6th National Congress

[su_spoiler title=”COSATU 6TH NATIONAL CONGRESS PROGRAMME” icon=”folder-1″]Tuesday, 16 September 1997

1.Nkosi Sikelel` iAfrika The Internationale

2.Presentation and adoption of credentials – Assistant General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi

3.Adoption of agenda

4.Ratification of Minutes of 5th National Congress

5.Presidential address – President P J Gomomo

6.Introduction of guests – International Relations Secretary Bangumzi Sifingo

7.Messages of support – General Secretary Mbhazima Shilowa 8.Address by the President of the ANC – President N R Mandela


9.Secretariat report – General Secretary Mbhazima Shilowa

9.1 Discussion on the report

10.September Commission – 2nd Vice President Connie September 10.1 Discussion on the report

11.International issues

11.1 Address by the OATUU General Secretary – Hassan Somonu 11.2 Address by the Deputy General Secretary of the CTC – Francisco Harvey Duran

11.3 Address by the ICFTU General Secretary – Bill Jordan

11.4 Discussion on the international scene

11.5 International Resolutions SUPPER

12.Musical evening with Jabu Khanyile and Bayete Wednesday,


17 September 1997

13.Address by the Swedish LO President – Bertil Jonsson 14.Organisational issues

14.1 Discussion on the report

14.2 Organisational Resolutions



15.Financial Report

15.1 Treasurer`s Report – Treasurer Ronald Mofokeng

15.2 Presentation and adoption of audited statements

15.3 Resolutions

16.Resolutions on Constitutional Amendments



Thursday, 18 September 1997

17.Address by SACP Acting Chairperson – Acting Chairperson Blade Nzimande

18.Political Issues

18.1 Discussion on the reports

18.2 Resolutions



19.Social and Economic Issues

19.1 Discussion on the reports

19.2 Resolutions



Friday, 19 September 1997

20.Election of National office Bearers

21.Announcement of the Election results

22.Message by the incoming General Secretary

23.Closing speech by the incoming President


Opening times: 09h00 (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) 09h30 (Friday)

Closing times: 18h00 (Tuesday) 19h00 (Wednesday) 19h00 (Thursday) 14h00 (Friday)

Buses leave hotels at exactly 08h00 each morning.

Supper and lunch will be provided at Congress venue. The whole congress is open to the Media.[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”ACTIVITY REPORT” icon=”folder-1″]

      • Establish a single farm workers union
      • Establish a single public sector union
      • Establish a single transport union
      • Build women leadership
      • Develop a sexual code of conduct
      • Move towards self-sufficiency
      • Set up a committee to spearhead the debate on industrial and geographical demarcation
      • Set up a trade union institute to build capacity.
      • PPWAWU, FAWU and SACTWU would, for a period of three months, continue to pay the salaries of their former organisers who had been inherited by the new union;
      • COSATU would waive payment of subscriptions by the union for six months, pay the salary of the General Secretary as well as accommodate the head office and most regional offices free of charge.
      • COSATU and some unions donated cars, furniture and finance to meet start-up costs.
      • negotiations on the transfer of membership, stop order facilities and other assets previously held by FAWU, PPWAWU and SACTWU;
      • negotiations on the transfer of recognition agreements existing at the time of the launch as well as new ones;
      • streamlining and harmonising the different conditions of employment of the organisers and the General Secretary previously employed by COSATU, FAWU, PPWAWU and SACTWU;
      • recruiting and consolidating union membership in the face of resistance by employers, many of whom belong to the Freedom Front; and
      • becoming self sufficient in order to carry all of the union`s obligations, including affiliation fees to COSATU.
      • While clause 5.2 of the constitution says that “affiliated unions shall remain autonomous bodies governed by their own constitution but will abide by the constitution and policies of the federation”, it is worth noting that the political will to force the unions to merge was lacking.
      • Parallel discussions on demarcation played a role in the CEC being hesitant on the route to follow.


      • Maintain the status quo: In other words, 12 industrial unions. This includes maintaining separate agriculture, construction and mining unions, and 5 manufacturing unions, but creating one private sector service union, excluding transport and telecommunications, and forming one public sector union. Although more motivation is required, one submission argues against any amalgamation in the manufacturing sector on the grounds that the union will be too big and that it may lead to splits later on. 
      • Partial pipeline: This model also argues for separate agricultural and mining unions. In one version, mining is joined with electricity, and in another by all forms of energy. In one version, construction merges with metal, and in others it is maintained as a separate sector. There are also variations in manufacturing. One version combines the manufacture of clothing, drugs and food with their retail, whilst another separates the manufacture of food and its retail from the manufacture of clothing and its retail, combining the metal, chemical and paper/wood sectors. There are variations in private services. All agree to separate transport and telecommunications unions, but with differences regarding where finance goes. In some cases finance links to the rest of private service, and in another it links to telecommunications (because of the similarity of the technology used). All agree to one public sector union, with one variation including private health and education (on the basis that these should be state functions). 
      • Co-operation and/or merger: This entails grouping all the current affiliates according to 4 broad sectors: primary (agriculture and mining), manufacturing, private services and public services. This model suggests that affiliates in each sector should co-operate with each other and develop common programmes of action (though there is a need for more detail). Each sector would be represented at COSATU level. The motivation for this model is a caution about the consequences of mergers, the importance of drawing unions outside COSATU into a particular sector for the purposes of co-operation and that the service sector is set to expand whilst manufacturing, mining and agriculture are likely to decline. It emphasises the need to develop strong service unions. The process of co-operation may lead to merger.
                  • Source: CSS

      Year Ratio

      1993 8,8:1

      1994 9,2:1

      1995 9,7:1

      1996 10,6:1

      Source: P-E Survey

      Year Ratio

      1994 23,7:1

      1995 25,0:1

      1996 25,6:1

      Source: P-E Survey


      • The need to prepare for rallies timeously; 
      • The need to turn the rallies into family gatherings instead of just having long speeches; 
      • The need to combine speeches with other activities like sport and culture; 
      • The need to provide transport for outlying areas; 
      • The need to decentralise rallies to make them accessible to most workers and to avoid high transport costs; 
      • The need for affiliates to mobilise their members instead of relying on COSATU regions alone; 
      • The need to involve our Alliance partners in mobilisation and preparations.


      • Representation in decision-making structures; 
      • Research on gender issues; 
      • Development and implementation of special extended education and training programmes targeting shop stewards, staff and leadership.


      • Understanding women`s oppression 
      • South African legislation affecting women workers 
      • Negotiation skills 
      • Assertiveness and public speaking 
      • Report writing


      • NEHAWU has adopted a policy of 50% women representation in all its decision-making structures; we have yet to see the fruits of this decision. 
      • SACCAWU’s Regional Gender Co-ordinators are ex-officio members of the union`s NEC
      • SADTU’s Regional Gender Co-ordinators are part of all the NEC workshops.


      • Women at work: A survey and recommendations on aspects of South African women’s position in the workplace; 
      • Union glass ceiling: The under-representation of women leaders in COSATU;


      • SACCAWU – research on childcare provision; 
      • SADTU – women representation in decision making (a case study); 
      • FES – the situation of women workers in the Southern African Region, for ASATUW Forum Conference; 
      • COSATU – for the September Commission.


      • Development of the Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment for the federation and affiliates, adopted in 1995; 
      • COSATU’s participation in 1994 and 1995 in the process leading up to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing, China, in September 1995; 
      • Submission to Parliament on the Termination of Pregnancy Bill (1996); 
      • A rally in KwaZulu Natal on Violence against Women (1996); 
      • The change of name from National Women Sub-Committee to National Gender Forum (1997).


      • mechanisms to promote women into leadership positions; 
      • mechanisms to put gender issues on the agenda of constitutional structures; 
      • gender sensitivity programmes.


      • Women and globalisation; 
      • Building the organisation; 
      • Women and work; 
      • Women`s struggles and the need for a strong women’s movement; 
      • Integration and implementation process.


      • the right to access to information; 
      • the right to picket; 
      • the right to fair labour practices; 
      • the right of every worker to form and join a trade union and participate in the programmes of a trade union; and 
      • the right to strike.


      • develop a nationally recognised system of education and training; 
      • to work towards the transferability of skills between and across industry; 
      • to link grading to training and pay as a reward; 
      • that trade union education should be promoted in school curricula and other forms of media coverage; 
      • to work towards the removal of barriers that restrict workers’ access into education and training; 
      • to ensure that an integrated system of education and training is linked to economic and labour market planning; 
      • to improve workers’ wages and reduce the disparity between low and highly skilled workers.


      • SAQA is in the process of discussion to decide on the type of qualifications that should exist in the country. Some argue that there should only be one type of qualification while others are in favour of two types with different requirements. Business wishes to see this as narrow as possible, while COSATU has argued the inclusion of certain core areas including communication, numeracy, health and safety.


      • inadequate infrastructure in affiliates; 
      • the lack of clear guiding documents in unions in line with the COSATU manual; 
      • a lack of human resources in this regard, except a few unions; 
      • the COSATU manual being too technical and complex; 
      • a lack of campaigns, networking and sharing of information among affiliates and comprehensive training around technical areas.


      • nursing education and training 
      • higher education and training 
      • general education/schools


      • nurses curriculum 
      • grades and salaries 
      • career pathing 
      • the nature and character of the new nurses body 
      • draft legislation from government 
      • formulation of a NEHAWU policy document.


      • Legal Skills 
      • Negotiations skills 
      • Organisational Management 
      • Gender Studies 
      • Political Economy 
      • Organising skill


      • Global Economic Context 
      • Training, Grading and Affirmative Action 
      • Work organisation 
      • Technology 
      • Restructuring 
      • Productivity / Efficiency


      • Examining the context for education 
      • Planning programmes 
      • Designing material 
      • Designing workshops 
      • Budgeting 
      • Methodological Approach


      • Communication 
      • Change management 
      • Supervision 
      • Administration systems 
      • Team work and team building


      • Planning education events 
      • Linking education to organisation 
      • Theory of adult education 
      • Methodology 
      • Practice in delivering workshops 
      • Using teaching aids


      • The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) 
      • Work environment and monitoring of hazardous conditions 
      • Dealing with incidents


      • Capitalism, patriarchy and the sexual division of labour 
      • Sexual Harassment 
      • Overview of the LRA/Green paper of Employment standards 
      • Child-care 
      • Affirmative Action 
      • Public Speaking and Assertiveness 
      • Report writing and minute taking


      • Typing and computer skills 
      • Communication 
      • Filling systems 
      • Writing reports and minute taking


      • First Semester: Foundation Course, Organisational Management and Health and Safety. 
      • Second Semester: Foundation Course, Reorientation in Political Economy, and Health, Safety and the Environment.


      • First Semester: Foundation Course, Administrators, Collective Bargaining and Basic Educators. 
      • Second Semester: Organisational Management, Advanced Educators and Collective Bargaining.


      • Accreditation should not be central to our education delivery but should be one of the possibilities that can be linked to some of our courses. 
      • We should participate in every area of standard setting if we are looking into the question of accrediting some courses. We should be in control of education for labour and ensure that we influence the content even of courses run in different workplaces. 
      • We should have a unified approach as labour on the issue of accreditation as this should not be used to divide us and make us deviate from our diRECtion. Our programmes should be geared towards the development of organisation and not focused on individuals. 
      • We should create an environment within affiliates for proper education delivery and capacity building.


      • Understanding the unions 
      • History of unions 
      • Policies and constitution of unions


      • Law 
      • Economics 
      • Politics 
      • Gender


      • Research and policy matters 
      • Organisational Management and administration 
      • Technology 
      • Organisational development and building


      • Women leadership 
      • Health, safety and environment 
      • Legal 
      • Educators training and development


      • The Southern African Labour Market 
      • Re-organising the workplace 
      • Social security and employment creation


      • Carltonville: The local is thriving and has the strong backing of the organisers forum in the area. The recent RECsaw this as a good move and resolved that all locals should operate in a similar way. 
      • Klerksdorp: The local has been at the forefront of implementing national and regional resolutions. Despite several set-backs due to poor attendance, the local continues to function quite well. 
      • Lichtenburg: After the 1994 elections, it was hard for this local to function as workers in the area felt there was no need for a local. However, when we embarked Employment Standards campaign recently, this local was re-launched. 
      • Mafikeng: Several attempts to locate organisers in this local to back up the elected LOBs have been in vain. The local lacks organisational and political education. Our next LRA workshop will focus on this local. 
      • Parys: This local is very small but with strong members from affiliates. Our 1996 regional congresses resolved to incorporate it into Sasolburg. However this has not yet been done. 
      • Potchefstroom: The local is functioning and has been doing well in organising the unorganised since we embarked on a recruitment drive from 1994. 
      • Sasolburg: The local is not functioning due to number of problems, some of which are linked to affiliates not servicing workers. Only CWIU has an office in the local and plays a role in backing up the local. 
      • Vereeniging: This local effectively implements regional and national resolutions. It has incorporated the Meyerton local and is functioning quite well. The local a number of experienced shop stewards, including its office bearers. 
      • Zeerust: The local is strong and has become even more viable since its re-launch. However, most affiliates have neglected it in terms of servicing members. There is racial discrimination at most workplaces in the area and this seriously affects our members. Most private sector workers are underpaid and affiliates have not effectively challenged this. A team of experienced organisers has been identified to attend to workers` problems. A second focus will be to arm stewards with organisational and political education.


      • Budget processes and interaction with local government 
      • Macro-economic strategy 
      • Gender issues 
      • September Commission 
      • Regional Development and driving campaigns 
      • COSATU policies and the job creation and Social Equity document


      • Kimberley: This local is not meeting regularly. It functions only when there are campaigns. Affiliates have since committed themselves to send at least 10 standing delegates to the local to ensure sustainability. 
      • Bloemfontein: This local functions well although affiliates tend to attend in great numbers when they have problems and then disappear thereafter. 
      • Harrismith: This local was re-launched this year and is doing very well. It has managed to identify and step in where unions are not servicing members, thereby preventing the emergence of rival unions. 
      • Bethlehem and Danielskuil: The local is trying its best despite many obstacles. 
      • Warrenton, Postmasburg, Ficksburg, Clocolaan, Wesselsbron, Springfontein, Sishen, Kuruman, ThabaNchu: These locals all have a history of existing for short periods of time only, due to their rural location. 
      • Welkom, Viljoenskroon, Qwaqwa, Odendaalsrus, Taung, Kroonstad, Virginia, Jankempdorp, Bultfontein, Frankfort, Victoria West, De Aar: These locals are fairly consistent in meeting.


      • Leadership training 
      • Basic shop stewards` training for affiliates which do not have capacity 
      • LRA and Employment Standards Campaign to build and strengthen the region. 
      • Transformation of the State (the Alliance is working on a programme to achieve this objective) 
      • Anti-crime Campaign 
      • Building the Alliance 
      • Cuba Solidarity Campaign 
      • We have established a policy unit and research unit to interact with COSATU policy.


      • The establishment of fully-fledged, well-equipped and resourced Child Protection Units in the townships; 
      • Perpetrators of crimes against children and women should not be granted bail; 
      • Street children must be treated with sympathy by the police; 
      • Child abuse cases must be declared a serious crime and the state must oppose
      • Special courts should be established for rape victims.


      • Only two gender meetings per year are provided for in the COSATU regions; 
      • Affiliates do not have functional gender structures; 
      • Affiliates do not have clear educational programmes targeted at developing women;


      • a lack of resources (staff, offices, transport); 
      • the vastness of the region`s geographical area; 
      • poor working conditions for staff; 
      • a lack of skills and capacity-building for shop stewards, organisers and administrators; 
      • a lack of clear educational programmes and functional structures within the unions.


      • Affiliates do not have proper systems in place; 
      • Affiliates have demarcated their areas according to political provincial boundaries.


      • The RECs and RCs are effective implementing structures; 
      • Affiliates are unable to report back and implement COSATU decisions in their grassroots structures; 
      • The local shop stewards councils are the backbone of the federation; 
      • The locals cannot debate, propose and second motions at all constitutional meetings; 
      • The locals are best positioned to play an important role in reporting back, coordinating campaigns and implementing decisions effectively.


      • visit affiliates and locals; 
      • attend Alliance, provincial legislature and local government activities in all four provinces regularly and consistently; 
      • hold regional office bearers planning meetings consistently.


      • Latecoming at the Congresses, which leads to a failure to discuss issues effectively; 
      • A few affiliates, particularly full-time Secretaries, tend to dominate meetings; 
      • The large distance from locals like Newcastle, Vryheid, Pongola and Matatiele affects delegates, because they often travel the whole night.


      • Vryheid: This local was launched recently and the level of organisation and interest in COSATU is high because these workers were neglected for a long time by affiliates. SACCAWU came to our rescue by setting up an office which is now helping other affiliates in the area. The local office bearers are new but are very active in COSATUactivities. 
      • Newcastle: This local has existed for many years but has failed to effectively rise to the occasion because most of the workers are from ISCOR and the textile industry and many work night shift. Staff members are very active in directing this local. 
      • Ladysmith: This local has existed for a long time but affiliates have failed to send their shop stewards to the local`s meetings. The biggest unions in the local are SACTWU, NUMSA and SACCAWU. Staff meetings have not taken place very often. 
      • Pietermaritzburg: This local was very strong in the past but of late has experienced serious problems. This led to the local changing the days for meetings, opting for meetings over the weekend. However this has not helped the local because shop stewards fail to attend meetings. Staff meetings are still taking place. 
      • Pinetown: This has been a consistent local and most of the leadership come from this local. Local meetings are no longer held weekly as attendance was beginning to decline. Staff meetings are not taking place due to affiliate`s failure to members. Big unions in this area are NUMSASACTWU and CWIU. However, SACTWU fails dismally in attending these meetings. 
      • Durban Central: This is an important local in KwaZulu Natal but it is struggling to survive because shop stewards are not willing to come to local meetings if they take place after working hours. Meetings held during working hours have had a good turnout. Staff meetings have been tried and failed. 
      • Isipingo: This local has been struggling for more than 10 years. All attempts to resuscitate it have failed and we now intend to close it down because dominates affiliates claim that Isipingo is being serviced from Durban. NUMSA dominates the area and shop stewards are losing hope because they attend NUMSA meetings on Tuesday. On Thursday they come back as COSATU without the participation of other affiliates. Other unions operating in the area are SACTWU, FAWU and CWIU, but they fail to attend local meetings. 
      • Port Shepstone: This local has been struggling to survive because of the high level of violence. Shop stewards find it difficult to be associated with COSATU because of the violence. COSATU and the ANC had offices in the same building but COSATU asked the ANC to move out of the building because members were scared to come to the office because of violence. 
      • Kokstad: This local has been operating for years. They now face the problem of division over whether the area should be incorporated into the Eastern Cape province or remain part of KwaZulu Natal. However workers are very committed to the struggle in the sense that, even though no union had an office in the area, they united and active. Recently SAMWU set up an office which is servicing all of them. 
      • Harding: This local came into being as a result of the general elections in 1994. The region was forced to set up a local because workers were desperate and is not a big area. Bigger unions in the area are SACCAWU, NEHAWU, SAMWU, PPWAWU and SAAPAWU
      • Matatiele: The local has been in place for a long time without any assistance from affiliates. Affiliates have been reluctant to set up offices because local membership levels do not justify the employment of organisers and offices. Despite this problem, workers have been able to run the local on their own. NEHAWU, NUMSA, SACCAWU and SAMWU have substantial membership in the area. 
      • Isithebe: This local is very active, despite the high level of violence in the past. The Alliance won the battle and the IFP was defeated during the local government elections. We have managed to get at least one office in the area despite the IFP active area are NUMSA, SACTWU, PPWAWU, FAWU and SACCAWU. We are hopeful that other affiliates will soon set up offices in the area. 
      • Empangeni: This local used to be a region and there was an outcry that COSATU let them down by closing the office in the area. The local is not very active and this was shown in the local government election results. Affiliates that are supposed to be active include NUMSA, SARHWU, TGWU, moving SACCAWU, SAMWU and CAWU. More factories are moving towards Richards Bay and it costs shop stewards money to meet in that new area. Staff meetings are taking place in the area. 
      • Eshowe: This local is new. It was formed after workers demanded it be established, despite the threat from theIFP in the area. There are no affiliates and local offices in the area but there is a local ANC office. Amakhosi and Izinduna are a threat to COSATU in the area and have been found in companies trying to negotiate on behalf of IFP supporters. We have spoken to affiliates, particularly SACCAWU and TGWU, about setting up offices because of the membership they have in the area. 
      • Pongola: When the merger between South and North took place this local was launched properly, despite a lack of resources. FAWU and SACCAWU are supposed to be active in the area but the IFP is very strong there. 
      • Escourt: This local was set up just prior to the general elections but it collapsed because of the high level of violence in the area. Workers can hardly shout COSATU slogans because of IFP intimidation. A number of workers have been killed in the industrial area, including some who were killed just after knocking off from work. No arrests have been made.


      • The 1994 general elections and challenges this presented to COSATU
      • The Government of National Unity and its implications; 
      • The mushrooming of new elections as a result of the new LRA
      • How do we consolidate forces to ensure that the spaces left by those we sent to parliament do not impact adversely on the organisation; 
      • Implementation of the RDP
      • Economic Development to meet the basic needs of our people; 
      • The link between the 5th National Congress resolutions and the Regional Congress; 
      • The role of COSATU in the new circumstances; 
      • How we strategically use the newly created space; 
      • Local government elections; 
      • Servicing our membership; 
      • Peace and stability; 
      • Focus of our struggle; 
      • Transport policy; 
      • Programme for human resource development; 
      • The new LRA.


      • Adelaide: The local was launched in 1995 but appears to have died unnoticed. Unions that have membership in this area are SAMWU, of NEHAWU, POPCRU, CWU and SADTU. Because of the lack of the manufacturing sector, unionisation is very limited. 
      • Alice: The major union in this area is NEHAWU, as a result of the University of Fort Hare. Meetings are held on a weekly basis during the week. Other unions are SAMWUSACCAWUSAAPAWUNUMSA, TGWUPOPCRUCWU and SADTU
      • Aliwal North: The local is not functioning properly and therefore weak. However its leadership participates in regional activities. 
      • Barkley East: This is one of our smallest and rural locals. There are no affiliate offices. Most of the service is conducted through an advice office which operated as a COSATU office. This created serious problems in the past as workers were paying subscription fees after they had signed a “COSATU” joining form. 
      • Burgersdorp: This is a rural local, often neglected by affiliates because of the distance from main offices. Unions that have a presence here are SAMWUSACCAWUPOPCRUCWU and NUMSA. 
      • Butterworth: The area was heavily affected by the flight of capital following the withdrawal of incentives and subsidies. Unions most affected by this were SACTWUNUMSA and FAWU. Most other affiliates still operate here as it used to be a major industrial area during the bantustan era. The local still meets on a regular basis. 
      • Cookhouse: Deep in the midlands, this is one of our weakest locals. The absence of industries here could be a reason. Very few affiliates have a presence here and the local has collapsed. 
      • Cradock: This used to be one of our major locals in the mid Karoo area, however activity here has weakened. 
      • East London: One of our strongest locals. It meets on a fortnightly basis. Most of the union leadership comes from this area and the majority of affiliate regional offices are based here. The local is also very involved and influential in the political arena. It has been able to both initiate and participate in local campaigns. 
      • Fort Beaufort: This local is dominated by the public sector unions. As it is in the rural areas, it has no manufacturing base. SAAPAWU also has a strong presence here because of a fairly developed agricultural base. However the local has problems in organising its activities because of weak affiliate structures. 
      • Graaf Reinet: In the heart of the Karoo region, this local is among the weakest. Unions that have a strong presence here are SAMWUSACCAWUSADTUPOPCRUTGWUFAWUNEHAWUCWU and NUMSA. 
      • Grahamstown: This has been re-launched RECently because the previous leadership collapsed. It is now functioning and able to coordinate activities in the area. The majority of our affiliates have a significant presence here, however their participation in the regional structure is erratic. 
      • Humansdorp: Farming, food, transport and the public sector exist in this area. Poor service by certain affiliates is the major problem. 
      • Idutywa: The local is situated in one of the smallest towns in the former Transkei. Major unions are SAMWUSACCAWUSADTUNEHAWU and CWU. The local is functioning fairly well and participates in all our campaigns. The leadership is also consistent in its attendance at regional meetings. 
      • King Williamstown: There is a lack of participation on the part of affiliates and shop stewards in the local meetings. All COSATU affiliates have a presence here, with the biggest union being NEHAWU because of a large civil service based in Bisho. Participation in regional meetings is regular. 
      • Port Elizabeth: The heart of economic activity in the whole Province, this is one of our biggest and strongest locals. Its leadership is very active in the local campaigns of the Alliance. This is borne out by their strong influence in the politics of the area. Almost all unions have a strong presence in the area. 
      • Queenstown: This local has been affected by a lack of strong leadership. As a result, the functioning has been weak but efforts have been made to revive the local. Problems exist between COSATU and the Alliance in general, and the ANC, in particular, in so far as support for our campaigns. 
      • Somerset East: The local has collapsed because some of the leadership that was elected was not drawn from the affiliates, for example, the Chairperson was from an Advice Office. This was not detected by the region for some time. Comrades have been deployed to attend to the problems. 
      • Umtata: Unions like SAMWU, SACCAWU, SADTU, POPCRU, TGWU, FAWU, other NEHAWU and SAAPAWUplay a leading role in the local. While other unions have a presence, their participation in the local is limited. This local is the strongest in the former Transkei region and plays an important role in giving direction in the politics of the area. 
      • Uitenhage: This local is largely dominated by NUMSA because of the VWSA factory and the supplying industries. Though other unions like FAWU, SACCAWU, CWIU and others have a presence, their participation is weak. It is one of the problematic areas because of the politics of the VWSA factory.


      • Engaging provincial government in policy development issues; 
      • Preparing and planning for the 1994 elections; 
      • Discussing organisational issues; 
      • Workplace challenges; 
      • Provincial Alliance issues.


      • An ability to meet quarterly as required; 
      • The presence of the majority of affiliates at meetings; 
      • Completing the agenda at all meetings. 
      • Quality debates at meetings; 
      • Notices, agendas and minutes have been sent to affiliates in time; 
      • Affiliates are generally prepared for meetings; 
      • A desire by affiliates to work collectively.


