'Levels of incompetence are staggering': Cosatu slams ANC failure to register candidates for elections

Workers livid at ANC failures, factional battles and corruption, warns Cosatu

05 September 2021 - 11:41
With many of SA’s municipalities on the brink of collapse, also failing to pay workers on time, the federation says the ANC has placed it in a difficult position. File photo.
With many of SA’s municipalities on the brink of collapse, also failing to pay workers on time, the federation says the ANC has placed it in a difficult position. File photo.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES

Union federation Cosatu says it will work hard to regain the trust of workers and voters who are furious at endless government failures ahead of the upcoming local government elections.  

Speaking at the ANC NEC two-day lekgotla, the federation cast doubt over the ruling party’s ability to redeem itself after failing to register candidates for the upcoming polls in more than 90 municipalities countrywide.  

“The levels of incompetence are staggering. The elections are in weeks and yet we have not even begun to campaign. We do not have a manifesto, have not launched a single advert, nor begun to canvass.

“It is clear from our failure to register candidates that our organisation is in a serious crisis.”   

The union said there ought to be practical solutions to address several crises which the country was grappling with, including unemployment, Covid-19 and the collapse of key organs of state.

With many of SA’s municipalities on the brink of collapse, also failing to pay workers on time, the federation said the ANC had placed it in a difficult position.

It also slammed the ruling party’s failure to pay ANC staff for two months and pension benefits for several years, saying if the party hoped to survive or win the elections, the issues needed to be tackled immediately.

“The ANC has put Cosatu in an impossible position. We are a trade union federation and our ally is abusing the rights of workers. This is not an idle accusation it’s a fact. It is unacceptable how the ANC treats its employees. We do not need excuses.”

The issue of corruption is said to have dominated discussions at the lekgotla with President Cyril Ramaphosa warning that the release of the state capture commission of inquiry report next month would be scathing of the ANC and its government.   

Cosatu expressed similar sentiments admitting that state capture was orchestrated by its comrades.  

“Our greatest failing is how we have allowed corruption to explode and entrench itself in every fabric of our lives. It is a disgrace. It is our comrades who are looting.

“If we are genuine about fixing the ANC, government, the economy and our many challenges, then we must accept responsibility for how we have brought the ANC, economy and SA to its knees.  

“The time for us outsourcing our failures to others must end. Otherwise we must accept that the ANC will die under our watch.”  

Cosatu said voters deserved accountability for how far the ANC was in implementing the 2016 and 2019 manifestos, adding that this time around, voters need a manifesto reflective of the state of municipalities and how they will be fixed.

“We are preparing for our most difficult local elections. What will be our story?

“Workers are angry at the endless failures of the ANC and government. They are tired of disingenuous excuses. They are exhausted by the factional fights and looting destroying the public services they depend upon.  

“They are furious that two provinces were burned to the ground by comrades. They doubt we will redeem ourselves. It is up to us to earn the trust of workers and voters back.” 

The federation said it hoped that the lekgotla would be a turning point for the ANC.

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