Joint Press Statement

The national leadership structures of the SACP and COSATU met today in an extensive, all-day bilateral. The SACP delegation was led by the general secretary, Charles Nqakula, and the COSATU delegation was led by the president, John Gomomo.

Our formations represent the two largest organised socialist forces in our country. The meeting, in the first place, reviewed, from a socialist perspective, the major events of the past several months - including the August 31/September 1 1997 Tripartite Alliance Summit, the COSATU September 1997 Congress, and the ANC December Mafikeng Conference. The bilateral expressed general satisfaction with the content and resolutions adopted at these various meetings.

The bilateral then discussed how to take forward the socialist project in our country in the context of these conferences and their resolutions. A number of specific areas were discussed. The bilateral resolved to initiate a major project on the building of the co-operative sector in South Africa. We also discussed the strategic use of worker-controlled investment funds, ensuring that these projects are not merely fund-raising efforts, but have a genuinely transformative agenda.

The bilateral discussed plans to consolidate a common platform, with the ANC, in preparation for the Jobs Summit. The bilateral also resolved to speed up the implementation of the Tripartite Summit resolution to establish an alliance working group, under the ANC president's leadership, on the transformation of the public sector.

There are, already, many joint SACP/COSATU programmes in place. Over the past years, the SACP and COSATU affiliates have conducted many joint political education workshops. We discussed how to intensify and broaden this work. We have also agreed to take up the COSATU Congress resolution on building SACP units at the factory-floor level. Again, while there is some experience of this, especially with SACP shaft branches on many mines, we have agreed to intensify and extend this organisational work.

The bilateral also reached concrete resolutions on joint fund-raising, and on common media and policy-development policies.

Both the SACP and COSATU re-affirmed a strong commitment to building a socialist project in the present conditions of South Africa, and in the context of our ongoing commitment to our alliance with the ANC. We see the deepening of democracy in our country and the advancing of socialist perspectives as wholly compatible, indeed as mutually reinforcing.


Nowetu Mpati COSATU Head of Communications