Mail and Guardian

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says the ANC is increasingly being damaged by factionalism, patronage and corruption.

In a hard-hitting draft political report prepared for the trade union federation’s conference next month, Vavi also takes a swipe at his comrades in Cosatu, who he claims are preoccupied with campaigning for ANC factions before the party’s national conference in Mangaung in December, instead of addressing the challenges workers face.

“Cosatu has influence, but on issues that have nothing to do with workers, like Polokwane and Mangaung – that’s where you’ll start to hear Cosatu. But when it comes to worker issues on the ground and to influence government to change policies that affects workers, you find it asking,” Vavi says.

He decries the government’s poor service delivery, including the controversial textbook saga in Limpopo, which he says demonstrates “total” state dysfunction.

While the crises of poverty, inequality and unemployment are deepening, the ANC leaders are focused only on enriching themselves. “Struggles in the organisation are increasingly over control of the levers of accumulation. Those challenging these abuses find their lives increasingly in danger.

Clearly identified
“There is growing social distance between the leadership and the rank and file.

“This emerging crisis was clearly identified by the 2010 ANC NGC [national general council] and the organisational renewal paper to the 2012 policy conference. This crisis is systemic and relates to broader crises in the state and society. Because the ANC is the ruling party and leader of the [tripartite] alliance and society, this situation also has profound implications for society more broadly, for governance from national to local levels, for all state institutions and for progressive civil society, including the labour movement,” Vavi says in the document.

The crises are laying the foundations for growing disillusionment in society and questions are being asked about the legitimacy of the leadership in the movement and the state. Read more…