The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has noted that the outcome of the NUMSA National Political Commission (NPC) appears to be rubbished by our leadership in the broader National Liberation Movement.
A false political impression has been created as if NUMSA has no right to comment on the political and economic developments in our country and the national liberation movement in particular.
The ANC allies or components will always have a direct interest in its ideological posture and calibre of its leadership collective given the Alliance’s shared strategic goals of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) as encapsulated in the Freedom Charter.
This communiqué seeks to put into context the NUMSA National Political Commission’s position on building a strong and working class biased African National Congress (ANC);
1. NUMSA is fully aware that it is not an affiliate of the ANC, however NUMSA’s membership have been called upon over the last decades to take up membership of the ANC in their respective ANC branches across the country with the intended purpose of ensuring that we maintain and retain the ANC’s historical biasness to the working class;
2. NUMSA is sober when we insist that metalworkers, who in their own right are members of the ANC, must influence the direction of the ANC in the interest of the working class and the poor with the clear realisation that the working class and the poor are the main and majority constituency of the African National Congress.
NUMSA takes confidence from the ANC President Comrade Jacob Zuma, who addressed the NUMSA National Political Commission on 23 February 2012, who amongst other things said;
• That he comes from the ranks of workers and trade union movement under the direction of the ICU and SACTU and therefore workers have every right to be interested in the direction of the ANC;
• The working class must swell the ranks of the ANC so as to influence the direction of the African National Congress who consists of Nationalists, Africanists, Socialists, Capitalists, Communists and other strata in society;
• Trade Unions should become actively involved and participate in ANC branches so that they may get to be elected into leadership positions BEC’s, REC’s, PEC’s and the ANC NEC.
We fully appreciate and agree with the South African Communist Party’s (SACP) Central Committee (CC) declaration of Sunday 26th February 2012 which inter alia says;
“The CC also called on worker leaders to serve in ANC executive structures at all levels rather than to be simply critics on the outside.
The SACP has long argued that the programmatically proclaimed worker-bias of the ANC has to be consolidated not just in words, but in practice through active engagement within the structures of the ANC itself.”
Numsa in its National Political Commission noted that 4 provinces of the ANC would be going to their elective conferences and therefore metalworkers were called upon by the Numsa NEC and Political Commission to partake, as ANC members in good standing, in a leadership that is working class biased.
We are crystal clear that it is only ANC branches that can democratically decide the composition of the ANC structures at BEC, REC, PEC and NEC level, however the NUMSA National Political Commission was alive to the fact that there is a need to defend the progressive Polokwane policies and therefore directed metalworkers who are members of the ANC to ensure that we have a leadership in the ANC NEC who unapologetically execute the resolutions of Polokwane.
NUMSA has been disappointed with some problematic pronouncements and actions from within the collective of the NEC that;
• Any job is a job to be taken to resolve unemployment – this goes against the Polokwane resolution which calls for the creation of decent jobs;
• The Freedom Charter calls for the abolition of all forms of contract labour and yet there is no forthright position to ban labour brokers.
These few examples go directly against the interest of the working class and the poor who went to Polokwane to remove the 1996 Class Project whose basic position was to impose neo liberal and the now discredited Washington Consensus.
A misreading of what NUMSA said is to fall into the trap of maintaining the status quo which has seen a continuation of White Monopoly Capital and Multi National Corporations being in control of our economy as can be seen in;
• Private ownership and control of our roads through e-tolling;
• South Africa is estimated to produce 75% of global ferro-chrome, which is an alloy of chromium and iron.
Chrome production is dominated by Samancor Chrome, which holds approximately 50% of chrome resources in South Africa, Assmang holds 26% and Xstrata holds 13%.
Most of the chrome, 85% is used to produce ferro-chrome which is critical input in the production of stainless steel.
Samancor chrome is 70% owned by the International Mineral Resources (IMR) which is a foreign owned multinational based in Switzerland.
As we speak the ferro-chrome industry is in decline because the chrome ore is being exported to China.
NUMSA remains resolute to carry out COSATU’s 2015 Plan to swell the ranks of the ANC, build a strong SACP and strengthen COSATU at all levels.
Notwithstanding all the above, NUMSA recognises and respects the fact that the ANC is the leader of the Alliance.
NUMSA is an affiliate of COSATU, which is a member of the ANC-led Alliance.
It follows, logically and naturally from this position, that any member of an organisation and all organisations which are in the ANC-led Alliance have a revolutionary duty to ensure that the leaders of the ANC meet the revolutionary requirements of the Alliance the ANC leads.
Issued by National Office Bearers (NOB’s)
For interview requests call:
Castro Ngobese, National Spokesperson – 083 627 5197
Numsa Press Release