EVEN with one eye on its upcoming central executive committee (CEC) meeting, Cosatu will also keep an eye on President Jacob Zuma’s political fate, in how it would impact on the trade union federation’s priorities for this year. Cosatu’s CEC is scheduled from February 26 to 28.
And the event provides an opportunity, among other things, for the trade union federation to assess the socio-economic and political climate of the country. “During the upcoming CEC, we will be doing an assessment on the past ANC’s January 8 statement, the State Of the Nation address (Sona) and budget speech,” Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said.
Since last year’s CEC in November, which also gathered reports from affiliate unions, a lot had happened in the country, something Pamla acknowledged. However, he was adamant that in addressing the implementation of policies such as land expropriation without exploitation and emphasising job creation by virtue of a jobs summit, all of this would be heavily influenced by whether or not Zuma remained in power.
“We will be interpreting our priorities as a trade union federation based on whether Zuma remains in power. “And, in terms of what it means for economic prospects for the country. If Zuma is still president by the end of the month, our critique and analysis will be informed by what it means, especially for the workers,” Pamla said.
This comes as the ANC’s national working committee, which among others is tasked with carrying out decisions and instructions of the national executive committee (NEC), will today discuss the proposal to determine Zuma’s political fate. Pamla said Cosatu will give ANC a chance to reflect on what is going on with regard to Zuma and how the party handles the transition of power.
“The issue of Zuma is a test for the ANC NEC. We have supported most of the NEC members and newly elected leaders in so far as having confidence in them. “We are taking a step back, hoping the ANC will show us how to take the country forward,” Pamla said. Even ahead of the ANC elective conference in December, Cosatu had resolved that Zuma step aside for Cyril Ramaphosa to take over as ANC president.