Letter from the president

In order to ensure South Africa’s independence, the SACP will press for the strengthening of the state sector of the economy, particularly in the fields of heavy industry, machine-tool building and fuel production.

It will seek to place control of the vital sectors of the economy in the hands of the national democratic state, and to correct historic injustice by demanding the nationalisation of the mining industry, banking and monopoly industrial establishments, thus also laying the foundations for the advance to socialism.

My letter to you is prefixed by an important quotation from the 1962 Road to Socialism of our vanguard party, the SACP. I will come back to this later.

Let me start by congratulating you, the owners of our union, for having held successful regional congresses during the month of March, save for Ekurhuleni and Sedibeng regions due to unforeseen circumstances.

I am confident that, even these two regions, will have held regional congresses before the end of April 2012.

I want to congratulate all leaders who were elected. I wish to welcome those that were elected for the first time at this level, and I send my hearty congratulations to all those that were re-elected.

I am overwhelmed by the fact that unity was paramount. Please help yourselves and the members.

This is a very busy year. We are extremely happy that we have continued to be a busy union. There are two important meetings that took place where Numsa played a pivotal role.

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) presidential council is one such meeting where, together with other affiliates of WFTU, we hosted this working-class oriented global trade union federation.

We are looking forward to the international commission engagements in the Cosatu national congress.

The launch of the Numsa political commission was great. It was great because we managed to have all our locals represented and because we were addressed by President Jacob Zuma.

It is not many unions in South Africa that had their political commissions addressed by the president of the ANC and the sitting president of the Republic of South Africa.

The president reminded all of us that he came from the ranks of workers in Sactu. Among many insightful contributions that he made, he invited worker leaders to take up the issue of influencing the ANC to another level by actively participating in the ANC and making themselves available for leadership positions even in the highest decision-making bodies of the ANC.

Numsa responded positively to this historic invitation by President Zuma post 1994. We say it is historic because we know how the previous leaders of the ANC prevented Gwede Mantashe from participating in the NEC when he was nominated and not voted into the NEC.

We think the invitation from the president further strengthens the Polokwane achievements and, in line with the Cosatu 2015 plan, it must be grabbed with both hands.

The ANC has also issued policy discussion documents for the policy conference in June. It is calling for the second transition from the 1994 democratic breakthrough.

These calls have united Helen Zille and FW de Klerk in raising a false alarm and suggesting that the South African Constitution is not to be tampered with, even though political freedom has not translated into economic freedom because of some the 1994 negotiated settlement clauses which were maybe necessary at the time.

However, this cannot be a permanent clause if we are to graduate from political freedom to economic emancipation. I urge you, as ANC members and as activists, to engage with the ANC documents and support measures that will indeed deliver a second transition.

It is instructive at this point to remind you that as Cosatu and the SACP, we are vindicated because we have said, together, that the first decade of democracy since 1994 belonged to the capitalist class.

It is for this reason that I quote what our vanguard said in 1962 about the Socialist Republic of South Africa: that we seek to build through the slogan, “socialism is the future, build it now”.

We, as the working class, must be vigilant. We must defeat the threats to our unity from all angles, the extreme left, the left and the right and the far right and in our midst if there is any threat from among us.

We must defend the right of the ANC, as a majority party in government, to change things in our country, in favour of the working class and the poor. If that change includes amending the constitution, so be it!

I wish you all the best as you prepare for the Numsa national congress, the ANC policy conference, the SACP national congress at the University of Zululand, the Cosatu congress and finally the ANC conference in Durban.

Please disappoint those who would like to see fragmentation in our alliance and our components of the alliance.

Numsa will continue to be a principled, militant and active union that values the worker control that informed its foundation as espoused in the preamble of our constitution.

We will continue to champion our democratic decisions.

PS – you can write to me c/o Numsa, PO Box 260483, Excom 2023,
fax to 011 834 4320 or
e-mail to sabelo.gina@gmail.com


Numsa News No 1,