CONGRESS OF SOUTH African Trade Union- Cosatu has a new leader in Zingiswa Losi, one of the federations longest serving member's.
And she’s a female, the first in the history of Cosatu’s formation.
Losi replaces Sdumo Dlamini‚ who has held the position for over 10 years.
She was elected unopposed at Cosatu’s 13th national congress currently on at Gallagher Estate-Midrand, a move described by many to ensure an uncontested conference and in the interests of unity, considering what’s happening in the ANC currently.
The Port Elizabeth born Losi, was backed strongly by Cosatu’s strong affiliate‚ the National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu).
She now serves on the ANC national executive committee‚ the party’s highest decision-making body between conferences.
Losi has been congratulated by the federation, ANC, Government and some opposition parties.
The conference also nominated, unopposed, current leaders: general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali and for deputy secretary general Solly Phetoe.
The only change to Cosatu’s leadership is that National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu)’s deputy president Mike Shingange takes over from Losi as first deputy president, while Louise Thipe from Saccawu takes over from Tyotyo James as the second deputy president.
President Cyril Matamela Ramphosa who opened the congress on Monday, congratulated Losi and through his spokesperson Khusela Sangoni said: “The president says the election of these leaders unopposed is a clear demonstration of a commonality, purpose and unity within the organised labour federation.”
She says the president is also happy that the federation has its first female president.
“He said the election of the federation’s first woman president is an affirmation that indeed women, and black women, in particular, are taking up their rightful places.”
Ramaphosa has wished the newly elected officials well in the execution of their duties.
An important agenda to be discussed at the congress is whether the federation will continue to back its tripartite alliance partner, the governing ANC.
The federation may decide to throw its weight behind fellow alliance member the South African Communist Party (SACP) during next year’s general elections.
For Losi, she’s aware she has to grow a thick skin and fast, that’s if she hasn’t already…
The congress ends on Thursday.