There were people trying to discredit the country, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.
"We should not listen to those who are making a career out of rubbishing our country and the gains of our national democratic revolution," Zuma told Cosatu's national conference in Midrand, Johannesburg.
"The fact is that the ANC government has reduced the numbers of people experiencing the worst levels of income poverty significantly."
Zuma highlighted some the African National Congress' successes since it came into power in 1994.
He said the United Nations Millennium Development Goal target of reducing the number of people living on less than one US dollar a day had been achieved.
The reduction of poverty in the country was achieved through social protection programmes.
"To date, more than 15 million people receive social grants while others enjoy free access to health care for the poorest," said Zuma.
"Others receive free basic services to indigent members of our society."
Zuma said progress had also been made in terms of health care and education.
This was through the campaign to fight HIV/Aids and the piloting of the National Health Insurance scheme.
With regards to basic education, he said 95 percent of children in South Africa were attending school.
"[This] means we are close to meeting the universal access goal."
Zuma said in a few days he would announce what action would be taken regarding the textbook saga in Limpopo.
"I know that this matter is close to your hearts as Cosatu as you were worried about the failure to deliver textbooks on time in Limpopo and other areas," he said.
"The presidential task team has submitted its report."
He said the department of basic education had been directed to improve the distribution of textbooks so that they arrive on time next year.
Cosatu was holding its four-day national congress this week.
Earlier on Monday, the trade federation's current leadership was nominated unopposed for another term.