In March, Craven resigned from Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in a huff, saying its decision to expel its former general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was “unfair.” He said on Friday he was now yearning for anything that could help put food on the table.
“Life is not easy because I don’t have any source of income,” said Craven. He was speaking to the Saturday Citizen on the side-lines at the Civil Society Conference on Electricity Crisis held by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) in Booysens, Johannesburg.
“I fortunately have a wife who is still employed with a certain amount of savings, but certainly that cannot continue indefinitely. I am looking for any opportunities to change the situation. Even if your readers want to offer me something, that will be fine. I am well over the retirement age but I still need something to put food on the table.”
Cosatu expelled Vavi following many public spats between him and its leadership after allegations of mismanagement of funds were levelled against him. Vavi is now campaigning for the workers’ rights in various parts of the country under the umbrella of Numsa, who had always publicly backed him against Cosatu leadership.
Craven would not reveal whether he contributed to the pension fund at Cosatu and whether his contributions were paid out after he resigned.
However, he pointed out he did not regret parting ways with the troubled Cosatu, citing its decision to bar its members and employees from attending Numsa rallies or those addressed by Vavi as another reason. He said he was ready to play any role at Numsa or its ally, the United Front, if given a chance.
“The role I might play would be purely in an advisory capacity at Numsa or whatever structures that might evolve in the coming period.”
Craven was appointed Cosatu’s spokesperson in 2006, but he started working at Cosatu in 2000 as the editor of their magazine, The Shopsteward.