The Congress of South African
Trade Unions (COSATU) is pledging its unflinching support for the ruling African
National Congress (ANC) party ahead of next year's general election. COSATU
says the ruling party's economic policy shift towards fighting poverty in the
country deserves praise. The trade union said it would work hard to ensure that
the ruling ANC gets an even bigger majority in parliament in the election.
Somadoda Fikeni is a South African political analyst. He tells reporter Peter
Clottey from the capital, Pretoria that the trade union has a large following,
which could be significantly beneficial to the ANC ahead of next year's general
is quite significant when you consider the fact that this labor federation is
well represented across the country, and well disciplined and organized. So, it
provides a very strong mobilizing machinery on the ground for the ANC, particularly
in the urban areas where you have high labor concentration and membership,"
Fikeni pointed out.
said the trade union has always been a staunch supporter of the ruling party.
"COSATU together with the South Africa
Communist Party have always been part of the ANC alliance and therefore, before
each one of the elections since 1994 they have always participated or even
pledged openly that they will support the ANC in its efforts. So, this is a
continuation of that tradition," he said.
disagreed with COSATU's claims that the ANC has shifted its focus to fighting
at all, actually there is a lot of continuity within the ANC policies
such the current president of the country who is deputy president of
the ANC Kgalema Motlanthe as well as the ANC president Jacob Zuma and
several other ANC senior members have assured the business community
world that there will be continuity in terms of policies. But what the
is now looking back at the last 14 or 15 years is more on sharpening
delivery mechanism because there is a general agreement that South
good policies, but it has been less than successful in terms of
said although the trade union has support muscle, it would take more than that
if the ruling ANC is to be successful in next year's general election.
won't take COSATU alone to do that. There are several other factors that we
have to take into account. One, this would be a seriously contested election in
which case ANC may face the prospect of losing its two thirds majority. But it
is still expected to win a majority and therefore continue to be there
government. And it may even lose some of the provinces like the Western Cape
and this is due to the ANC's own internal problems and factionalism that have
been allowed to go on for the last few years. It is the one that is mainly
responsible for the breakaway groups and their successes or even successes of
the opposition parties," he said.
COSATU said the ANC, which is facing an
unprecedented challenge from a breakaway party, had done well to focus on job
creation and poverty eradication under the leadership of Jacob Zuma, who took
the ruling party's top job a year ago.
COSATU and the smaller Communist Party backed
Zuma when he beat former South African President Thabo Mbeki for the ANC
leadership last year. Mbeki was ousted as president in September.