The South African Communist Party (SACP) salutes the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on its 35 years since its founding on 1 December 1985.

Formed during a tough struggle against apartheid capitalism to unite workers for a common cause under one federation, Cosatu’s task to fight against capitalism and imperialism remains crucial.

Cosatu turns a year older during one of the toughest eras that works have faced since formation; the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and its consequences, in addition to the capitalist crises that workers were already languishing under before the Covid-19 crisis. Over 11 million people today are unemployed, following the 2.2 million jobs that were lost in the second quarter of 2020. Unemployment has risen to 43.1 per cent. For this reason, a post-Covid economic recovery programme should not take us back to the capitalist crisis before the current crisis, itself a product of the crises that capitalism finds itself in. the Left- Axis of the Alliance – SACP and Cosatu – thus needs to strengthen itself and unite the working class under a clear programme towards socialism.

As an unapologetically anti-imperialist federation, Cosatu has made immeasurable contribution to the unity of workers in South Africa, the African continent and beyond.

This despite the anti-worker policies that have been adopted by many governments worldwide. In our country, the capitalist bosses, forever interested in nothing but profit for private wealth accumulation, have clearly found a reliable friend in the National Treasury. The National Treasury has become a transmission belt of a neoliberal policy regime driven by the interests of financial monopolies and foreign- based establishments. The struggle for national sovereignty, engineered and grounded in working-class unity, must, of necessity, involve the defeat of these manoeuvres by our arrogant National Treasury.

Cosatu’ birth and its work in uniting workers over the years no doubt improved working-class consciousness among the people. In a world dominated by monopoly capital, with both local and international bourgeois propaganda machineries militating against unionism and, in particular, working-class consciousness, Cosatu’s duty of deepening ideological development of the working class has become urgent.

This must be undertaken directly at the workplace and also in communities. The anti- worker voices calling for Cosatu to divorce the SACP, as well as the anti-Alliance noises must be defeated through, among other practical measures, deepening ideological development grounded on the most advanced revolutionary theory – Scientific Socialism – and fiercely engaging these anti-people in the battle of ideas.

The unity of all workers remains sacrosanct. Competition between workers, and thus between workers’ unions, must as best as possible be avoided. Such divisions are sponsored by the capitalist bosses. The duty to build, deepen and widen the unity of organised workers, and the working class at large, is crucial. Additionally, the unorganised must be organised. The struggle for “one country, one federation” must be intensified!

Source: South African Communist Party – SACP salutes Cosatu on its 35 th anniversary