Numsa fights back for workers’2015 plan

The giant metalworkers union has outstripped its rivals with far- reaching challenges to its mother labour federation Cosatu to revive its 2015 plan or face extinction.

And, in a frank analysis of the role played by the labour federation Cosatu ahead of its 9th national congress scheduled for September 18-21, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said unless Cosatu provided leadership for workers to confront white power “all would be doomed”.

The union foresaw a virtual collapse of the labour struggles if workers failed to take leadership in the many -sided and consistent national democratic revolutionary struggles, together with other forces within the ANC, SACP and Cosatu alliance.

To suggest easy victories were possible amid inconsistency with the 2015 programmes of the federation is misleading, Numsa general secretary Silumko Nondwangu warned yesterday.

He cited in the discussion paper prepared for September Cosatu congress boldness, foresightedness as the most urgent prerequisite and visionary leadership that has patience and ability to build maximum unity of the revolutionary forces.

“What must be done to tilt the balance of forces in favour of the working class in the 2015 plan adopted by the 8th Cosatu national congress, are some of the strategic questions to be answered in the upcoming congress,” he said.

“The complex challenges facing the working class demand a longer-term vision to build a strong trade union movement and to assert working class leadership. The march to our longer-term vision demands patience, resilience, and bold thinking foresighted and visionary leadership.

We need a medium-term plan because it has become clear that only deep-seated transformation of our economy and the state can bring about the aims of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR). Without confronting the power of white capital we are all doomed”, Nondwangu said in the discussion paper said.

From the Cosatu political discussion paper other than reference to the second decade as decade of the working class, does not concretely say what struggles we must wage to defeat white monopoly capital.

This is another area that cannot be left to chance in the preparations for the Cosatu congress, Numsa said in its discussion paper which has been referred to regions for ratification.

Another fundamental question that we must pose is what has substantially changed since the last congress a principle that suggests that we must review a plan towards 2015.

“What Cosatu does not say is this fundamental change in this period. It does not offer in principle “the rupture” since the last Congress, he added.

This role historically defined for the working class will not be imposed by sound revolutionary statements; it is a role that this class has to work for not in a sectarian form but winning society as a whole on its correctness. That is the test for Cosatu and the SACP. A temptation to be consumed by the form will not resolve the fundamental question of asserting working class leadership of the national democratic revolution.

“It is in this context that Congress must interrogate this period, review the implementation of the 2015 Plan, and a more robust discussion on the role of the federation,” he said.

For further information contact: Mziwakhe Hlangani

Numsa national information officer

Cell phone 0829407116