Cosatu NDP anger simmers

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini. Herbert Matimba

COSATU president Sdumo Dlamini insisted yesterday that workers have “little to celebrate” in relation to the National Development Plan (NDP) as the country marks the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the NDP today.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to host an event to mark the adoption of the country’s economic blueprint in Cape Town today. However, Dlamini was adamant that Cosatu remained opposed to economic and labour market aspects of the NDP.

“There is nothing to celebrate about the NDP in its current form. The labour market chapter emphasises labour flexibility and deregulation of labour laws. It is obsessed with a neoliberal economic trajectory,” Dlamini said.

ANC policy head Jeff Radebe at the party’s recent policy conference said that while Cosatu had reservations about the NDP, he believed alliance partners would iron out their differences at a round table discussion.

“I can’t speak for them but my perception is that they have not rejected the NDP,” Radebe said. “I cannot speak for the SACP but it’s common cause that general-secretary Blade Nzimande is a member of the Cabinet, so are top officials of the SACP, which just demonstrates to you that they are implementing the NDP.”

Dlamini said the ANC’s decision to shove the NDP down its alliance partners’ throats was a telltale sign of an unbalanced ANC-led tripartite alliance. “It’s an unfortunate situation. When we go to elections, the alliance needs to unite.

We work together to produce manifestos but when it’s time to implement, the federation is made to watch as a spectator,” Dlamini said. “We are treated as an unequal alliance partner. It’s a problem the ANC must confront.”

Dlamini criticised the lack of follow-through from the ANC on commitments made to its alliance partners on addressing their misgivings of the NDP. “Even at the policy conference, again a decision was taken and there have been no meetings.

“We’ve been calling for meetings and they have not happened. We are ready as Cosatu to meet with the ANC in a bilateral or alliance meeting but it’s clear the ANC is not ready.”