“A divided Cosatu is a weak Cosatu,” he told a National Union of Mineworkers’ shop stewards’ council in Boksburg on the east Rand.
“Cosatu without the strength of various other unions is a weak Cosatu. The ANC does not want a weak Cosatu.”
Ramaphosa said the Congress of SA Trade Unions needed to be united.
“The ANC has watched with a great deal of concern and pain at the challenges and troubles Cosatu has been facing.
“To contemplate a division of Cosatu is something we don’t want to contemplate.”
Workers who were divided would never be able to defend and advance the gains made by Cosatu.
Ramaphosa called for a “cease-fire” on everything negative and destructive and any public statements that could undermine unity.
Once this happened, the ANC would within 30 days meet union by union, engage with the leadership and members, and look at ways to achieve unity.
The ANC would play a facilitator role to help preserve unity in Cosatu.
He said when problems began emerging in Cosatu, the ANC had engaged it.
“Anything that we saw as militating, we knew would weaken the federation. Our [ANC] task team’s mission was simple — engage and maintain unity.
“We were talking to comrades Sidumo [Dlamini] and [Zwelinzima] Vavi… as time elapsed we realised that the comrades were still grappling… we then made interventions to preserve the unity of workers and protect the union.
“We, as the ANC, felt we needed all the liberation forces working together, uniting all of us.”
He said the ANC was the glue that stuck together the tripartite alliance.
The Cosatu central executive committee (CEC) meeting was initially postponed to allow for engagement.
“We saw the CEC leading to division in Cosatu. We did not want that to happen.”
He said the ANC was not seeking to impose a solution on Cosatu, but to help find a home-grown solution.
“Sometime we forget the role Cosatu has played in the revolution. Those who are divisive don’t see that.”