EIGHTH [08TH] NATIONAL CONGRESS DECLARATION

 

15TH – 19TH JUNE 2015

INKOSI ALBERT LUTHULI INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE

DURBAN – KWAZULU NATAL

Foreword

The POPCRU 8th National Congress which brought together the National Office Bearers, Provincial Office Bearers, Officials, Locals and members from various institutions around the country within the Criminal Justice. We convened here from the 15th to the 19th of June 2015 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban – KwaZulu Natal representing almost 160 000.

We, convened this historic 8th national congress at the time of celebrating our 25th year of existence within the Criminal Justice under the theme Transforming the Criminal Justice Cluster in defence of the working Class struggle for the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution acknowledging the most critical role that we have to play in pursuance of a more radical change towards the second phase of transition in the country. We are mindful of the fact that transforming the criminal justice is necessary as we continuously seek to advance the National Democratic Revolution [NDR].

We gathered here at a very crucial time in the history of a trade union movement is confronted with massive restructuring at various workplaces where workers are faced with massive retrenchments, casualisation, employment of illegal vulnerable immigrant workers and labour brokerage against the working class in the 30 years of neo-liberalism.

We were inspired by the pioneers of POPCRU since its inception in 1989 and the continued revolutionary and transformative role we continue to assert in the South African Police Service, Correctional Services and the Traffic component, wherein we are organising, mobilising and fighting for our membership conditions of work.

We were joined and welcomed by the KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs – Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu and inspired by messages of support from the Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters, the General Secretary of the SACP Blade Nzimande, the COSATU President – Sidumo Dlamini, international union representatives from Mauritius, World Federation of Trade Unions in Athens, CTC from Cuba, NPB from Netherlands, Bopeu in Botswana, Leposa in Lesotho, from DRC, ICPRA representative from New Zealand, Minister of Police – Honourable Nkosinathi Nhleko, Political Analysts from Academia, Safer South Africa Foundation, Commissioners from SAPS and Correctional Service.

We gathered here after four [04] years since our last 7th national congress convened in Mangaung – Bloemfontein in 2011. We are now bigger, stronger and united than ever before as we pursue the working class struggle within the Criminal Justice.  We are certain that POPCRU remains a beacon of hope to Correctional, Police and Traffic Officers and it is the only available vehicle to champion the course of these workers in South Africa and elsewhere in the World.

The 8th national congress reflected extensively on the most pertinent issues affecting ordinary members and the society at large ranging from organisational, political, socio-economic factors and international. Our analogy through the deliberations is that transformation of the Criminal Justice can no longer be delayed anymore and we concede that the National Democratic Revolution remains the only direct route to socialism.

We re-affirm POPCRU’s 7th national congress resolution on building the Alliance. The Alliance is the only reliable structure to advance the NDR and to rally the entire society towards attaining the National Democratic Society.

We further re-affirm that the unity of POPCRU, COSATU, SACP and the ANC is sanctified and that the SACP remains and should forever remain the vanguard of the working class and the poor. This 8th national congress calls on the strengthening of the alliance in pursuance of the second radical transition.

We note the most critical political role played by members and the entire leadership of POPCRU during the turmoil within the federation. We re-affirm the COSATU’s CEC resolutions on the dismissal of both NUMSA and its former General Secretary – Zwelinzima Vavi. We declare that the unity of the Federation can never be compromised by organisations and/ or individuals, who have ulterior ideological motives to weaken, destroy and divide the unity of the working class.

We re-affirm our 2014 CEC resolution in support of ANC election mobilisation campaigns and the Violet Seboni Brigade towards the 2016 Local government elections and beyond. Any other political work should be continuously coordinated within the Violet Seboni Brigade. We have to closely work with the ANC and Sanco to make tangible impact in ensuring another overwhelming victory during the coming 2016 local government elections.

We have indeed reflected on the escalating violence and senseless attacks on Police Officers by criminals in pursuance of their criminal and immoral deeds which poses a serious threat to social country’s safety.

