Dlamini: There are no divisions at this congress

Sidumo Dlamini says there are no enemies at the congress and that all the unions there support Cosatu.

Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini holds hands with union leadership during the opening day of the national congress. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Sidumo Dlamini says all 18 unions have pledged their support for the federation and there are no divisions.

He told hundreds of delegates gathered at Cosatu's 12th congress in Midrand that the federation was faced with the decision to allow Cosatu to degenerate and be eaten away.

Instead, he says Cosatu chose to stand up and defend its principles.

Dlamini says there are no enemies at the congress and that all the unions there are supporters of Cosatu.

He says the federation has been pulled left and right time after time and had to spend money defending itself in court.

The Cosatu leader says none of the national leaders there can say they have not been affected by that period but the federation has survived.

Dlamini reiterated his claims that some companies in America tried to interfere with Cosatu.

He claims some people want Cosatu to create an alternative but Cosatu members will stand up and defend their federation.

WATCH: Divisions riddle Cosatu national congress


The Cosatu president has issued a warning to the African National Congress (ANC) that it shouldn't dare touch workers' provident and pension funds.

He also says the implementation of treasury proposals to preserve the money would spell disaster.

Dlamini has spoken on a range of issues, including the state of the alliance, an apparent destabilisation plot and a jobs bloodbath looming in several sectors.

The proposal by National Treasury has angered Cosatu as it will limit workers' access to funds.

Dlamini says people have said if the government follows through with the proposal, Cosatu won't campaign for the ANC in the upcoming elections.

He says this is a warning to the ruling party.

The Cosatu president says if the ANC wants to use workers' provident funds, it must first consult with the federation.

The implementation of the proposal has been delayed since last year.

#Cosatu Members of the trade union federation sing ahead of the start of their National Congress. VM pic.twitter.com/5oPobXv6yr


Cosatu president and the majority of his fellow leaders have been nominated to return to their positions without facing any competitors.

But the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) says it wants to reopen the nominations process.

Dlamini, his deputy, the position of treasurer and second deputy president have all been nominated and don't face any challengers.

Bheki Ntshalintshali has been the deputy general secretary up until now and he's been nominated uncontested to the post of general secretary.

But Fawu says it wants the nomination process to stay open for now which would mean they could all face challengers.

However, it appears that they are only being backed by one or two unions while the vast majority wants the process closed now.

Meanwhile, the position of deputy general secretary will be contested between Solly Phetoe and Oscar Phako.