      • An inability to timeously intervene in internal affiliate problems;Inconsistency and absenteeism of key affiliates like NUM, CAWU and SACCAWU;


      • Affiliates not bringing full delegations to meetings; 
      • Debates are dominated by a few individuals and affiliates; 
      • Affiliates are not sending appropriately mandated delegations.


      • Bushbuckridge: NEHAWU, FAWU, PPWAWU, CWU 
      • Delmas: POPCRU 
      • Leslie: POPCRU, NUM 
      • Middelburg: SAMWU, CAWU, SARHWU 
      • Nelspruit: SARHWU, SAMWU


      • Nelspruit covering the entire Lowveld. 
      • Witbank/Middelburg 
      • Secunda covering West of the Highveld.


      • Robertson: This local was launched in April with a visit by the COSATU Office Bearers to the area and a number of factory meetings addressed by various Office Bearers. They have developed quite a mature approach to politics but it has been at the expense of losing the local government elections to the National Party. The local is functioning very well and taking up campaigns. 
      • Ceres: This local has had two attempts at getting started but has been plagued by poor attendance. They have, however, as a core group of shop stewards managed to drive the campaigns reasonably well. 
      • Caledon: This local has been fairly strong and active and has invited the COSATU Office Bearers to their meetings. The ability to take up the COSATU campaigns have been very good, whilst also focusing on a number of local issues. 
      • Saldanha: This is a newly formed Local and has a number of very good, experienced comrades. They are starting to build themselves around the Employment Standards campaign and plug into the development forums. 
      • George: This is a well established Local that has a very good history of driving a number of the campaigns. They have participated in an LRA training session provided by COSATU
      • Worcester: This Local was recently re-launched with an LRA training session. They have generally supported the COSATU campaigns that were coordinated by their affiliate offices. The local has historically been very active in this area on a number of fronts. 
      • Atlantis: This local has been consistently active both in terms of the local community issues as well as COSATUcampaigns. 
      • Montagu Gardens: This local has been functioning well for close to two key unions active here are CWIU, NUMSA and FAWU, with the smaller unions coming on board more recently. They have taken up both local and COSATU national campaigns. 
      • Paarden Eiland: At present this local is being convened by a number of organisers from affiliates. The basis of rebuilding the local is the Employment Standards campaign. Progress however has been slow. 
      • Maitland: This local is being convened by affiliate organisers. The Employment Standards campaign is being used to rebuild the local. Progress has been slow. 
      • Epping, Lansdowne, Bellville, Stikland: These locals are being convened by affiliate organisers. The basis of rebuilding these locals is the Employment Standards Campaign. Progress has been slow. 
      • Delft, Mitchell`s Plain, Blue Downs, Elsies River: There is pressure to convene these locals from our members who live in these areas. The key focuses are representation on the local development forums and taking up COSATU campaigns in these areas. The Regional Organiser is coordinating these campaigns.


      • Balfour: There have been debates as to whether this local should be serviced by Wits or Mpumalanga region as political, geographic demarcation dictates. Eventually we agreed to maintain the status quo. The local fluctuates in terms of attendance and regular meetings. Meetings are normally attended when there are serious tensions within the Alliance. There is a glaring absence of key shop stewards who understand COSATU policies and its role in the Alliance. This can be attributed to that fact that affiliates are not necessarily servicing their membership in area. Unions that are present include CAWU, SACCAWU, FAWU, that area. Unions that are present include CAWU, SAMWU, SADTU, NEHAWU. 
      • Heidelburg: This local is fairly active and takes up COSATU campaigns from time to time. SAMWU, FAWU and NUMSA are more active than the other affiliates. This local is respected by the Alliance in that it has deployed leaders to local government structures and plays a critical role in informing the developmental agenda of the area. 
      • Nigel: Serious problems were experienced in the run up to the 1995 local government elections in that the local was purely used to push certain comrades for local government Alliance lists. The local was also dominated by SANCO activists who wanted to use it for their own agendas. After the elections the local collapsed. Since late 1996, there have been attempts to revive the local, without success. Presently there are comrades who have been tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding the local under the guidance of the Vice Chairperson. 
      • Brakpan: Since the 1995 local government election, this local ceased to exist. Currently there are attempts to revive the local with comrades from affiliates assisting shop stewards in the area. 
      • Springs: The local is up and running, however there is a lack of support on the part of affiliates in ensuring that shop stewards and some organisers take the local in the area seriously. The local meets on a weekly basis (Wednesdays) in the KwaThema Civic Centre. 
      • Benoni: Problems have been experienced around the location of the local that two separate locals used to meet in this area, one in Benoni NUMSA offices) and the other in the township (Etwatwa). This problem was resolved in early 1997, with one local meeting at the NUMSA Benoni offices. Workers are now more united in the area but attendance, of late, has been problematic. The local is to convene a series of workshops at which organisational issues will be addressed and a local programme defined to consolidate the local. 
      • Boksburg / Vosloorus: The local in Vosloorus has collapsed. There are discussions in the area to shift the meeting place to Boksburg and use council facilities organised by SAMWU shop stewards. Unfortunately this local is still not fully functioning despite the fact that comrades are meeting from time to time in an endeavour to establish the local. 
      • Germiston: This local functions, although attendance by shop stewards and organisers is poor. Letters and pamphlets were produced to try and sensitise affiliates to send comrades to the local meetings, but this did not succeed. LOBs were charged with the responsibility of coordinating alliance activities and informing other COSATU locals in the East Rand. Unfortunately this coordination is not yielding positive results in that the Alliance is not debating issues jointly. 
      • Johannesburg: This local is the best and most functioning local in the region. It has produced capable leaders and a core of activists. LOBs are solid and run the affairs of the local effectively. Comrades are participating effectively in Alliance meetings as well as other fora, in particular the Inner City Forum, where issues relating to the revamping of Johannesburg and the surrounding townships are discussed. However, consistent attendance on the part of affiliates remains a problem, except when workers are experiencing pertinent problems with regard to their workplaces. 
      • Thembisa: Second to the Johannesburg local in strength, well managed by the LOBs, who meet regularly in preparation for local meetings and other meetings outside of COSATU. Comrades are influential in Alliance processes and have established healthy relations with other Alliance partners despite organisational weaknesses. ROBs are often requested to present inputs on key COSATU policies from time to time. 
      • Randfontein: This local was re-launched in late 1996 with SADTU, SAMWU, FAWU and NUM comrades playing a leading role. Affiliates as NEHAWU, SACCAWU, CAWU also committed themselves to strengthening the local and making it sustainable. Unfortunately the local is no longer meeting as regularly and workers are complaining of lack of service by affiliates and that organisers are not taking worker problems seriously. Presently the local is meeting on an ad hoc basis without clear dates and days for meeting. 
      • Alexandra: This local is presently in the process of revival. 
      • Roodepoort / Krugersdorp / Bekkersdal: The situation is similar to that of Alexander. There is a problem if identifying reliable comrades who will commit themselves to establishing the local in this area.


      • Chapter 6 dealing with the Social Plan; 
      • Chapter 8 dealing with the Employment Equity; 
      • Chapter 9 dealing with Labour Migration; 
      • Chapter 10 dealing with an Accord for Employment and Growth; but that further debates be held on this, given the controversial and thought-provoking nature of some of the issues.


      • Convention num 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association; 
      • Convention number on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining; 
      • Convention number 29 on Forced Labour; 
      • Convention number 105 on Abolition of forced labour; 
      • Convention number 175 on Part Time Work; and 
      • Convention number 111 on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation)


      • Extends the category of employees` claims that are privileged to include holiday pay, severance pay, employer contributions to pension, provident, medical schemes or other similar insurance funds, as well as up to three months salary or wages. 
      • Increases the privilege enjoyed by employees` claims so that employees` claims now rank ahead of the claims of the state for unpaid statutory obligations (for example, contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund [UIF], unpaid tax deducted from employees` wages, and unpaid customs duties).


      • Ban on child and forced labour. 
      • The right to organise and collective bargaining. 
      • Freedom of association linked to the above.
          • Up to R800 R15 000 
          • R801–R1 500 R12 000 
          • R1 501–R2 500 R 9 500 
          • R2 501–R3 500 R 5 000

      Monthly income Subsidy amount


      • We have argued for a massive increase in rented housing provided by government to the poor. The current programme of housing relies completely on individuals buying their homes. In the past the major housing expansion programmes were initially done through rental stock. 
      • We have proposed the setting up of a housing parastatal to coordinate housing delivery by the private and public sectors. 
      • We have proposed new mechanisms of funding that include the use of prescribed asset requirements on the insurance and retirement industry. 
      • We have proposed that the target of housing construction be set at 300 000 houses per year, over a three-year period, with a mixture of private and public funding to support this programme.


      • There are SOEs that would perpetuate the apartheid divide and retaining them would simply continue to entrench past inequalities. These should be identified and disposed of. 
      • Others may require the involvement of the private sector (in a limited form) based on the need for capital, new technology, enhanced delivery etc. Where there is a compelling case for such an approach, the Federation would be willing to consider the involvement of the private sector. In such a situation, the state should remain the majority shareholder rather than withdraw from such a sector or activity. 
      • In pursuit of the need to involve the state in production, new enterprises and sectors need to be established. Examples would be in housing and health, where the current system is failing. 
      • Furthermore, as envisaged by COSATU’s 1995 Economic Policy Conference and the RDP, where the balance of evidence points to the need for strategic nationalisation, there must be political willingness to follow this route.


      • Transport / Transnet: SARHWU, TGWU, SALSTAFF, SAAPA, etc.


      • Sun Air: It will be sold to a Retlhabile / BA / Comair consortium. 
      • ACL: An SEP has been agreed to. Up to 49% of the equity is to be sold. The proposed allocation of equity is SEPup to 20%, NEF: 10%, Empowerment bidders: 10%, Employees: 9%. The proposed closing date for tender submission was 14 July 1997. 
      • SAA: Labour and government have agreed to an SEP. The RC’s constitution has just been agreed. 
      • Metrorail: Labour and government have agreed to reposition Metrorail from Spoornet to an independent division of Transnet. There is an in principled agreement to a pilot concessioning to a private operator of the rail network. 
      • Autonet: Proposals for restructuring of Autonet from both management and labour are under consideration. Government is due to respond to SARHWU’s proposal at a special bilateral. Government is proposing that corporatisation should commence shortly. 
      • Aventura: SACCAWU, Hotelica & SAIWU (independent)


      • Land claims 
      • Revision of section 4(1) (b) of the Overvaal Resorts Act to remove the 20% restriction on the foreign shareholding percentage 
      • Legal advisor on transaction 
      • Completion of the process is anticipated in early 1998.


      • SAFCOL: SAAPAWU, PPWAWU & amp; FAWU, (Independent unions)


      • SAFCOL should be restructured as a whole and not in parts 
      • an international trade investor(s) should be sought and 
      • empowerment groups and employees should become major shareholders.


      • Labour wants government to remain as a shareholders and 
      • Labour wants the international trade investor to be bought in only at the level of the subsidiaries of SAFCOL rather than as a controlling shareholder in SAFCOL itself.


      • Resolution of land claims 
      • Dealing with the pension fund deficit .




      • Line above: individual taxation 
      • Line below: other taxes allowed


      • single legislation on health and safety for all workers 
      • single coordination at ministerial level 
      • restructuring, additional employment, training of the inspectorate 
      • ratification of international conventions 
      • greater enforcement of legislation 
      • full disclosure from bosses, government 
      • improving rights of workers and unions in HSE within Acts 
      • re-examination of compensation levels, formulas to be revised 
      • streamlining of inquiry system 
      • the right to refuse unsafe and unhealthy work


      • job security, retraining and re-deployment of workers with permanent disability. Appropriate rehabilitation centres 
      • disbandment of NOSA and cessation of government funding. 
      • extension of compensation to all workers


      • develop national standards for development of codes of investment 
      • cradle to grave principle 
      • polluter pays 
      • ratify and implement international standards and conventions 
      • oppose dumping of toxic waste 
      • participation by communities 
      • restructuring of advisory council with full participation 
      • COSATU to develop policy on coastal management policy, marine policy, forestry policy, pollution control measures, mining dumps, toxic waste


      • legislation to prohibit pre-employment screening and testing for insurance 
      • government to regulate insurance companies through a control body to prevent discrimination 
      • Adopt the code of good practice


      • duties of employers were made more onerous 
      • the right to information and training for workers 
      • hierarchy of controls: elimination, engineering control at source, personal protective equipment as last resort 
      • Provision of consultation in good faith with the representative union on election/selection of safety reps.


      • Improved coverage in that all workers are included except domestic. The new Act extended coverage to all employees regardless of earnings. However, the basis for assessment is capped at a certain salary. 
      • Improvement in that employers must pay Temporary Disability for the first three months and claim it back from the Commissioner.


      • LRA: Provisions within the new LRA gave slightly improved protection to workers who are incapacitated through work-related injury or illness. The code of good practice: Dismissals requires employers to pay particular consideration to the requirements of these workers. Unions need to challenge employers who dismiss workers injured at work on the grounds of their capacity. 
      • Basic Conditions of Employment: The draft Bill stresses the close connection between conditions of employment, hours of work and the promotion of health and safety. The Bill further proposes a general duty on employers to take account of health and safety considerations when arranging working time. This also refers to night work and pregnant workers and requires that the Minister of Labour issue guidelines on the arrangement of working time. COSATU needs to ensure participation in the drafting of these guidelines. 
      • Prohibition on pre-employment HIV testing: This Bill seeks to prevent pre-employment testing. There is no scientific value in testing for Aids. This Bill gives effect to COSATU’s conference position. The effect of HIV/AIDSepidemic on funds and the possibilities of exclusions for funds need to be explored further.


      • Avoiding conflict of interests between promoters and protectors 
      • Cradle to grave principle 
      • Equity of access of all parts of society to resources and services, redress of apartheid’s environmental legacies and acknowledgment of duty to future generations` needs 
      • Capacity building and education. 
      • Global and international cooperation and responsibility 
      • Participation by civil society 
      • Transparency of information 
      • Integrated planning and environmental management 
      • Preventative principle 
      • Recognition of women’s role 
      • Polluter pays principle 
      • Sustainable employment 
      • Waste minimisation and avoidance at source 
      • Whistle blowers rights 
      • Right to refuse work


      • Participate in plant-level environmental management and environmental audits; 
      • Have right to divulge information to the public, media or government which concerns illegal pollution on the part of employers (Whistle blowers). This right should be specifically protected by law; 
      • Refuse to pollute in the case of illegal or deliberate pollution, as an extension of the legal right to refuse dangerous work; 
      • Have the right to full information about nature and extent of pollution at the workplace; 
      • Be involved in national and international processes setting broad pollution control policy, especially where this may have an effect on the economy and employment.


      • The Federation recognised that a massive education campaign was necessary to inform and educate workers on their rights within the law and the demands of COSATU to change the legislation. 
      • It identified the need for COSATU to develop a coordinated curriculum for H&S training. 
      • Government and business were to provide funding for capacity building within the labour movement.


      • a commitment to support the endeavours aimed at creating a climate for free political activity in Swaziland; 
      • a commitment to cause the government to withdraw the controversial aspects of the new Industrial Relations Act; 
      • a commitment to support the SFTU in the area of capacity building; 
      • a commitment to supporting the process of winning both short-term demands, including labour-related demands as well as longer term political objectives. 
      • COSATU continues to raise awareness among its affiliate membership and international allies about the Swaziland situation. 
      • In collaboration with the Foundation for Global Dialogue (FGD) and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), COSATU organised a tripartite seminar on conflict resolution. 
      • COSATU participated in various missions organised by SATUCC and the ICFTU
      • COSATU held bilateral consultations with the SFTU to improve our working relations and that of our affiliated unions. 
      • COSATU mounted a blockade on 3 March 1997 in support of the SFTU struggle. 
      • Through theILO Workers’ Group we urged theILO Committee on the application of standards and the 85thILCsession to put conclusions on the Swaziland case in a Special Paragraph. This is the worst form of condemnation of a country by theILO.


      • the Nigerian government should accept the would-be leadership of the still to be re-launched NLC
      • to work towards the creation of a climate conducive to free political activity; 
      • civilian rule should be restored as a matter of urgency; 
      • to work towards ensuring the release of political detainees, including trade unionists, Obasanjo and Abiola; 
      • military tribunals should be abolished as a matter of urgency.


      • sharing of experiences, resources and skills; 
      • the exchange of leaderships and shop stewards through joint seminars; 
      • the secondment of officials to work in their designated areas of expertise with the Dutch-Nordic trade union organisations for extended periods.


      • implications of the economic changes that will take place in Cuba, for Cuban workers and the extent to which workers’ rights will be taken into consideration; 
      • the social dimension of foreign investment; 
      • privatisation and restructuring of private assets; 
      • impact of technological change; 
      • collective bargaining; 
      • trade union training and education; 
      • the role of women at the workplace, in unions and in society; 
      • occupational health and safety; and 
      • the role of trade unions in the transition period and within the global economy.


      • Employment and productivity 
      • Social security and occupational health and safety


      • Union federations and individual unions which participate in the initiative should support core ILO Conventions, in particular ILO Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association), 98 (Collective Bargaining) and 151 (Public Employees). This support should be demonstrated in their organisational structures and practices. 
      • Unions which are established by the state or are part of the state which seek to control workers in the interests of capital and the state cannot be part of the initiative. The same should apply to unions established with the assistance of employers and are dominated by employers. 
      • This initiative will include independent unions which are active at the grassroots level in organising and representing the interests of the working class. 
      • In terms of these principles, this initiative will not exclude or include unions or federations solely on the basis of their political and ideological orientation, or their tactical and strategic goals within their countries which aim to further the interests of the working class. This means that this initiative should be as broad as possible, within the limits set by a clear definition of genuine unionism. 
      • To the extent that we achieve a principled and broad-based relationship, inclusive of orientation, we will become a forum for intense and creative debate on working class interests. 
      • In an historical era when the powerful forces of global capital and finance capital, represented by international institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, are ranged against the working class movement, such an approach is of paramount importance. We must be a catalyst for dialogue and debate as well as strategic initiatives aimed at the protection and renewal of the working class movement.


      • The overall anti-apartheid struggle necessitated that the forces for change, of which COSATU was an integral part, warranted solidarity support from various organisations across the political spectrum. 
      • In the wake of the Second World War, the world was characterised by the East-West sponsored Cold War which also manifested itself in the policies of the international trade union movement. 
      • As an organisation, COSATU wanted to achieve maximum unity of the trade union movement on the home front.


      • To consider the option of affiliation to international trade union centre, subject to the process set out below:


      • Engaging the ICFTU and its affiliates to develop an agreement that affiliation of unions should not be based on ideological criteria; 
      • Engaging the WFTU and its affiliates on the need for a single international trade union centre; 
      • Engaging independent trade union federations on the need for a single international trade union centre; 
      • COSATU’s affiliates to engage all ITSs and TUIs they are involved in; 
      • A decision to affiliate or otherwise be a function of the progress made. Such a decision should be taken by the CEC based on a minimum support of two-thirds majority. Such a decision is subject to ratification by the national congress & quot;.


      • trade union and human rights; 
      • employment creation; 
      • reform and restructuring of labour market institutions and labour administration; 
      • labour relations and collective bargaining; 
      • improvement of labour legislation and upgrading of labour standards; 
      • improvement of working and living conditions in the rural areas and for farm workers; 
      • education and training; 
      • manpower training and human resources management; 
      • promotion of equality of opportunity and treatment; 
      • occupational health and safety.


      • Trade unions and democratic elections. The idea is to explore the role that unions could play in bringing about peaceful and democratic elections, the importance of establishing voter registration and education programmes whose target is trade union members as well as establishing remedial procedures for resolving undemocratic electoral practices. 
      • The transition towards democracy and women workers. There was a strong feeling that obstacles that make it impossible for women trade unionists to actively participate in trade union work should be removed. It was therefore resolved that ongoing educational work designed to promote active involvement of working women in trade unions and wider democratic affairs was necessary. 
      • A trade union approach to conflict resolution. The participants in the workshop felt that there was a need to develop practical guidelines on conflict resolution and promotion of peace and other means of mediation. These guidelines should be incorporated into the ongoing trade union educational programme.



1.1 This report is about activities of various structures, departments and regions of COSATU. Strategic questions, challenges and proposals are dealt with in the Overview section of the report. While this report will not be read at congress, it forms part of the Secretariat Report to Congress. Delegates are free to raise issues contained in this report since it is our account of how we have implemented the three-year programme arising out of the last congress.



2.1 The 5th National Congress and the subsequent CEC programme directed COSATU to:


Below is a summary of how the programme and other areas that arose over the past three years have been implemented.


Farm workers union


2.2 The CEC and EXCO, in pursuit of the congress resolution, helped coordinate discussions between FAWU, PPWAWUand SACTWU on the formation of a single farm workers union. These efforts resulted in the launch of the South African Agriculture, Plantation and Allied Workers Union (SAAPAWU) on 10 February 1995, which is now a COSATU affiliate. Comrades Dickson Motha and Andile Maphekula were elected General Secretary and President respectively.

2.3 In order to ensure the union’s viability and self sufficiency, it was agreed that:

2.4 From the onset, the union faced huge challenges. These included:


2.5 COSATU`s assistance to the union has since come to an end, except that provided by the Secretariat and Organising department. While the union still receives some assistance from theILO and the Danish unions, it continues to struggle. It has not been able to overcome its financial problems; its organisational structures remain extremely weak; it lacks a viable strategy to effect transformation of agricultural policy as well as engage in struggles in defence of its membership. Unless SAAPAWU is able to raise money to pay its affiliation fees, it will not be at this congress, since it is in arrears.

2.6 On the eve of the union’s first national congress in February 1997, the union was financially and organisationally in bad shape. Once again, COSATU affiliates played a crucial role in helping to finance the congress. Most affiliates contributed R5000 while others such as FAWU donated R10 000, as well as granted them a loan, for this purpose.

2.7 SAAPAWU`s membership has been stagnant and has remained at 29 000 since the launch.


Public sector union


2.8 The decision to establish a single public sector union has not materialised. The planned merger congress of SAMWU, NEHAWU and POTWA was postponed three times in 1994, from April to August to November. The pressures of the national elections were often cited as the main reason for this.

2.9 During this period, POTWA withdrew from the process. Their reasons were that their membership was not fully informed of the public sector merger developments and that the privatisation of Telkom was inevitable and would therefore make them a private sector union in the future!

2.10 The privatisation argument was rejected by the CEC in September 1995. At the same time, this raised a fundamental issue related to our organisational and demarcation strategy. For example, SARHWU, which could face a similar situation, argued that they should be part of the public sector unity process as they, like POTWA, were organising in the parastatals. These arguments, among others, brought the question of demarcation to the fore.

2.11 Meanwhile, POTWA was engaged in merger talks with two staff associations organising in Telkom – SAPTEA and PEASA. While the CEC supported this process, it nonetheless resolved that this should be part of the process leading to the formation of a single public sector union rather than a strategy in opposition to the process.

2.12 POTWA, SAPTEA and PEASA have since merged to form the Communications Workers Union (CWU) in May 1996.

2.13 SADTU decided at its congress in July 1995 not to take part in the current public sector unity talks as the idea of a single public sector union had not been sufficiently canvassed with their membership

2.14 While SAMWU and NEHAWU should be commended for continuing with the process, we nonetheless wasted resources since the talks collapsed after the merger congress had been repeatedly postponed. Among the reasons cited for the breakdown were demarcation and sizes of the branches and constitutional issues related to structures, financial statements and budgets. The SAMWU Policy Conference and NEHAWU CEC, whilst agreeing on the need to merge in the long term, both resolved to postpone the process indefinitely while at the same time attempting to enter into unity talks with unions operating in their sectors.

2.15 As was the situation between 1991 and 1994, the CEC has been unable to force the unions to merge. Two lessons were learnt from this debacle:

Transport union


2.16 All our previous congresses passed resolutions on the need for a merger between TGWU and SARHWU to establish a single transport union. These have not been implemented. The past three years have been no exception. In fact, the merger process did not really take off the ground.

2.17 SARHWU refuses to merge with TGWU if the cleaning and security sectors are part of the new union. On the other hand, TGWU insists that these workers be part of the new union until COSATU finds a new home for them as part of the demarcation process.

2.18 The CEC pleaded with SACCAWU to accommodate cleaning and security workers. SACCAWU agreed to do so and went as far as amending their constitution. However, this fell through when these workers refused to be transferred to SACCAWU.

2.19 Faced with this dilemma, the issue of a single transport union was put on ice pending the demarcation discussions. Since then, co-operation between the two unions in the restructuring process has led to a revival of the discussions between them, with a push by some of their regions.


Industrial and geographical demarcation


2.20 In line with the congress decision, a committee was established to spearhead the debate on industrial demarcation in line with the founding principles of the federation. This task was made more urgent by the overlapping scopes of unions and seemingly intense poaching and counter-organising among affiliates.

2.21 In July 1996, the EXCO resolved that affiliates should place a moratorium on poaching and the extension of their scopes. All affiliates were requested to submit their constitutions to a committee which was looking at demarcation, various scopes of affiliate unions and when their constitutions were amended.

2.22 A subsequent EXCO reconstituted the committee under the leadership of the General Secretary. Most affiliates made submissions to the committee, whose report was tabled to the CEC in April 1997. The committee suggested the three models listed below. These were looked at by the CEC and affiliates undertook to debate them in preparation for the congress. (See also the table on demarcation options on pages 28 and 29 of the Discussion Documents in the Congress Documents: Book 4).



Assistance to affiliates


2.23 A meeting of national organisers, also attended by affiliate presidents, identified CAWU, PPWAWU, CWIU, and SAAPAWU as unions that needed assistance from the federation and other affiliates so as to build their capacity to organise, recruit, service membership and to achieve a clear majority in their sectors.

2.24 Strategies for each of these unions would be developed by a committee comprising affiliate presidents deployed in these unions. Some Presidents of the affected unions were requested to convene meetings to draw up a programme to execute this plan. However, this strategy did not produce results. Some presidents of the targeted unions failed to convene meetings and other presidents failed to attend those meetings which were convened. We were able to do substantial work only with the following unions, based on EXCO and CEC interventions.


