Cosatu Congress: Cosatu 9th National Congress

Political, organisational, socio-economic and international are just some of the issues that are likely to capture the federation’s attention at its 9th National Congress in September.

Numsa regions are currently discussing the different views of the alliance partners in the run up to Congress. Numsa has also summarized how these views converge and differ. Get copies of all these documents from your local.

But as with all congresses the spotlight will surely fall on some of the key speakers expected. President Thabo Mbeki will address congress delegates on the opening day while Blade Nzimande and “Msholozi” JZ are billed for the morning of the second day. This is the day when affiliates are expected to chart the political way forward for the federation.

Over the last few months, all members of the alliance have released their own political visions for the future, some of which contradict each other directly. In mid-July the ANC and Cosatu met to iron out their differences. As in the past, this smoothing of tensions is likely to water down the debate in the congress on the future of the Alliance, and as the JZ saga gets underway, who knows what the future of workers is going to be as the social forces battle for their share of power.

Possibilities For Fundamental Social ChangeCosatu’s document “Possibilities for Fundamental Social Change” sets out some of the options that the federation has put forward to stimulate debate.

Scenario 1: Continue without change ie the current situation continues and ignores the 2015 programme or pretends that the historic 8th National Congress did not take place. In this scenario we will continue with no consensus within the Alliance on what interventions are required to change the accumulation regime. Alliance is marginalised from driving the agenda for change and its role restricted to mobilisation during the election. Substantially, there is no alliance as conceived by Cosatu and we continue to zigzag from one political crisis to the other.
Scenario 2: In this scenario we change the Cosatu leadership mindset and abandon the largely laissez-faire attitude. We vigorously drive the 2015 programme and indeed build the working class power. In this scenario Cosatu membership grows to 4 million in line with recruitment policy framework and creates a conscious and politicised proletariat out of these ordinary workers. These trained cadres swell the ranks of the ANC and redirect it into the framework of the 1969 Morogoro conference’s strategy and tactics. In this scenario the ANC led by the working class at all levels is not hostile to socialism and manages internal contradictions of the broad church towards fundamental transformation of society as envisaged in the Freedom Charter and Morogoro.
Scenario 3: Introduce some change: this may entail signing an enforceable Pact within the alliance. The Pact will stipulate how the alliance should operate and the development agenda that should guide government. The working class also begins to contest power in the manner that the SACP is beginning to propose.
Scenario 4: Walk out of the Alliance and call on the SACP to contest political power or start a new working class Party that would unite labour, SACP, social movements, civil society formations and the leftwing political formations committed to the radical transformation and socialism. Under this scenario Cosatu acts with others to challenge the ANC in power directly.
Scenario 5: The alliance disintegrates with no clear direction. Under this scenario the ANC stops being a broad church and is hijacked to drive a narrow bourgeois agenda whilst purging those calling for fundamental change. Cosatu and the SACP split down the middle along ideological lines and loyalty to personalities in the ANC.

Who will be going from your region?In the next few weeks, Numsa locals will be choosing their delegates to go and represent you at Cosatu’s September National Congress. Find out who your delegates are from your local.


Numsa Membership

1 delegate per 750 members to Cosatu congress

Wits Central West

35 987



32 996



26 276


Western Transvaal

13 382



14 612



32 657


Eastern Cape

27 395


Western Cape

24 790


Northern Cape

8 713


Head office


Total Numsa delegates

216 808


Ingqungquthela yesi-9 yeCosatuICosatu seyiphendulile embhalweni okuboniswana ngawo we-SACP. [bheka iNumsa News o. 3 isifingqo] kanye nemibhalo ekhishwe yi-ANC. Kuhlongozwa ukuthi iCosatu kufanele ikhethe phakathi kwezimo ezinhlanu ezahlukene [bona ibhokisi].

Izimo zehlukana kusukela kwezinkulu zokuphuma ombimbini [Isimo 4] nokuphonsela i-ANC inselele ngqo kungaba nge-ANC noma nge-SACP noma ngenhlangano yabasebenzi ehlukile noma ukuqhubeka njengangaphambi kweNgqungquthela yesi-8 [Isimo 1]. Isimo sesi-2 siphakamisa ukuthi kufanele kube nogqozi lokufuna abantu abajoyinayo okuzokwandisa ubukhulu beCosatu, kukhulisa izikhundla ze-ANC futhi kuphoqe i-ANC ukuthi isondele ekubeni ibhekele inqubo yenhlalo yomphakathi. Isimo sesi-3 siphakamisa ukuthi onke amalungu ombimbi kufanele asayine isivumelwano esiqinisekayo lapho Isimo sesi-5 sicabangela ukuthi ukuhlakazeka kombimbi ne-ANC kushushwa uhlelo oluncane lweziqumama bese kuthi iCosatu ne-SACP kuhlukane phakathi nendawo.

Cosatu 9de KongresCosatu het op die SAKP se besprekingsdokument [sien Numsa News No. 3 vir “˜n opsomming] gereageer, asook op dokumente wat deur die ANC vrygestel is. Die dokumente stel voor dat Cosatu tussen 5 verskillende opsies moet kies [kyk blok].

Hierdie opsies wissel van die uiterste – om uit die alliansie weg te breek [Opsie 4], en die ANC direk í²f deur middel van die SAKP í²f as “˜n aparte werkersparty uit te daag, of om voort te gaan soos voor die 8ste Kongres [kyk Opsie 1]. Opsie 2 behels “˜n enorme werwingsveldtog wat Cosatu sal vergroot, die ANC se geledere sal laat groei en sodoende die ANC sal dwing om nader aan sosialisme te beweeg. Opsie 3 stel voor dat alle lede van die alliansie “˜n afdwingbare ooreenkoms moet onderteken, terwyl Opsie 5 die desintegrasie van die alliansie voorstel, wat daartoe sal lei dat die ANC dan deur “˜n noue bourgeois-agenda aangedryf sal word, terwyl Cosatu en die SAKP middeldeur sal skeur.

Khonkerese ya bo-9 ya CosatuCosatu e se e arabetse tokomane ya ditherisano ya SACP. [sheba Numsa News ya Nomoro ya 3 bakeng sa kakaretso ya ditaba] le ditokomaneng tse hlahisitsweng ke ANC. Yona e sisinya hore Cosatu e kgethe pakeng tsa diketsahalo tse 5 tse fapaneng [sheba ka lebokoseng].

Diketsahalo tsena di tloha ho ya ho tswa selekaneng [Ketsahalo ya 4] e be e phepetsa ANC ka ho toba, e ka ba ka SACP kapa ka mokgatlo o ikemetseng wa basebetsi kapa e tswele pele jwalo ka pele ho Khonkerese ya bo-8 [Ketsahalo ya 1]. Ketsahalo ya 2 e sisinya hore ho be le mosebetsi o moholo wa ho thaotha ditho bakeng sa ho eketsa boholo ba Cosatu, ho matlafatswe makala a ANC mme ho qobellwe ANC hore e ikatametse bososhialeng. Ketsahalo ya 3 e sisinya hore ditho tsohle tsa selekane di lokela ho saena tumellano e tlamang ha Ketsahalo ya 5 yona e lohotha karohano ya selekane, le ANC e tla laolwa ke lenanetaba la ba mmalwa ba maemong a phahameng mme Cosatu le SACP di arotswe ka lehare.