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Ministers must cut their salaries - Vavi

Cosatu’s Zwelinzima Vavi says ministers should slash their salaries to prove they serve citizens.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and President Jacob Zuma at the trade union federation's 11th national congress at Gallagher Estate in Midrand on Monday, 17 September 2012. In the background is Cosatu's deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

MIDRAND - Ministers should have their salaries slashed to show they serve people and not themselves, said Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

He was addressing some 3,000 delegates attending the trade union federation's 11th congress.

Vavi was reading a report he warned would be "explosive" and critical of government.

He quoted from an interview done with slain South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Chris Hani before his death, in which he said ministers and Members of Parliament should have their salaries cut.

In his political report, Vavi said the key reason for political paralysis is because too many ANC leaders are business people or have business interests.

Cosatu must decide at this congress what role it wants to play in the ANC's leadership issues, in the run-up to the party's national elective conference in December.

In his report, Vavi also said Cosatu had in the past put too much faith in President Jacob Zuma, but that he was subjected to many contradictory forces in the movement.

He said ANC leaders defending their business interests was something that had not changed after the ANC's conference in Polokwane in 2007.

Vavi is continuing to read his report.

He is expected to outline the major problems Cosatu faces in trying to implement its agenda.

Vavi appears to be in a powerful position at the moment, after being re-elected general secretary yesterday.

This may mean he will want to take aim at factions of the ANC he disagrees with.

The conference at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand continues until Thursday.

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