2.25 The initial commission set up by the CEC on CAWU did not deliver. Subsequently, the February 1997 EXCOestablished another one consisting of Gwede Mantashe, Mbuyiselo Ngwenda and Jabu Ngcobo. This commission had sessions with various structures of the union at a national and regional level. This included a breakaway session with the CAWU NEC where a detailed SWOT analysis was conducted. The commission visited most of the union`s regions and tabled its recommendations to the Special EXCO in July 1997. As a result, NUM, NEHAWU and SACTWU have agreed to release experienced organisers to work with the commission until January 1998 to assist CAWU to develop its own capacity. SACCAWU is also assisting with the development of a collective bargaining strategy.




2.26 COSATU has attempted to help stabilise POPCRU since its affiliation to the federation. The main problem is that some in the union have not yet grasped the basics of trade unionism. It lacks policy around most issues. The union`s high turnover of National Office Bearers has meant that the union`s leadership has not had a chance to fully develop. This has impacted on the ability of the union`s constitutional structures to develop policies and to guide the union.

2.27 COSATU`s assistance has focussed on assisting their CEC to develop a programme to address its organisational and administrative capacity and weaknesses. NUMSA has released one of its organisers, who will be working with the COSATU National Educator and Accountant as well as the NUM National Education Officer. Other affiliates have undertaken to release organisers once the programme is implemented. DITSELA is also assisting on Organisational Development programmes. The goal is to develop training manuals for their organising staff and shop stewards, administrative systems and financial policy. The process is ongoing and the CEC and EXCO receive reports on developments.




2.28 Arising from ongoing organisational problems in SADWU, the CEC nominated a commission made up of John Gomomo, Petrus Mashishi and Amon Ntuli to investigate these weaknesses. The commission unravelled organisational crises and concluded that the union had no future without substantial external funding. COSATU head office, together with the commission, played an important role in maintaining unity in the union, as well as in preparing for a congress to decide on the union`s future. Affiliates contributed R5000 each towards the congress expenses, regional visits and to help streamline union activities to service its members. A decision to release experienced organisers to SADWU was aborted after it became clear that the organisation was about to collapse.

2.29 SADWU’s National Congress on 7-8 September 1996 discussed the commission`s recommendations and resolved to dissolve the union. It also resolved that COSATU integrate domestic workers in SACCAWU or TGWU until a permanent home is found for them as part of the discussions on the possibility of a service union under consideration in the demarcation process.

2.30 This did not materialise due to a refusal by both TGWU and SACCAWU to integrate them due to a lack of capacity to service domestic workers. It later became evident that most SADWU regions had not closed down, but were continuing to ask members to pay subscription fees which were not sent to their head office. This issue was discussed in a meeting between the COSATU Secretariat and the SADWU dissolution committee appointed by the SADWU National Congress. This meeting reached a record of understanding, which was endorsed by the February 1997 EXCO, which stated that those regions still operating were doing so at their own risk and that neither COSATU, former SADWU National Office Bearers nor the committee appointed by the SADWU Congress were to be held responsible for any litigation or problems arising from this act of defiance.

2.31 We have also received letters from former SADWU members who are inside and outside of these regional unions accusing us of dumping the domestic workers. They had even requested to come to the Congress, which we refused. They have threatened to come and stage a demonstration at the Congress.

2.32 The April 1997 CEC agreed to investigate the establishment of Advice Centers for the purpose of servicing domestic workers. This investigation is ongoing and its final report will be presented to the November 1997 CEC for finalisation.


[su_spoiler title=”

Address to the SADTU 6th National Congress by Zwelinzima Vavi, COSATU General Secretary

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Address to the SADTU 6th National Congress by Zwelinzima Vavi, COSATU General Secretary

18 – 20 August 2006, Gallagher Estate, Midrand

Comrade President Willie Madisha
Comrade General Secretary Thulas Nxesi
Leadership of the union
Leadership of our Alliance formations
Distinguished guests from sister organisations

I am deeply honoured by the invitation to address your Sixth National Congress on behalf of COSATU’s 1,8 million members and its leadership in the Central Executive Committee.

I am aware of the historic nature of this congress and I feel very proud in particular that I am addressing your second congress in a row, having addressed the 5th National Congress in Durban in 2003.

Many of you will be aware that on this day in 1988 Khotso House was bombed by the apartheid regime. A day later, the apartheid regime put its LRA amendments into law.

The apartheid regime launched massive propaganda to blame the Khotso House bombing on Shirley Gunn. She was even arrested and spent two months in prison with her baby son. It emerged during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that the police carried out those bombings under orders from Adriaan Vlok, then the apartheid Minister of Police. Less than a year earlier, a similar bombing had been carried out at COSATU House.

These dates remind us of the countless battles we waged against the racist regime. They remind us, too, of the dirty tricks used in those days to sow divisions in our movement, with the sole aim of defeating our people. These efforts failed then. They will not succeed now.

You are meeting at a moment of great challenges. The political situation is fluid, as is the balance of forces locally and globally. This period is pregnant with many possibilities, which if managed correctly could further tilt the balance in favour of the working class and left forces. But it is also a period where, if we don’t make the correct tactical and strategic moves, we may squander all hopes of transformation for working people and the poor.

It is 12 years since the 1994 breakthrough, and we have had the chance to learn many lessons. We made great strides in this period, with countless victories. That includes massive progress in education as well as other social services. These victories belong to us. They are a product of principled struggles led by the working class. We must at all times defend them.

But the past 12 years have also seen a number of setbacks, in particular at the economic level. We have concluded that the main beneficiaries of the economic transformation have been white capital.

Workers’ share in the national income remains well below the level of 1994, although it increased slightly from 2002 to 2005. Unemployment is stubbornly high and in many cases the quality of jobs has dropped. Poverty continues to afflict almost half of our population. South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in this world. An opportunity for a small minority to amass wealth coexists with mass poverty, leading to a deepening gulf between the rich and poor.

White capital has used its power and connections in the liberation movement to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Under GEAR, it used its position to impose a neo-liberal agenda on South Africa, ironically championed by the ANC – a left force whose main policy remains the Freedom Charter.

This situation has forced zigzags and contradictions upon our government. On the one hand, it wants to respond to the economic crisis faced by its main constituencies – working people, the poor and emerging black entrepreneurs. On the other hand, key sectors within the state claims they can achieve these aims through neo-liberal programmes. If they win their way, however, their policies will undermine the main socio-economic programmes through soaring unemployment and cuts in government spending.

All these facts underscore the major challenges we now confront.

The first is the realignment of forces arising out of the changing character of classes in South Africa. Class interests have taken shape within the broad front led by the ANC. The problem is reflected in the words of one ANC leader, who proclaimed, “I did not join the struggle to become poor.”

There is nothing inherently wrong with aspirant black entrepreneurs seeking wealth. As long as a mere 5% of the companies listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is in black hands, COSATU cannot oppose the de-racialisation of capital.

But we cannot tolerate a situation where the headlines on progress by a few individuals stand in stark contrast to persistent mass unemployment and poverty for the vast majority of black people.

We cannot tolerate government focusing on enriching a few while the majority go underfed, underserved and without hope of real progress. We cannot accept laws and regulations that, in the name of supporting a few black capitalists, encourage retrenchment, outsourcing, and imports rather than local production. We cannot tolerate a situation where the aspirant black bourgeoisie stands on the carcass of the working class in pursuit of wealth.

We cannot sing praises when all we do is to replace the white oligarchy with a black one. We are socialists we want socialisation of the means of production. We demand that government drives a programme to build effective co-op movements, stokvels and empowers union and other community investments that benefits ordinary people instead of building more fat cats.

The second challenge that has emerged is that of corruption and consumerism. The impact on the political leadership of the new opportunities for black capital is becoming clear. One symptom is that some of our leadership are beginning to compete around consumption – a kind of “mine is bigger is than yours” syndrome. It’s all about my house, my 4×4, my last holiday, my kids’ private school, my imported cigars and my golf game. That puts pressure on everyone in the circle of the new elite to get rich quick, through whatever means possible.

Already the economic conditions of the leadership have changed. And that, in turn, can lead to ideological floor crossing. All too often, individuals who materially now belong to the bourgeoisie start to find fault with the political line that they themselves drafted before 1994. All too often, these individuals question the bona fides of the people’s organisations and their leaders, with remarks like, “this is not the party of Moses Kotane.”

The challenge we face is to return to competition amongst leaders based on activism, service to members and solidarity. Measures to end the use of political office to pursue wealth and opulence must be introduced without any further delay.

The third challenge is to ensure that ordinary people and activists can no longer be reduced into mere spectators in the theatre of transformation. Today, there is little space for them to engage outside of occasional encounters in the Alliance and the ANC. There are no longer constructive debates within the state or across the democratic movement. Yet throughout our struggle for liberation, our movement was renowned for being one of the most vibrant in the entire world.

We have fallen into a trap described decades ago by Franz Fanon, speaking about other countries after the end of colonialism in Africa. In this syndrome, he said, the role of the people is limited to attending government-funded mass gatherings to commemorate important historic dates where the leadership claim great progress whilst ignoring the failure to address the principal economic challenges facing working people. Critical thought in these circumstances is understood as being disrespectful or even counter-revolutionary.

When this type of politics is allowed to take root, the very organisations that brought liberation are soon marginalised. This is followed by use of the state institutions to deal with targeted individuals, very like what we have seen with the Deputy President Jacob Zuma. State institutions get deployed to sort out internal disagreements as well as leadership races.

We see smear campaigns, endless investigations that never reach a conclusion, and character assassinations similar to those under apartheid. The media are sucked in to publish baseless stories against the targeted individuals to tarnish their images and to finish them off politically. Off-the-record briefings and faceless individuals come to the fore. Denials are ignored or put in small print at the bottom of sensationalist articles.

This happens in the context of fierce contestation over the direction of our ANC and liberation movement.

COSATU has gallantly led our people to resist these strategies that are so foreign to our movement. From this standpoint, support for Jacob Zuma is not just support for an individual, but support for our organisations and for the revolution itself.

Comrades and friends,

Your work is particularly sensitive for all of us. Ensuring equitable access to quality education is critical if we every hope to entrench democracy and empower working people.

From this standpoint, although we can be proud of successes, we still have far to go. COSATU recognises the tremendous strides taken toward integrating the separate apartheid systems and ensuring more equitable educator/learner ratios across the country. SADTU’s historic support for teacher redeployment will never be forgotten.

But massive inequalities persist. One number points to the critical problem: only 12% of Africans who take matric get a university exemption, compared to half of white learners. This racial divide reflects deeper class problems. Black learners who can afford a Model C school pass matric; those who can only afford historically black schools are fighting an uphill battle.

The factors behind the inequality are obvious to all of us. They range from the appalling quality of buildings in historically black schools, close to half of which still lack electricity; to the lack of textbooks and papers; the failure to develop a progressive curriculum; and the absence of consistent teacher training. In this context, the persistence of school fees maintains deep class differences between schools in the leafy suburbs and those in the townships or, worse, rural areas.

This Congress must come up with solutions to these problems. We need to use our unity to strike at the heart of the problems in the education system. The fact is that most educators remain without sufficient support, without sufficient resources, working in intolerable and overcrowded conditions. What can SADTU do to ensure effective solutions to this situation? We must revive demand our people made more than fifty years ago that the doors of learning and culture shall be open for all! The whole working class must discuss how this demand can be realised sooner than later.

Comrades and friends,

On the organisational front, SADTU must use this congress to strengthen its organisation and to address some weaknesses.

Let me start by repeating what the Secretariat Report to the upcoming COSATU Congress says about SADTU.

SADTU is one of the biggest affiliates of COSATU and the largest teachers’ union in Southern Africa. The union is relatively stable and has enjoyed a period of internal cohesion after its previous turbulent congress.

SADTU is now confronted by the fact that there is limited scope to grow, as unionisation of teachers in the general education stream has reached saturation point. Options open to SADTU for growth are merger with other teachers unions, to organise non-educators in the schools, and to expand to further education and higher education. The last option would require clear demarcation in terms of NEHAWU’s efforts in this area.

SADTU has managed to grow substantially in the past three years, rising from 215 000 in 2003 to 224 000 in 2006.

This quote points to SADTU’s considerable strength. It belongs to what we call the big four in COSATU. SADTU is a mainstay of the federation. It is these strengths that allow us to honestly confront our problems and challenges.

We cannot, however, ignore the internal divisions and stresses that have affected SADTU in recent years. At your request, COSATU even established a commission to investigate certain allegations directed against the General Secretary, Comrade Thulas Nxesi.

As you know, neither SADTU members nor the City Press, which published the allegations, came forward to speak to the commission. For his part, Comrade Thulas effectively rebutted the charges, providing compelling evidence that they were fabrications.

The commission’s considered view was that the allegations were fabricated and have no substance. It is clear, however, that some of the leaks to the City Press could only come from SADTU head office itself. This is an extremely disturbing phenomenon that is so anti-COSATU that Elijah Barayi must turn on his grave every time it happens.

More worryingly, the Commission’s observations and interactions with the union structures and its activists pointed to the fact that factions and cliques ran deep in SADTU. It was clear that the NWC of the union was deeply divided. These divisions were reflected in the NEC and, from there, cascaded to provincial, regional or even at branch level.

