The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed to allowing the ANC's alliance partners a chance to air their views on an interministerial report into the state of North West before it is presented to the ANC's national executive committee meeting this weekend.
The comments were made by the federation's general secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali, on the sidelines of its central executive committee meeting in Braamfontein on Tuesday.
This was shortly after Ramaphosa addressed the central executive committee (CEC), describing the meeting as "positive".
The president of the ANC is attempting to quell tensions between the political party and its alliance partners — Cosatu, the SACP and civic organisation Sanco — after relations hit an all-time low when the three organisations called on the ANC to recall Jacob Zuma as head of state.
There were also threats of a split, with some in the SACP calling for the party to contest the 2019 elections on its own.
Ntshalintshali, speaking about the violent protests that broke out in North West this year and the calls for premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down, said Cosatu had raised the matter with Ramaphosa.
Mahumapelo resigned on Wednesday.
"He tried to brief us in terms of things happening in North West. He indicated that, at some point, there was a name suggested, but the alliance partners said no ways in terms of that particular name," Ntshalintshali explained.
He said Ramaphosa had told the CEC that the ANC had been meeting with the provincial executive committee of the party in the platinum-rich province.
A report by the interministerial committee — being led by Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma — would be tabled at the NEC meeting over the weekend.
'Things are terrible in North West'
"He indicated his willingness to engage with the alliance before that report is tabled, which we take to be positive work... that we don't read about it in newspapers," said Ntshalintshali.
This would be a departure from what had become the norm in the alliance, as Cosatu had previously complained that Zuma would not give alliance partners prior notice before taking certain decisions — either as head of state or president of the ANC.
"We will be privy to that report and be able to comment before the NEC takes a final decision on the report," said Ntshalintshali. The NEC is meeting this weekend.
Ntshalintshali said developments in the troubled province were a reflection of an ANC that was not moving in one direction.
He also lamented the slow pace of progress and uncertainty which had characterised the tension in North West.
"The evidence on the ground is clearly indicating there are problems in North West, and for government to gain credibility, it needs to move with speed and move with the people, rather than find excuses," said Ntshalintshali.
He said there was a clear indication that numerous departments in North West were dysfunctional and needed to be placed under administration.
"Things are terrible in North West," he concluded.