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The shadow of the Marikana massacre hangs over Cosatu as its 11th Elective Congress takes place a month after the police brutally killed more than 34 miners who worked at Lonmin mine. Ighsaan Schroeder, Director of the Casual Workers Advice Office talks about the meaning of Marikana for Cosatu and trade unions in general. This interview was recorded on September, 17, the opening day of Cosatu's 2012 congress.
Schroeder argues that Marikana signals the death rattle for Cosatu. He is not optimistic that the federation will be around in five years time, which is when another congress would take place.
He contends that the federation is beset with systemic problems, and points to the changing social base of Cosatu, its tether to the ANC and corruption, as the biggest challenges facing the federation.
Schroeder also provides some insights into why the strikes that have spread from Lonmin to other mines in the Rustenburg region are being smashed by heavy state repression.
Editor’s Note: You might also be interested in an earlier interview with Ighsaan Schroeder of the Casual Workers Advice Office on labour brokers.