South Africa strike a political gambit ahead of elective conference: Analysts

By Xolisa Phillip, in Johannesburg
Posted on Tuesday, 6 September 2022 11:59

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, of the African National Congress (ANC), speaks during the launch of an election manifesto at Church square in Pretoria, South Africa, September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Mounting economic woes have prompted South Africa’s largest labour-union federation to mobilise against the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The two sides are not expected to turn into political foes, according to analysts, who believe the labour movement is seeking political gains.

A nationwide strike and protests staged by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) against the ANC-led government last month signifies that the trade union has “lost confidence in the new dawn”, the honeymoon period after Cyril Ramaphosa was elected the ANC president in 2017, says Ralph Mathekga, a political analyst.

The protests on 24 August were driven by a demand that decision-makers take drastic action to avoid economic collapse and that the government deal “with the scourge of corruption” in the public procurement system.