The road to hell is paved with good intentions, goes the cliché, but it aptly describes the decision by Cosatu and its affiliates to venture into the terrain of big capital by forming investment wings.

The most successful of these investment companies — collectively worth over R20bn — are the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union, which had a stake in Hosken Consolidated Investments; the Mineworkers Investment Co of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM); the Numsa Investment Company of the National Union of Metal Workers of SA; and the investment arm of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood & Allied Workers’ Union (Ceppwawu).

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