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Cosatu cautions ANC against DA coalition

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has cautioned the African National Congress (ANC) not to enter into election coalitions with the Democratic Alliance (DA), branding them as racist and representatives of white minority capital.

 

The labour federation briefed the media on the ANC’s poor showing in several metros in Johannesburg in the local government elections.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini says the results are a wake-up call for the ruling party.

“There was a clear message sent by the voters to our movement to get to understand the levels of impatience that are there about a number of issues that need to be resolved and remain unresolved. Of course, Cosatu mentions the issues of e-tolls, labour brokers, [and] the issues around the national minimum wage.”

Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the DA “remained the biggest threat” to the aspiration of workers and black people.

“Cosatu wishes there could be a re-run and in the case where ANC decides to enter into coalitions, we want the ANC to only enter into principled coalitions…the message from Cosatu is that we do not expect the ANC to work with the DA,” Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg following an urgent meeting to assess the 2016 Local Municipal election results.

Ntshalintshali said his organisation did not discuss the other opposition parties with whom the ANC was engaged with in coalition talks.

Labour brokers would have a field day should such a coalition take place, putting millions of jobs in jeopardy, he said.

“If the DA and their labour broking friends have their way, million more workers will be plunged into poverty and despair, and we will be on our way to a national catastrophe. This is the same party that went to Parliament and moved a motion on the Bill calling for the scrapping of the right to strike.”

Although the ruling party led with the most votes nationally, it lost ground in key metros such as Tshwane and the Eastern Cape’s Nelson Mandela Bay.

The governing party failed to receive an outright majority in Johannesburg, Mogale City and Ekurhuleni. With no outright majority attained by the parties in the metros, coalitions have to be formed in order to govern.

The ANC top leadership is holding a national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Irene, Pretoria to dissect the outcome of last week’s election results.

Ntshalintshali said there should be no “finger pointing or blaming of individuals” over the ANC’s performance but that an “honest introspection” was needed by the alliance partners. Cosatu wanted an urgent alliance meeting, he said.

“We’re calling for an urgent alliance meeting to develop a shared perspective on the challenges and the way forward. The ANC as a people’s movement must revisit what it stands for and remain true to its own mission,” he said. – Additional reporting by ANA

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