Western Cape region
Yondela Gijane works at Magnador and Buzani Skota works at Isospa. They were part of the delegation from the Western Cape.
This was Yondela Gijane’s first congress and the third for Buzani Skota.
Yondela said: “The first thing I liked, as it was my first attendance, was the way people worked together and their understanding of each other.
“When I came here I did not know what was going to happen. As we were going to meet people from other regions. It was almost the same thing that we do at meetings in the Western Cape.”
Said Buzani: “When we came here there was no tension between the regions. At the last congress in Sedibeng there was a lot of tension.
“Our position in the Western Cape is to increase the strength of the union and to unite with other regions.
What I liked most, after the report of the general secretary, was the political discussion.
“We arrived with the intention of keeping our national office-bearers and electing Mphumzi Maqungo from the Eastern Cape as a treasurer because Philemon Shiburi was not standing and we also wanted to elect Andrew Chirwa as the first deputy president.”
Yondela said: “So far, we feel happy, and I see all that is happening here as a learning experience.”
Buzani added: “I’m very happy about what President Zuma said on the second day about the country, and advise Numsa shop stewards to join the ANC and SACP as swelling the ranks of the ANC was a resolution in 2008.
Northern Cape region
Cynthia Kula and Herbert Lethoba are delegates from Northern Cape and new shop stewards. This is their first congress.
Cynthia said: “This is the first time I have been a shop steward and my first time at the congress. I have just realised that everything is real. I did not think it would be as beautiful as it is.”
She added: “It’s a wonderful experience for me to see people talking one language; I have only seen this on television. Cynthia was keen to talk about Numsa: “Numsa is great, isifaka lapho besingaciganga sakungena khona, it’s a super-hero.”
Herbert said: “I started feeling proud of being a Numsa shop steward and it’s a great privilege to be given this time to attend the union’s ninth national congress.
I have learned that Numsa lives on what it preaches on its emblem, in that it is a non-racial and non-sexist union, it’s a revolutionary union of metalworkers.”
“There seems to be attention to the fact that the different regions did not see things with same vision.
We, as Northern Cape delegates, had some different ideas, therefore the national leadership managed to take control of the situation for the progress of the congress,” said Herbert.
Cynthia continued: “We are the smallest region but we are not fearful, as we are working towards socialism and it has to start among us first, uyayazi nawe, the happiness starts inside before it goes outside large numbers do not always beat the smaller number as we, in Northern Cape, work collectively. Nothing is impossible.”
These comrades were so happy and excited that they did not want to stop talking, and they reminded other comrades to not forget to socialise and always stick to political discussions. “Together we can do more,” they said.
JC Bezuidenhout region
Lerato Mogale from Kempton Park local works at Xerox in Isando, and Benjamin Phahlala from Johannesburg north local works at Sanji Security Systems in the JC Bez region. This is the third national congress for Lerato and the second for Phahlala.
Lerato and Benjamin said: “It seems as if someone suddenly said that tomorrow the congress would take place, as there was not enough preparation.
The full package of material for previous congresses used to come to our regions before the day. With this one, t-shirts, books and bags arrived one by one, showing that there was no preparation.”
Benjamin added: “The bags were not even printed with the Numsa slogan.”
Lerato continued. “It was as if they just took bags from a shop and gave it to the delegates.
The head office asked for our shirt sizes a long time ago, so we were surprised to get small t-shirts so that our stomach stuck out as if we are children.
“People are concentrating on the elections but we, as workers, came to discuss workers’ issues.
As this is the third day of the congress, and Karl Cloete has said that there is still enough time to discuss the issues, maybe we will be able to complete the business of the congress,” said Benjamin and Lerato with disappointment on their faces.
“The discipline of the delegates was not good, as they were out in the streets and shops and went back to their hotel to sleep. That is not acceptable as we were supposed to be inside and discussing the position of our regions,” said Lerato.
Benjamin closed our interview saying: “Overall, I think in terms of managing the congress, we are on track and there will be no mini-congresses.
On the first day I was impressed by the speakers. The national office-bearers had planned things very well, although President Zuma arrived late.
The tension was not as high as the previous congress in 2008. We hope that for the next congress, preparation will be in better and that everyone will do his or her task”.
Neliswa Jama, from Vanderbjlpark local, works at Super Care and Mofokeng, from the Vereeniging local, works at Scaw Metals.
This is not their first time at the congress.
Mofokeng said: “Since I joined the union in 2008 it has improved a lot in my region.
We had three locals and we did not have a regional motor organiser, but now we have one and also our membership has grown.”
“In terms of politics, our union was vocal on issues that affect the working class: labour brokers, e-tolling and privatisation. Numsa is very visible to the community and the government.”
“Our union was the only one that approached Gill Marcus regarding the status of the Reserve Bank.
The call by the national office-bearers asking us to recruit members to increase our numbers to 300 000 before this congress has been answered. That is why we, as Sedibeng region, have not seen any reason to change them.”
Nelisiwe concluded: “I don’t know if it is because we brought back the previous NOBs to lead again that t the delegates were loose outside, going up and down and not listening to the main theme of the congress.”
Eastern Cape region
Way forward to the new elected position
U Zimisele wakwa Vusani, ndiphuma kwi Mpuma Koloni kwi ofisi ye Numsa ese Tinarha ndikwi khampani I SP Metal Forgings ngokomsebenzi.
Ndiqale ukusebenza kule khampini ngonyaka ka 1989, okokoko ndasebenza khona baye abasebenzi bandenyula njengommeli wabo.
Uthi u comrade Vusani “Mna andiqali kuza kwintlangano ezifana nale, njengokuba ndisitsho okokuba kwintlangano ezinje ngale ndiyaqala ukudibana nayo apho kufumaniseke okokuba khange kubekho kusokoleka ekunyuleni abaphathi bayo, into ebe ibe yaba ngamandla kukuxoxa nokulungisa izinto zentlangano yabasebenzi.
Enye into e ripoti kanobhala we Numsa isincedile ngakumbi kumba wezinto ezibe ngunobangela wokuba size apha.”
“Izinto esiyilindeleyo kubo kufuneka iziqibo ezithathwe kulentlangano zisetyenziswe ngokwendlela ekugqitywe ngayo, kwaye silindele aba baphathi batsha bahlanganise bamanyane abasebenzi bebonke.” Utshilo oka Zimisele.
Uye wathi kwakhona oka Zimisele: “Izinto ebizisalele ngemva ziincwadi abanye bethu sizifumane emva kwexesha apho ibangele okokuba singabinako ukuzifunda ngokupheleleyo.
Wona umhlangano uqhubeke kakuhle kakhulu nangona ixesha lona besingalibambi kodwa kube … mnandi ukubakho kwethu apha ngoba sifunde lukhulu nakwizithethi ezifana nomongameli u Zuma kwanabo oo Blade.”