5:24 AM (4 hours ago)
A bunch of trade unionists in a room. Why should I care?
You shouldn't. Unless you care about the future of the country. Cosatu's conference was a biggish deal as:
Ok, so what happened?
Erm, not all that much actually. Vavi delivered a scathing report on the ANC and the alliance generally, which was debated for absolute ages before it was adopted by the some 3 000 delegates. Most of the juicy stuff however was referred to the party's central executive committee to decide in the first week of October, particularly the hot issue of what the trade union federation's stance is on the ANC leadership battle where everyone is more or less with either Jacob Zuma or Kgalema Motlanthe for president.
Seriously? Why'd you bother going?
Well there were a few other important resolutions made. Here they are for your edification. You're welcome.
You're not paying attention, are you?
Um, no. Sorry. This is all a bit scary
It is and it isn't. The good news is that Cosatu is a pretty democratic organisation that was frank about their problems and genuinely wants to address them through what they believe is a good solution. But remember there are other plans competing with theirs, not least of which is Trevor Manuel's more centrist national development plan, which avoids scary words like expropriation. The alliance is a broad church, as they always say, and the ideas emerging out of this congress will be moderated by other voices.
A buzz term being thrown around was "social distance". With the threat of breakaway unions that are even more militant that Cosatu, plus the threat of more wildcat strikes like the one at Marikana that cost over 40 lives, it's in everyone's best interest to have a union federation like Cosatu that sorts out its challenges and convince workers they can represent them successfully. Also Cosatu has come down very hard on corruption in government, which is one thing that most South Africans can pretty much agree on.
Hell yes! Can I go enjoy my long weekend now?
You and me both. Happy Heritage Day.
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