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President Jacob Zuma must vacate his position if the ANC wants South Africans to take it seriously.

This is the view of the SA Municipal Workers Union’s (Samwu) national executive committee on Friday after its meeting in Polokwane.

“The NEC is convinced that for the ANC to instil confidence that it still is a leader of society‚ Zuma should vacate his office immediately as a deployee of the ANC without attaching any conditions. This would not only allow the ANC to cleanse itself but also avoid a situation of two centres of power.

“We‚ therefore‚ welcome the decision by Parliament to postpone the state of the nation address (Sona) to allow the ANC to deal decisively with the issue of Zuma. We believe that Zuma should not be the one delivering the address and that he should have vacated office before the Sona is presented‚” Samwu said.

The union also turned on newly-elected ANC secretary general Ace Magashule.

“We are concerned by the divisive tone of the Secretary General (SG) of the ANC‚ who seemingly wants Zuma to continue holding on to power by all means necessary. The SG is not doing any justice to the organisation with his utterances‚ particularly those he made in Pietermaritzburg recently when he said the ANC will be returned in 5 years. Where is the ANC now if it has to be returned‚” Samwu said in its official statement.

Zuma has been under constant pressure since Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa became the leader of the ANC.

This week‚ ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile told delegates at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Tuesday that the national executive committee of the ANC had planned to oust Zuma after a meeting on Wednesday. That was before the meeting was cancelled.

Zuma’s reluctance to step down has resulted in the State of the Nation Address being postponed to allow the ANC to deal with internal problems of removing Zuma as state president.

Samwu has commended the new leadership of the ANC for the decision it has taken since taking over in December. The union said it hopes the new leadership will implement other major policies of the ANC aimed at improving the lives of the poor.

“We are further hopeful that the new ANC leadership collective will ensure the speedily implementation of the National Health Insurance which is long overdue. We trust that workers who have for long been overlooked and marginalised will be prioritised.

“We look forward to engagements with the new administration on issues facing our members particularly on scrapping the privatisation of municipal services through the tendering system and the use of Extended Public Works Programme and Community Works Programmes.

“These programmes are exploitative in nature and have become a provider of cheap labour for all spheres of government‚” Samwu said.

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