NUMSA Editorial

I extend warmest revolutionary greetings from Numsa national collective leadership representing both the central committee and the national executive committee to all metal workers in the country.
Numsa has resolved to support the ANC in the April elections. We think that NUMSA members must vote the ANC on 22 April 2009 in defence of our revolution, its gains and in defense of the movement of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo because its mission and vision when it was formed in 1912 have not been achieved yet.
Despite deliberately creating confusion through the launch of Cope, we want to remind Numsa members and bring back a deeper understanding of what is the ANC?
In 1910 a union was formed between English and Afrikaner capital. Its main mission was to ensure that black people in general and Africans in particular were taken out of the mainstream economy and that they should not be allowed to own the economy or allowed to vote.
This was colonization. Blacks were perpetually condemned to only sell their labour. Everything was taken by force through the barrel of a gun. Our forebears were forced into Bantustans as reserves of labour to service the then white racist apartheid economy.
When the ANC was formed in 1912, its main mission was to deal with this fundamental contradiction of 1910.Right from its formation in 1912 the ANC resolved to pursue a liberation struggle to liberate black people in general and Africans in particular.
This was a struggle that it pursued side by side with the people of South Africa through its four pillars i.e. mass mobilization, the underground, international isolation and armed struggle carried out by Umkhonto
We Sizwe.What must never be forgotten is that those four pillars of our struggle were never introduced at once.In fact they were a product that was determined by the theatre of struggle itself.
In pursuit of those four pillars of our struggle millions of our people were killed by the apartheid regime, millions were imprisoned, forced into exile, etc.When the liberation movement was finally unbanned its hero and the leader of the commanding forces, OR Tambo was already disabled by a stroke.
The other son of the soil, Thembisile Chris Hani, was killed in broad daylight.We must remember that Chris Hani was killed after he announced that he was not going to go to parliament but he was to start a second phase of the revolution for real total liberation.
He vowed to return the productive capacity of our people, the country’s mineral wealth to the people as a whole.
This is what those individuals who have formed Cope to destroy the ANC are resisting.When they were in power for the last 15 years, they resisted the fundamental transformation of the economy back to the majority of our people; they refused to nationalise the commanding heights of the economy.
They did away with the reconstruction and development programme (RDP) and they privatised a critical parastatal, Telkom.They closed critical irrigation schemes and literally killed agriculture in provinces like the Eastern Cape.
They closed training colleges robbing working class families access to education which is a basic fundamental right not a privilege.
They took a nodal approach on development and spent money only in areas with infrastructure and by so doing they declared areas where the bulk of the population stay in rural towns as ghost towns with absolutely no economic activity stuck in poverty and underdevelopment. All of this undermined delivery to our people.
They acted in violation of the Freedom Charter which they claim to be their champion and the reason why they formed Cope.Chris Hani resembled the ANC of Mandela, the ANC of Chief Albert Luthuli, OR Tambo, Lillian Ngoyi, Yusof Dadoo.
All of these heroes of our struggle pursued the ANC’s commitment which is the liberation of black people in general and Africans in particular.
In the past 15 years internally in the movement led by the ANC, there has been an intense battle between those who wanted genuine and fundamental liberation as advocated by the ANC in its formation in 1912 against this particular grouping which now is in Cope. It fought hard but refused to fundamentally alter the apartheid status quo.
Such an act by them ran directly against the ANC mission and the agenda of liberating black people in general and Africans in particular This group imposed a structural adjustment program in the form of GEAR in our country in the interest of the same class that was the beneficiary of the 1910 union resolutionThis 1996 class project in our movement, as both Cosatu and the SACP later defined them, had absolutely no tolerance of Cosatu and the SACP.
They released briefing notes that launched an offensive on the leadership of the working class and they defined us as an extreme left that needed to be defeated.We reminded them of what the ANC resolved in Morogoro 1969, which posed the question and resolved on: “is there a special role for the working class in our national struggle?” but they would not listen
ANC Morogoro ConferenceThis ANC 1969 Morogoro conference resolved as follows: “In our country – more than in any other part of the oppressed world – it is inconceivable for liberation to have meaning without a return of the wealth of the land to the people as a whole.
It is therefore a fundamental feature of our strategy that victory must embrace more than formal political democracy.”To allow the existing economic forces to retain their interests intact is to feed the root of racial supremacy and does not represent even a shadow of liberation.
Our drive towards national emancipation is therefore in a very real way bound up with economic emancipation”We have suffered more than just national humiliation. “Our people are deprived of their due in the country’s wealth.
Their skills have been suppressed and poverty and starvation has been their life experience.”The correction of these centuries-old economic injustices lies at the very core of our national aspirations”We do not understand the complexities which will face a people’s government during the transformation period nor the enormity of the problems of meeting economic needs of the mass of the oppressed people.
But one thing is certain – in our land this cannot be effectively tackled unless the basic wealth and the basic resources are at the disposal of the people as a whole and are not manipulated by sections or individuals be they White or Black.”Those that are now in Cope are telling Numsa members to move away from the ANC despite their failure to live up to what Morogoro resolved.
Their reason is that the ANC is no longer the ANC of the Freedom Charter; but the people who are saying this are individuals who fought tooth and nail up to Polokwane to resist change in line with the ANC’s resolutions as defined above.Instead they say the ANC must be destroyed because it is no longer relevant – apartheid is gone.
They say no to affirmative action. They are against the political affiliation of public sector unions, suggesting that black people in general and Africans in particular are living the same life with their white counterparts or colleagues.
NUMSA leadership submit to members that these are lies. These are the reasons why we think we must continue to vote for the ANC:1.It is still black people in general and Africans in particular who have got inferior roads, inferior education, and inferior public health system.2.
It is still black people in general and Africans in particular who are still suffering from unemployment, poverty, retrenchments and deepening inequalities.3.It is still the children of black people in general and Africans in particular who will not be able to pay tuition fees at the beginning of the year.4.
It is still black people in general and Africans in particular who continue to suffer from incurable diseases like HIV and Aids, TB and many other diseases.5.
It is still black people in general and Africans in particular who are still living in inferior apartheid infrastructure of the townships. It is black people in general and Africans in particular whose township schools still resemble apartheid infrastructure.
We know that even though under our constitution you can take your child to a school of your own choice, you can buy a house in the suburb of your choice, you can enjoy yourself on any beach and we no longer have buses for blacks and buses for whites, but if the truth be told, for black people in general and Africans in particular in our country, access to all those rights is determined by your economic position in society.
Irvin Jim General Secretary
Numsa News