As indicated earlier, the COSATU NOBs attended a number of SADTU NEC meetings, including a bosberaad in August 2003, as well as NGCs. They observed that contestation between factions made it almost impossible to discuss even simple issues, with clearly divided caucuses. These divisions weakened the union and undermined constructive work.

Clearly, these divisions have made it harder for SADTU to serve members. When I visited various provinces last year, I found considerable dissatisfaction with the latest wage agreement amongst members, especially in Mpumalanga. Letters from SADTU members have streamed to the newspapers castigating the union and its leaders for a perceived selling out of members’ interests. This points to a failure to ensure communication, education and clear mandating procedures.

Moreover, we continue to see only slow recruitment of non-educators in the sector, while moves toward unity with other educator unions remain inadequate. SADTU is rightly proud of its pre-eminent position amongst teacher unions. But it should be doing more to ensure unity amongst all educators, as well as working for solidarity amongst all education workers, not just those with degrees.

The COSATU commission tabled its report to the SADTU NEC in July 2005. The NEC welcomed the report and accepted its findings. It also made some important commitments. This Congress must now evaluate whether the NEC carried out these promises to the working people of South Africa. It must discuss if these commitments must be improved, and how they can be maintained in the coming years.

The NEC resolved, first, to work to re-unify SADTU on the basis of solidarity, support for members, worker control and accountability of leadership, collectivity, and transformation of the education system. They agreed to debate differences openly and constructively, with a view to building the union and the labour movement as a whole.

Second, the NEC resolved to work together to renew SADTU’s strategic vision. The vision would be based on the demands of members for improved conditions and a transformed education system that can help create a society based on the values of the working class for solidarity and equity. It would guide a long-term programme to set key priorities and guide all our work. This strategy would cover measures to improve service to members, support site stewards and organisers, drive recruitment and take forward mergers with other education unions.

Third, the NEC agreed on the need for clear roles for the president and general secretary, and that on that basis they must work together collectively and constructively. In particular, in line with SADTU’s Constitution and COSATU’s traditions, the President would maintain political oversight, while the General Secretary takes responsibility for daily operations and administration. The Deputy General Secretary is responsible for supporting the General Secretary, reporting through the General Secretary to the union. None of these positions can become a separate power base; all must work together collectively, rather than competing.

Fourth, the NEC agreed to end all factions and ensure constructive support for the NOBs as a collective. This requires, too, that the NEC maintains a high standard of analysis and discussion of the challenges faced by workers, as union members and as educators. Only then can it build unity and workers’ power. The NEC must drive the strategies of the union, without getting bogged down in administrative details.

Fifth, the NEC recognised that the divisions and cliques of the past few years had left deep wounds. Its members committed themselves, individually and collectively, to rebuild trust and open, honest relations. It agreed to act against rumour-mongering and spreading of lies, throwing of wild allegations and misinformation about one another. Members said they would confront each other about concerns and disagreements, rather than talking behind comrades’ backs.

Sixth, the NEC agreed to work harder to ensure open and objective management of elections. Otherwise divisions will re-emerge. NEC and NWC members agreed not to try to influence elections unfairly.

Finally, the NEC agreed on an organisational review and revival, including a substantial improvement in union education; better communication between leaders and members; improved co-ordination, especially through regular meetings of the NWC and the Secretariat; and strengthening collective bargaining through stronger political leadership and mandating processes.

Comrades, we cannot over-estimate the importance of these commitments. Taken together, they form a programme that all of our affiliates would be proud to adopt. The questions remains: have they been implemented? How can we implement them better?

The only strength workers have is in their unity. Every union and indeed COSATU itself faces the continual challenge of ensuring solidarity and constructive work from leadership to site stewards to members. We can only succeed on the foundation of our internal democracy, our openness with each other, and our vision. This Congress must now take on the task of building the unity of educators today and for the future.

I wish to this congress the best of luck as it confronts these challenges. The union membership and your mother body COSATU look forward hearing how you addressed this challenges. You dare not fail them and us.

Amandla ngawethu!


[su_spoiler title=”DRAFT POLITICAL RESOLUTIONS” icon=”folder-1″]

      1. Despite progress in delivery and democratisation since the 1994 ANC election victory, the basic needs of our people still have to be met.
      2. The ANC-led government of National unity has adopted a macro-economic policy which is hostile to a working class political programme.
      3. The Tripartite-Partite Alliance has failed to function as an effective political centre for transformation.
      4. That the approach of the ANC in government has been to operate as a neutral referee between the two major social forces in our society, Capital & Labour
      1. The demand for transformation requires that the ANC being the party most widely representative of progressive forces amongst the majority of workers and poor must remain the majority party in Government.
      2. The ANC government policy particularly GEAR is nonetheless hostile to the needs of our people.
      3. That a socialist society remains the only guarantee of true democracy and the delivery of basic needs.
      4. That Government should not be a referee but be biased toward the needs and interests of the majority, who are the working class and poor.
      5. That the Reconstruction and Development Programme remains the best plan available for the sustainable delivery of basic needs and the fundamental transformation of society on the road to socialism
      6. That the Tripartite Alliance in the short-term remains the only effective vehicle to hold the ANC government accountable to its constituency.
      1. That COSATU confirms its commitment to the struggle for a socialist society
      2. That the Reconstruction and Development Programme remains the platform for struggle and implementation in the short-term on the road towards true transformation and socialism
      3. That COSATU and its affiliates will engage at all levels of the tripartite-partite alliance and with government in a struggle to abandon the policy of GEAR, and for the implementation of the RDP.
      4. That the tripartite-partite alliance should remain in place and be strengthened in the run-up to the 1999 elections.
      5. That COSATU and its affiliates will provide financial and human resources to the ANC campaign for the 1999 elections.
      6. That the release of any COSATU members onto the ANC election list must be linked to an agreement where COSATU will be officially recognised as the constituency to which these comrades are accountable.
      7. That COSATU and its affiliates should consciously organise workers to engage in the structures of the Alliance at all levels to ensure a working-class bias in the programme and policies of the alliance.
      8. That the structuring of the alliance must be organised to ensure that the ANC in government is subject to the political control of the ANC party structures and the structures and policies of the Alliance.
      9. That the COSATU CEC be empowered to review the alliance in the period after the 1999 elections and the next Congress
      1. That the principal aim of our struggle was to achieve national democratic revolution.
      2. That putting the ANC into government was one critical means to achieve the national democratic revolution.
      3. That the ANC led government still has to complete its constitutional responsibility of ensuring complete eradication of all forms of oppression, be it gender, ethnic or racial at the societal level.
      4. That the Alliance is partly dysfunctional because of lack of clear programmes for mutual implementation by the concerned parties.
      1. That the Alliance partners have a de-facto responsibility to ensure that there is complete justice, socio-politically and socio-economically.
      2. That there is a need for the Alliance partners to collectively review the relationship between participating organisations, their roles as well as the Leadership of the Alliance.
      3. That the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) was the only adequate way to ensuring economic democracy.
      4. That there is a need to revitalise the functionality of the Alliance by developing a programme for joint implementation by the Alliance partners.
      1. That the Alliance be revitalised by putting in place a common programme for implementation by the concerned parties.
      2. That as a matter of extreme urgency a well representative summit of the Alliance partners be convened to discuss the details of the programme.
      3. That such a programme must seek to extend democracy to all social and economic spheres.
      4. That such a programme be subjected to periodic review in terms of implementation.


  • TGWU

Noting that:

Believing that:

Therefore resolves:





Therefore resolve :



1 We have noted some flaws within the alliance. Worth noting is the lack of report and consultation within alliance partners.

1.1 Programmes of alliance partners need to be known and debated so that we can arrive at a common PoA

1.2 We further note that in the transformation era there will be difference of opinions which does not mean hostility to the alliance.

1.3 An alliance strategic vision is needed

1.4 Structures of the alliance must be kept alive.

1.5 We should reconstitute the alliance : a new conception of the leadership role of an ANC inside and outside government has to be developed.

1.6 We should keep the alliance for total transformation of the country.

2 Relationship with the Government

2.1 The present government was popularly elected by the people of South Africa.

2.2 The majority of those that elected the government is the working people.

2.3 There is major shift from the old government to the new which is more accommodative and is prepared to listen.

2.4 However, the role of our government is slowly shifting to become a referee between labour and capital than a terrain for social transformation.

2.5 This change has affected the way in which we relate to the government.

2.6 We believe that we cannot agree on everything with the government.

2.7 The relationship should be both on complimentary and conflictual.

2.8 On progressive issues we should support the government but should the government take a reactionary stand, we should oppose it.



Noting that:

  1. Our country is undergoing transformation both on an economical and political level.
  2. ANC is the terrain of struggle.
  3. The Tripartite-partite Alliance Partners lack a common programme to work around.
  4. The agenda for transforming our country is a contested one.
  5. We have always understood the Tripartite Alliance to be the engine of National Democratic Revolution and transformation.
  6. The main motive forces of democratic transformation in our country are represented by the African workers and the rural masses.
  7. There is a lack of mass involvement in the transformation struggle.

Believing that:

  1. The tripartite-partite alliance remains the only vehicle that can bring about fundamental transformation of our country.
  2. Traditionally the ANC is an organisation that represents the poor of the poorest.
  3. The split of the Alliance could only be a score for those forces, who have for a very long time, wished to reverse the gains gained so far.
  4. RDP remains the only programme capable of radically transforming our country for the better.

Therefore resolve that:

  1. Re-affirm the COSATU 1994 Congress Resolution to maintain the alliance.
  2. To call on all COSATU members to participate and belong to all structures of the Alliance and to defend the progressive elements of the RDP.
  3. The Tripartite Alliance to develop a clear transformation programme / Reconstruction Accord that will drive the tripartite Alliance.
  4. All components of the Alliance to take full responsibility for the implementation of such a programme.





  1. That there is a need to ensure that the structures of the ANC and the Government are led by people who have a working class bias if transformation, in general, and in the workplace in particular, is to be a reality.


  1. That the ANC has to be assisted by labour for all intents and purposes in implementing progressive policies which will include at all times, the shaping of such policies.

Therefore resolve:

  1. That COSATU members be encouraged to build ANC structures.
  2. That COSATU Office Bearers, as well as Office Bearers in member affiliates, at both national and provincial levels, be disallowed to stand as candidates for national and provincial leadership positions in the ANC structures.
  3. That the Federation be flexible in releasing its leaders at the local level to serve in ANC structures.


  • CWIU


  1. The April 1994 elections victory provides a framework through which citizens of our country can collectively determine their destiny as political and constitutional equals.
  2. This breakthrough was a culmination of heroic struggles by the majority of the people
  3. The democratic movement has attained only elements of political power, with much of the state machinery still remaining in tact.
  4. We are called upon to correctly assess the current situation, take advantage of the many possibilities which this situation provides and fulfill the strategic objective that is Socialism.
  5. The main aims of the Alliance were the following
      a) To attain national liberation
      b) To have the working class as the dominant force in the struggle so as to have its views and demands adopted as the overall guiding principles for the struggle to end poverty and exploitation
  6. The Alliance partners adopted the RDP as a policy and means through which to ensure the delivery of basic needs. This has not been fully implemented.


  1. That our struggle is for total transfer of political and economic power to the working class
  2. That our key objective is that of building an interventionist government geared towards efficient and effective service delivery through engagement of the people
  3. The objective interests of the working class is to struggle for the improvement in their standards of living – including housing, health, social welfare, jobs, education, etc.



  1. That the democratic forces in South Africa are not yet in control of all layers of power
  2. CWIU supported the Alliance between COSATU, SACP and the ANC, and that the Alliance is subject to review from time to time
  3. Upon coming to power, the ANC led government created the RDP Ministry, whose main duties were the implementation of the RDP as well as ensuring its ongoing evaluation
  4. That the NDR is threatened by the legacy of an economy which is in a structural crisis, as a result of decades of systematic racist, capitalist and patriarch under development and by the neo-liberal policies of globalisation
  5. That the NDR is also threatened by class forces that are opposed to the strategic objectives and who seek to purport it as a modernising and normalising project
  6. That the state machinery has not been fully transformed and therefore that the objective of participatory democracy has not been realised
  7. That the NDR has to be under the working class hegemony
  8. That the strategic programme for transformation, the RDP has not been fully implemented, which led to the adoption of the following policies i.e. GEAR, LRA, BCEA etc.


  1. That the alliance has not systematically looked at challenges of the transition and formulated a strategy and the role of our various formations in that strategy
  2. That no programme was formulated for engagement of the masses, as such masses remain largely spectators in the theatre of the struggle for transformation
  3. That this is because of the objective and subjective weaknesses that confront the alliance and in particular the ANC.
  4. That the civil service inherited from the previous regime remains hostile to the transformation agenda
  5. That violence and crime have become the major destabilising factor for transformation
  6. That our communities are embroiled in conflicts and self interest; propelled clashes over resources that is caused by a lack of a common strategic programme; that the capitalist strategy is to divide the working class and promote middle class values; and that the mass character of CBOs and the ANC in particular, is not visible
  7. The challenges of our current realities and the incumbent need for the working class to provide leadership
    • that dual leadership has to be located within a broad national framework before being examined with specific references
    • that dual membership and leadership is a strategic strength for ensuring working class leadership and therefore worker control
    • there are subjective and objective weaknesses within the Alliance partners particularly the ANC
    • to be able to correct and or eliminate these weaknesses we should provide leadership in those centres and in communities


  8. The Alliance leadership is not accountable to the masses and operate without a mandate
  9. There is a notion that we should break the Alliance with the ANC and the SACP and form a Workers Party
  10. The Alliance (COSATU, ANC and SACP) as a strategic weapon for transformation, is not cast and stone, but subject to review from time to time.
  11. The timing and conditions under which the Alliance is broken would be informed by our varying perspectives
  12. The Alliance needs to be consistently and constructively assessed
  13. GEAR undermines all the principal features of the RDP – in its provisions around housing, health, social welfare, jobs, high real interest rates, etc.
  14. Mass organisations are weak. There is little consultation with constituencies and decisions are made on a top down basis.
  15. Trade unions and student organisations have taken up national campaigns, however, there is very little co-ordination amongst them even where campaigns are over common issues such as GEAR.
  16. Campaigns have generally not been successful and they have not led to the strengthening of mass organisations.

