Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions), the ANC (African National Congress) and the Election: Whither the Alliance?
Authors:Southall, Roger J.
Wood, Geoffrey
Periodical:Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:African National Congress (South Africa)
opposition parties
black trade unions
Labor and Employment
Politics and Government
Abstract:South Africa's 'liberation election' of 1994 registered a triumph for the 'Tripartite Alliance', which brought together the ANC with the South African Communist Party (SACP) and COSATU into a formal relationship. In the event, the relationship between COSATU and the ANC-in-government has not been free of tensions. The ANC's effective abandonment in June 1996 of the progressive Reconstruction and Development Plan (RDP) in favour of the neoliberal and fiscally conservative Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) strategy continues to be a source of major stress. COSATU has joined the SACP in being openly critical of GEAR. This article is a reaction to an article by Adam Habib and Rupert Taylor (In: Review of African Political Economy, vol. 26, no. 80 (1999), p. 261-267), who emphasize the virtues of a break in the Alliance. They argue that only the progressive labour movement has the capacity to forge an effective parliamentary opposition and thereby to consolidate democracy. The present authors argue that Habib and Taylor's argument has no particular virtue in the political context of South Africa prior to the election of 1999. They do this in terms of 1) querying Habib and Taylor's reading of the relationship between COSATU and the ANC since 1994; 2) proposing, via reference to a recent survey of COSATU member attitudes, that there is as yet little basis amongst workers for any breach in the Alliance; and 3) suggesting that a fracture in the Alliance is likely to be extremely dangerous in the foreseeable future. Bibliogr., notes, ref. (Reaction by Adam Habib and Rupert Taylor to the present article, followed by a reply by Southall and Wood, in: Transformation, no. 40 (1999), p. 112-120, 121-125.)