Zingiswa Losi retains COSATU Presidency

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The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has retained the positions of its top leadership at its 14th national congress.

The federation wrapped up its four-day conference at Gallagher, Midrand in Gauteng, on Thursday.  It elected Zingiswa Losi as President, Mike Shingange as First Deputy President, Duncan Luvuno as the federation’s second Deputy and Solly Phetoe retained his position as General Secretary.

The federation also debated whether it should remain as part of an ANC-led alliance.

An observer who attended the conference says, “We agree as observers that we declare the elections as free and fair.”

The election observers declared the votes free and fair. Over 2 000 delegates cast their votes at the conference.

Another observer at the conference announced, “For the portfolio of the president in terms of the outcome of the process we had only one contestant who has been duly elected and her name is Zingiswa Losi. For the portfolio of first deputy president we had only one candidate who was duly elected uncontested and the candidate is Mike Shingange.”

The trade union federation’s position for Deputy General Secretary was the only contested position in the top leadership.

Members elected Gerald Thwala.

“For the first candidate Gerald Thwala he received 1 187 votes and the second candidate Moses Lekota he received 599 votes and as a result Gerald Thwala has been declared the winner as duly elected.”

The federation also debated whether it should remain part of the ANC-led alliance. Its members voted on whether to contest the elections led by the SACP or consult with members on a special national congress.

Dr Sthembiso Bhengu, Director of the Chris Hani Institute on the alliance issue:

The results of this vote will be announced at a later stage. A motion to break away from the ANC-led alliance by some disgruntled affiliated members shows discontent in the state of affairs in the alliance.

The ANC will go to its National Elective Conference in December.

Meanwhile, COSATU says it will continue its campaign against the high unemployment rate facing the country, continue to protect SOEs from privatisation, pressure government to end outsourcing and will defend Eskom to remain a public entity.

It will also continue to campaign for the National Health Insurance to be implemented in the next three years.

VIDEO | Looking ahead to the final day of labour federation COSATU’s 14th national congress: