The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said would support the introduction of private partnerships in state-owned enterprises with conditions.
Cosatu said they would only support this move if no job losses occurred.
The organisation told 702 on Monday that its stance on privatisation hasn’t changed after its spokesperson was quoted in the City Press newspaper, saying he believes some non-performing SOEs can benefit from partial privatisation.
Cosatu has often criticised the idea, saying it will lead to workers in the SOEs losing their jobs.
Many state-owned enterprises are in a shambles. They have long been mismanaged and they rely on bailouts for survival.
The African National Congress has even conceded that private equity partners are needed to stabilise the institutions.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said as a federation they would support privatisation, if the government retains majority control of the institutions.
Pamla added their priority is to protect workers from losing their jobs.