Letter from the President

South Africa at the crossroads again!

South Africa is at the crossroads once again. In 1990, our icon Dr Nelson Mandela stood in front of thousands of ecstatic crowds in Cape Town and bravely saluted the contributions of many organizations, prominent amongst them was the SACP and Cosatu.

He went on to indicate the importance of communists and the working class in the ANC. He then said the following about the working class, “I extend my greetings to the working class of our country. Your organized strength is the pride of our movement.

You remain the most dependable force in the struggle to end exploitation and oppression.”I am reminding you because there has been a lot of “rooi gevaar” from some comrades in the ANC.

This alliance was conceived as early as the 1920s, just eight years after the formation of this glorious movement of our people, the ANC. Debate is supposed to be healthy in the ANC, however I think it is an unforgivable sin to distort the history of the ANC in pursuit of an agenda that is against the workers and the communists.

In my reading of the history of the ANC, I discovered that the Group of 8 was against the communists and they were eventually expelled from the ANC. I challenge Billy Masethla and all those who share his views about Cosatu and SACP hijacking the ANC to tell us more about communists that were fired from the ANC.

The history writers seem to have missed that part of history.I think the working class must continue to fight for an “end to exploitation” even when others think that, that is hijacking the ANC.

We must continue to fight for the banning of labour brokers because they exploit our people. We must continue to fight crass materialism. We must continue to fight against corruption.

NationalisationAnother important thing that Mandela did when he was responding to a British journalist on nationalisation was to reaffirm the centrality of the Freedom Charter. Once again the capitalists in South Africa tried everything to ensure that their interests are protected.

They sent Richard Maponya who came out telling everyone that Mandela had abandoned nationalisation. What a cheap style of trying to influence the policy of the ANC!Mandela when he talked about nationalisation, said, “The nationalisation of the mines, the financial institutions and monopoly industries is the fundamental policy of the ANC and it is inconceivable that we will ever change this policy…”

We now know that the ANC did not implement nationalisation. It remains our duty, young and old to support nationalisation because it resonates with our own Numsa preamble which says that we stand to end exploitation.

We need that revenue that currently goes in to private hands and that creates a few millionaires who do not contribute to the real job-absorbing sectors of our economy.

Julius Malema must be supported on the question of nationalisation. Our schools do not have the necessary tools to assist in the complete development of our people.

Our schools received crumbs from Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives from these private and privatised companies.

Service delivery I am raising these matters in order to ensure that metalworkers understand the interconnectedness between worker struggles and community struggles. I am raising this to encourage members to join the ANC and SACP en masse.

I am raising this so that metalworkers will feel pain that they are not leading the recent service delivery protests.

Instead it is people that are not part of the liberation alliance that are addressing the issues of service delivery. Service delivery issues are very important but they may delude the working class from the real enemy of our people which is the evil system of capitalism.

In the run up to the 2011 local government elections, we must ensure that corruption is rooted out of our midst.

The recall of senior politicians in Sakhile Township, Mpumalanga, must send a strong signal to others who get into power and become drunk with it. If we are to return to power in local government in 2011, we need to pull up our socks and sweat.I still remember a trip we took to Newcastle in the last local government elections.

We went there to support a Numsa shop steward who was standing as a ward councillor. How many of you will require the same assistance from the national office bearers?

We have a mammoth task ahead of us to convince people about the importance of voting for the ANC.And one more thing on service delivery protests; it is okay for people to demonstrate when there are grievances but it is wrong to destroy the property in the process.

We call on you, metalworkers, to avail yourselves to lead the communities to reduce the joy for the capitalists because when we fight and burn our service delivery tools like clinics and schools in the name of service delivery, they laugh all the way to their investment advisers to increase their money that is invested in the foreign economies.

Unfortunately, our Minister of Finance gave them more leeway by increasing the money they can invest outside the country.

Cosatu CongressNumsa once again played a crucial role in the 10th Cosatu Congress. We remained the affiliate with the most first-time speakers in the Congress. I am particularly proud that many female metalworkers spoke in the Congress.

I salute them. We pushed through important resolutions. The cherry on the top was being able to have one of our own, Zingiswa Losi, become second deputy president of the federation. We congratulate her and we will support her all the time during her term.

Planning The head office staff, “the engine of the union” spent four full days planning for the next three years. It dawned on us that we have already finished a year in office as this collective. It dawned on us that the response to the capitalist crisis has taken most of our time.

It dawned on us that we must plan to implement all resolutions of Numsa and Cosatu. This planning will be cascaded to regions where locals will get a taste of this important phenomenon called planning. It is rare for capitalists and socialists to agree on one thing, but there is an agreement on the importance of planning.

SACPWe wish our vanguard party, the SACP, successful deliberations in the upcoming Mid Term Conference in Turfloop University. We hope that metalworkers will intensify the campaign to build socialism now.

We must have branches of the SACP in all our factories.As we move to annual shutdown for many Numsa companies, I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of the National Office Bearers to wish you and your families the best festive season.

The crisis of capitalism means that thousands of metalworkers will be without means to meaningfully contribute to the happiness of their families during this time. Our thoughts are with them.

Metalworkers must rest and come back refreshed next year to face the challenges of this capitalist crisis head on.Our thoughts will be with the workers of Mexico, Zimbabwe and Swaziland in their trying times.Aluta continuaCedric Gina, Numsa president.


Numsa Press Releases