Union federations riddled by factionalism - Vavi

Zwelinzima Vavi says union federations that are meant to be fighting for the working class have become riddled by factionalism.

FILE:  Zwelinzima Vavi pictured on 16 August 2013 a press conference in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Congress of South African Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says union federations that are meant to be fighting for the working class have become riddled by factionalism.

On Friday a new alliance was registered at the Department of Labour named the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).

Vavi says Saftu aims to fill the vacuum left by the African National Congress (ANC) which he says has failed to address issues of poverty inequality and unemployment.

He says the ruling party that was meant to lead transformation seems to be more concerned about which faction will win at its December elective conference.

“The ANC, SACP, Youth League, Women’s League are all gone and don’t play the role they used to.”

He has again conceded the aim of this new federation is to correct the mistake of elevating President Jacob Zuma to becoming president of the country.

“We can’t say because we made a mistake in 2007 that we’ll let South Africa suffer up until the last generation.”

Saftu says only 24% of the South African workforce is currently represented by unions and they will work towards gaining the trust of the other 76%.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)