Editorial: Letters

Dear Comrade

I am an employee of X-strata, Wonderkop. There is a slight apartheid, straight from management. Really apartheid is worse-worse. The fruits of the new democracy has no meaning in our work places.

In X-Strata there is too much work, bad working conditions, hard work and poor salary. I would like to call upon the honourable Mr Macdonald, our Rustenburg Local Organiser to help us by solving the problem of Numsa spies as from January 2004.

Wake up to join Numsa now as a basic pillar to stop the existing apartheid in our workplaces. In X-strata when you are injured, it is because of your carelessness. When you are ill, it is not work-related illness.

To the whites there is no such miracle, is it nepotism or ubuntu? Whites must take full historical responsibility for depriving the poorest black people of land because of Western civilisation and colonising.

I wish not my country to be similar to Ethiopia and Rwanda but I hate racism in my beloved society. X-strata cannot be the company which is similar to Sodom and Gomorrah 's action on the land of our birth as if we're not sibling sons and daughter.

The past regime crippled everything on this continent long time ago, instead of standing together to build up strong relations in society and international working class movement. Some of us were imprisoned for life, killed, paralysed and beaten for freedom for all.

Anonymous, X-Strata


Comrades it is with great pleasure to thank you for your donation* that you have given me. I would like to thank local office bearers, shop stewards who recommended, convinced and encouraged their Numsa members in Kempton Park local to make this extraordinary contribution.

I would also like to pass my greetings. Thanks to those that made this happen. As a person I do not have enough words to thank you. But I will say to you that to voluntarily contribute will always encourage me.

Shop stewards elections

But let us also remember the following, we have elected our representatives at our workplaces.

The newly elected or re-elected shop stewards have now started their job or duties as shop stewards.

Comrades have seriously begun to recruit new members into Numsa. This is what we have experienced as individuals. Some have started failing to attend shop steward councils. This must be seriously monitored because it kills the union.

Comrades, we must not forget our task is still incomplete, we are now left with local leadership elections, regional and national elections. Nobody will be elected if they are at home, or moving in the street or not attending the structures of their union. Shop stewards must attend shop steward councils to be updated.

Comrades, meetings is one of our demands which we have been fighting for. Before we can do anything, we must first meet and plan. So Numsa is paying for offices and halls every month with your money for your benefit and the entire society. Read Numsa News, it tells you about your benefits and others.

While Numsa is busy organising new members, employers are also busy disorganising workers not to join the Union .

The real serious problem that I have experienced as a person are dismissals of newly recruited members from small companies in particular.

You need your shop steward to debate and come with a resolution. Once the organiser sends a letter of introduction to the employer, the company chooses its way to dismiss workers. This needs us to take a strong campaign against the companies which are not prepared to comply with the laws and the LRA of this country. Freedom of association was one of the most important demands during the struggle. Nothing about us without us. Comrades we have a lot to say. I think I am not the only one who experiences this.

Steven Rathebe – Kempton Park Local

(*Rathebe is an ex-Numsa shop steward and member. He led his factory in the 1992 national engineering strike and was dismissed. Numsa fought workers' reinstatement right up to the Supreme Court but eventually lost the case. Since then Rathebe has worked in Kempton Park local as a volunteer. At the end of each year, members and shop stewards in the local collect money to thank him for his services.)

Controversial soccer players and their agents

SAFA must address problems in relation to soccer players that are based abroad. The best medicine for this dilemma is for SAFA to build two strong teams – Team A and Team B. The latter will close the gap whenever a European-based player fails to avail himself for selection due to being in “exile”.

This will reduce the tendency of depending on players who are reluctant to wear the national jersey. A player who decides to retire from playing for his country is lost – if attempts to bring him back home draw a blank he must be left alone.

A reggae musician's song “my roots I will never forget” comes to mind every time the national team faces selection headaches due to some players who have forgotten their “roots”.

Sacrificing for your country is important, but SAFA must have a policy in place to help overseas based players who get discarded by their teams for responding to the call to play for their country.

Former Chiefs and Pirates striker Pollen Ndlanya lost his job at a Turkish club for choosing to play for South Africa . After returning home, Ndlanya was stranded for sometime, he later played for Pirates and helped them to win the league – we have not heard anything about him ever since.

Dumisa Ngobe befell the same fate when he availed himself for national duty.

The role played by some agents of the players is worrying. As these players are their clients, are they too influencing them to boycott playing for their country? One of the players who retired and his team is nowhere near winning the FA league is reported to have reversed his decision.

It is encouraging that some players have indicated that they will always avail themselves for national team duties – but can others do the same? Can they emulate Vivian Foe who