ANC, membership numbers & new leadership tops Cosatu congress agenda

Delegates will elect new leaders, discuss constitutional amendments and decide whether to continue supporting the African National Congress (ANC).

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (Cosatu) four-day national congress will get underway on Monday.

Delegates will elect new leaders, discuss constitutional amendments and decide whether to continue supporting the African National Congress (ANC).

Cosatu's 13th national congress comes at a time when the federation's membership is dwindling. The organisation is struggling to maintain its relevance as another labour federation, the South African Federation of Trade Unions, has since entered the fray.

Cosatu’s Bheki Ntshalintshali says: “I think we have lost some memberships. We want to interrogate the reasons behind this.”

This congress is also important as it comes just a few months before the national election. The federation must decide if it will continue supporting the ANC or throw its weight behind the South African Communist Party (SACP).

The congress will also elect new leaders, with the federation's deputy president Zingiswa Losi likely to emerge as the first woman to lead Cosatu.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)