The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the North West on Thursday, blasted the African National Congress (ANC) for boycotting its elective conference in Mahikeng.
"Delegates noted with huge disappointment and contempt the conspicuous absence of the African National Congress [ANC] despite that the organisation was invited," provincial secretary Job Dliso told reporters in Mahikeng.
He said delegates at the 5th elective conference tasked the provincial office bearers to initiate a bilateral meeting with the ANC in the North West to address their continued absence at Cosatu conferences and other pertinent issues affecting the operations of the tripartite alliance.
The ANC in the North West did not attend the 4th elective provincial congress of Cosatu held in Rustenburg in 2015.
Despite the absence of the ANC at the Cosatu congress, the federation resolved to support the ANC in the 2019 general elections.
The relationship between the ANC and its alliance in the North West had been lukewarm. Recently the SA Communist Party (SACP) pulled out of the provincial alliance council complaining that ANC chairperson in the province Supra Mahumapelo attacked the SACP in his speech in Durban, when former president Jacob Zuma appeared in court.
Addressing delegates on the second day of the congress, SACP provincial secretary, Madoda Sambatha said the ANC was unable to separate the state and the party, adding that the difference between the party and the state was a theoretical question.
"The ANC is unable to separate that, when you stand up [National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union] Nehawu and [Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa] Denosa and say we are exploited by the department of health, the ANC conclusion is that they are now fighting the ANC that is the conclusion," Sambatha said.
"But the reality is that the department of health is an employer; whoever leads the department of health have to accept that organised workers have the right to withdraw their labour power because strike on its own is a political weapon available for workers."
In a statement the ANC in the North West congratulated Cosatu for convening a successful congress.
"We will convene a bilateral meeting with Cosatu, to discuss political matters of mutual interest on 16 August 2018," acting provincial secretary Sussana Dantjie said.
The ANC is in alliance with the Cosatu and the SACP.