Zille: Cosatu stalling bid to create jobs

2012-05-01 14:20

Cape Town - Cosatu is working against the interests of the unemployed and stalling the effort to bring jobs, DA leader Helen Zille said on Tuesday.

In a speech prepared for delivery at a Democratic Alliance Workers Day event in Midvaal, Gauteng, she said the trade union federation was stuck in a 1950s British model of "hostile central bargaining".

It was the only organisation in South Africa that was refusing to take part in programmes to end unemployment.

"Cosatu, which played such a pivotal role in creating South Africa's democracy, runs the risk of being left behind if it remains stuck in the 1950s British model of hostile central bargaining between 'bosses and workers'," Zille said.

"Tragically, Cosatu (alone among the trade union federations) is working against the interests of the unemployed, keeping them permanently locked out, and stalling the effort to bring jobs, redress and reconciliation to our society."

Last week the DA launched an Economic Development Partnership in the Western Cape between business, labour, educational institutions, social movements, NGOs and "countless others" to address problems that impede economic growth and job creation and to remove red tape.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions was the only organisation that would not take part in the process.

"The lesson of our history has been that when we stand together, we can achieve anything. Now we must stand together to defeat unemployment.

"It is sad that Cosatu is the only organisation that will not engage this process, and their members will lose out as a result."

South Africa's official unemployment rate was around 25.7%, but the Centre for Development and Enterprise had noted that only 41% of the population of working age - people aged 16 to 64 - have any kind of job.

What this meant was that there are many more people who were locked out of the job market, than those who had access.

"We agree that trade unions have an important role in a democracy to represent the interests of organised workers. But they are wrong to see managers as their 'class enemy'," she said.

"Countries with growing economies and growing employment have outgrown this 'zero-sum' model where one side's gain is the other side's loss.

"In fact, to create more jobs we need more people who will invest capital and skills, who will take investment risks to open factories and to start businesses, thus creating more jobs," she said.


  • FabulousFranci - 2012-05-01 14:43

    unlike Zille, Cosatu actually know what they are doing. . .

      Rugbyfan - 2012-05-01 14:49

      Unlike Zille, you are actually clueless.

      Nicholas - 2012-05-01 14:53

      Yes, when it comes to keeping people unemployed ...

      freda.coetzee - 2012-05-01 14:57

      No I agree with what she says.. we need outside investment. The people from outside bring the money into our country and THAT is how to creat jobs. South Africans do not understand that the few so clled Rich people can't in any way support the poor and unemployed. And that is what should be taught at school.

      trevor.dean.10 - 2012-05-01 15:32

      FabulousFranci and especially scnzama. How about arguing about the points raised by Helen Zille instead of personal attacks on her? Probably because you know she is correct in what she says but you are too ashamed to admit it.

      Vaughan - 2012-05-01 15:50

      I agree, Cosatu knows what they are doing, getting rich on the backs of the working class. Quite ironic, Cosatu care less for the working class whom they claim to represent than the capitalist bosses that are claimed to enslave the working class. Look at the banning of labour brokers, its got nothing to do with the working class and everything to do with ensuring that everytime Cosatu goes on strike they will get the huge increases which means the bosses of Cosatu are assured of their massive cuts they take.

      Julio - 2012-05-01 16:29

      Please enlighten us as to what it is that Cosatu is doing to uplift the masses, especially the unemployed ones.

  • Sean - 2012-05-01 14:46

    Very true!The many strikes,organised by Cosatu,whatever it may revolve around,are just cloaked in underhanded psychological manipulation by Cosatu. Deceptively aimed at crippling and strangling South Africa's economy,Cosatu,in the end of all their strikes always seem to walk away with making hefty wage gains,and usually are more than twice the rate of inflation. When Cosatu puts forth its demands,it is the Government in the end that has to pay for the wage increases that Cosatu wants and in so doing has to freeze or stop the hiring any new employees that had been looking for work. Cosatu's power and stubbornness is to blame for South Africa's high unemployment rate.The reason being that Cosatu have had such a stranglehold on Government that whenever it raises its voice,the rest of South Africa panics.Cosatu strikes are so commonplace in South Africa in that South Africa has designated "strike seasons". Payroll has become one third of South Africa's entire budget. On average Cosatu are always able to negotiate a 9% wage increase for its members according to the IMF report in 2010.Public sector wage increases over the past 18months had been 11% on average.Its unheard of in much of the world especially in our hard economic times.

