The ANC in Gauteng has been reduced to an outsider as two of its key partners in the tripartite alliance decided to start campaigning for the 2019 elections without it.
Both Cosatu and the SA Communist Party leadership in the province said they want to avert a possible electoral onslaught by the opposition in the national elections, given the internal divisions and infighting that has become a distraction to the governing ANC as it gears towards its elective conference in December.
Speaking to journalists in Johannesburg today after a bilateral meeting wherein leaders flagged the danger of “enemies and forces linked to imperialism” taking over the economic powerhouse, Cosatu’s provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said it was time they lead the way.
Dakile said the paralysis in the ANC was forcing them to leave its ally behind and forge ahead with a joint “Qina Msebenzi/Tia Mosomi Election Campaign” meant to strengthen unity amongst workers and win elections in 2019.
“The ANC is looking inwardly and we have to take the lead. Once they are done with their squabbles, they will find us ahead. The left axis must defend the National Democratic Revolution,” he said.
The campaign, in which workers will be encouraged to essentially give their votes to the same ANC whose leaders continue to be brutally critiqued by both the SACP and Cosatu, will target various workplaces including the industrial sector.
It remains to be seen how the two organisations would lobby workers to vote for the ANC in 2019, particularly given their posture towards the ANC and the resolution by the SACP to contest state power and to stand independently on the ballot in the near future.
Dakile said their election campaign with the SACP should not send mixed signals that Cosatu, having endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to be the next ANC president, was now throwing its weight behind the party to contest elections.
That decision will be taken by workers at a Cosatu congress next year.
SACP provincial secretary Jacob Mamabolo echoed that sentiment
“We have a right as independent partners in the alliance to implement our own programmes.”
Mamabolo added: “We believe starting our election now as an independent alliance partner with revolutionary interest in defending our province constitutes the most direct and practical way towards a reconfigured alliance.”
The ANC’s allies have consistently called for such a reconfiguration, arguing the current one was outdated.
They want the Alliance Political Council to be reconfigured and be given new powers, making it a strategic centre of power.
This would mean political decisions, deployments and the passing of ANC manifestos amongst others, would be managed and approved by the alliance council. The reasoning is that too much power is centralised in the ANC and in individuals.
Dakile went as far as saying the Gupta family had become the strategic centre of power for the ANC.
The political council has failed to sit since last October. A scheduled meeting of this structure was postponed three months ago after President Jacob Zuma questioned why the alliance partners would want to listen to him when they have persistently called for his axing and barred him from their events. He persuaded other officials to request for bilaterals to be held instead but those have yet to take place, further widening the cracks.