Former SANDF soldier Zingiswa Losi is expected to emerge as the first female President of Cosatu when the federation union’s national elective congress begins today (Mon, 17 Sept 2018)
Losi, who is being lobbied mainly by Nehawu and Popcru to take up the seat, has a popular consensus from all 17 affiliates to take over from President Sdumo Dlamini, whose relationship with former President Jacob Zuma has made him lose favour with the unionists.
Sources say Losi, who comes from Popcru, is expected to be elected unopposed.
The congress begins on 17 and ends on 20 September 2018.
Cosatu elects two deputy presidents – a 1st and a 2nd deputy – and Losi is 2nd deputy president and Tyotyo James is 1st.
James won’t come back – he is also expected to step down, but general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali, deputy general secretary Solly Phetoe and treasurer Freda Oosthuysen are expected to retain their positions, according to reports.
Losi had served as a NUMSA shop-steward while working for Ford in Port Elizabeth.
Later on, Losi was controversially appointed the deputy director of the cops in the Eastern Cape.
In 2014, NUMSA went to war with Losi over the “unprocedural” appointment, causing her to leave the union and join Popcru.
Losi became a 2nd deputy president of Cosatu while she was a Numsa member.
But when NUMSA began going to war with Cosatu and SACP, Losi left to join Popcru, despite having never been a cop, to allow herself to keep the Cosatu deputy president position.
The trade union federation said when they supported him it was for the sole reason of assisting the poor, working class people.
Cosatu is concerned about the path President Cyril Ramaphosa is taking and wishes to tell him that he is on the wrong footing.
Mpumalanga Cosatu leader Thabo Mokoena said when they supported President Cyril Ramaphosa it was because former leader Jacob Zuma was involved in scandals and that was eroding the ANC’s “moral fibre”.
“We decided that ‘no, let us bring someone who can bring a moral fibre to the organisation and we said comrade Cyril Ramaphosa is the one.
“But why is food price increasing? Why now we pay high on tax? And why is the petrol price increasing?” Mokoena said at the Siyathuthuka hall in eMakhazeni.
He was delivering the SACP’s message of support while the party was celebrating its 97th birthday at the hall.
“It looks like Ramaphosa will be a problem as well,” Mokoena said to laughter from scores who came to the hall.
“You came yesterday and today you increase things, what is that comrades?”
“No, no comrades please look at it properly. Is that the way we are supposed to go? No, no comrades,” Mokoena said.
“As Cosatu we are saying all these increments should be condemned. We condemn it. All along there was no tax increment in South Africa and you came yesterday but today there are increments, what’s that? No, no looks like we will have another problem here,” Mokoena said to continued laughter.
The communist party celebrated 97 years of birth over the weekend in Mpumalanga, inviting Central Committee member Buti Manamela to come deliver the keynote address.
Mokoena took over from Fidel Mlambo in 2016, becoming Cosatu’s provincial leader in the Mpumalanga province.
He shared the stage with YCL national leader Mluleki Dlelanga, Mpumalanga’s SACP leader Bonakele Majuba and SANCO’s Hamzer Ngwenya, who delivered the civic movement’s message of support.
Mokoena said Ramaphosa is not helping poor people.
“Comrades we are saying we are going to elections next year and we should be radical and you won’t separate us from the SACP. If we happen to contest state power we are together with you (SACP),” Mokoena said to applause.
The minimum wage is R20 per hour and was announced by government this week.
Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini also believes as time goes the conditions of the working class will improve, taking the announced minimum wage as a start.
He said the Congress of the South African Trade Unions also believe the R3,500 national minimum wage “is not enough” but is the result of negotiations and consultations.
“We are not saying here that R3,500 is enough or gives dignity to those workers but what we are simply saying is that there has been negotiations in this country for over the past three years which lasted for two years and consultation and research were done. The outcome of that is what we are [having] today,” Dlamini said.
He was speaking during an interview with SAFM’s Ashraf Garda on Tuesday night (1 May) this week.
“We are discussing a national minimum wage, we are not discussing a living wage. Sometime when a debate about a living wage is opened we will talk about that,” Dlamini told Garda.
“We are discussing a floor which once it is introduced in this country there will be no employer should pay a worker below,” he said.
He said though they were also not agreeing with the introduced national minimum wage but it was something given that it was the first time it is introduced in South Africa.
On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed Cosatu’s May Day rally at Isaac Wolfson stadium in the Nelson Mandela Bay and said government will put mechanisms that will ensure that as the national minimum wage increases over time must do so in a way that reduces both poverty and inequalities and is able to contribute meaningfully to inclusive growth.
He said they also agreed that they moved as quickly as possible to introduce a living wage.
“To do this we need to grow our economy, improve levels of productivity, develop the skills of our workforce and create jobs on a far greater scale”.
The Vantage Goldfields pleaded broke, saying they would need R200 million to rescue the workers and didn’t have that amount.
“We are disappointed that the operations of both affected mines, that is the Babrock and Lily Mines remain suspended while workers are left in the ledge with no income and means of survival and that there are still outstanding payments of rescued mine workers who have not received a cent as compensation since the promises made by the Minister of DMR Mr Mosebenzi Zwane,” Mokoena said.
“Cosatu calls upon the department and Minister Mosebenzi Zwane to have conscious and empathy by ensuring that the crisis is resolved as matter of urgency and the affected families find closure,” he said.
He addressed scores with the vigour needed to ascend to the ANC’s highest office.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa believes in slates but wants the losing one to accept the winning one as their elected leaders for the sake of the survival of the ANC.
He said if he himself doesn’t win in December he will just “accept the decision of the majority” and rally his support behind the newly elected leadership.
Ramaphosa spoke during the Mpumalanga SACP’s Red October rally in Mbombela on Saturday and said that everyone – both candidates and delegates – will have to understand that what comes first is actually the ANC and not individuals.
“So comrades as we go to the conference we must know that this is an important conference,” Ramaphosa said at the Mbombela rugby stadium.
“Those leaders who are standing for positions and who will not succeed must accept that those who will be elected are their leaders,” he said.
“They must accept that what comes first is democratic centralism,” Ramaphosa said.
He delivered the keynote address at the communist event together with SACP national deputy chairman Thulas Nxesi.
“Myself as Cyril Ramaphosa if I don’t get enough votes we must accept the decision of the majority of the delegates of the conference,” the Deputy President told supporters in black CR17 t-shirts.
“I’m willing to accept the decision of the majority of the conference. If I don’t succeed, I will humble myself and accept the results and the leadership that will be elected,” he said to applause.
Ramaphosa will face off with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in December when the ANC convenes its 54th national congress.
The two are forerunners in the race to succeed outgoing President, Jacob Zuma, on 16-20 December.
Other runners who have declared their interests for the ANC presidency are Lindiwe Sisulu, Zweli Mkhize, Baleka Mbete and Mathews Phosa.
The ANC in the province snubbed the rally, saying it was told nothing about it and instead endorsed the one held by the ANCWL in KwaMhlanga, addressed by Dlamini-Zuma.
Bonakele Majuba, the party’s leader in Mpumalanga, thanked the crowds for coming despite being intimidated, apparently by leaders of branches aligned to ANC provincial leader DD Mabuza – who is opposed to Ramaphosa ascending to the highest ANC job.
“We know that some of you were stopped while you were coming here. Buses were stopped and some of you were even told that if you come here you will lose your jobs and all those kind of things,” Majuba said.