Natasha Marrian reports that Cosatu has bemoaned “business unionism” and rampant corruption in its ranks in a frank political report to be discussed at its coming national congress.  It also admits that federation bosses cannot intervene in many instances of corruption because of factional fights in the federation.  Workers’ money, pension and provident funds, medical aid schemes and medical aid funds are being used by some in the labour movement to dispense patronage and advance their own interests.

Read the full report Cosatu admits to graft in ranks first published today by Business Day in BDlive.


The federation’s frank admission clears the way for the issue to be tackled head-on and would make ordinary members feel more confident about whistle-blowing in their unions, says mining and labour analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane.

Many Cosatu-aligned unions are embroiled in factional battles over union resources and investment companies.  The federation’s investment arm Kopano ke Matla is also entangled in its own leadership battles and is in the process of being wound up.

The report by acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali paints a dismal picture, saying that in some cases “service to members gets treated as a second priority” in favour of “activities which create possibilities of accumulation”.