Zingiswa Losi. Picture: SAPA/WERNER BEUKES
Zingiswa Losi. Picture: SAPA/WERNER BEUKES

Labour federation Cosatu has reiterated that the entire Eskom board must resign after Jabu Mabuza quit the power utility on Friday.

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi, delivering a message of support during the ANC’s 108th birthday celebrations in Northern Cape on Saturday, said they welcomed Mabuza’s resignation as Eskom’s board chair.

Mabuza’s resignation come after the power utility failed to honour the commitment it made to President Cyril Ramaphosa that there would be no rolling power cuts before January 13, 2020. Loadshedding resumed about a week ago and Deputy President David Mabuza has said the Eskom board and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan had misled Ramaphosa.

“It was long overdue,” Losi said of Mabuza’s resignation, at the Tafel Lager Park stadium in Kimberley. “Since August last year, Cosatu has been calling for the entire board of Eskom to step down. We are [again] saying to the entire [Eskom] board: do the right thing and tender your resignation. [They] must follow suit.”

Losi, who is considered a key ally of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, said it was important for the governing party to reflect on what mattered the most and address unemployment, poverty and inequality.

The resolutions taken at the jobs summit needed to be implemented immediately. On the contentious land issue, Losi said that workers  were saying the matter needed to be addressed.

“Let’s deal with the land issue in SA. The triple challenges are intertwined with the issue of land in our country. The majority can’t continue to be subjects of [the] minority in SA,” said Losi. “We remain in alliance with the ANC, but we want an ANC that’s sensitive to worker issues.”

The National Health Insurance needed to be defended because poor people did not have medical aid, she said.

Earlier, ANC Northern Cape provincial chair Dr Zamani Saul called on Ramaphosa to do “everything possible to remain among our people” in order to know their irritations and concerns.

The ANC needed to wage a “decisive battle against corruption and the plundering of the public purse”. Individual leaders also needed to heed the battle cry “at risk of personal loss and vilification”.

“Every member of ANC must do serious individual introspection towards their attitude and each member must ask: whether conduct and articulation helps to advance the organisation,” said Saul.

“It is self-revolution that will enable us to bridge trust deficit between ourselves and the people; wipe out political arrogance and criminal behaviour in how we relate to people of SA. Factionalism, dishonesty will be undermined through self-revolution.”

SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande echoed Losi’s call on land expropriation, saying that 2020 would be the year that the Constitution is amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

Nzimande said the SACP, which forms part of the alliance together with Cosatu and the ANC, believed SA needed “radical change” to the economy, which must serve “our people” and not merekt a small minority. He added that the SACP supported prescribed assets and that the National Health Insurance should be implemented.  

Nzimande said the ANC still faced a bunch of challenges. He said the ANC must unite and uproot factionalism, which has plagued the party for more than a decade, “altogether”. He said a decisive blow must be dealt to end corporate capture.

The most prominent example of this is the phenomenon of state capture.He said the “crippling” of public entities, as well as the looting thereof should not go unpunished and that those who are involved should be called to account.

“Our revolution and our organisation is not for sale,” Nzimande said.