Cosatu affiliates face deregistration
MOST of Cosatu's affiliates have not submitted their audited financial statements and membership figures since 2009, contravening the Labour Relations Act.
However, the trade union federation, which claims to have a membership of two million, is not fazed by the possibility of its affiliates being deregistered.
Only two of the federation's unions comply with the Labour Relations Act, which requires unions to submit their audited financial statements, membership figures and their lists of office bearers by March 31.
Close to 1.7 million workers - who are members of the 16 unions that face deregistration should the Department of Labour fully adhere to the Labour Relations Act - could lose their bargaining power.
Two unions, the SA Democratic Nurses Union, and the Communication Workers Union (CWU), have already been deregistered.
Cosatu's spokeswoman Phindile Kunene said the federation was aware of the registrar's report pointing to non-compliance.
"This will be a big issue for debate in our congress next month. The federation feels that the registrar has been overzealous in reaching the conclusion about non-compliance.
"Many of our affiliates are disputing this and the federation has encouraged them to raise these disputes," said Kunene.
Of Cosatu's 20 affiliates, only the National Union of Mineworkers, which has about 300,000 members, and the SA Society of Bank Officials have submitted all the documents required by the Department of Labour.
Most of the unions, such as the SA Municipal Workers Union, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, the SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union, the National Health and Allied Workers Union and the SA Football Players Union have not submitted audited financial statements and membership figures since 2009.
The SA Medical Association has not complied with any of the legal requirements since 2002.
The Department of Labour said it needed enough time to respond.
CWU, which waged a successful battle against labour brokers, recently took the labour department to court after it was deregistered in July.
The department accused CWU, which represents close to 50,000 media and post office workers, of failing to provide financial statements since 2006.
The matter was heard in the labour court and postponed to next month.
CWU spokesman Matakana Mothapo said that union members suspect "political influence" led to their deregistration.
"We questioned the criteria that was used to arrive at the conclusion that CWU should be deregistered," he said.
"Comparatively speaking our union is better than most unions."