- Stephen Grootes
The ANC and Cosatu are, we are told, in an alliance with each other. So, when a cabinet minister who is an ANC deployee addresses a Cosatu conference, one can expect lots of hugging and singing. Instead, we have the sight this week of the Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant telling Cosatu delegates that in fact strikes have become a "fashion statement" and that they are being used to show how much support a union has, rather than to further the aims of workers. It is yet another sign that the ANC is battling to manage the conflicting dynamics of being the employer, while claiming to speak for the employed. And Oliphant herself is a major part of why there are so many strikes in the first place. By STEPHEN GROOTES.