'We will not allow the alliance to split,' Ramaphosa vows after heckling of Mantashe at Cosatu congress

02 October 2022 - 10:47
By Kgothatso Madisa
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to save the alliance during his party's Letsema campaign in Kimberley, Northern Cape.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to save the alliance during his party's Letsema campaign in Kimberley, Northern Cape.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to mend the seemingly severed ties between the ruling party and its alliance partner Cosatu.

He said the alliance, which includes the SACP, was too big to fail as it had been built on the blood of those who had come before them.

Cracks in the relationship between the two alliance partners played out in public during the week when workers prevented ANC national chair Gwede Mantashe from addressing their national congress in Midrand, Gauteng.

Delegates representing workers from different unions chased Mantashe away from the  congress, singing “Hamba Gwede” when he tried to step up to the podium.

They had expressed frustration with the ANC and its government for, among others, failing to implement a 2018 public sector wage agreement.

Addressing ANC supporters at the weekend during a Letsema campaign in Kimberley, Northern Cape, Ramaphosa said the alliance was facing “enormous challenges” which have to addressed.

“And we have seen just very recently with our strong ally Cosatu raising a number of concerns and issues and these are issues that we are going to have to address, we are going to have to have a meeting with our allies and I have all these issues,” Ramaphosa said.

“We have a strategic alliance, not a paper alliance, and it's not an alliance that we can play games with. This alliance has been formed through struggle, this alliance has on all its edifice, the blood of our people. It is an alliance that we must make sure stands firm, is united, and we will not allow the alliance to split.”

He said those celebrating the embarrassing scenes at Cosatu's congress, suggesting an imminent split of the alliance, could not be more wrong.

“Some people are suggesting that this is the end of the alliance. No, you ain't seen nothing yet. The alliance is going to get even stronger.”

Zingiswa Losi, who was re-elected unopposed as Cosatu president, had warned the ANC that workers were not going to allow employers, in the private sector, government or state-owned entities to “undermine collective bargaining facing the wrath of the workers”.

Ramaphosa said the ANC was not going to let the alliance split as the issues Cosatu was raising, including the wage agreement sticking point, could be resolved.

“We are not going to allow the alliance to fade into history. This is too important. And in fact, without the alliance, this country will be in trouble,” he said.

“Yes, we have differences on a number of issues, but those differences comrades are not insurmountable, they are differences that we can solve, be it the difference about the 2018 wage that was not implemented or differences about policy positions ... Those differences will be addressed.

“We will not allow this alliance to die and we will not allow this alliance to be divided. Those who are celebrating and thinking that this alliance has served its time, they ain’t seen nothing yet. You don't know what this alliance is all about and what it is capable of. So candidates, those problems will be addressed.”


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