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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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Congress  |  Declarations

Declaration of the COSATU NW provincial conference

We the 795 esteemed delegates of the 3rd COSATU North West Provincial Congress, drawn from the 20 affiliates representing 231 749 members have gathered here in Potchefstroom over the past two and half days from the 20th July 2012 to the 22nd July 2012 under the theme “Advance working class power for socialism and mobilise against corruption and exploitation - role of the working class in the liberation struggle- strengthening COSATU for total emancipation”.

Together with us in our third provincial congress, we were joined by the traditional leadership of the province, representatives from government and our alliance partners respectively.

We have received a report of the past three years which has encapsulated an assessment of the organisational, political and socio economic conditions of our province and we have noted a decline in membership of the federation, which is caused by amongst others the plethora of challenges facing the working class and the trade union movement in our province, our country and internationally.

Our congress has further been preceded by the ANC national policy conference which unanimously agreed that there is a need for radical transformation of the economy. We have observed with dismay the ambiguity contained in the aforementioned policy, which in our view will not translate into true socio economic transformation without the encapsulation of struggle for socialism as an integral component that cannot be isolated from the transformation of economy.

This congress was also preceded by the SACP 13th national congress which committed the SACP to continue to pursue the struggle for socialism, and again the conclusion of the murder case of our comrade Moss Phakoe, which has been pending for a long period; indeed this is a milestone victory for us. What is left for us is to fight to root out corruption that amongst others led to his death

We went through the twists and turns posed by the current spate of corruption, the deterioration of the political situation and the decay of the moral fibre that have stolen our movement. To this end, this glaring tendency denies the poor people of the North West the service delivery they deserve most.

We are further delighted and inspired by the warm inputs presented by the deputy minister of health who spoke at length on the objectives of the NHI and the challenges we might face moving forward. We are content once more to pronounce that this concept is indeed a revolutionary health program that can provide quality basic health to the poor and the working class.

We welcomed the address from the COSATU National Office Bearers through the President who have among others highlighted the rising inequalities in the society and the declining share of workers in the national income.


We gather here in the year that our movement the ANC is celebrating its centenary. We welcome the progress made in building the workers monument and the renaming of Bojanala District Municipality to Moses Kotane Municipality.

As workers we will celebrate together with the ANC the role that the workers have played in the liberation of our country and we will honour our heroes and heroines of this province in the names of Moses Kotane, Elijah Barayi, John Beaver Marks, Dorothy Makgalo and many others

We have assessed the progress made thus far in advancing the national democratic revolution and believe that the NDR will not be realised in the current state of politics in our country, in particular the North West province. We believe that the NDR has been hijacked by the demagogues whose interest is driven by greed and self enrichment and they are the ones who coordinate corruption. We are weakened by graft and crass materialism which is driven by personal interest.

We remain committed to the full and speedy realisation of the goals of the National Democratic Revolution and shall spare no effort in ensuring that we play a decisive role. The resolution of the three interrelated contradictions, i.e. poverty, unemployment and the rising inequalities is core to our program moving from this congress. As a leading detachment of the working class, we shall more than ever before ensure that we earn our historic place as a primary motive force of the NDR.

To us, the most direct route to socialism is through a successful transformation of our society in a manner that addresses all the three interrelated contradictions that led to the national grievances. At the same time we reaffirm that the struggle for a socialist South Africa cannot be suspended. That struggle is ongoing and is certainly not in contradiction with the goals of the NDR for a fundamental transformation of our society.

We should ensure that we build an activist developmental state that has the capacity to lead the transformation project. It must ensure not only a new growth paradigm, but it must be capable of addressing the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequalities, and also meet the basic needs of our people.

We believe that the ANC remains the leader of the alliance and the alliance remains the political centre. The SACP remains the only vanguard of the working class.

We reaffirm our commitment to maintain a strong SACP as we believe that a strong SACP will be better positioned to advance the NDR to the next level and lead us to socialism. We also believe that socialism can be conceived in the womb of capitalism.

Our movement in the province is marred by factionalism and cronyism which are directed to drive the interests of some factions in the movement and to feed the greed of some individuals within the movement.

We want to reaffirm our position that the ANC is not corrupt but individuals in the ANC conduct themselves in corrupt activities.

We believe that there is a tendency led by the demagogues in the ANC, who want to steal our movement from the broader majority of the people of our country and derail the movement from its primary objective of building and egalitarian society in our country.

We have assessed the political situation in our province from the 1994 Sun City 2008 conference of the ANC to the current PEC and we came to the conclusion that our political situation has not changed. The ANC is still run along factional lines and there is a lot of political patronage which determines deployments in the province.

We also assessed the 2011 local government elections and concluded that the ANC could have performed better if it was not challenged by the current environment internally.

Underlying all our programmes will be our endeavour to ensure the political transformation of our society and ensure that our alliance programmes and government programmes advance a pro-working class political agenda. We shall continue to build the working class’s consciousness and ideological cohesion and we shall continue building the engines of COSATU and the working class.


