Cosatu in talks to improve its engagement with the ANC

Fresh from the battle with its alliance partners, where it lost most of its demands, the top brass at Cosatu House are locked behind closed doors for a three-day meeting of its central executive committee this week.

Fresh from the battle with its alliance partners, where it lost most of its demands, the top brass at Cosatu House are locked behind closed doors for a three-day meeting of its central executive committee this week.

As leader of the ruling tripartite alliance the ANC has rejected Cosatu's demand for a review of the national planning commission chaired by Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel.

The ANC has also rejected Cosatu's claim that Ibrahim Patel, the Minister of Economic Development, should have a role in the NPC.

Recently, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told Sowetan the federation felt that Manuel's position gave him powers to interfere with the responsibilities of other departments, making him (Manuel) a de facto prime minister.

"In its current proposed form the NPC takes away the responsibilities of other ministers. Our other concern is that we never meant for the NPC to formulate policy."

Cosatu mistrusts Manuel and has identified him as one of former president Thabo Mbeki's confidants and architect of the "1996 Class Project", which sought to displace the federation and the SACP from the alliance.

Cosatu leaders will also debate the alliance summit resolution to extend the mandate of the Reserve Bank to include stimulating investment towards mining, manufacturing and other sectors.

This week Cosatu said it would discuss ways of improving its engagement with the ANC and "building capacity for effective coordination and monitoring".

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davis is to present a discussion paper on the "state of the economy, the challenge of restructuring the economy and the development of a new growth path", while Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will present a paper on the "migration challenges and the state of the Home Affairs Department".

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