2015 is one of the most significant years in the revolutionary work of COSATU.
bull The 2015 Plan, Medium Term Vision of COSATU, has reached its timeframe and will be assessed.
bull In 1985 FOSATU the predecessor of COSATU was formed, and therefore 2015 symbolised the 30th Anniversary of our glorious Federation.
bull It is a year in which we celebrating 60 years of the formation of SACTU.
bull It’s also 60 years of our Freedom Charter by the People’s Movement in 1955.
There are many other historic events but the above are some that relate better to the struggle of the masses of our country.
Based on the above it is therefore not an unreasonable or unholy thing for workers to expect a most progressive 2015, which will change their lives for better. This is our dream as we begin the year that we must work hard for it to come true. In the light of this our view is that more time should be spent in ensuring that decent jobs are being created in our Province and our country, and that more efforts are being put in improving lives of workers.
Our PEC at the end of last month saw it very much befitting that we accelerate our commitments in ensuring service to members, improve health and safety standards at the workplaces to prevent some reoccurrences of the previous year, enhance the struggle for living wage and minimum wage, strengthen our locals, work hard to ensure a working alliance that is accountable to the poor masses it leads and building our federation are championed as some of the pillars that must inform our 2015 Program.
Looking at the high level of unemployment rate in the country as released by Stats SA in October 2014 of 25.40%, the stats also shows that the number of people who have stopped to look for employment has increased to 3.9%. Whether these Stats are factual or not are not the reality remain that unemployment is high. The issue is that only COSATU, as an experienced and tested labour movement is capable of fighting for the emancipation of the poor workers as its core and primary task. In recognition of this our PEC holds a g view that stringent measures and a radical Program of Action will have to be developed to confront challenges facing workers. This means that a number of actions and activities will have to be embarked on.
Our Economic Summit identified IDZs and a number of economic hubs which must be used to fight the scourge of poverty. As COSATU we will build our capacity to ensure that initiatives such as Operation Phakisa do bring change in lives of the poor, and that as an active partner in the Premiers Human Development Committee we also work hard to see to it that its presence makes some impact in taking the Province forward.
The Department of Higher Education through SETAs is also playing a significant role in ensuring skills and workers at lower levels and unemployed have to be prioritized. These are just but few of the initiatives that are aimed at creating quality jobs and they must start delivering positive outcomes. Our PEC notes that are many other initiatives but there main worry is that they continue to pocket the few while poverty continue to escalate and this must change.
To some affiliates this is the year of collective bargaining and as a Province of KZN we wish them all the best, but it is important that we emphasize that the role of the Private Sector should not be to profit individuals. Our main focus in terms of infrastructure development and local procurement should emphasize those that respect the rights of workers and the principle of reinvestment to the development of the poor people.
The 2015 January 8 Statement of ANC focused mostly on the Chapters of the Freedom Charter, and made commitments on the need to fight against the triple challenges, fighting corruption and crime, reviewing the tender system, focusing on the Expanded Public Works programs etc. In developing our programs as COSATU in the Province we take all the progressive commitments that are aimed at lifting the standard of life of the poor people into account.
It is in the above vain that as COSATU in the Province we urge all leaders of our unions to give the best service to the members and prioritize their interests.
The PEC noted the current ESKOM challenge as a most disturbing one and hoped that the government will hold Officials of ESKOM accountable and minimize any negative impact to the economy of the country.
At this moment our immediate task and energy, working with SADTU will be directed at providing our leadership expertise to guide all those that have passed Matric find ways to pursue their carriers, and that students who did not make it do not lose hope but they forge ahead and remain to build a better future, that all kids, rich or poor, do have access to schools.
We hope that the investigation on the alleged lsquoMatric cheating’ or lsquoroup copying’ in the affected Provinces of KwaZulu, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape and Mpumalanga will be finalised urgently to allow affected kids with a chance to correct their mistake and continue to build their future. We are saying this in full light of the challenges faced by our Union SADTU as far as this matter is concerned and we give them full support as they deal with them.
As we face the challenge of space and capacity in our universities. We believe that Senior Officials and SRCs in all Universities and other institutions of higher learning will do as usual move on ground, leave their offices in an attempt to ensure that all students are given a chance to pursue their education ambitions, and that those that did not meet the requirements are get an expert aice on other options to be considered.
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions