The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will use its central executive committee meeting to allow affiliates to deliberate on their preferred candidate to succeed Jacob Zuma as the next president of the African National Congress (ANC) the and country.
Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP) have been backing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over‚ but their views have no significant value‚ other than to influence ANC members‚ as they have no voting rights during the ANC’s elective conference.
“The meeting is not necessarily about the federation endorsing the deputy president‚ but it is a platform for affiliates to come and discuss outstanding resolutions‚ but also the issue of the ANC succession will be on the table‚” said Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla.
“We will be guided by the affiliates on how they want us to approach that matter and who do they propose as the next leader of the ANC.
“Up until such a time that affiliates have given us a position and mandate we cannot say who is their preferred candidate.”
Pamla said Cosatu would engage the SACP after some of its structures‚ including the Young Communist League‚ have proposed that the party should contest for state power in the 2019 elections.
“We have noted those messages coming from party structures‚ actually among some of the issues which will be discussed here is the coming bilateral meeting with the party‚” he said.
“We will have an opportunity to engage with the party and hear what is motivating them‚ we want to hear what is it that has convinced the structures that now it is the right time.”
He said Cosatu is opposed to any university fee increase.
“We represent the parents of those students and when you look at the bargaining round‚ the economy is on its knees and workers have not received any decent wage increases.”