We are coming out of this 8th national congress to vehemently oppose a unilateral decision taken by the employer to contravene renege a signed wage agreement and we therefore call upon our membership and all Public Servants to confront this matter with the urgency it deserves to resolve the impasse. It is our steadfast conviction to declare and resolve on the following:

  1. Building POPCRU
  • To revive and strengthen advocacy in institutions through, amongst others, ‘Umrabulo’ campaigns that would also target Managers.
  • To strengthen political education and consciousness targeting members at institutional level.
  • To develop a retirement preparation programme that would not only focus on financial planning but re-skilling in preparation for life beyond formal employment.

That the leadership and members shall at all times confront and nab in the bud any foreign tendencies from within and outside the Organisation and the unbecoming tendencies of some former leaders of the movement that may have a potential to divide the organisation.

We are content that building POPCRU as a strong union movement within the Criminal Justice requires maximum unity of the working class built on the basis of worker democracy, collective leadership and membership service.

We declare to defend and protect POPCRU against the new liberal offensive, opportunistic and divisive characters and to develop our own strategy and tactics document which will enhance organisational growth over a period of eight years. With all this in mind we declare:

  • People focus and organisational structure
  • To enhance capacity at provincial and institution level through a comprehensive research and need analysis to determine a clear framework;
  • To embark on a country-wide empowerment and orientation programme for newly appointed office bearers and shopstewards within 6 months of their appointment.
  • To embark on a national mass participation and marketing campaign to conscientise the younger members – a marketing strategy will have to be developed in the short-term to start with this campaign.
  • To revive and strengthen advocacy in institutions through, amongst others, ‘Umrabulo’ campaigns that would also target Managers.
  • To strengthen political education targeting members at institutional level.
  • To develop a retirement preparation programme that would not only focus on financial planning but re-skilling in preparation for life beyond formal employment.
  • That the leadership and members shall at all times confront and nab in the bud any foreign tendencies from within and outside the Organisation and the unbecoming tendencies of former leaders of the movement that have a potential to divide the organization.
  • Membership service
  • We re-affirm that a POPCRU member is still our Priority and that membership service is key.
  • That we will do everything in our power to expose all managers who deliberately destabilize, victimise and cause labour unrest at various institutions and centres where we organise.
  • That we shall continue at all times to abide by the organisation’s policies to manage and account for the union’s resources without failure. 
  • Systems and processes
  • To strengthen the current internal communication strategies and ensure that we have a working mechanism to our members by investing in an alternative media channel on radio and TV to create a platform for information sharing and political education.
  • To enhance internal capacity for mandating processes for negotiators to improve operational efficiency.
  • Policy development and interaction
  • POPCRU should deliberately deploy comrades to the statutory bodies in the Criminal Justice Cluster to influence policy and transformation.
  • The discourse on a single bargaining structure for the cluster must be re-opened and taken to the political level for engagement. This will also be in line with the Polokwane ANC Congress Resolution on a ‘Single Police Service’.
  • In support of the alliance driving the National Democratic Revolution, it is imperative to initiate discussions on the review of Chapter 9 Institutions to ensure transformation.
  • Community participation and involvement

In order to fulfil its social transformation obligation, POPCRU must be visible in communities by partnering with progressive organisations to drive community projects, celebration and commemoration of national and international events or days.

  • Socio-economic transformation

Having regard to the growing socio-economic challenges facing the country, we noted that black people control only 3% of the JSE listed companies and hence the economy, which is an insult to the martyrs that died for freedom.