We welcomed the report which clearly shows that the federation in the province is determined and continues to be the leading force of the voiceless people

We have welcomed the mandate bestowed to us by our 10th National Congress, which is inter alia to:

  1. Build consciousness among the broader society through a mass education program
  2. Work with government to transform society
  3. Build the engines of the movement, which means strengthening the affiliates and the locals

We have noted the poor service of members and poor representation of members in the CCMA and other statutory councils. We also noted the declining membership across the federation.

We note the attack on the working class in the form of an attack to NUM in Impala by AMCU, farm workers, farm dwellers and the workers at Chubby Chick by racist farmers who are continue with their agenda of racial killings and we will defend the workers and our constitutional rights for freedom of association and we will build solidarity amongst workers throughout the province.

We have noted the challenges facing the working class in the neighbouring countries and we believe that the working class challenges are not bound to one country.

We have been able to take forward most of our campaigns and we will intensify our work moving forward, in particular the e tolling and the most expensive toll gate in our country [Swartruggens], the labour brokers, the living wage, the fight against corruption, the fight against racism and the fight for better service delivery for poor communities.

Socio economic

We have assessed the socio economic condition in our province and noted that the major contributors to our economy are the production of raw materials in the mining industry, manufacturing and agriculture and believe that this can be improved through the beneficiation of the mining products and agro-processing of agricultural products of the province.

We have also noted the current underperformance of our economic development agency in the province and the provincial growth and development strategy, which we believe should be reviewed in line with the demands of the province, with more emphasis on rural development and in line with our Growth Path for Full Employment.

We have noted the state of poor service delivery which has led to the current protests in the province which sometimes turn violent, and we believe this has been caused by political deployment which is marred by cliques and factions and the failure of the councils to deliver services to the poor, which we believe it is caused by the poor leadership capacity in the councils.

We have noted with disappointment that the working class have been on the receiving end since our democratic breakthrough in 1994 and the white monopoly capital have been the beneficiaries of our democracy, and unemployment remains stubbornly high in this province and is on an increase.

We believe that colonialism of a special type continues to thrive, as the white citizens continue to be advantaged above black citizens of our country.

We are emerging from this congress much stronger, more united and determined to spare no ounce of our energies in tackling the challenges we face. We recommit to rigorously implement all the resolutions of this congress and take up those which are of a national nature to the coming 11th National Congress in September 2012.

Emerging from this congress united as ever we therefore declare to:

  • Protect our resolutions and decisions including all the leaders of COSATU both nationally and provincially.
  • To strengthen COSATU locals and affiliates and ensure that membership service takes a priority in all our activities
  • To prioritise the education work, Revive the Chris Hani Brigade engage on a mass education program through socialist forums, film festivals and other activities which will assist to build consciousness of the masses of our people in the province
  • Strengthen our working relations with the traditional leaders in the province and work together with the traditional leaders to fight for provision of quality services in our communities.
  • Campaign against xenophobia, tribalism, regionalism and all forms of discrimination.
  • Campaign for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the main stream of the economy.
  • Continue to swell the ranks of the ANC with the intention of redirecting the movement back to its core objective of building an equalitarian society and redirect the ANC to the objectives of the NDR and the freedom charter.
  • Continue to contest the ANC in order to impose the working class hegemony in the movement as the ANC continue to be ideologically contested.
  • Continue to support and build a strong SACP in all our communities and Build SACP units in all workplaces and all our affiliates will use all their activities to recruit for the SACP.
  • Work together with the SACP to build ideological capacity of our members and the community at large.
  • No longer engage on protest activities in support of anyone who is accused of corruption and is been charged in court.
  • Develop joint program together with our alliance partners and the traditional leaders including building a strong civil society movement in the province.
  • Intensify our fight against corruption and make sure that all the whistle blowers are protected and anybody who is implicated in corruption must be exposed and prosecuted without fear.
  • Intensify our campaign for the realisation of the COSATU growth path for full employment and ensure the provincial growth and development strategy includes the pillars of our growth and make sure that the planning commission works for the poor.
  • Support the program of blacklisting the corrupt companies and exposing them publicly.
  • Demand the release of the report of the SIU investigation which was done in the 23 municipalities in the province and the forensic investigation in provincial departments, the task team report of the late minister of local government and the report that led to the killing of Moss Phakoe.
  • Call on for further investigation on what led to the murder of comrade Moss Phakoe and let all those who have been convicted tell us why they have killed comrade Moss Phakoe.
  • Continue to build the engines of the COSATU which means strengthening the affiliates and the locals for quality service to the members.
  • Intensify our recruitment campaign for the realisation of the 2015 Plan objectives.

Our primary task moving forward is to advance working class power for socialism to mobilise against corruption and exploitation to strengthen COSATU for total emancipation of the working class to dislodge the tendency and defeat it in all the structures of the movement where it rears its ugly head.

For workers of the world unite you have nothing to lose except your chains.

For more information feel free to call the COSATU NW Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe [0823044055]