Labour federation Cosatu is planning to roll out a mass action campaign after its September congress, a move that will fuel the simmering tension between it and President Cyril Ramaphosa. The federation, a member of the governing tripartite alliance, was one of Ramaphosa’s key backers during his rise to the presidency of the ANC and the country. Relations between the ANC and Cosatu were fractured during former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure. The frosty relations thawed when Ramaphosa took over. In his first few months in office, Ramaphosa has had to take tough decisions, some of which have angered the unions, resulting in renewed tension. This tension comes at the wrong time for Ramaphosa and the ANC as the union federation is still weighing up its options on whether to support the ANC in the 2019 national polls. A one-day Cosatu special central executive congress decided the federation would lead workers to the streets against job losses, unemployment and suspicions of planned publi...

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