Vavi: Saftu is not affiliated with any political party

Zwelinzima Vavi says Cosatu’s membership numbers have suffered because of the trade union federation’s relationship with the ANC.

FILE: Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Zwelinzima Vavi says Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)’s membership numbers have suffered because of the trade union federation’s relationship with the African National Congress (ANC).

Vavi, who was expelled from Cosatu, is in Cape Town on Saturday to drum up support for his newly-formed South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).

He spoke at a rally in Salt River on Saturday afternoon.

Vavi was greeted with thunderous applause when he arrived at the Report Back Rally.

Representatives from other trade unions, such as the SA Policing Union and National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, attended the gathering.

Vavi says Saftu is not affiliated with any political party.

He adds there’s been a decline in union membership over the years.

“The unions are dividing, are useless and cannot service workers because the general secretaries and presidents are clueless about their real responsibilities.”

He says corruption in government is partly to blame for the decline in these figures.

“The union reps that should act as weapons to unite all workers have been stolen by the Gupta, President Jacob Zuma and ANC agenda.”

FIGHT FOR FREE EDUCATION

Vavi says his newly formed trade union federation will intensify the fight for free, quality tertiary education.

Vavi says he wants to build a powerful movement.

“That’s why we’ve submitted a Section 77 to say that battle that was being fought by the university students for free education, we’re going to take it up ourselves.”

Federation leaders are taking their recruitment drive to Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

Vavi and other leaders of the Saftu are hoping to build a membership base of at least one million by the end of the year.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)