Out in the cold: Zwelinzima Vavi’s South African Federation of Trade Unions looks unlikely to be admitted to the National Economic Development and Labour Council. Picture: SUPPLIED
Out in the cold: Zwelinzima Vavi’s South African Federation of Trade Unions looks unlikely to be admitted to the National Economic Development and Labour Council. Picture: SUPPLIED

The South African Federation of Trade Union’s (Saftu’s) application to be admitted to the National Economic Development and Labour Council will likely be rejected by the body’s labour constituency.

Nedlac executive director Madoda Vilakazi told Business Day that unless the federation can provide its audited financial statements, audited membership figures and other required documents its application would not be approved.

Saftu has confirmed it does not have its audited membership tally or financials yet as it was only established a year ago.

The federation led by former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has cried foul over the Nedlac admissions criteria and procedure, claiming it was being systematically blocked from being a part of the organisation that formulates labour market policy.

Vilakazi said Saftu would know the outcome of its application around the April 6 as Nedlac had only 30 days to consider the request made on March 6.

"The first call is to ask for this information and if it’s not forthcoming, we can say on the basis of that … we reject the application. If they have the information, they [labour constituency] could say it doesn’t meet the criteria, for now, maybe [they should] apply once you [Saftu] meet the criteria. This thing of audited financial statements, I can foresee it will be a problem for now," Vilakazi said.

The Nedlac labour constituency — Cosatu, the Federation of Unions of SA and the National Council of Trade Unions — is responsible for the admission of labour federations.

In January 2017, the Nedlac executive council approved amendments suggested by the labour constituency on the criteria of prospective members, requiring that they be in existence for at least two years and can produce audited financial statements for that period. Saftu has described the requirements as "exclusionary", claiming there had never been a request for them to submit the documents.

"We, in fact, had been on the case of Nedlac demanding information from them to ensure that we have a complete application and to cut unnecessary delays," the federation said in answers to Business Day three weeks ago.

Attempts to get comment from Saftu were not successful.

Vilakazi rejected Saftu’s statement that the adjustments to the admission requirements were formulated specifically to block the federation.

"The last adjustment was done in January 2017. There is this perception that all this was done to frustrate or block Saftu … it is not like that…

"This is critical to ensure that whoever is applying here is a genuine organisation and all of that," he said.

mahlakoanat@businesslive.co.za

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