COSATU SLAMS ZUMA SPEECH
LABOUR federation Cosatu has cried foul that President Jacob Zuma is treating workers the same way former president Thabo Mbeki had treated them.
Zuma kept his allies in the dark about the content of his State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
Cosatu bosses said although Zuma did not brief them about his vision for 2010, they assumed he would steer his government and the economy towards a developmental path that would create more jobs.
Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven told Sowetan the union was in the dark about Zuma's vision for 2010 and did not know what Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's Budget speech had in store.
Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini said Zuma's address exposed the lack of communication between the government and the tripartite alliance.
"The speech exposes that there is a lack of communication and all of us must work harder."
He said Cosatu had assumed the speech would be guided by the discussions at the last ANC national executive committee lekgotla and the Cabinet lekgotla.
"It (the speech) was definitely not drawn from those processes, which is why we were shocked."
Dlamini also took Zuma to task for understating the impact of the unemployment crisis, which resulted in 870000 jobs being lost.
"We were shocked to hear about figures being touted about trying to defend something that is so glaring that jobs had been lost in the past year."
Cosatu has also attacked the government for relying on the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to create jobs.
"What makes us even more worried is the report on jobs created by the EPWP because it means government has no other plan to create decent jobs," said Dlamini
Mbeki created a rift between his administration and the labour federation when he would not brief Cosatu about his plans.
Cosatu said that the Zuma administration should not continue with Mbeki's style.
"In the past we were kept even more in the dark than is the case at the moment," said Craven.
Cosatu had expected Zuma to "pronounce on the interventions the government is making in the economy to create more jobs," Dlamini said.
He said Cosatu was shocked that Zuma did not acknowledge the high rate of unemployment as a crisis.