Cosatu vows to lobby against Manuel

LABOUR federation Cosatu's top brass has vowed to continue to canvass support in the ANC alliance against the decision to endorse National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, pictured right, as the chairperson of the mooted national planning commission.

Cosatu secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said they were not pleased with the ANC NEC's decision not to review the composition of the commission and Manuel's powers as its head.

Vavi said they would raise their concerns about the commission during the alliance summit tomorrow.

This week the ANC backed Manuel as the minister to head the NPC.

The move was seen as a blow to the leftists who are opposed to Manuel becoming what Cosatu has called "the effective prime minister".

This is because of Manuel's previous macro-economic policies that the left regard as "conservative and neo-liberal" and not contributing to job creation.

So far Cosatu seems to have lost to the "nationalists" within the ANC.

At its congress earlier this year Cosatu called for the withdrawal of the green paper on national strategic planning. This has not happened.

It also wanted its former national executive committee member Ebrahim Patel, who is now the minister of Economic Development, to play a bigger role in the NPC. This has not happened.

The ANC NEC this week rejected the suggestion that President Jacob Zuma - not Manuel - should be chairperson of the national planning commission.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the labour federation felt the ANC NEC took the "wrong decision" to endorse Manuel.