NUMSA National Trustees Conference

24 – 26 JULY 2013
St George Hotel

Numsa 1st Deputy President Opening Remarks

Numsa National Office Bearers Present,
Numsa Trustees,
Numsa Head Office Staff,
Invited guests and input presenters.

1. In our Numsa National Congress in Durban last year, we resolved that Numsa must have a clear investment strategy to, among others things, inform the work of our trustees.

2. I am happy to note that at this Conference, the first Draft Numsa Investment Strategy will be discussed. It is important that the union – all its members, shopstewards and organisers and all staff fully know and understand what Numsa’s ideas are, regarding investments.

3. Our Investment Strategy must spell out what we want to achieve with our investments, and how this will be done.

4. Of course the starting point is that Numsa is a socialist trade union. Numsa struggles at the shopfloor and in society to grow the power of the working class, the power of the direct producers of wealth.

5. Numsa links all its shopfloor struggles to the broader struggles of the working class to win political power in society in order to build the only true and viable democracy – Socialism.

6. Socialism is a society in which the working class are in control of the economy and government. Everyone has the right to work in a socialist society. No one goes hungry in a socialist society because food production is not for profit but for the enjoyment of all human beings. Everyone has shelter in a socialist society and education is free from birth to dearth.

7. No one is used by another for profits in a socialist society. There is no exploitation – the buying and selling of human labour for profits – in a socialist society, because all human beings are truly equal.

8. Everyone is assured of protection against sickness, injuries and death. Every human being has an equal right to life, and no one is allowed to suffer in old age because society takes full responsibility for old people in a socialist society.

9. This is the society Numsa is struggling for – a socialist society in which human life will be the basis for production, and no one will suffer alone. Such a society is not a pipe dream, it is possible, it is achievable. We can and we will abolish capitalism – a society in which other human beings are commodities (the working class) and others own capital and buy the working class for profits!

10. It follows, therefore, that in all investment matters, Numsa fights for workers control and ownership of the social surpluses which the working class produce at the point of production.

11. At Numsa we regard all pension funds, provident funds, medical aid schemes and all social funds as essentially that portion of the social surplus which belongs to the working class which the capitalist class and the state withholds from the working class – all these are delayed payments to the working class.

12. Numsa expects all its trustees to understand our basic socialist philosophy and to apply this when doing their work as trustees.

13. In this Conference we will tackle the cost of retirement funds and Numsa Draft Investment Policy. We expect all our trustees present to pay a lot of attention to the various presentations, and to learn how both the bosses and the government regard retirement funds and what Numsa intends to do in the retirement terrain.

14. We are confident that some of the output of this Conference will inform the final Numsa Investment Strategy.

15. Just a small reminder, we at Numsa consider the social security and retirement funds terrain a very important terrain. This is because there is a lot of workers value and money in this terrain. In fact this terrain has more money than the government of South Africa’s annual budgets, thus far. This is a crucial sight of class struggles, for us at Numsa.

16. Through our Investment Strategy, we want to ensure that our members and trustees are fully aware of the significance of this terrain, and do their part to defend the interests of the working class.

17. Numsa will intensify its engagements with National Treasury on their proposals for social security and retirement funds. We are interested to learn how the government intends to make compulsory retirement contributions and benefits. We will be making our contributions on this matter soon.

18. Comrades and invited guests please do take the deliberations of this Conference seriously, and I wish you the best.


Andrew Chirwa
Numsa 1st Deputy President
24th July 2013.