Neil joined me on the line from Cape Town in the midst of the #feesmustfall student campaign. We discuss the future of trade unions, why we need a national minimum wage, how to cultivate a patriotic business sector and why COSATU is the ANC’s most vociferous critic.
Neil is Strategies Co-ordinator in the COSATU Secretariat. He has been active in various community organisations, and anti-apartheid formations such as the United Democratic Front, and trade union organisations, in particular the Congress of South African Trade Unions, over the last three and a half decades.
Neil has worked for COSATU since 1989 and has co-ordinated several departments in COSATU over this period, including COSATU’s parliamentary office and communications department.
His current role involves giving strategic advice to the COSATU Secretariat, as well as coordinating various teams of experts for the federation, including working with the country’s top progressive economists.
Since January 2015 he has been tasked with leading the delegation of three Labour Federations (COSATU, Nactu and Fedusa) in negotiations on the introduction of a National Minimum Wage in South Africa, through the Wage Inequality Task Team of Nedlac.
This week I interview Solidarity Chairman Flip Buys. We discuss Afrikaner autonomy, the pursuit of benevolent neglect, the need for community engagement and the benefits of the free market. Oh and also my quote of the year “you can’t out promise a socialist”.
Flip obtained a degree in Communication Studies, from the Potchefstroom University in 1988. In 1992 he obtained an honours degree in Labour Relations from the Rand Afrikaans University. He also attended courses in political economics at the University of the Witwatersrand and project management at the NWU.
Flip Buys previously served as council member and member of the executive committee of the North-West University for seven years. During this period he gained significant experience of the university setup and the activities of the university council.
Flip is executive chairperson of the Solidarity Movement, which consists of a “family” of 18 organisations and represents approximately 270 000 families. The Solidarity Movement considers itself a modern Helpmekaar movement that consists of Afrikaans community organisations. It is a federation of Afrikaans employee, social, language, culture, civil rights, media, and training institutions who believe that a community should take responsibility for itself instead of depending solely on the government or passively awaiting the future.