Cosatu warns the ANC that it will pay the price in 2019 if it fails workers
The federation says workers have no reason to continue supporting the governing party if it does not promote and protect their interests
Cosatu has issued the ANC with an ultimatum ahead of the national elections in 2019, saying the party will "pay the price" if it fails to balance the demands of "capital" with those of labour.
In a strongly worded statement read to reporters at a briefing on Tuesday, the federation said workers would have no reason to continue supporting the ANC if it does not promote and protect their interests.
The party’s special central executive committee meeting held on Monday discussed the mass job losses in the country, the effect of the VAT increase on the poor and alleged plans by the government to retrench public servants.
The committee also resolved that Cosatu leaders should request an urgent meeting with the ANC top six leadership to communicate "a clear message that workers will not vote against their interests in the upcoming elections".
Cosatu’s first deputy president, Tyotyo James, said workers’ support for the ANC does not come without conditions.
"Workers in this country voted [for] the ANC to protect their interests, that’s the reason. If the ANC will betray the interest of workers, they will have to rethink their support of the ANC. Our vote for the ANC is not free, it is for the ANC to continue to protect our interests," he said.
Cosatu has long complained of the ANC’s failure to implement its own policies in government, blaming the treasury for the failing economy and its effect on workers and the poor.
The federation said its upcoming national congress will decide how the federation should deal with the ANC’s failure to implement its own policies and those of the alliance.
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the resolution would inform the process of reconfiguring the alliance as the status quo was unsustainable.
Cosatu and the SACP have been in discussions about how the alliance can be reconfigured to ensure it is effective, and that resolutions see the light of day.
The Cosatu national congress will be attended by more than 2,000 delegates and will be held in Midrand in September.