Tripartite alliance shows cracks, says report
COSATU and the SACP's relationship seems to have deteriorated. This picture is clearly painted in the secretariat report.
The report states the party has fallen behind in elaborating a practical and theoretical perspective on the national democratic revolution and socialism in the context of today's conditions.
Cosatu said the SACP reacted defensively and as a result there is fear they have resorted to dividing Cosatu based on the mistaken perception that certain Cosatu leaders are driving the agenda because of hostility to the party or because they are positioning themselves to lead the SACP.
At this stage, the report says, the relationship has begun to degenerate into mudslinging rather than meaningful engagement.
"This level of debate is not helpful: Some SACP leaders are launching personal attacks and smears aimed at Cosatu general secretary [Zwelinzima Vavi].
"At the recent bilaterals, the SACP argued that there is now the emergence of business unionism in Cosatu and that the union was developing a cult of the personality.
"Some in Cosatu view that the SACP is advancing the real personality cult by proposing to amend its constitution to accommodate an individual and that SACP leaders now have a conflict of interest on various issues the working class is contesting because of their positions in government.
"The SACP in turn has accused Cosatu of being ultra-left and not understanding the importance of state power.
"This growing rift between the two organisations can only delight our class opponents.
"A further problem is differences in our interpretation of the current political situation.
"The SACP interprets the victory of [President Jacob Zuma] and the appointment of its leaders in Cabinet as a major breakthrough, which must be defended at all costs.
"This threatens to bring the pendulum back to the domination of the SACP by government which characterised the situation in 1994 after the loss of late Chris Hani when the party was dominated by a conservative cabinet.
"Who can forget the SACP that was beholden in the state defending Gear [policy] and driving a host of anti-worker programmes such as privatisation during the period between 1994 and 1998?
"This was before 2009 where the current general secretary turned the party into a fighting party with the adoption of various campaigns such as Red October, the campaign on banks and the land question."
The report said the SACP has been sucked too deeply into government, and is losing its dynamism and it is "frankly being compromised by the presence of its top leaders in the executive".
"Example of this is that the current anti-worker proposals contained in the draft bill in Parliament purporting to be addressing violence during strikes and the proposals on essential services have gone through Cabinet," the report stated. "So is the decision to go ahead with the e-tolling despite the ongoing engagement between the ANC and Cosatu on alternative funding on the issue and despite a huge public outcry."