14 July 2020
COSATU in the Eastern Cape held a virtual Provincial Secretariat meeting on 13 July 2020, which was attended by the Provincial Chairpersons and Secretaries of affiliated unions. The meeting deliberated and engaged in discussions covering organisational assessment, provincial political situation, and the socio-economic situation particularly how COVID 19 pandemic affects the economy.
The Secretariat expressed how its deep sadness on the passing away of Former COSATU Provincial Chairperson, Comrade Alfred Mtsi, who passed away on 12 July 2020
Comrade Mtsi rose through the ranks of the Trade Union Movement. He was a NUMSA Shop Steward at Mercedes Benz of South Africa. He later became COSATU Local Chairperson. He rose to be a towering figure, a giant in the making and became COSATU Eastern Cape Regional Chairperson (Provinces were still called Regions then). This is the position he held until he was deployed to Provincial Legislature,
His leadership qualities came to the fore at the Legislature and he became the Chairperson of Chairpersons. As a disciplined cadre of the movement and a tried and tested leader of the people, he was redeployed to stabilize Buffalo City Municipality as a Mayor and Comrade Xola Pakati as his deputy. Coincidentally, when he was a COSATU Chairperson, Comrade Pakati was his deputy. At the time of his death, he was the Speaker of the Council in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality
He was a humble and disciplined leader who loved humanity. He subscribed to Collective Leadership. He was a visionary leader that dealt with complex issues in a simple and effective way. He always had a cheerful disposition which was an expression of the warmth of his heart.
Our sincere deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to Comrade Mtsi’s entire family, friends, fellow councillors, and staff in his office.
The meeting expressed its sense of appreciation of the good work done by the frontline health-workers. We salute the workers who lost their lives in the line of duty in their endeavours to save lives. We wish those who have tested positive and fallen sick a speedy recovery,
COVID 19 has exposed the shortage of staff in the health facilities and we call upon Provincial Government to fill the vacancies to strengthen the COVID 19 response. The slow intervention in COVID cases increases the infection rate. We call for speedy intervention to curb the increase in infection rate.
COSATU strongly condemns stigmatisation of those who test positive. Some people are not comfortable to declare their status due to the fear of the stigma that goes with it and in the process subject others to risk. We are prepared to join hands with all stakeholders to fight the Covid-19 stigma.
We call upon government to institute investigations to all COVID related corruption cases. Corruption robs communities of quality services. The Federation abhors corruption and remains a partner in the fight against this scourge consuming our country. We are troubled by the inconsistency in dealing with corruption and this matter needs to be addressed urgently.
The meeting concluded that the schools have been reopened prematurely. Whilst there is phasing in of grades there are more and more schools are closed daily due to Covid-19 cases picked up in those schools. This has led to uneven development. The President missed an opportunity to deal with matter when addressing recently. Furthermore, we expected the president to reflect on the plans to deal with the impact of COVID on Job losses.
The Secretariat supports the efforts of strengthening the Alliance and the spirit displayed by all components towards a united strong and vibrant Alliance with implementable programme that responds to the issues affecting our communities.
Issued by COSATU Eastern Cape
Mkhawuleli Maleki, COSATU Provincial Secretary,