  • Black people have been systematically exploited and oppressed economically and South Africa now has one of the world’s most unequal patterns of distribution of income and wealth. We further declare:
  • That all COSATU affiliates in the public sector should advocate to re-direct the Government Employees Pension Fund [GEPF] and Public Service Corporation [PIC] operations and functioning to be in the forefront for advancement and radical transformation of the South African economy.
  • To mobilise all COSATU affiliates in the private sector to advocate for and campaign that their respective retirement’s funds should be at the forefront of funding infrastructure development projects in South Africa. In approaching this task, the GEPF and PIC laws must be immediately attended to for immediate amendment.
  • That POPCRU must develop a practical programme towards the establishment of a first Workers Bank in South Africa.
  • That POPCRU must develop a programme of consolidating the efforts of government in prioritising agriculture as a means towards ending poverty and ensuring food security to the masses of our people.
  1. Political
  • We adopt the comprehensive secretariat report and the political overview of the president, presented to the 8th congress, its detailed political analysis and its intended resolution.
  • We reaffirm historical strategic relationship of the role the alliance between ANC, SACP and COSATU played over the years and continues to play in transforming the lives of the poorest of the poor to the better. This strategic relationship of the alliance is beneficial to the working class and therefore must be jealously guarded.
  • We re-affirm our 7th National Congress resolution for COSATU to disaffiliate from International Trade Union Confederation [ITUC] and affiliation to World Federation of Trade Unions [WFTU] be speeded up. 
  • Security of the country
  • The regulation of the private security industry should be strengthened. The Private Security Industry Regulation Act as amended and adopted in 2014 should be enacted by the President. This should also look at vetting those employed by the security companies.
  • Government should stop using private security in securing its buildings.
  • Re-integrate the private prisons into government. [g. prisons run by G4S which is a private security company].
  • We further re-affirm the ANC Polokwane resolution on having all Police agencies under one Command.
  • Migration vs Xenophobia
  • That we condemn by all means the attack on foreign nationals that are in the country.
  • That the challenges related to lack of control of illegal immigrants is a serious threat to the security of the country and as an ingredient to criminality and xenophobic attacks.
  • That there should be stricter control of immigrants and visitors to the country.
  • The department of Home Affairs should be capacitated in order for it to be able to deal with migration and alleged corruption at all Ports of entry.
  • Non – Governmental Organisations [NGOs]
  • That the existence of and operations of these NOGs in the country should be seriously scrutinised.
  • That their real ideological agenda which is directed at weakening and dislodging the current government should be exposed.
  • We must look at the source of funding for these NGOs and that the agency tasked with regulating NGOs should be strengthened.
  • Security of State information
  • That State information must be adequately secured in order to ensure that it is not exposed to external forces.
  • That protection of information at the disposal of the State and the partnership between the banks and the Department of Home Affairs should be re-looked.
  • That the signing of the Protection of Information Bill must be promulgated into law. As we move towards the COSATU National Congress, we should advance this position at the level of the federation for the immediate review of the initial position.
  • That community participation should be enhanced in the security of the country, crime prevention and reform of the criminal justice.
  • That there should a better mechanism to ensure appropriate management of community protests and better response by the criminal justice and national security agency. 
  • Power and influence of the media
  • That GCIS should be strengthened.
  • That we should engage and campaign against the use of these hostile media houses by government for advertising and other businesses.
  • We re-affirm the previous COSATU resolution on the need for a left alternative – a worker owned and controlled media.
  • That the SACP be strengthened in terms of funding to establish its own media ownership and resuscitate the discussion on Media tribunal.
  • That we will join forces together with the SACP to lead a programme of media transformation.
  1. The Unity of the Federation – COSATU

We the delegates to this 8th national congress rejects any form of attack waged against our federation – COSATU and declare further declare:

  • That we have capacity to defend and protect the unity and cohesion of our beloved federation to the bitter end and that the unity of the federation is sacrosanct.
  • That we will together with other progressive COSATU affiliates, develop strategies and tactics to unite all workers and that we will not run the federation through Courts and waste the little resources at our disposal.
  • That we will fully participate in the coming Special national congress convened for July 2015 in order to advance the working class unity and that the leadership must remain resolute in enforcing discipline.
  • That the decision to accept LIMUSA as an affiliate organising metal workers was correct and progressive. 
  1. International solidarity
  • That we pledge solidarity with the people and workers of the countries that are currently experiencing Western driven wars that disrupt normal life.
  • That all countries of the world are sovereign and have a right to maintain it without any interference from the Western powers.
  • That we fully support the participation and membership of SA into the BRICS and the efforts made to establish a Development Bank.
  • We re-affirm that our programme to unionise the SADC region to continue in order to free the majority of Police officers from exploitation.
  1. Conclusion

As we conclude this historic 8th national congress, we come out as united as ever to continue to build a strong POPCRU for a united and a strong COSATU – our beloved federation.

We commit ourselves that the resolutions taken in this 8th national congress will be communicated to the entire structures and membership of POPCRU.

 

A POPCRU MEMBER IS OUR PRIORITY

Amandla!

 

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