Joint Media statement COSATU /SACP Mpumalanga Bilateral meeting

The South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU)in Mpumalanga held the bilateral meeting at COSATU House, Emalahleni on the 7th of February 2023. The meeting was attended by the SACP Provincial Working Committee (PWC) members, COSATU POBs, affiliates chairpersons and secretaries.

The meeting was characterized by robust, frank and honest engagement whose objectives were to address the political, socio-economic, and organizational challenges confronting both the members and broader society.  

The purpose of the meeting was to assess and evaluate the performance and impact of the socialist axis and to further strengthen their relationship. The meeting agreed that there are several challenges confronting and pose a threat to the National Democratic Revolution and which will require a strong left popular front to confront these challenges as they are reversing the gains of our 1994 democratic breakthrough.

The NDR is about common struggle to confront and do away with class, race and gender disparities and the ANC being a leader of the alliance, ought to ensure that its policies are for the benefit of the motive forces. However, the meeting has noted that the NDR is not on track; certain policies that are forced on us are not a product of common objectives of the alliance. The meeting further noted that the following socio-economic challenges odd to be addressed immediately.

On energy Crisis and Just Energy Transition  

The meeting has shares similar sentiments with the rest of society and its deeply concerned with the on-going power blackouts in the country. These blackouts pose a serious threat to the livelihood of the working class and the poor, particularly those who own small businesses. Our utmost fear is the safety of the women who come from work late at night during the time of load shedding. These blackouts are reversing the gains we have made in the fight against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in our communities.

Mpumalanga province is the energy hub of coal power generation in the Southern Africa and with lots of coal mines; the proposed transition from coal to nuclear and or clean energy will have adverse effects to the people in the province and affect jobs negatively particularly in the mining sector.

Therefore our view is that in order to resolve the energy crisis we must not compromise jobs especially now that National State of Disaster has been declared on the energy crisis. This National State of Disaster should not be used as an instrument to destroy coal energy production and bring independent power producers through a back door whose interests is only to make profit out of people’s misery. Priorities should also be given in fixing existing power stations and recapitalizing to allow those to operate optimally.

On SACP and its vanguard role

The SACP as the vanguard of the working class and the poor must continue to play its role in society and unite the working class and workers in particular who play a critical role as the motive force of our National Democratic Revolution. The party must lead in the discourse which is currently dominated by minorities whose primary interest is to reverse the gains of our democracy through their neo-liberal agenda.

To do this, the SACP must, together with the progressive trade union movement continue to build the left popular front to advance and deepen class conscious.  It must ensure that the ideas of socialism are widely debated and are dominant amongst the working class and to do this it must interrogate and qualitatively analyse the objective material factors determine what obstructs or will be required to advance socialism.

On the reconfiguration of the Alliance

COSATU and SACP have been, for some time now, calling for the reconfiguration of the tripartite alliance. This reconfiguration should not be misunderstood in the context of the deployment for SACP and COSATU leaders in the echelons of the government and by extension, the state.

The reconfiguration of the alliance should among others, mean going back to the roots; recommitting ourselves to the goals of the National Democratic Revolution, which is about building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. This means that all partners should work in unison with the understanding that they are all equal alliance in policy formulation and addressing the socio -economic challenges facing our society.

On the state of local government in our municipalities

The meeting expressed deep concerns with the state of our municipalities. The lack of service delivery for the people which impacts negatively to them and hinders our goals towards the achievements of the NDR. This has resulted in the loss of confidence in our government and resulted to several sporadic of service delivery protests some which are disruptive and characterized by criminal elements. Proper and thorough analysis on the state of the alliance must be undertaken ; we further need to understand that some of these protests will use genuine issues to achieve a different outcome.

On the state of our Health care facilities

The meeting notes with utter disgust the poor state of health care facilities which will require urgent and quality interventions. In order to achieve quality health care the meeting calls for the following

Ø  The filling in of all vacancies to address staff shortage, the provisions of quality security for all our health care facilities and the revamping and improvement of infrastructure in our health care institutions

Ø  That the province primary, secondary and tertiary health care institutions are well capacitated both in human resource and adequate apparatus to advance provision of quality health care.  

Ø  That the province must build its own mental health care facility to alleviate unnecessary causalities that occur in most of our health care facility caused by the admission and treatment of mentally challenges patients in facilities which they are not meant for.

Ø  That the province should move towards the opening of the medical school in the province which is well capacitated to deal with both ultrasound and scanning capacity       

On the plight of EMS workers

The meeting calls for:

Ø  Adequate provision of emergency, services tools of trade which include your ambulances and other relevant equipment to alleviate delay and ineffective emergency responses which lead to the attack of our emergency service workers.

Ø  That adequate supply of staffing personnel is an immediate need which will require urgent attention to resolve on emergency service challenges

On our Solidarity campaign with the people of eSwatini  

The meeting notes that the struggle for democracy in the Kingdom of Eswatini is deeply challenged and marred with atrocities. These include the arrest and assassination of prominent activist and ordinary members of society.  The meeting notes with shock the mysterious visit by the country’s deputy president despite the ANC’s  resolution to pledge its support for the struggle of emancipation of the Swazi nation and few days after brutal assassination of the human rights lawyer and pro-democracy activist, comrade Thulani Maseko.

Both the part and the federation will continue to pledge their undivided support for the emancipation of the Swazi Nations under the absolute and brutal monarch. We call for the ANC led government to brake relations with the country both diplomatic and economically until a democratically elected government is put in order in that part of the country. As Mpumalanga with our proximity, we will use all our efforts to intensify our solidarity work to campaign for emancipation for the Swazi nation, we further call on our provincial government to break any ties with the country.

In advancing the relations of the two left formations

COSATU and the SACP have committed themselves to continue with joint  programmes and holding regular meetings. The meeting also called for the convening of the alliance summit. This will help to deal with the socio-economic issues that confronts the province and pave the road towards the reconfiguration of the alliance.   

Issued by SACP and COSATU in the Mpumalanga Province


SACP Provincial Secretary

Cde Lucky Mbuyane

082 351 5804

COSATU Provincial Secretary

Thabo Mokoena

073 750 2041