The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Gauteng congratulates the provincial African National Congress for convening a successful yet challenging two-legged conference on 23-26 June 2022 at the Lakes Hotel in Benoni and on 2-10 July 2022 at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre.
The conference was characterised by robust discussions and the reflections of the ANC in the province. It was quite clear from the onset that the conference was going to be difficult. The weaknesses of the ANC National Executive Committee as demonstrated through the handling of the Ekurhuleni Conference were exposed and the divisions of the ANC in the province were put in the public domain. This will have serious implications for the party going to the 2024 elections if tolerance and discipline are left unattended.
Despite these challenges, the conference concluded its work and elected Panyaza Lesufi as the provincial chairperson to lead the ANC for the coming four years. The conference was able to discuss and adopt resolutions which will form the core of the four years program. Amongst the resolutions taken, COSATU welcomes the following resolutions amongst others:
· Declaration of power generation through ESKOM as a national crisis.
· Declaration of the cost of living as the second national crisis.
· Setting up of a political monitoring and evaluation committee.
· De-tenderisation of the state.
· Establishment of the state bank, corporative bank, state pharmaceutical company and state constraction company.
As part of declaring of energy and the escalating cost of living as national crisis and government to urgently implement corresponding interventions, COSATU calls upon the leadership of the ANC in the province to engage national government on the implementation of short-term measures to caution the economy by means of the following:
· Engaging the Reserve Bank to release a portion of the foreign currency reserves to assist ESKOM to keep the lights on at least for six months.
· Use another portion of the foreign currency reserves to bail out consumers and business from high fuel prices. This will mean that government should fund the fuel and RAF levies for at least six months.
· Consider COSATU’s ESKOM social compact.
These interventions could assist to put the economy on a growing path, build energy reserves, ease pressure from consumers and business and create jobs.
COSATU in Gauteng will work together with the newly elected leadership of the ANC to implement these important resolutions. Working together with this leadership does not mean the Federation will be quite on matters relating to workers, we will hold the leadership of the ANC and government accountable. On a three months basis we will request the ANC and government to provide progress reports on agreed programs to be implemented.
COSATU takes this opportunity to wish the former ANC Chairperson, Comrade David Makhura good luck on further political roles he will be playing in the ANC and the alliance. Comrade Makhura rose from the ranks of the trade unions and his political and leadership contributions during difficult times will be missed.
We congratulate the newly elected top five of the ANC and its additional PEC members led by comrade Panyaza Lesufi and call for unity of purpose within the ANC. Winning a conference does not mean winning the hearts of electorates, for this reason COSATU calls upon the ANC to go back to communities to deliver the promised improved living conditions of the working class broadly.
Issued by COSATU Gauteng
Provincial Secretary – Louisa Modikwe: 066 182 2402
Provincial Chairperson – Amos Monyela: 079 493 5002