POSTURE: Cosatu members at the federation’s 11th national congress at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. Picture: TYRONE ARTHUR
POSTURE: Cosatu members at the federation’s 11th national congress at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. Picture: TYRONE ARTHUR

NOT surprisingly, former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva cancelled his speaking engagement at Cosatu’s congress, since he is being misrepresented.

Cosatu wants radical change through a Lula da Silva "moment", but as usual it is talking from ignorance.

Certainly Lula da Silva came from the union movement and had a left-wing reputation, but that was as far as it went.

As soon as he became president he appointed market economists as finance minister and central bank chairman, renewed International Monetary Fund agreements and met the surplus it demanded, lowered taxation, followed inflation and kept interest rates among the highest in the world.

His big, successful infrastructure programme was supported by public-private partnerships and privatisation.

He didn’t protect corruption and many senior politicians were prosecuted. He didn’t get rid of experienced public servants and replace them with hopeless political appointees.

It is trite that leftist politicians always turn to proven economics after being elected. If they want to be successful they put aside their quaint ideas and join the real world. Everywhere, that is, except in SA, where politicians never grow up and play at being communists into their dotage.

Sydney Kaye

Cape Town