  • Mark - 2012-05-01 14:46

    Surprise surprise! Unions don't fight for the unemployed or the poor; they fight for their paying, ie. employed members.

      Mark - 2012-05-01 15:22

      Ntokozo Lima - 2012-05-01 15:24

      where do u come from so that we may not go there... For ur information, trade/workers unions are formed to protect the interests of workers...

      Mark - 2012-05-01 15:53

      How rude! Well, I come from a family that emphasised hard work and study, so that I could qualify for college and get real, marketable skills to sell on the labor market. I am the best protector of my own interests - I do work, but I have no need for gangsters and thugs garnishing my salary for their 'services'. Do you think Vavi cares about you?! Ha! Silly Mr. Lima. The COSATU leadership only cares about their union members insofar as their membership fees help pay off the latest Merceded Benz. If my employer messes me around I have the luxury of being able to find another job. Maybe the COSATU members should focus on skilling up and being well disciplined workers, then maybe they won't be stuck in a trap of perpetual servitude to politicians and the labor union leadership.

      Lady - 2012-05-01 16:58

      @ Mark you sound like a kinda garden child for someone who claim to be educated. COSATU is not an NGO dummy.

      Mark - 2012-05-01 17:26

      @lady.. where was it stated or implied that I believe that COSATU is an NGO. You're kinda retarded for not being able to read properly, yet still poke fun at my claims of education. See.. ad hominem is a game anyone can play. Now crawl back to your hole.

      Lady - 2012-05-01 18:23

      The only retard in this debate is you Mark.Think before you accuse people of being thugs and gang stars.

  • Nicholas - 2012-05-01 14:51

    The irony of Cosatu's active roll in keeping people unemployed is breathtaking!

  • Shirley - 2012-05-01 14:52

    Cosatu have only their own interests at heart,filling their coffers with union fees but failing to do anything of substance. They are in collaboration with government and now and then just to save face will "speak up" for the poor masses. They are are Judas personifide!

  • stefaans.blaauw - 2012-05-01 14:59

    FabulousFranci...... Fabulous my friend. You must be a Cosatu official, or a mislead member. They are becomming millionares out of the membership fees, and they have detstroyed more jobs that the great depression. They want to liberate the workforce, instead of educating them, they keep them stupid so they can make the money. Did you pay you membership fee for May already???

      sanet.oelofse - 2012-05-01 15:25

      That is why they are fighting so hard to do away with labour brokers, so they can take over... Some more money to be made, double score on placement commissions and union fees! For the people, my @ss!

  • ndyeboreginaldmazawule - 2012-05-01 15:00

    Well I thnk th DA should just continue wth ths initiative along wth other organisations tht cared to take part. COSATU had its reason nt to take part I thnk nd if tht reason makes COSATU to fail people then COSATU is just good as nthng.

  • Kolobe - 2012-05-01 15:16

    haha trying to force cosatu to stand with her, isnt solidarity enough for her?

      Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-05-01 15:48

      Kolobe Helan is trying to create jobs, no one forced Cosatu to do anything. They just not willing to share the spotlight with the DA that's all

  • Reagan - 2012-05-01 15:21

    Viva helen viva some has to stand up against them cause it's a darn fact they're the one's that in the way of job creation

  • david.lebethe - 2012-05-01 15:44

    Since when has DA had interest of workers at heart? Everytime time there is strike (a right since protected by Constitution) by any of the unions that have membership within the employ or jurisdiction (read control) of DA (such as the Western Cape or Midvaal),DA is the first to oppose. Not so long ago, the party brought civil action against SAMWU and successfully fought for introduction of a law that will hold unions accountable for misdemeanour of their supporters. How can one on the face thereof, conclude that the party has indeed interest of workers at heart? In view of the above, coupled with the fact that SAMWU is an affiliate of Cosatu, it would have been an act of conspiracy for Cosatu to have taken up the invitation if not unprincipled stance by Cosatu. It was therefore good that Cosatu turned down the invitation, which is more about promoting one upmanship as I do not understand why as an official opposition, why DA couldn't show its patrioticism by discussing the issues with the ruling party if the situation is indeed so dire? It's about time that Zille takes leaf from one of the parties stalwarts (Helen Suzman), who engaged (including, discussing issues of national interest around tea with BJ Voster) Nationalist Party than to always run to papers when there are issues of national importance.

