Today's Labour News

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cosatuCity Press reports that the 1.6 million-strong Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is in serious financial trouble.  

The federation’s latest financial report received an “adverse finding” from external auditors for possibly containing material misstatements.  Cosatu had qualified audits in 2015 and 2016, but this is the first time it got the more severe “adverse” warning from auditors Deloitte.  The finance report tabled at last week’s 13th national congress was deceptively rosy, showing an unusual R16m surplus following a loss in 2015 and break even in 2016.  In reality, Cosatu’s finances were saved last year by two special windfalls that disguised the increasingly dire state of affairs at its affiliate unions.  One windfall was the write-off of more than R11m in unpaid rent Cosatu owed for its headquarters in Johannesburg.  The second windfall was an unprecedented dividend from Cosatu investment company Kopano Ke Matla totalling R9m.  Exceptional income in the year also included a capacity-building grant from the National Skills Fund of R4.15m.  Excluding these special items, the actual fees received from affiliated unions fell slightly in the year and did not cover expenses.  Despite raising the fee per member, Cosatu received affiliate fees of R73.9m last year, compared with R74.6m in 2016, due to falling membership.  Non-payment of fees by affiliate unions has become a crisis.  The financial report tabled this week revealed that Cosatu has made provision for R34.6m in fees owed to it as “doubtful debts”.  A year earlier, this amount was R13m.

  • Read this report by Dewald van Rensburg in full at Fin24

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