Response to the NPC attacks to Numsa

The National Office Bearers (NOBs) of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) note the venomous and vulgar response by the National Planning Commission (NPC) in relation to the NUMSA Central Committee (CC) Statement concerning our critique of the National Development Plan (NDP). Despite the revolutionary lingo and radical sounding response of the NPC, the commission fails to deal with the substance of our critique of the NDP.

Instead the NPC launches a personal attack on Numsa’s General Secretary Irvin Jim. The thesis of NPC’s response to our CC Statement centres on defining our General Secretary as suffering from an infantile disorder, isolating him from the collective decisions of the union, and undermining the political and intellectual wisdom of the CC.

The response fails dismally to deal with the substantive issues that we are raising on the NDP.

As our General Secretary, comrade Irvin Jim is entrusted with the responsibility of publicly articulating the policy positions of the union. It therefore goes without saying that he carries the mandate of Numsa’s 311 000 members who all stand behind him.

The NOBs are fully aware of a well-calculated campaign to smear the person and political standing of our General Secretary by writing stories about his personal life. This is aimed at discrediting any articulation on matters affecting the working class and poor in our society. This plan shall not succeed.

Given the hysteria in the public domain with regards to our principled position on the NDP, we have decided to release the document: The National Development Plan: Mixed Bag or Downright Neoliberal? which we used as the basis of our discussions at our Central Committee.

Members of the committee were taken through a detailed presentation that compared the policies of the Democratic Alliance (DA) with the provisions of the NDP.

From time the NPC was established, Numsa made its critical policy positions public. Since 2011, we have discussed the NDP and even made a Numsa submission to its draft version.

These documents have been on our website ( since May 2012. To dispel the accusations that as a union we are just shooting from the hip, we attach all Numsa’s discussion documents on the NDP.

Castro Ngobese, National Spokesperson – 081 011 1137