Thursday, April 5, 2012

COSATU’s Latest Hypocrisy

Zwelinzima Vavi - Picture sourced from

Zwelinzima Vavi is….

In March this year this blog published a posting about this con man titled, “COSATU’s Dirty Tricks”. It was two days before COSATU planned a nationwide series of protests. It was one of the biggest strike-actions South Africa had ever seen, and like all the previous ones it disrupted schools, hospitals, roads, and the entire Public Service.

It was this blogs opinion that Vavi used the growing opposition to the Gauteng e-tolling system, in the final hours of planning, as a trump card in his game to attract a wider number of people (hopefully whites) into his sheepfold.

It has now come to light that COSATU reportedly made a neat R24 million profit through an investment in a construction company, Raubex, who were involved in building one of Gauteng’s toll roads.

City Press reported that “Vavi almost shat in his pants when he was told.” Brilliant acting Mr Vavi!

To think that only a few weeks ago, COSATU was slamming the extensive profits made by Austrian company, Kapsch TrafficCom from its contract to build and operate the e-tolling system in Gauteng… What utter hypocrisy!!!

According to a report published on Moneyweb the scandal has caused the CEO of COSATU’s investment arm, Marake Collin Matjila, to resign as Chairperson of Raubex with immediate effect. I suppose nothing is going to happen to Vavi… He will probably just carry on double-dealing his way out of trouble like they all do.

Here’s the full story as published in Politicsweb, and reported by DA MP Ian Ollis:

COSATU profit from e-tolling smacks of hypocrisy
By Ian Ollis
03 April 2012

COSATU's disapproving public stance on e-tolling as being "ill-conceived, corrupt, and too expensive for this country's poor" clearly does not apply to their investment arm.

The trade union federation reportedly made a tidy R24 million profit through an investment in a construction company which benefitted from the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

The City Press reported on Sunday that COSATU's investment arm, Kopano Ke Matla, holds a 3% stake in Raubex. Raubex received R800 million from a project which forms part of the Gauteng freeway project that has been at the centre of the e-tolling debacle. As Kopane's "sole beneficiary", COSATU have thus made a significant profit from a road-infrastructure project that they have vehemently opposed on every possible platform (see here).

This is pure hypocrisy. Whilst lamenting the impact of rising energy prices and transport prices on South Africa's poor, COSATU have in actual fact been capitalising on their misery.

The reports of COSATU's profits also came less than a month after the union released a damning statement slamming the profits made by Kappsch TrafficCOm (KTC), an Austrian company that has made significant profits from its contract to build and operate the e-tolling system in Gauteng.

Kopano's "primary objectives" are supposedly to "pursue investment opportunities in a socially responsible manner" and to "select investment ventures that will directly contribute to the empowerment of workers and the communities in which they live". It is not clear how the investment in Raubex reflected this mandate.

COSATU General Secretary, Zwelenzima Vavi, claims that he was unaware of the investment company's involvement in toll roads. As Kopano CEO Collin Matjila is also the non-executive chairperson of Raubex, one would expect the COSATU leadership to have been aware of Raubex's key projects. If not, they are obviously not particularly committed to holding Kopano to its mandate of socially responsible investment.

To restore their credibility in the e-tolling debate, COSATU will have to resolve three key issues.

Firstly, they have to assure South Africa's poor that they have, as Mr Vavi claims, indeed withdrawn their investment from Raubex. Failure to do so will make a farce of their commitment to socially responsible investment.

Secondly, the litmus test for COSATU's commitment to empowerment and social responsibility will lie in their decision on how to spend or re-invest their R24 million profit. We challenge COSATU to tell South Africans what they will do with this money.

Thirdly, COSATU will not regain their credibility in the e-tolling dispute by withdrawing from public debate on the issue. They now have to prove that their principles have not been compromised by their tainted profits.

 The Democratic Alliance (DA) continues to oppose e-tolling as a disproportionate tax on the poor and the DA-run City of Cape Town has filed a court application with the Western Cape High Court to oppose any moves to toll roads around the city.

We will hold COSATU to their promise to continue protesting against e-tolls. Now is not the time to abandon South Africa's poor on this crucial issue.

Statement issued by Ian Ollis MP, DA Shadow Minister of Transport, April 3 2012

Sourced from Politicsweb


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