Mantashe: Cosatu trying to blackmail ANC

At issue is Cosatu's opposition to a new law on pensions signed by President Zuma.

FILE: Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe has accused the Congress South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) of trying to blackmail the party by threatening to campaign against the new pensions law while the ANC expects it to campaign for the elections.

Cosatu says it will be mobilising its members to campaign against the Tax Administration Amendment Act after President Jacob Zuma signed it despite discussions at Nedlac continuing.

The trade union federation says Zuma has divided the working class and launched an attack on the tripartite alliance.

Mantashe says the ANC supports the new law signed by the president and workers will benefit from it.

"When we formed the provident fund and never had space for preservation - that was one of the biggest mistake we made and majority of the workers get the lump sum and blow all that money and revert to poverty."

The secretary general says Cosatu's reaction is not unexpected.

"In a year of elections everybody blackmails political parties and the fact is that we must engage and talk to each other."

He says the ruling party will meet with the union on Monday when their comments will be discussed.