What game are Cosatu playing?
They’ve succeeded in putting their chosen man into the highest office.
Zwelinzima Vavi’s four-year-old prediction about Jacob Zuma being an “unstoppable tsunami” was spot on.
And then, after Zuma toppled Thabo Mbeki from the ANC presidency in December 2007 Vavi also said he personally had no interest in becoming a cabinet Minister.
That may prove to be significant. Not officially being part of government, he can continue make noise from the outside.
Yet all Cabinet Ministers are now Jacob Zuma appointments. A Cosatu-friendly government is running the show.
Who, then, are Cosatu targeting with their strike threats? Last week Vavi, again displaying his gift for colourful language, said:
“The public service is restless, we are sitting on a ticking time bomb. We think it could be as big as the 1973 strikes in Durban.”
No history lesson here. Let’s just say the 1973 strikes were massive. They lasted three months and changed labour relations in this country forever.
Now we are told to brace for South Africa’s “biggest ever” public sector strike. Municipal workers, doctors and nurses, among others, are expected to join in. Certainly it’s a possibility. J
Johannesburg has been without a bus service for three weeks. Doctors and nurses stage regular pickets. (Frankly it’s mind-boggling that doctors are paid so little, considering how hard they work and the scarcity of their desperately needed skills.
Former Minister Dr Beetroot was worse than useless to bequeath such a mess.) Not all the demands are equally valid or reasonable. Bus drivers seem unmoved that their employer, Metrobus, will go into liquidation if they don’t return to work.
How, then, will the bus-less drivers earn a living? Let’s look again at Vavi’s two most memorable metaphors. An “unstoppable tsunami” and a “ticking time bomb” both warn of approaching danger. They herald destruction.
If Vavi is correct the tsunami is upon us. The time bomb can, however, in theory be defused if correct steps are taken. If the state coughs up. If election promises are fulfilled.
Everyone wants more money but only politicians score.
SA is in a recession and we can’t get out of it by simply paying people more.
If Vavi wants Mugabe-type economics he may as well detonate the bomb and let the tsunami have its way.