COSATU Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee(PEC) Statement

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Gauteng convened its Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting on the 26th of June 2023 in Braamfontein to dissect organisational, international, socio-economic and political reports. The PEC acknowledged that its meeting coincided with the 150 years of existence of the University of South Africa(UNISA), which is unfortunately engulfed by serious governance lapses characterised by mismanagement and bullying of employees, amongst others.

The meeting concluded that the Federation should push for UNISA to be placed under administration as proposed by Professor Themba Mosia’s report considering the mass resignation of council members. 

The meeting overwhelmingly endorsed the National Strike on 6 July 2023 in Johannesburg to protest a litany of challenges that include crime and corruption, job losses and privatisation, high-interest rates, the Amended Municipal Systems Act, the speedy implementation of the Zondo Commission Report, attack on collective bargaining and labour laws and urgent solution on water and energy crisis. The Gauteng memorandum will be handed to the Premier, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Ministers of Electricity, Water and Sanitation, SALGA, the Human Rights Commission, Departments of Health and Employment and Labour. As part of mobilising for the National Strike, the PEC will convene the Provincial Shop-Stewards Council on 30 June 2023, at the Johannesburg City Hall at 10:00 am.

The PEC congratulated SACCAWU for a well-fought battle against MAKRO and the strength of solidarity amongst her affiliates. According to the PEC, this reflected the strength of COSATU affiliates and the appetite to defend collective bargaining across all sectors of the economy. 

On the work of the Gauteng Provincial Government, the PEC acknowledged and appreciated employment creation programmes such as the appointment of wardens, environmental green army, solar installation scholarship and Nasi iSpani. The long queues seen on 16 June 2023 at 22 application sites reflected the high levels of unemployment amongst youth.

As much as these initiatives are welcomed, the PEC concluded that COSATU should meet with the ANC within the next 14 days to discuss the political management of these initiatives and a meeting with the Premier and his Executive Committee to address possible workplace tensions and hostilities.

On the political front, the PEC discussed, amongst others, the instability of municipalities, coalition governments and the alliance. The PEC concluded that coalition governments must succeed and create service delivery and avert labour relations crises across all cities in Gauteng.

The PEC rejects the coalition government because of its instability and position-mongering above service delivery. In the same view, it concluded that there is no common ideology among political parties in a coalition which can potentially replace the alliance. With this being the case, the PEC figured it would work with the ANC to ensure stability in all provincial municipalities and work towards a decisive electoral victory of an alliance partner contesting the elections. We will take part in all election structures put in place by our alliance partners with immediate effect.

The PEC welcomed the work to rebuild South African Civic Association (SANCO) and the IPCC led by comrade Abram Mashishi and congratulated all COSATU leaders in these structures. We will henceforth work with SANCO as part of implementing our resolve to build and strengthen the alliance.

The meeting also acknowledged the report that the South African Communist Party (SACP) is working towards convening its Provincial Congress in September 2023. As we advance our resolve to build a strong alliance, it was concluded that COSATU should convene a bilateral meeting with SANCO and SACP and convene the 20-a-side meeting with the ANC as a matter of urgency to deal with a concrete alliance political program and the implementation of the 2019 election manifesto.

On the socio-economic space, the PEC discussed the dire water condition in Hammanskraal. It characterised the cholera outbreak in that area as avoidable and violating human rights. The meeting then concluded that those responsible, dating back many years ago, should be made to account, irrespective of their political affiliation or irrespective of who is governing the City of Tshwane currently. 

The PEC also noted the problematic school’s registration systems which create serious registration challenges that put white and black parents against each other due to the shortage of space in schools. Given this, the PEC resolved that COSATU should convene a meeting of all stakeholders in primary education to overcome these registration crises before the resumption of the school calendar next year. 

The meeting noted the crime statistics released by the SAPS Provincial Commissioner, General Elias Mawela. We are concerned about the increase in violent crimes, contact crimes, gender-based violence and police killings. The PEC views police killings as treason, and perpetrators should face the full might of law enforcement agencies, and the justice system should have no mercy on such perpetrators.

We call on communities to work with police and wardens to assist in apprehending these ruthless criminals. The PEC concluded that the Federation should convene urgent meetings with the MEC of Community Safety and the Police Commissioner to discuss, amongst others, the role and responsibilities of wardens and strategies to deal with violent crime and police killings.

Amid all the socio-economic challenges, which range from the school registration system, crime, unemployment, water, electricity and health crisis and the killing of police officers, the PEC resolved to convene a Socio-Economic Conference on 18-20 August. This conference will include all stakeholders, and papers on different topics such as building the socialist economy in the townships will be presented, and a blueprint will be developed.   

Issued by COSATU Gauteng

Provincial Secretary – Louisa Modikwe: 066 182 2402

Provincial Chairperson – Amos Monyela: 079 493 5002