South African Labor Group to Hold First Congress, eNCA Reports

  • Ally of ruling ANC says 21 union, 700,000 members at meeting
  • Federation of Trade Unions registered by Zwelinzima Vavi

The ousted head of South Africa’s largest workers’ federation formed a rival group and plans to hold the first congress in late April, the eNCA website reported Saturday, citing a union statement.

Zwelinzima Vavi, former secretary general of the Congress of South African Trade Unions and an ally of the ruling African National Congress, registered the new union federation on Friday, eNCA said.

Vavi addresses a crowd in 2016.

Photographer: John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images

The South African Federation of Trade Unions will hold its first congress April 21- 23 with representatives of 21 unions and 700 000 members, the Johannesburg-based news site said.

Vavi, 54, an outspoken critic of the ANC’s economic policies and alleged corruption under President Jacob Zuma, led Cosatu for 16 years before being expelled in 2015. Vavi had opposed a decision by Cosatu leaders to eject its biggest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, which had refused to support the ANC in 2014 national elections.

The federation, that will be led by Vavi, will focus on worker exploitation, mass unemployment, poverty and inequality, according to the site.

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