Comment from the General Secretary

As we approach the end of 2003, with many of us busy planning our vacations, it is also important that we take a step back and reflect on the broad plans that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. Only once we have assessed what we have done, can we set out our organisational plans for 2004.

In building on the 2000 Numsa National Congress decision to strive for a strong, united and revolutionary metalworkers’ union, we laid the following plans for 2003:-

To strive for better working and living conditions for our members during collective bargaining, particularly those members located in the most vulnerable sectors of the economy. In the April Bargaining Conference, delegates resolved that we would take employers head-on in this bargaining round.
Through the Membership Project, improve on the collection of subscriptions, therefore laying a solid foundation for a stable administration of the union and the delivery of services to members. In this regard, Operation Bhatala became the key instrument of this campaign.
Dedicate additional resources to education to develop and further improve on the existing skills base of our membership, leadership and staff.
Build a strong and united Federation, whilst at the same time become more actively involved in building the ANC and SACP and the mass democratic movement formations.
To engage the democratic state at all levels to advance the socio-economic interests of our members and the working class, and where appropriate, mobilise for mass action to defend the gains of the National Democratic Revolution.

In almost all the areas listed above, major strides have been made to turn Numsa into a stable and strong Union . In the same breath, we must also admit that a lot of work still needs to be done to strengthen our capacity to deliver better services to our members. Had it not been for these members taking a decision in 1987, to form a strong metalworkers’ union, none of us would have been able to celebrate the achievements that we have made thus far.

In the November Central Committee, delegates acknowledged the following achievements:-

That we are turning the tide in building a sound administrative and financial base, with regards to organisational building, whereas there are many challenges that we must tackle. A sense of unity and cohesion exists which we must collectively harness.
On service delivery, whereas we must improve on recruitment and the quality of service we provide to members, we are achieving better results in the collective bargaining processes.
In the Federation, we are proud of the contribution that we are making in building a united and strong Federation.
On the socio-economic front, whereas there are major setbacks as characterised by job losses and the levels of unemployment, we have also played a major role in changing the government’s policy towards massive infrastructural development.

On behalf of the National Office Bearers, I want to thank all of you for your contributions in the Union . Enjoy your festive season, but ensure that you condomise.

Aluta Continua!!!!

Silumko Nondwangu, General Secretary