Numsa’s Western Transvaal region has topped the list across Numsa’s regions securing 5 ANC ward councillors.[see table]
Long time Numsa employee, Martha Zwane, ward councillor in the Boipatong area has been given the sports, arts and culture portfolio. She is determined to work closely with the Numsa local. Already she has met with companies in the Vanderbijlpark area to see how they can assist in setting up a youth centre in the Boipatong, Tshepiso and Sharpeville areas.
She says there are many challenges facing her, the most recent one being to make the stormwater drains safe. Her community are still mourning the death of a 15 year old boy, the son of a Numsa member at CWI, who was washed away by a flash flood whilst sheltering in the stormwater drain.
Zwane stresses that although she used to be the cleaner in Numsa’s offices, “I am very proud of the education and training that Numsa gave me and I appreciate that.”
Meanwhile in Newcastle, it was a close race for ex-Numsa member, Sam Mabanga, who stood as an ANC ward councillor in Madadeni. He lost to the IFP candidate by just seven votes. Despite this, Newcastle local organiser, Solomon Hadebe, says that in other wards in the town, including Madadeni and Osizweni, the ANC made a clean sweep. This is a far cry from the 1980s and 1990s when Cosatu comrades could be attacked for wearing Cosatu t-shirts by IFP supporters who were in the majority.
The ANC won 21 wards with the IFP, DA and Nadeco sharing just a few each. In the previous local government elections, the IFP had been the star performer. The IFP retains control of the rural areas around Newcastle
Numsa comrades who are now ANC councillors
Ward and Province
Western Transvaal Region
KwaZulu Natal Region
District PR councillor, Ilembe district
Ward councillor for ward 11 and just elected as municipality mayor eNdondakusuka municipality
Whirlpool – still a Numsa shop steward
Ward 4 councillor [part-time] eNdondakusuka municipality
Note: We will carry more news of other Numsa comrades who are councillors in the next Numsa News. Be sure to send us the information and include similar information to that given in the table above.
Dear Numsa NewsI thank Numsa for building me as a cadre. I joined Numsa in 1991. I was a representative from the Western Transvaal of the national bargaining team, a local chairperson for eight years in Klerksdorp and Cosatu local secretary for 10 years.
I was also a Ward 23 branch chairperson for five years. Now I am deputy chairperson of the branch of Ward 21. Last year I was appointed PR councillor until the end of February 2006. Now I have been voted as a ward councillor of Ward 21 in Matlosana Municipality.
Today I am known in the ANC structures because of Numsa. I want to thank you for making me what I am today. My humble request is for you to please not close the door when I knock at your doorstep. I still want to be part of your meetings even though I know that I will not have voting rights. I do not want to lose touch with the labour movement. Yours in workers’ struggle
Mbuyiselo Ngwenda BrigadeAubrey ka Saki
A historic event took place at the Nelson Mandela University in March, to commemorate the death of a legend, Mbuyiselo Ngwenda, a past Numsa general secretary. Numsa’s Eastern Cape region was behind this activity to remember this Kilimanjaro mountain of a man. Here was one occasion where writers’ pens rolled from start to end, as spokespersons like regional secretary Irvin Jim and Numsa educator Fieldmore Mapeto, let loose.
“Mbuyiselo Ngwenda’s departure from this planet was untimely. In his hey-day he shook the economic foundations of capitalism,” sounded Mapeto to thunderous roars.
“Cde. Mbuyi never lived the life of an ordinary young man”, continued our Eastern Cape regional educator, “instead he surrendered his moving spirit to the cause of the poor. Ngwenda lived so that we should live better. His weapon of mass victory towards a socialist environment was his vibrant mentality no-one seems to equal.”
An outright revolutionary, his mean punch left an impact on the doldrums of the African continent. No wonder the Eastern Cape region of Numsa spent sleepless nights to honour him. Delegates were told that the Mbuyiselo Ngwenda Brigade launch was set to mark the scientific approach the young Ngwenda had displayed to spearhead boiling voices for a democratic revolution.
“The working-class is the only class to liberate society”, the late Mao’s wise words seemed to have echoed in Ngwenda’s ears, noted Mapeto. Thus the Brigade is meant to fulfill his dream. To initiate such a vision, all Numsa workplaces should establish political commissars by April 10 to align with the death of another hurricane voice, Chris Hani! The region won’t go it alone. Scientific guidance will come from the SACP, as the vanguard of the labour movement, and Cosatu.
The Mbuyiselo Ngwenda Brigade will provide food for endless thoughts for communists and non-communists. It will ascertain who will be trained and educated in political schools so that they can be grounded. These commissars will form the nucleus of the future Numsa leadership. Common utterances like, “if Mbuyi was still alive, blah…blah…blah”, should stop, as every worker would be urged to follow in the tracks of such a leader.
Mass participation in socialist forums will follow so as to achieve resolutions. Attendees were told that no luxury will be available. “Selection of dedicated soldiers and hard-working cadres would be strictly followed for this programme”, concluded Mapeto.