful contribution on this front.  

As we continue to build the federation to ensure that it survives for another 36 years, we are also clear that each class must show revolutionary determination and a daring attitude if they are to achieve their historic mission. 

Workers need to unite and take lead in the fight against private-sector greed and economic mismanagement.  

Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)     

Tel: 011 339 4911
Cell: 060 975 6794