Vote ANC

Vote ANC!But Numsa respects your right to join the political party of your choiceJenny Grice

Since 1994, Cosatu has agreed to support the ANC in elections and to encourage trade union members to join it. But it has not given it a blank cheque. This time round Cosatu is involved in helping to draw up the ANC’s Election Manifesto.

The Manifesto will set out the ANC’s promises to voters.At Numsa’s October 2008 Congress, delegates resolved to "humbly persuade members on the importance of remaining in the ANC-led national liberation movement" and to appeal to them to vote ANC in 2009.

At the Numsa NEC just after the congress, delegates condemned the formation of 'Shikota'. It said that when the 'Shikota' leaders were members of the ANC government they "chose to be quiet" when the government failed to implement aspects of the Freedom Charter like free education. Instead they supported:* "privatisation of state entities" which "enriched a few black individuals through BEE" * supported the "willing buyer, willing seller concept for land reform"* supported the GEAR economic policy which destroyed jobs through the lowering of tariffs and the raising of interest rates.

Numsa knows that not all its members belong to the ANC. Resolutions passed in the Numsa Central Committee in 1991 and endorsed in the National Congress in 1993 give members the right to "belong to the political party of his or her choice".

However, Numsa's vision is about more than just delivering a bigger loaf of bread to your table. Numsa wants to see a real change in society. Its constitution says it wants "a united South Africa, free of oppression and economic exploitation". In other words, Numsa wants socialism.

To achieve this, it says, an organised and united working class must lead. And if Numsa is to do its part in uniting the working class, it must unite all metalworkers.

This 1993 political resolution worries that if party political groupings develop in Numsa, then this will lead to “party political dominations of the Union and disunity among workers.”

And that is why, the resolution says, Numsa, must:* remain independent of political parties* allow Numsa members and officials "to give any point of view in the debates which take place in the Union".Morevoer "members and officials must participate in these debates as individuals.

The Union will not allow members or officials to participate in debates as a bloc." Nor will Numsa "accept the development of party political blocs within the Union" because these will divide Numsa. But Numsa is not a political party.

It recognises that political parties can help advance the road to socialism. Numsa is also an affiliate of Cosatu. As an affiliate it supports resolutions that commit Cosatu to membership of the strategic alliance of the ANC, SACP and Cosatu.

And it supports resolutions giving our vote to the ANC.The ANC's Polokwane Conference brought big changes to the ANC. For the first time, the ANC has put education, health and poverty/unemployment on top of the list of priorities.

Numsa and Cosatu believe that this 'new' ANC offers workers the best chance of achieving their hopes and dreams. The coming Numsa NEC and CC will "reflect further on these issues and invite debate within the Union," says deputy general secretary, Karl Cloete.

(Read the general secretary’s comment on page 2 for more on the elections and why Numsa is encouraging members to support the ANC. In the months leading up to elections next year, Numsa will release more pamphlets to encourage you to debate, discuss issues and persuade you to vote for the ANC or help to persuade others to vote ANC!)

The Freedom Charter – each demand equally importantThere is much debate in the media and in public meetings over who the Freedom Charter belongs to. But even more important is what the Freedom Charter, adopted on June 26 1955, said.

Here we remind you of all its demands.* The people shall govern!* All national groups shall have equal rights!* The people shall share in the country’s wealth!*

The land shall be shared among those who work it!* All shall be equal before the law!* All shall enjoy equal human rights!* There shall be work and security!*

The doors of learning and culture shall be opened!* There shall be houses, security and comfort!* There shall be peace and friendship!These freedoms we will fight for, side by side, throughout our lives, until we have won our liberty!

Elections 2009 – what’s on the ANC’s agenda for the next few months?

Nov 14 – Dec 12 2008 – Drawing up the ANC Election ManifestoTell the ANC:* about their failures over the past 15 years, * what will make your community, your workplace and your life better.* Post comments to: ANC Manifesto Team, PO Box 61884, Marshalltown, 2107* e-mail to:* SMS to: 41867 (calls charged at R2)

Deciding on provincial lists of names

* Discuss prospective candidates in your workplace, your local, your region.

* Attend your local ANC branch meeting and nominate people who you think will follow a worker-friendly mandate

National lists of names

* Discuss prospective candidates in your workplace, your local, your region.

* Attend your local ANC branch meeting and nominate people who you think will follow a worker-friendly mandate

Nov 28 – 30 2008 – Manifesto Policy Conference Attended by representatives of ANC structures at national, provincial and regional level, Alliance and MDM formations, and ANC cadres deployed in key sectors.

The manifesto team will then develop the outcomes of the conference into a manifesto that will serve as the mandate for governance that the ANC will seek in next year's elections.

January 10 2009 – ANC Election Manifesto Rally Information taken from:

Are you registered to vote?If you have never voted before and missed voter registration on November 8-9, then call the IEC toll-free from a land-line on 0800 11 8000 to find out where you can register.If you have voted before and want to check if you are still on the voters roll and where you should vote next year:* call 0800 11 8000 toll free from a landline or * SMS your ID to 32810* or visit (have your ID number handy!)


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