      Fred - 2012-05-01 16:04

      @david.lebethe - just take a moment to read the drivel you have just written. I think confusion reigns in your brain. Just because the DA championed the cause for unions to be responsible for the misdemeanour of their supporters, where they were hell-bent on detroying property and stealing, doesn't mean that they don't have the workers' interests at heart. Did your anc government organise any initiatives to create jobs? No, of course not. They won't do anything unless the cronies can pocket millions from it. And are those cronies using their ill-gotten millions for creating employment ???? Of course not. Parties, fancy cars and lavish holidays are more important to the anc cronies than creating jobs. So think again before you write. Carry on paying your union subs and be proud of your organisation that won't help the poor to get jobs.

      Lady - 2012-05-01 16:40

      I am not a member of any polical party.I actually like hellen Zille and her obsession with publicity.She like the sarah Paylan of South Africa watch the space there may be a reality show coming soon.

      Mr.M.W.Mahlangu - 2012-05-01 17:48

      Not forgeting their policies and disciplinary code designed to maginalise blue collar employees.

      Kevin - 2012-05-02 07:44

      david lebethe - your strikes are only an excuse to rampage and destroy - who has to reapair this damage and who pays.....any responsible citizen or party would support a law that ensures responsibility and accountability for ones actions - remember being employed is not a right ....!

  • jan.henning.14 - 2012-05-01 15:50

    New weekly column: "How not to winn the hearts and minds of the people" by Silly Zillie

  • Mr.M.W.Mahlangu - 2012-05-01 16:35

    It is so amazing how Hellen Zille is brave enough to label as the stumbling block towards job creation without mentioning racial imbalances in the workplace. The issue that has to be addressed first is salary adjustment between blacks and whites holding the same positions. The reason COSATU cannot be part of the deals mentioned here, is because the same managers the Madam is so vigorously defending are the worst exploiters. Give workers what is due to them, COSATU will give you what is due to you.

  • Mr.M.W.Mahlangu - 2012-05-01 16:35

    It is so amazing how Hellen Zille is brave enough to label as the stumbling block towards job creation without mentioning racial imbalances in the workplace. The issue that has to be addressed first is salary adjustment between blacks and whites holding the same positions. The reason COSATU cannot be part of the deals mentioned here, is because the same managers the Madam is so vigorously defending are the worst exploiters. Give workers what is due to them, COSATU will give you what is due to you.

      Mark - 2012-05-01 18:04

  • Marinus - 2012-05-01 20:00

    To rule from a communistic point of view, you must first force economical activity to it's knees, and from there create a power base to justify your cause, and keep the masses poor. It reduces everybody to a false sense of 'one-ness', by keeping them alive and well, but inhibits a free market system and entrepreneurial initiatives. Be aware of Cosato's smoke screens.

  • Vince.York - 2012-05-01 20:26

    How many awards and international acclaims has COSATU won, compared to the Zille camp and party?

  • Kevin - 2012-05-01 20:57

    Cosatu has yet to enter the 21st century - still living in the past - mob violence and mayhem the only way - this speaks volumes for thier leadership and followers - how many jobs have Cosatu ever created - i suggest the answer is ....a BIG ZERO...!

  • Jeffrey - 2012-05-02 12:27

    The paid members of Cosatu are the servants of their membership (people in work) The GDP is static and therefore the size of the cake is not growing.Strike action to seek increases, way above the target inflation rate, means that there is less to give to the poor. How does Cosatu justify this action and at the same time express sympathy for those without work?

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