Founding general secretary of labor federation Cosatu and a former cabinet minister Jay Naidoo says the ANC he sees today is not the ANC he knew and was willing to sacrifice his life for.
The former minister who was speaking at the launch of his book Change: Organising Tomorrow Today in Durban yesterday, stated how he feels at the fall of the party that fought for the people’s well-being.
He said people were angry that the ANC was being used as a business opportunity for the very few who find themselves in power and want to use their corrupt nature to destroy what the party’s past heroes died for.
“This is not the ANC I recognize or the ANC I was part of – that we would have given our lives for and fought for.
“Today it is seen as a party for accumulating wealth in the hands of those in power.
“If the ANC does not change, go back to its original principle of serving our people, then it does not deserve to be in power,” said Naidoo.
Jay Naidoo is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Partnership Council of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition headquartered in Geneva. He also served as Minister responsible for the Reconstruction and Development Programme in President Mandela’s office (1994–1996) and as Minister of Post, Telecommunications, and Broadcasting (1996–1999).
Naidoo was a member of the ANC national Executive Council. He was also at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid leading the largest trade union federation in South Africa.
Naidoo’s comments about the ruling ANC comes at the time the party is being dragged down by series of crisis following a growing call for its leader, Jacob Zuma to resign.
His comment also comes at the time the party is ripped by the division on who becomes the next party president ahead of the October National Conference and possibly the 2019 general elections.
Speaking of calls for Zuma to resign, Jay Naidoo said the present government has become so corrupt that it will take much more than the president stepping down to solve the corruption in our country.
In his book, Naidoo presents what he believes would be best options for ending poverty and global warming, with a focus on organizing communities.
He said the bond holding the government and the people – trust- is lacking in great measure with a growing number of youths being more discontented with the people in government.
“The robber barons of today are no different from the robber barons of yesterday. Although we have made progress, people have legitimate grievances about what our government is doing, what the corporate sector is doing and what trade unions are doing.
“We want all the leaders in all these sectors to talk about the needs of our people instead of seeing these organizations as a conveyor belt to business opportunities.”
Days back, Naidoo told the new labour federation to go back to the basics of organizing power, saying that’s the only way employers will listen to them.
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He says he is happy the federation is finally being launched but that they really “need to return…the basics of organizing power because there’s only one way in which those elites in power would listen to us is when we have power.
When we sit around tables they don’t see it as clever leaders they see the power of the working class behind it,” he said.