When the South African Communist Party general secretary, Blade Nzimande, addressed the congress, he did not get a good welcome.
Some delegates shouted “e-tolling” which disrupted the start of his address. Numsa president Cedric Gina had to intervene to remind delegates that the SACP was part of the march organised by Cosatu against labour brokers and e tolling that took place on the March 7 this year.
Blade reminded us of the killing of our stalwarts in 1986 by Inkatha warlords and that monuments will be erected in their name – which Numsa should be proud of. Numsa has been militant for the past 25 years ago and is growing stronger.
The general secretary quoted Joe Slovo, who explained that unions will be doomed if they try to act like the SACP and the SACP will be doomed if it acts like a union.
He said that the key task of the union is to ensure that money invested in infrastructure is not misused.
He further told the congress that Numsa is sitting on billions of rands of workers’ money in provident funds that is not being used. That money should be used to build houses
He highlighted the issue of co-operatives, saying that school feeding schemes should not be put out to tender but given to co-operatives.
On the issue of corruption, he assured the congress that our movement, the ANC, is not corrupt but that a few individuals within the movement are.
On the Public Works Programme, he said that workers should be employed permanently.
Blade told delegates that he is aware that they are very interested in e-tolling.
He said that it was wrong and inappropriate for the government to fund such infrastructure because it means that money meant for social welfare is reduced.
On the relationship between the SACP and Numsa, he explained that the SACP is deeply appreciative of and committed to the relationship.
He reminded the congress that Numsa and the SACP are not identical, but complementary organisations.
He further explained that the day the SACP wants to be Numsa it will die, and Numsa will die the day it wants to be the SACP.
He told delegates that workers should say “enough is enough” of the tension between Numsa and SACP.
He emphasised that both organisations should do away with dealing with issues through the media, as that creates unnecessary tensions.
Lastly, he said Numsa should continue to be a militant union.