Numsa KZN will not participate in Cosatu’s mass action on November 12 2013

Numsa KwaZulu Natal statement on the planned mass action against e-tolls and banning of labour brokers
November 10, 2013

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) in KwaZulu-Natal held various consultations with members through local offices on the planned mass action scheduled to take place on the 12th November 2013. The mood emerging from the ground through lenses of shop stewards is that NUMSA members in the shop floor will not be participating in the action.

In KZN the campaign was brought for the first time in the COSATU Provincial Shop Stewards Council on the 3rd of November 2013, hence the action (Stayaway) was already scheduled for the 12th November 2013. It is highly impossible to prepare for such important action within six working days. That meant, if a company has four shift systems, there would be a shift that might go for the stayaway and march without proper consultation in a factory general meeting.

The resolution to take actions on E-Tolls and Labour Brokers issues were taken long ago even before last COSATU Congress. And even before such laws became a white paper. No one is able to give a convincing answer about what took so long to come up with the date for an action. We were and still are doing drive-slow actions, went to court, etc. but never finalize the date of action on time.

NUMSA in KZN representing 58 000 members that had to participate in the action while almost 40% of members from motor and Auto Sectors were just participating in the protected strikes for wages. If they were to be taken out again within such a short space of time, we would need to have enough time to motivate them on owning the action intrinsically through democratic processes within NUMSA structures such as Factory General Meetings, Local General Meetings. NUMSA members do not need to be treated like water taps that you just open and close any time and anyhow.

Despite the challenges of time constraints, there is paralysis in COSATU at National level that members need to be engage on. National leaders of COSATU and her affiliates are portraying different pictures to the media. We as NUMSA have high hopes that such paralysis will be dealt with once and for all in the Special COSATU Congress moved and seconded as per COSATU Constitution in the last Central Executive Committee. But it is surprising that COSATU President in various Provincial Shop Stewards Councils states that there is no money for such Special Congress.

NUMSA recommend that even if it can be at least a two day Congress meeting in the marquee. It is a fact that COSATU does not pay for travelling of affiliates and accommodation. Therefore, what are these expenses that COSATU President is referring to? It is then easy to conclude that he is the one with his faction who does not want this Special Congress to take place. NUMSA then wants to state clearly that we are no longer comfortable with the way the COSATU President is presiding on issues. Our advice to the current COSATU President is that he must pack his bags and go, since he is failing to unite COSATU and leadership.

NUMSA has applied for Section 77 on the same campaigns of E-Tolling and Labour Brokers to take place early next year, after proper consultation with our members.


Mbuso Ngubane
Regional Secretary
Mobile: 0795023242


Basil Cele
Regional Chairperson
Mobile: 0734160087