NATASHA MARRIAN: Cosatu to discuss 'plan B' if Ramaphosa fails to win ANC election
'Cosatu cannot be caught off guard should things fail to go our way in December'
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is set to hold a critical leadership meeting next week to decide its course of action should its preferred candidate‚ Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ fail to emerge on top at the national elective conference of its ally‚ the ANC‚ in December.
Cosatu is thus far the strongest constituency which threw its weight behind Ramaphosa in the ANC race to succeed President Jacob Zuma as party president in December. Ramaphosa is up against Zuma’s and the ANC Women’s League’s preference‚ NEC member Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma‚ for the top post.
The federation is holding a key central executive committee meeting starting on Monday next week - it is the first meeting since the ANC’s national policy conference at the end of June‚ the SA Communist Party’s national conference last month and the release of further contracting employment figures by Statistics South Africa.
Insiders on Monday told the Business Day that the meeting was likely to emerge with a strategy -- which took into consideration the SACP decision to contest elections -- to be followed should Ramaphosa fail in his bid for the party presidency.
It has just one central executive committee meeting left ahead of the December conference‚ which will take place in November‚ which may be too late to strategise ahead of the elective gathering‚ said the leaders of key unions in the federation.
The CEC will meet from Monday to Wednesday next week‚ where politics is likely to take centre stage.
The meeting also takes place on the back of a motion of no confidence against Zuma in Parliament in which over 34 ANC MPs voted against him.
“These are issues we will have to grapple with. Cosatu cannot be caught off guard should things fail to go our way in December‚” said a union leader‚ speaking on condition of anonymity.
On the table is the possibility of Cosatu holding a special national congress early next year to discuss the outcome of the ANC conference and to chart its own way forward in the aftermath of the gathering.
A media briefing will be held on Thursday next week to announce the outcome of the three-day discussions between union bosses.
Meanwhile‚ Cosatu on Monday called on Zuma to exert the same pressure he put on former deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana on ministers who were failing to perform in their portfolios. These included the ministers of Mining‚ Social Development and Public Service and Administration -- Mosebenzi Zwane‚ Bathabile Dlamini and Faith Muthambi‚ respectively.