More than 100 delegates from DENOSA attended the 13th Natioinal Congress of COSATU from 17 to 20 September at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Held under the theme: Deepen the Back to Basics Campaign, Consolidate the struggle for the NDR & Advance the Struggle for Socialism, the congress was addressed by leaders of the alliance partners.
The first to address the congress on Day 1 was ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa said COSATU must not be shy to pet itself on the back for the passing of the National Minimum Wage, which will ensure that 6.6 million South Africans will no longer be earning less than the minimum wage. He said those who criticise it are doing so without anything on the table.
COSATU has always held to its conviction that the National Minimum Wage is not a living wage, but first steps or means to get us to a living wage.
Ramaphosa further said the ANC-led government is busy making preparations for the upcoming Jobs Summit, which the Federation COSATU has been agitating for. On this Jobs Summit, President Ramaphosa urged COSATU to come up with clear proposals on how to restructure our economy.
“If there ever was a time and hour that COSATU had to utilise, that hour is now,” he said.
On National Health Insurance (NHI), Ramaphosa said a war room at the Presidential Office has been set up to drive the implementation of NHI. “Furthemore, with the re-engeering of primary healthcare, we will need more health workers,” he added.
Other speakers on second day included SACP General Secretary, Blade Nzimande who urged COSATU to campaign for the speedy implementation of NHI. He also called for the commission on inquiry into State Capture to speed up the process and reach finality.