JOHANNESBURG-- The long-awaited meeting of the Alliance Political Council comprising leaders of the Tripartite Alliance coalition among the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) could soon take place.

The meeting could help improve the current strained relations between the ANC, Cosatu, the SACP and Sanco (South African National Civic Organization), said Ramaphosa after he met members of the Cosatu Central Committee on Tuesday. After a marathon discussion lasting three hours, Ramaphosa said concrete moves are underway to strengthen the alliance.

The ANC president wants to mend relations between the party and its alliance partners. Relations between the ANC, Cosatu, the SACP and Sanco deteriorated almost two years ago with the labour federation and the Communist Party at the forefront of calling for the resignation of former President Jacob Zuma last year.

This came after allegations of State Capture and Zuma's alleged close relations with the Gupta-family emerged. For the first time in the history of the alliance, Cosatu also barred an ANC president from addressing its gatherings.

Its 2017 May Day rally in Free State province was cancelled after some members disrupted the event in protest against Zuma's presence.

Explaining the rationale of Tuesday's meeting, President Ramaphosa said: This has also been a process of implementing the decisions of our conference, that we should strengthen the Alliance so that the ANC, as the leader of the Alliance, should keep the Alliance united and strong.

"So my coming here has been advancing that process, to deal with issues that are germane to all of us as structures of the movement. And we are also going to ensure and embark on campaigns on issues that affect our people and also strengthen our resolve when it comes to eradicating poverty, inequality and the creation of jobs."

The president also committed to meeting regularly with Alliance partners, including the convening of the Alliance Political Council aimed at fostering better relations.

Ramaphosa said: We are also going to involve the meeting of the Political Council. We stressed that one of the ways of strengthening the alliance is to have continuous engagements of the Political Council, the bilaterals, the Alliance Secretariat. So all that we will do. Even on issues where we don't see eye to eye.

Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the labour federation, South Africa's largest, had also reflected on the president's first 100 days in office and the speed at which Ramaphosa was implementing the ANC conference resolutions.

The CEC was very happy that the president found some time to come and address us. There were a number of issues that members of the CEC wanted to raise with the president. But they also have some observations in terms of the 100 days that he has both positive and the speed at which the ANC resolutions are being implemented. We take the view that as we prepare for the Political Council, we will spend two days to discuss issues that have been raised.

Both parties also discussed the one percentage VAT increase, the upcoming Job Summit, the abuse of women and children as well as the political killings in KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The Cosatu Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting ends on Wednesday.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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