ANC must rid itself of corrupt elements to succeed in 2024 election – Losi

'Workers sent a clear message to the ANC in local elections'

Nomazima Nkosi Senior reporter
President of COSATU Zingiswa Losi during the opening of the 14th national congress of COSATU at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.
President of COSATU Zingiswa Losi during the opening of the 14th national congress of COSATU at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi has warned that the 2024 national election will be  critical for SA’s future.

Losi said the ANC needed to rid itself of corrupt elements if it wanted to avoid suffering the same defeat as the 2021 local government elections.

“We must contest the ANC and alliance to ensure the voice of workers is not side-lined.  Let’s help the ANC get rid of criminal elements if it wants to be saved,” she said.

Losi was speaking at the Cosatu 14th national congress held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, which kick-started on Monday. Congress will conclude its business on Thursday with the announcement of a new leadership.

Roughly 1,854 voting delegates are expected to attend.

“Workers sent a clear message to the ANC in the local elections.  If the ANC does not get its act together, deliver quality public services, tackle corruption, fix Eskom, save Metrorail and Transnet [public rail, grow the economy, create jobs and provide relief for the unemployed; then we will face a repeat of the disastrous 2021 election results in 2024.

“This is something that workers cannot afford.  Winning the 2024 elections is not about ensuring jobs for comrades in Parliament.  It is about defending the hard-won victories and rights of workers.  We cannot afford to fail.

While giving her opening address, Losi also touched on the  growing phenomenon of coalition governments in the country.

In Gauteng, the province’s three top metros are run via DA-led multi-party governments, including one of the metros in the Eastern Cape, namely Nelson Mandela Bay.

Touching on this, Losi said coalition governments were not about the people or voters. She said in those discussions, the will of voters were ousted through the window and replaced by discussions for positions.

“Once you go into a government of coalition, voters are discarded. What’s discussed at a table is about what you can give me.

“A government led by the opposition parties will spell the end of the many victories workers have achieved.  A coalition led by the ANC will struggle to deliver the demands of workers.  We cannot afford to gamble upon the rights of workers,” she said.

For the first time since the dawn of democracy, the ANC suffered devastating losses during last year's local government elections, dropping to below 50% nationally.

Looking at the national picture, Losi said it was critical for the federation to strengthen its numbers, grow and reach two million membership by the next congress.

She said since the last congress, unemployment had reached critical level of 46%. “This is our number one crisis.  No society can be sustained with one out two people unemployed, with 70% youth unemployment.  We are in danger of creating a permanent class of unemployed.

“Twent-eight years into democracy, despite all the efforts of government, we remain the world's most unequal society with rising levels of poverty and indebtedness,” she said.

Losi, who is seeking a second term in office, was nominated unopposed as president of Cosatu. First deputy president Mike Shingange was also nominated unopposed. Current deputy general-secretary Solly Phetoe was nominated unopposed to replace Bheki Ntshalintshali as general-secretary.

Simon Hlungwani and Duncan Luvuno will face off for the second deputy president position, while Freda Oosthuizen was nominated treasurer.

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