Zuma addresses Cosatu delegates at Gallagher Estates

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ANC President, Jacob Zuma, started by congratulating the new office bearers as well as the federation for their maturity in challenging times. He says they have emerged as a strong force within the alliance. The President further spoke on the ‘Marikana Massacre’, urging workers and employees to find a way to restore “stability and labour peace”. “Workers and employees must use the law of the land to resolve disputes,” says Zuma. Zuma also appealed to the congress, other political parties and their leaders not condone violence or use the tragedy to fuel their own political agenda. “These are cheap tactics,” he said. He said those who have been vocal must refrain from irresponsible language of comparing Marikana law enforcement to apartheid measures. He also announced that negotiations will continue in a bid to solve some off the issues facing the mining sector and he reiterated that they will continue to support negotiations on the mining charter.

He also warned workers against standing alone and not being unionised

Zuma warned workers against standing alone and not being unionised. “Unionisation is a shield to protect workers,” he says. He also urged the union to use other measures of fighting for better wages than strikes. The National Treasurer says strikes have subtracted R3.1 billion from the fiscus.”We cannot afford to go into recession where the country lost millions of jobs,” Zuma added. The ANC President says that discussions of transforming the problems that have befallen the mining sector will be on the agenda at the conference in Mangaung. The African National Congress (ANC)is part of the Tripartite Alliance along with Cosatu and the South African Congress of the People (SACP). Meanwhile, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says they expect Cosatu to come out of its congress more united. He was speaking to the SABC on the sidelines of the federation’s eleventh congress underway in Midrand.

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