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Mantashe: Cosatu split will weaken worker representation

Gwede Mantashe addressed the NUM’s congress, saying it needed to make a plan to defeat Amcu.

FILE: Gwede Mantashe. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says that a split in the Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) that would see industrial unions walk out could be very dangerous for the federation, as it will significantly weaken its worker representation.

The ANC's Gwede Mantashe on Wednesday addressed the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) congress in Boksburg, where he called on the union to formulate a plan to defeat its rival union Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

Several industrial unions have backed Numsa and now former General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, and there have been concerns of a breakaway from Cosatu.

Mantashe warned that a Cosatu dominated by public sector unions meant its representation of workers on the factory floor was lacking.

"Help the private sector unions, the industrial unions to actually strengthen themselves. Very few industrial unions are still in good shape here, we're dependent on the public sector unions."