Believing that :

  1. The ANC has not ditched the RDP, but has adopted the GEAR with the claim that it will implement the RDP
  2. The timing is not right to break the Alliance
  3. As COSATU we do not have the capacity to form a political party
  4. The Alliance needs to be strengthened
  5. The objectives of the Alliance have not yet been achieved
  6. The political consciousness of the working class still reflects support for the ANC as reflected in the 1994 elections
  7. The resolution of the National Question – calls for an alliance of the ANC, COSATU and SACP
  8. It is premature to break the alliance
  9. The struggle against apartheid and social transformation is not complete and therefore an Alliance is still necessary
  10. There is no alternative organisation with mass support
  11. There will be serious ramifications for workers if the alliance is broken
  12. We need to rescue the ANC from any anti – working class elements in and outside the ANC
  13. We cannot ignore the historical background of the alliance
  14. The Alliance has a programme – the RDP
  15. We must struggle for the recognition and implementation of the RDP
  16. It is opportunistic to break the alliance
  17. Workers will decide on the future of the alliance
  18. Capitalism has never and will never offer any lasting solution to the nation’s economic crises
  19. The only effective way to redistribute the nation’s wealth is by nationalising the commanding heights of the economy

Therefore resolve:

  1. To deepen the understanding of Socialism in the National Democratic Project and the transformation of state institutions to ones that are responsive, answerable and accessible to the peopleAlliance
  2. The Congress resolves to maintain the Alliance by doing the following :a) keeping the masses up-to-date on any developments around policy changes and NEDLAC negotiations

    b) coming up with a programme of action to ensure the implementation of the RDP

  3. As COSATU we should reassert ourselves and put forward working class ideas on the Alliance agenda
  4. COSATU to identify issues for discussion at the alliance level and propose meetings with the alliance, an accord which indicates among other things, that the Alliance partners should discuss any policy changes jointly should be enter into.
  5. We need to maintain the alliance until the 1999 elections and thereafter we will decide about its future
  6. Ensure that our delegates to NEDLAC / Alliance meetings do attend and that they are accountable
  7. Ensure that issues are thoroughly debated at all levels so that we are able to influence decisions at the alliance level
  8. To develop a clear Campaign Programme of Action on the RDP in the context of building the Alliance and a broad popular movement for transformation to ensure that the transformation process is mass driven.
  9. Should commit itself to develop an implementation strategy of the RDP and work through the Alliance for joint policy formulation.
  10. Assume full responsibility for building Alliance component organs
  11. The struggle of the various mass organisations needs to be united and coordinated and for this purpose COSATU needs to initiate common struggles with other mass organisations around concrete issues confronting the working class.
  12. To strengthen the grassroots structures of the ANC and the MDM formations
  13. Strengthen the unity of NDR motive forces through practical action and programmes
  14. There is a need for a coherent and common programme around which concrete struggles must take place. The programme should improve and build on the RDP, through the measures proposed in the COSATU economic strategy.
  15. There must be a process of ensuring that there is self-clarification on the objectives of the struggle, i.e. there must be a differentiation of views of the broad objectives of the struggle.Relations with Government
  16. To build the organisational authority of the ANC in all three tiers of government and ensure that ministers and other representatives are not absorbed by new elite’s agendas (of modernisation) and they must remain answerable to the Alliance and the masses
  17. By becoming the first reference point (through the Alliance) of any policy processes (i.e. from formulation to implementation)
  18. To actively ensure that government and the public sector is effective and transparent, representative of the class, race and gender realities of our society
  19. To actively engage government in ensuring delivery and effective implementation of the RDP
  20. And therefore ensure that the GNU dispensation does not become an excuse for not delivering
  21. We need to ensure that the ANC wins the 1999 elections by:
    • encouraging our leadership to actively participate in community structures
    • leadership to be involved in educating the society at large about the ANC government and why they have to vote for the ANC in 1999
    • release as many of our leadership as possible to assist and campaign for the ANC


  • CAWU

Noting that:

  1. The Alliance was not born out of convenience, but through the bitter struggle against the monstrous apartheid system and the subjugation of the majority of citizens of our country .
  2. It was mainly through the Alliance that democracy dawned on our country in 1994 and that this fledging democracy needs to be vigorously defended.
  3. The Alliance is the only vehicle through which true, and effective Reconstruction and Development of our country can be achieved.

Therefore resolves:

  1. COSATU should more than ever seek ways and means of strengthening the Alliance e.g. by implementing the Alliance Programme adopted by the CEC in April 1997.
  2. The independence of the Alliance partners be re-instated by the Congress, so that partners can fearlessly but constructively criticize each other.


Tripartite Alliance proposed resolutions

This Congress notes that:

  1. Good resolutions on the alliance were taken in past congresses.
  2. The focus should be more on implementation and co-ordination of alliance programmes.
  3. Capital and its propaganda instrument, the mass media, are actively undermining the alliance and sow divisions within its ranks.
  4. Although this tendency is not dominant within the alliance, there is growing drive for dissolution of the alliance, and treatment of COSATU and the SACP as junior partners.
  5. The absence of a coherent and cohesive alliance programme is a source of weakness and lack of direction.


Therefore, resolves that:

  1. The alliance is now more relevant than even before, for it to survive the current realignment of political and class forces in our country.
  2. A strong, practical and workable programme of building strong alliance structures at all levels to stand the aggressive offensive from our class and political opponent, need to be developed urgently.
  3. Campaigns around delivery of basic needs and services to working people and the poor, particularly in the rural areas need to be developed to make our people take more responsibility for the transformation programme.
  4. This alliance should, therefore, establish a dynamic political centre, that is well resourced, to monitor, co-ordinate and evaluate the activities of the alliance at all levels. This political centre should be supervised by the Alliance Secretariat on an ongoing basis.



Noting that:

  1. The existence of the Tripartite-Partite Alliance has contributed to the advancement of worker and broader working class interests. The advent of a new democratic order and the subsequent developments like the new Constitution and a new Labour Relations Act are some examples.
  2. Recent developments, like the adoption of the GEAR macro-economic strategy with it’s neo-liberal manifestations, by both the ANC led government and the ANC as an organisation, have necessitated a critical review of the manner in which the Alliance is functioning.

Believing that:

  1. There can be no doubt that the adoption of the GEAR policy constitutes a very definite shift in policy by the ANC and will seriously undermine the achievement of RDP objectives.
  2. The specific adoption of GEAR by the ANC is insufficient reason to break an Alliance with such a long and rich history.
  3. As a labour movement we should be seeking to build greater levels of contact with and accountability by those MPs who were drawn from the labour movement.
  4. Local ANC structures need to be re-built to ensure greater levels of participation in the policy making processes within the organisation.

Believing further that:

  1. At this point there is no alternative vehicle which can champion working class interests nor do we think that there is a need for an independent political organisation for workers.

Resolves that:

  1. At this point, the Alliance should not be broken.
  2. We re-affirm our support for the resolution of the 5th National Congress which amongst others, calls for a constant reviewing of the Alliance.
  3. COSATU, as an independent organ within the Alliance, should chart a programme that would be followed in the event that ongoing discussions to change the details of GEAR fail.

Resolves further that:

  1. We re-affirm our vision of achieving socialism and as such there should be ongoing discussions within the broader socialist movement on this matter. That this process could include convening a Socialist Conference.





NUMSA believes that the tripartite alliance as the main political body should drive ad consolidate the struggle for democracy with a clear program to redress historical imbalances and economic ills.

We note that, there is little or lack of consultation within the alliance forces, that the alliance lacks clear strategy to lead and oversee processes of change. We also note that the alliance meets on ad hoc basis and is more reactive to crisis situation.

We believe that the alliance should meet from time to time, assess itself, and agree on a common strategy to lead society.

The alliance should consciously develop policies to guide the state and not vice-versa.

The alliance should agree to resurrect and re-instate the RDP as a guiding strategy in governance.

The RDP remains the document which represent minimum program that can unite us.

ALLIANCE (a response to the COSATU proposal commission)

The ANC, COSATU and SACP alliance has been born through bitter years of struggle against political oppression and economic exploitation in this country. The ANC-led alliance, although tense at the moment, has managed to rise at critical moments in history and take up challenges against the reactionary forces in this country. The alliance has also managed to keep the masses of our people united through action during this transformation process.

The SACP, despite being a political party for the working class, is not pulling its weight.

COSATU continues to have an important role within the alliance to ensure that the interests of workers, the unemployed and the poor are represented.

COSATU therefore resolves that:

  1. We will use the Alliance to mobilise a whole range of social forces.
  2. COSATU to convene a conference of the Alliance to debate strategy and tactics to promote our economic platform.
  3. The National Congress mandates the COSATU Central Executive Committee to review from time to time the state of the Alliance and take the appropriate decision. Such a decision must be ratified by the National Congress.
  4. COSATU must continue to seek to build a working-class biased ANC.
  5. COSATU will continue to be critical of the ANC and force changes on the ANC Government in order to improve the ANC’s support amongst the majority.

9.3 ALLIANCE ACCORD/PACT – (a response to the EXCO discussion paper on the programme of the alliance)

We reject the proposition of an accord with the ANC. The motivation in the paper is not convincing. Therefore, what is needed is the following:

  • COSATU should formulate positions and perspective to engage GEAR and that process should be characterised by mobilisation of our members and the public.
  • Such positions, perspectives and alternatives be taken to the coming Job Summit.
  • Instead of an Accord, there should be re-opening of debate/discussions in GEAR and that should be characterised by an undoubted willingness on the government to change GEAR as its base policy.
  • Resurrect the Alliance role to formulate policy and political programs to advance the struggle of the poor.


We believe that the process of governance should be guided by clear principles of

a) Meeting the basic needs;

b) Democratizing the economy;

c) Restructuring of the state;

d) Job creation


The long struggle for democracy in South Africa has produced a social democratic politicall outcome. We are faced with a nominally democratic state where economic power is still largely in the hands of capital. This is a compromise born out of the complex forces involved in the transition to democracy and not necessarily the ideal outcome for the working class or the disadvantaged. However this is the reality with which organised labour in general and COSATU in particular must deal with.

A social democratic political system relies on the ability of various social forces to make compromises in order to attain consensus. Such compromises more often than not are to the benefit of capital rather than the working class due to the unequal distribution of power. This is the point at which we find ourselves.

The political transformation process has presented us with new challenges and new points of struggle. In common with other social democracies, organised labour in South Africa must develop strategies which both engage the state and capital for the improvement of the material conditions of the majority, while also developing a long term vision of a socialist society. We should be in no doubt that our longer term objectives will be resisted by capital and the state and it is therefore essential that we actively develop a broad coalition of forces to continually challenge the bourgeois liberal view of society.

In the short term we face the challenge to;

  1. Improve the conditions of all sections of society through better education, health, services and access to economic resources;
  2. Maximise our ability to engage the state and capital with the purpose of influencing the processes of change;
  3. Remain in dynamic contact with our membership for the purposes of understanding their aspirations and gaining mandates for engagement and intervention;
  4. Develop alliances with other progressive forces in order to engage and intervene from a position of broader strength but while maintaining COSATU’s independence;
  5. Develop the capacity of our members to understand the paradigm shifts in South Africa, in order to empower them to engage and intervene at all levels of society and in all available forums.

At the same time we must develop a practical and understandable vision of the socialist society we see as our long term goal. To achieve this we must engage in a process of debate with a broad range of forces, both locally and internationally, in order to mount an effective challenge to the global power of capital.


NEDLAC is a classic institution of social democracy where consensus around management of the economy in general and the labour market in particular are debated between capital, the state and organised labour. It has an obvious potential to encourage corporatist behaviour and the bureaucratisation of unions.

Organised Labour`s role in NEDLAC and the organisation’s performance should be reviewed by COSATU in order to improve our input. Greater efforts should be made to ensure that all levels of the federation and its affiliates understand NEDLAC and our involvement.

COSATU therefore resolves that:

  1. COSATU should convene a workshop of senior leadership to assess the performance of NEDLAC and ensure that the process involves the regional and local leadership and to develop a long term vision of the role of NEDLAC and a strategy for realising this vision.
  2. Any agreement reached at NEDLAC should not be altered by Parliament.


