Cope: statement by Phillip Dexter, Congress of the People spokesperson, on labour brokers (14/03/2010)

14th March 2010

The Congress of the People is pleased with government's about turn in its unreasonably hardline approach to labour broking, provoked by the unrealistic demands of the ANC YL, the SACP and COSATU. Common sense and sound economic policy has won the day over populism.

Regulation of the industry is key, and it appears that reasonable voices within the troubled ruling alliance have won this round. However, we question whether the primary motivation for this u-turn was based on upholding a principle for good of the masses, or protecting the pockets of an elite few within the ruling alliance, some of whom would have a vested financial interest in the continuation of the status quo with regard to labour broking.

COPE feels vindicated in its decision to cooperate with the Democratic Alliance on this issue and it proves that even though there are many areas in which COPE and the DA disagree on, strategic cooperation can yield political results with tangible benefits for many South Africans, regardless of who they vote for. Bi-partisan cooperation is a sign of a maturing democracy, and this victory is a sign that COPE is indeed succeeding in our stated objective of realigning the South African political landscape.

This change of heart on the side of government clearly indicates that there are too many cooks and wannabe cooks in the kitchen of the ruling alliance. This change in government policy is typical of the mixed messages coming from government. For example, the nationalisation debate is pushed by the same group of populists who advocated for the banning of labour brokers, despite nationalisation not being a policy of government.

It is becoming more apparent that the executive is at odds with the various factions within the ruling alliance. It is only a matter of time before the house of cards comes tumbling down.