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Cosatu Congress: Delegates to elect new leaders

The congress is expected to elect Bheki Ntshalintshali as Zwelinzima Vavi’s replacement.

Cosatu members at the unions special national congress held at Gallagher Convention Center on 13 July 2015. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) heads to its national congress starting in Midrand today, 2,500 delegates are due to elect new leaders for the first time since infighting and factional battles started in 2012.

Cosatu will begin its congress with an acting general secretary and newly admitted metalworkers union following the dismissal Zwelinzima Vavi and expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

But despite the infighting and membership drop of around 400,000 workers the incumbent leadership does not appear to be at risk of losing their positions.

This congress is expected to elect Bheki Ntshalintshali as Vavi's replacement.

He played a crucial role in managing the divisions within Cosatu and officially announced the decision to dismiss Vavi to the public.

Congress is also expected to ratify the admittance of the Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa (Limusa) as Numsa's replacement in Cosatu.

But there has been some discontent among affiliates about Limusa's low membership numbers, which hover at around 7,000 workers.

At the Special National Congress held in September, unions such as South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) and the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) told delegates that they will confront leadership issues and victimisation of certain leaders at this gathering.

Nominations for leadership is expected to take place today.

WATCH: _Former General Secretary of Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi says he will not be appealing his dismissal from Cosatu, adding that he will be remembered for being on the right side history. _