1.2 Socialism

      1. COSATU remains committed to fighting for a South Africa free from capitalist exploitation and the achievement of democratic and socialist society.
      2. In the last few years, there has been a relentless ideological attack on socialism.
      3. This attack has caused wide spread confusion within the labour movement, on an international scale, with the leadership of many trade unions and other political formations adopting more and more pro-capitalist policies e.g. dabbling in investments, support for privatisation, etc.
      1. COSATU and a few of its affiliates have launched investment companies without a coherent investment strategy.
      1. COSATU shall mount a counter-offensive campaign against capitalism aimed at proving the superiority of socialism by:
        • Engaging in merciless public criticism of capitalism
        • Conducting, throughout the Federation, ongoing education on the fundamental ideas of socialism and nurturing a working class consciousness and outlook.
        • Fostering a climate of free and fraternal debate on how socialism is to be achieved.
      2. COSATU shall forge links with other working class formations internationally as part of the international fight against neo-liberal globalisation.
      3. COSATU formulates a coherent investment policy, as part of its broader programme for radical transformation and that all unions be bound by this policy.
      1. Educate and mobilise the working class about the importance of their role and contribution in realising socialism. Within COSATU and its affiliates this could take the form of Socialist Forums at local level.
      2. COSATU to develop its links with credible socialist organisations nationally and internationally in order to challenge capital on a global front.
      3. With the SACP, develop mass media instruments (papers, programmes etc.) which give an alternative view of society, international issues and provide an outlet for socialist intellectual debate.
      4. Increase the depth of our relationship with the SACP as a political party with a socialist vision;
      5. COSATU should be part of a process of building a revolutionary working class movement outside the alliance of which the SACP should be a part.
      6. COSATU must engage in earnest discussions to develop a socialist programme. Once such a programme has been developed, COSATU and SACP must call a Conference of left forces to discuss and jointly develop a broader programme for taking us to socialism; such a programme could include joint programmes of action, continuous discussion, education forums, etc
      • COSATU’s continued commitment to socialism places it in the last line of defense in the ideological war against socialism.
      • Socialism is the only system which can solve the social and economic problems of working people across the globe and any attempts to reform capitalism will merely lead to greater levels of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, disease, starvation, crime and civil war.



Noting that:

Noting further that:

Believing that:

Resolves that:



COSATU remains committed to a socialist vision for South Africa. However it recognises that such a vision requires careful articulation in order to be both attractive and achievable to the majority of South Africans. We also recognise that the socialist vision for South Africa cannot be based only on the experiences of those societies that previously claimed this vision. Our socialist vision must include the strategy and tactics for its achievement and not simply contain empty rhetoric.

We do not believe it is possible to hold an abstract policy for a socialist society and not bring elements of that policy into our short term objectives.

The dialectical interaction of our immediate struggles as a trade union must inform our socialist vision and visa versa.

To this end the following steps must be taken:



1.3 Re-galvanise MDM for Transformation

      1. To engage in campaigns for provision / development of a working class understanding of development and approach within communities
      2. Through ensuring a common understanding and approach to the RDP within communities
      3. Counter any chauvinistic tendencies that seek to divide communities
      4. In building community structures of CBOs, ANC, SACP and also provide leadership.
      5. Engage in overhauling problematic LDFs and be part of LDF
      6. COSATU members must commit themselves to be active in the community and take up issues which will mobilise their communities
      7. Our campaigns as organised workers must be promoted in the community
      8. We should actively support community campaigns
      9. Joint education programmes and community and debates should be organised by our locals
      10. COSATU locals should actively research what is happening in the communities and should liaise with communities on issues
      11. Structures of the alliance to be strengthened at all levels, i.e. local, provincial and national
      12. Use our own experience through shop stewards and officials to ensure proper mandating process and flow of information
      13. Strengthen the layer of our leadership so that we as labour remain strong even if some of the leaders have been absorbed to the government

        Interlocking Leadership – Two Hats

      14. Educate working class about the importance of the Alliance and its leadership duty in it.
      15. Actively participate and hold leadership positions within the Alliance components as the case may apply in the Alliance structures and provide clear class perspective
      16. Play an active role in nurturing the unity of NDR forces and ensure class hegemony not narrow workerism
      17. Through this ensure advancement, defense and deepening of working class interest
      18. Union leadership may be released to campaign for the ANC and also stand for elections at national, provincial and local level. without any fear of loosing employment
      19. Where a leader is a union official and decides to stand, his/her job will remain open until the election results have been announced. The CEC shall make the final decision on practicalities that will be in the interests of COSATU.
      1. Since the General Elections in 1994 mass mobilisation around transformation issues has been ad hoc and uncoordinated.
      2. Reactionary forces have succeeded in projecting a negative picture in a more structured and consistent way.
      3. Organs of peoples’ power that were built during our struggle for liberation have been allowed to collapse.
      4. The RDP, our programme for transformation, has been watered down.
      5. The State remains predominantly loyal to the old regime, and actively trying to undermine the programme of the Democratic Government at all levels.
      1. The alliance should mobilise all forces around the implementation of the RDP and thus revitalise the RDP as the programme for transformation.
      2. Gains already made should be defended and new areas should be explored in a systematic and structural way. Periodically our programme should be reviewed.
      3. Many COSATU Shop/Shaft Stewards elected to Local Government should be developed so that they can have the necessary capacity to implement the working class programme.
      4. Our communication strategy should be directed at ensuring that COSATU membership follow the developments in all areas of our activities.
      5. To take full control of the programme for transformation. COSATU should be prepared to release its most committed and capable leaders to stand for election to leadership positions of the Alliance Partners
      • Driving joint discussion and education programs.
      • Joint campaigns with the following elements of focus:
      • Social security and social wage (health, transport, pensions & UIF).
      • Job creation, public works, training, land reform, tax reform etc.


  • CWIU



We agree with the document that the Alliance should galvanise other progress mass democratic formations but with a clear strategy and agenda. The program to guide the Alliance is none other than the RDP. We agree with the need for cadre development program and popular participation of all our cadres in such programs.

We also believe that a political program should be developed to direct our interaction with MDM with clear objectives of:

Alliance and MDM forces should develop a conscious program to engage the youth, studeents, bureaucrats, workers around a clear strategy to drive change for the interest of the poor.

To instill a sense of responsibility and accountability to bureaucrats MPs and ministers.


  • NUM

This Congress notes that:

Therefore resolves that:

    1. .






Noting that:

  1. Civic structures have been in decline since the 1994 elections.
  2. SANCO has become involved in privatisation initiatives at local government level.
  3. The current approach adopted by SANCO has serious potential to undermine its intended watchdog role.

Believing that:

  1. Strong and democratic organs of civil society are necessary to strengthen our democracy and ensure that communities are able to mount effective campaigns around socialist orientated development.

Therefore resolves that:

  1. COSATU should actively participate in re-building the civic movement.
  2. SANCO should be actively engaged on issues which have a direct effect on COSATU and what it stands for e.g. our opposition to the privatisation of municipal services.
  3. COSATU should also link up with other progressive, local civic structures(this refers to non-SANCO affiliates) that are not in conflict with the policies of the Federation.


1.5 Local Government



Noting that:

  1. Many of the services, aimed at meeting the basic needs of people, are provided by local authorities.
  2. Since the first democratic local government elections, very little attention has been given to building the capacity of councilors drawn from the democratic movement and that this has led to tensions developing between local government employees(and their union SAMWU) and the councilors.
  3. The actions of many of the new councilors have been based on self-interest rather than the collective interests and needs of the communities they were elected to represent.
  4. The restructuring and amalgamation of the internal administrations of local authorities is not proceeding smoothly and that this is having an effect on the extension and delivery of services to the historically disadvantaged masses.
  5. The continued domination of statutory local government bodies by old order conservatives and the heavy reliance upon them by democratically elected councillors is a source of continued stagnation in transforming these institutions.

Noting further that:

  1. Many local authorities are experiencing serious financial difficulties.
  2. The Department of Constitutional Development has set up Operation Viability as a means of monitoring the financial situation in local authorities.
  3. Privatisation is being advocated as one solution to the financial and service delivery problems being experienced by local authorities.
  4. The system of pre-scribed assets was used to build apartheid infrastructure but was scrapped as a system on the eve of the fall of apartheid.

Believing that:

  1. Local government will not survive without radically restructuring the existing methods of funding.
  2. The so-called service charge boycott was a direct response to the boycott of service delivery to our communities by the illegitimate apartheid structures.
  3. Once service delivery has been re-instituted, people should pay for the services they receive within the framework a national tariff system which makes provision for adequate levels of cross subsidisation.
  4. Pre-scribed assets is a viable vehicle for post-apartheid reconstruction.

Resolves that:

  1. Greater levels of Alliance co-ordination at local, regional and national level be introduced in matters related to local government.
  2. Restructuring of local government administrations must, as a necessity, bring about changes to the current employment ethos of these institutions in terms of personnel and content.
  3. We should campaign strongly for the re-introduction of pre-scribed assets.
  4. COSATU members, and especially municipal workers, should become directly involved in building the Masakhane Campaign.
  5. We push for national tariff reform in respect of all basic services. This reform should include what constitutes life-line levels of service and makes provision for cross-subsidisation.
  6. Mechanisms be explored to have Councilors who are not accountable to the communities they represent to be re-called.


1.6 Crime and Violence

      1. To ensure complete restructuring of the security service and build one with clear class conscience, transparent and whose aim is to uproot social ills in an integrated way of work with other public service sectors and the people
      2. Engagement in campaign for building and strengthening of community policing forums
      3. Ensuring integration of policing service with other services
      4. Educate workers and the people on effects of crime and how to deal with crime – build grassroots structures that will be responsive and decisive
      5. Locals, in liaison with the local communities should be responsible for planning defense activities against all forms of crime and violencea) going back to basics and reviving the structures

        b) electing accountable working class leaders at local, provincial and national levels

      1. Crime is on the rampage in our country.
      2. The increase in crime is due to various social problems.
      3. The very mode of economic system existing in our country is responsible for the high level of crime.
      4. The morale fibre of our social system is under threats by the ever increasing crime.
      5. The crime currently affecting our country is an organised one, the elements of the former regime are involved in this crime.
      1. Crime knows no colour
      2. Victims of crime come from all social backgrounds.
      1. COSATU to mobilise against crime and violence against women and children.
      2. Campaign for a speedily transformation of police and justice system.
      3. To discourage members of community from buying stolen goods.
      4. To review the whole bail system.
      5. To expose and report those corrupt police who are in cahoots with criminals.
      6. Encourage all COSATU members to participate in the CPF and support those dedicated police in fighting crime.
      1. To expose domestic violence within our communities.
      2. To prioritise child abuse and rape as crime that need to be fought by all South Africans.
      3. To tighten the legislation around private security companies.
      4. To mobilise our own communities and instill/build a culture of reporting about child abuse and rape.
      1. The culture of policing in South Africa has not changed as a result of lack of transformation of the SAPS. While we note the good intentions of the Government to change the SAPS from a police force to the one that render service we are confronted with resistance from the old order police i.e. apartheid police & home lands.
      2. We also not the entire Criminal Justice Department are ridden with corruption.
      3. This is manifested through crime syndicates.
      4. Service to the community has suffered tremendously.
      5. The entire public service is in great danger of collapsing if such key departments are allowed to continue to be embroiled in corruption.
      1. To mobilise all workers to play an active and positive role in Community Policing Forums.
      2. To work closely with communities & urge them to report crime occurring in their places.
      3. To engage Safety & Security Ministry and MECs on transformation of SAPS.
      4. To closely monitor the deployment of both logistical and human resources to ensure service delivery particularly to crime ridden and disadvantaged areas.
      5. To work with the Independent Complaints Directorate to ensure that policemen involved in corruption and other unlawful activities are dealt with and discharged from the service.
      6. To urge Government & Business to create job opportunities to alleviate crime linked to poverty.
      1. Our country is afflicted by crime.
      2. A large part of this crime was inherited from apartheid in the form of corruption of ethical values.
      3. We also note that this is a product of socio economic problems of this country.
      1. To address underlying socio economic problems in our society, including the problem of public transport.
      2. That while some police are doing a good job, we must root out corruption within the police system.
      3. That there must be a review of the justice system including bail.
      4. That Prisoners must be rehabilitated so that when they come out of prison they will be useful members of society.
      5. That we commit ourselves as COSATU to participate in all attempts directed against crime. Therefore we should be “rotos” against crime
      6. That as part of this campaign we must try and crack organised crime.
      7. That a key element of community policing forums is to define their roles so that they can be effective.
      8. The media should redirect its education activities to assist in fighting crime.


  • CWIU



Noting that:

Believing that:

Therefore resolve that:

Further resolve:



Noting that:

We therefore resolve:




Therefore resolves:


1.7 Members of Parliament



This Congress of COSATU noting:

  1. The current electoral system whereby all Members of Parliament are elected through a national list system.
  2. The problems of accountability to the electorate that the system poses.
  3. That for democracy to be workable, communities should be able on a regular basis to influence the views of political parties through the members in parliament and through the branch structures of the political parties in communities.

Hereby resolves:

  1. To propose that the electoral system be reformed, in order to introduce constituency based elections in combination with the national list system.
  2. To propose further that at least two thirds of Members of Parliament be elected on a strict geographical constituency basis.
  3. To promote campaigns of accountability, whereby Members of Parliament serve their constituents, and receive regular feed-back from constituents.


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