12 February 2013

Opening input to the NEDCOM meeting

On behalf of the entire National office bearers collective we welcome the opportunity to open this important gathering to re-launch the National education committee meeting (Nedcom), with the sole purpose of building the engine of Numsa and the entire working class at large.

It’s always necessary for any revolutionary organisation to locate its programs or initiatives within the existing political and socio economic conditions so as to arrive at the right conclusion or outcome.

As we meet here today the reality is that the state of the working class nationally and internationally is at its lowest level, capitalism has failed humanity, workers and the poor people of the world are forced to pay the price and indeed we are paying.

In Europe there is a high level of unemployment, in particular youth unemployment; in countries like Greece, Spain and Italy the working class are burning.

The US is now nationalising to save capitalism, it is clearer now that capitalism has no answers to the current crisis.

Austerity measures are now pushed drastically all over the world, in particular the social spending is under attack, and government are forced to implement these measures to resuscitate capital that is in crisis.

The first alternative that capital has is to restructure and cut jobs; in South Africa alone 52000 jobs are lost in 2013, the trend is the same throughout.

As we meet here 250 workers are sitting outside the gate at FLEXTECH after they were told that the company is closing down just as they came back from holidays.

It should be encouraging that workers have taken it upon themselves to challenge capital, from Marikana to de Doorns, in our case to Medupi project in Limpopo and many more pockets of workers' resistance and fight against capital.

The question is where is the working class leadership? Secondly how do we harness this power for a possible revolution?

All signs are now clearer than ever before that the working class is on its own and it has no choice but to rise to the occasion in defence of itself as a class, fresh from Mangaung. We now know that second phase of a transition includes making education an essential service, implementing a youth wage subsidy e.g.

However we need a different cadre if the working class is to seize the moment and develop our capacity to fight and never surrender, a cadre with high level of consciousness, a cadre who is determined to fight for the liberation of the working class and a selfless cadre.

The big question is can we build the type of a cadre this moment requires? And how we should do that? This launch must grapple with this question; we can’t afford the status quo.

Let me borrow from what Lenin has to say about the class struggle of the proletariat.
New Task, New forces (Lenin)
“Social-Democracy, however, wants, on the contrary, to develop the class struggle of the proletariat to the point where the latter will take the leading part in the popular Russian revolution, i.e., will lead this revolution to the democratic-dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry”.

Cde Dinga Sikwebu when referring to the current moment in our country of recently he defined it a “Numsa moment” (MOTSOTSO WA NUMSA) for various regions that he advanced but most importantly because of Numsa consistency in defence of the working class and the poor.

I must say that as Numsa we have lots of admirers and comrades from all over the world who want to work with Numsa because of the positions that we adopted on various matters in particular our refusal to be silenced.

When others are occupied by other interests we must be occupied by the class struggle in defence of our class. The truth is that there is a revolutionary space created that Numsa cannot afford to waste.

Finally we shall not succeed on this important moment if we are not rooted within the Marxists and Leninist theory that must guide us all the time.

Marx speaks about a conscious worker; we must challenge ourselves to build that worker in the interests of our class.

Thank you.
Andrew Chirwa
Numsa 1st Deputy President