The ANC in KZN must be wary of adopting the DA agenda and undermine its relationship with COSATU - its historic ally.

The ANC is supposed to be the disciplined force of the left. However, in KZN there are signs of an ANC  deepening  its relationship with the liberal counter-revolutionary force -  the DA at the expense of COSATU.

Not so long ago the public witnessed hugs and kisses between the DA and the office of the premier (the ANC chairperson) where the two structures were demonstrating their solid opposition to COSATU and expressing their readiness to implement the controversial youth subsidy.

The ANC of KZN has been quoted by the Youth leader of the DA in “ASIKHULUME” show (now referred to as Sunday Live) as their ally against COSATU in the fight against youth subsidy. The ANC in KZN knows very well that the issue of the youth subsidy is still a subject for debate by COSATU and ANC at a national level.

The ANC in KZN is, through its secretary, championing yet another DA program to weaken COSATU especially at the public service level. The call by Sihle Zikalala (the KZN ANC secretary) for education to be declared an essential service is yet another point that has made ANC KZN to be the central mouthpiece of the DA.
Sihle provides no other reason for the essentialisation of education except that it would bring to an end strike action - a right enshrined in the RSA constitution. Otherwise, there is no other scientific and logical argument. What is clear is that the ANC in KZN takes COSATU unions as an irritant than an important partner in the national democratic revolution. They are demonstrating the leadership that is intolerant of trade unions who believe that by banning public sector unions (in this case SADTU) from striking, they would have found a panacea for education challenges.

SADTU KZN is very shocked by this attitude, especially as it comes at the time wherein SADTU KZN has since 2009 devoted both human resources and finances on programs to improve education in the province. In fact, SADTU in KZN has led the department in making education a priority and in ensuring that results are improved from a lousy 57% in 2008, 63% in 2009 and 70% in 2010. In 2011 we received 68%.  Had it not been for greed by some department officials, we would have scored more than 80%.

Presently, it is SADTU that has put together the 2012 Matric Intervention program and invited the department to lead in its launch. It is either their own officials don’t tell them about the role of SADTU in education or they are so motivated by the DA program so much that they even forget their historic allies.  The fact that matric results of 2011 were 70% across the country is not because government has put in more resources, but it is because SADTU in particular and teachers generally have given their all in education, sacrificing their leisure time to teach after hours, during holidays and weekends. It’s a pity the DA rhetoric sounds more real to ANC than all the efforts we have made.

If the ANC is the disciplined force of the left, then its statements and programs should be premised on the left. We are yet to hear the KZN ANC defending workers against the labour brokers or expressing a worker position on issues like e-tolls. We are yet to forget about the scary tactics the ANC of KZN used to break our legitimate 2010 strike action by  calling for volunteers to break our picket line and applying the worse ever apartheid tactic of interdicting COSATU, something never heard of in other provinces. The question is: why should the ANC in KZN be so active when it comes to anti-COSATU programs?

If the ANC in KZN continues with such reckless, anti-worker and anti-union talk, SADTU in the province will be left with no option but withdraw its participation from all Quality Learning and Teaching campaign initiatives, including participating in this 2012 Matric intervention programme. We can easily instruct our members to work to rule, i.e. work strictly for 7-8 hours, and you can take this as the promise, education will be a real disaster.