08 December 2023
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in Limpopo convened its ordinary Provincial Executive Committee(PEC) on 6 December 2023. The PEC considered reports that covered the organizational, political, socio-Economic, and international questions confronting the Federation and the working class in general. The PEC took place against the background of worsening inequalities in the country and the world over, an energy crisis, dysfunctional SOEs and heightened attack on collective bargaining. In its wisdom, the PEC evaluated these challenges and came to the following conclusions:
On Organizational Matters
The PEC resolved to implement and give meaning to COSATU’s resolution to build a strong trade union movement to form the bulwark against attack on workers and the working class. To be effective in that, trade union education and training was emphasized while it was also considered to be of great importance to sharpen the ideological and political consciousness of leaders and members of the Federation.
On political developments
The PEC lauded the participation of members and leaders of the Federation in the pollical programmes of our ally, the ANC, in trying to reorientate the ANC back to being a liberation movement of the people as it historically has been. This includes participation in the recent programme during voter registration weekend to encourage the people to register for a decisive ANC victory in 2024. The recent by-elections have demonstrated that the citizens still love the ANC and hold the movement dear to their hearts, only if it can exonerate itself from the lumpen characters who have latched on it like barnacles to a rock, to advance their own parochial interests.
The PEC further condemned attempts by some leaders to meddle with the processes of the Provincial List Committee and called for the committee to be given space to do its work in accordance with ANC guidelines. The PEC dismissed the media reports of the so-called alleged rigging of the nomination process as baseless and a figment of the imagination of those who, under different circumstances, would undermine this process and vitiate the wishes of ANC branches.
The PEC further welcomed and congratulated SANCO on the recent Provincial and National conferences that were held in line with the guidelines agreed to by SANCO. COSATU pledges to work closer to the civic movement to address the enormous challenges confronting our communities daily.
We further re-committed to advancing our programmes together with the vanguard of the working class, the SACP to sharpen the ideological and pollical consciousness of the working class to advance towards an egalitarian and socialist future.
On Socio-Economic Matters
The PEC decried the continued deterioration of our SOEs both at a national and provincial level. It called for an intervention to stabilize Eskom as we are seeing the negative results of the intermittent power supply that continues to bedevil the entity, in slow economic growth and job losses. In further discussion the PEC rejected the mooted unbundling as a precursor to privatisation as analysed by the COSATU CEC. The developments in the ports appear to be preparing ground for Transnet to be privatized, as it happened to SAA, and the PEC calls for decisive action to save the jobs and maintain a reliable transport system. The shenanigans at Great North Bus Company do not lend themselves to the company providing a reliable and safe transport utility for the people of Limpopo and call on the provincial government to intervene decisively.
The discussions extoled the finalization of the two-port pension system, to allow withdrawals from 2024, despite massive resistance by some industry role-players and expressed the necessity for the implementation of the plan to accompanied by a massive education campaign amongst members.
v The Ukraine – Russia War
The Russia – Ukraine war is an expansionist war waged to expand the geopolitical sphere of influence of the US government and its allies in NATO. The territory of Ukraine is being used to fight this geopolitical war against the Russian Federation. This has caused untold suffering to the people of Ukraine. As a progressive trade union Federation, we continue to condemn this war and its horrifying results and call for an end to the war and the opening of dialogue to address the challenges.
v Invasion and attack of Palestine
We have noticed with horror that the Israeli government has invaded Palestine and continues to bomb the infrastructure in the Gaza strip. No infrastructure is spared, including Hospitals, against international conventions of war. Food and Medicines are blockaded. The electricity to Gaza is switched off by the apartheid Israeli regime.
In its analysis the PEC determined that what is happening in Gaza is genocide, it cannot be described by any other name. We should continue to campaign and call for the end to the attack against Palestine and cessation of war. We further make call for and to the blockade and a massive humanitarian effort to assist the people of GAZA. We should also add our voice to the call for the prosecution of the Israeli war criminals by the International Criminal Court and support the stance taken by the South African government to lay a complaint with the ICC.
v The Coups in West Africa
The PEC has observed several coups d’etat in the north and west of Africa, such in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. The coups also have massive resonance with the people in those counties. The PEC observed that we need a deeper analysis of this new development, whether it indeed is advancing the cause of Africa, as coups are generally inherently anti-democratic.
In its conclusion the PEC wished workers, their families, and friends pleasant and enjoyable times during this this festive season. COSATU further calls for cautious road usage by both pedestrians and motorists to keep safe during the festive season.
Issued by COSATU Limpopo
Hangwani Mashao(Provincial Secretary)
Mobile: 067 413 0165