News Bulletin
News Bulletin

The Shopsteward Subscribe to get a copy of the Shopsteward The Shopsteward Online Archive

Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor


Tel: (011) 339-4911
Fax: (011) 339-5080/339-6940
Email: donald @ cosatu . org . za

For comments on the website email: donald@cosatu.org.za

Congress  |  Declarations

Declaration on Organisational Renewal

Adopted by COSATU Special Congress, 20 August 1999

Consolidation of COSATU for the New Millennium: Organisational Renewal


  1. The `Consolidation of COSATU for the new millennium` is not an attempt to generate new organisational policy for the federation.

  2. The 1997 6th National Congress and the 1998 Central Committee as well as the last 1998 Central Executive Committee developed a three year program of action which sets out correctly our agreed organisational policy. The September Commissions is also an important resource document to use in charting our way forward regarding organisational renewal.

    This congress re-endorses these policies.

  3. In addition, this Special Congress endorses the broad framework as set out in the Congress documents on the following areas:

    • Shopsteward training;

    • Staff development;

    • Shop Steward elections;

    • The CEC and EXCO recommendations to establish defined Port-folio Commissions;

    • Leadership development.

  4. Since then, the alliance has further consolidated political power in government following the 1999 general elections.

  5. This congress therefore seeks to sharpen and further consolidate its organisational strength, to carry the organisation till the next national congress in the year 2000.

    1. To position the labour movement as a proud area of work and not just as a stopover for so-called better opportunities.

    2. To step up our campaign for the National People`s Budget which reflects the priorities of workers and the unemployed, and other marginalised components of civil society. This should be a people`s driven campaign.

    3. To recommend that we coordinate the shop-stewards elections at federation level and to designate the month of April, during the affiliate congress year, for such elections.

    4. To clearly define lines of accountability, responsibility, discipline and job description of departments and individuals within the departments.

    5. To develop a detailed discussion document on the role of NOB`s of both the federation and a coherent training and development programme must be developed. This should be for the finalisation in the coming 2000 Congress.

    6. To strengthen the powers of COSATU NOB`s to intervene to help in solving problems arising from affiliates which can not be solved by the affiliate concerned.

    7. To speed-up the resolution of dermacation disputes affiliates.

    8. To implement, before the 2000 Congress the Super Union formation decision while simultaneously striking a balance between, those sectors that are strongly organised and those that are marginalised.

    9. To target the following issues for successful implementation:

      1. The annual recruitment campaign that shall take place once a year. The purpose of the campaign is to organise non- COSATU workers into the appropriate affiliate. The slogan for the campaign should be :

      2. Every worker a COSATU member. Organise, service and fight for your rights.

        We should ensure that the alliance is aware of and plays a role in building and executing the campaign.

      3. To clarify our education priorities and strategy, with particular references to the specific role for COSATU NEDCOM affiliates education departments, Ditsela and other delivery institutions.

      4. To develop new education materials for the effective delivery of education for new shop stewards, second layer leadership and first layer leadership.

      5. To upgrade the manner in which Shop Stewards elections are done in a way that encourages the of women leadership and deepens maximum democratic membership participation and worker control within the federation.

      6. To develop effective shop steward database system in each affiliate.

      7. To introduce modern information technology strategy in every affiliate.

      8. Set-up a coherent campaign against HIV/AIDS.

      9. Prepare a coherent campaign for engagement in the local government elections.

      10. To require that the affiliates should place Gender as an item on every constitutional structure in the federation and all the affiliates, with a requirement produce reports setting-out steps to achieve targets as previously agreed.

      11. To conduct, in every affiliate a review of collective bargaining strategies and policies, to ensure that gender demands are appropriately accommodated.

      12. To conduct, in every affiliate a review of recognition agreement and audit it against gains made in the LRA.

      13. To revive the Living Wage campaign coordinated at the federation level.

      14. To revive the Health, Safety and Environment campaign. As a first step to have a focus month on health and safety in the workplace and to elect and train health and safety committees in each workplace.

      15. To develop a COSATU policy and program on equality and human rights. In addition the Special Congress declares the 25th of November as the month to focus on violence against women.

      16. To have a focus month on violence and abuse against women.

      17. To modernise and strengthen our media and information technology strategy and to specifically launch a campaign to ensure dedicated access for each shop steward to computer, internet and e-mail facilities at each workplace.

      18. To require a report at every structural meeting of the federation and affiliates on the implementation status of the adopted resolutions, as far as possible.

      19. To organise the unemployed. In the short term, we should set-up an advice desk for the unemployed.

      20. To organise the informal sector.

      21. To revive the National Health Insurance Campaign.

      22. To continually review the Job Creation Fund on a regular basis to see if it has an impact on jobs.

      23. To develop a document that becomes the basis for Congress discussion by April 2000.

    10. To effect the above, the federation shall convene meetings and workshops with appropriate affiliate representation shortly after the special congress.

    1. To initiate a eleven month review of COSATU policies and organisational strategies, which shall culminate , at the 2000 national congress, in a debate and decisions about the federation`s future. This review is to take place at all levels in affiliates and the federation.

  6. This Special Congress now sets the following as the federations organisational renewal priorities for the next eleven months:

    The second phase: