1. Resolution on Challenges Facing the Alliance
1. Noting that:
1.1. The Alliance is dysfunctional, in crisis and paralysed. It is dominated by infighting and factionalism and fails to meet regularly.
1.2. Although there are protests everywhere and every day in the country, the Alliance is not an instrument in the hands of these struggling masses nor does it provide leadership to these struggles, which are largely leaderless struggles. The reality is that there is a political vacuum and the working class is on its own.
1.3. The Freedom Charter, which we understood as the minimum platform and program of the Alliance, has been completely abandoned in favour of right-wing and neo-liberal policies such as the National Development Plan (NDP).
1.4. There exists little common understanding within the Alliance of the real objectives of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR).
1.5. The Alliance operates and works during election periods and it is our experience that the working class is being used by the leader of the Alliance – the African National Congress (ANC) – as voting fodder.
1.6. The Alliance has been captured and taken over by right-wing forces. Those who are perceived to be against neo-liberalism or to be advocates of policies in favour of the working class and the poor are seen as problematic, isolated or purged.
1.7. Dominant classes in society have swayed the Alliance in their favour.
1.8. The ANC has resisted the reconfiguration of the Alliance into a strategic political centre where issues of policy, deployments into government and programmes are jointly decided upon by all components of the Alliance.
1.9. The strategy of swelling the ranks has not worked and all resolutions of COSATU congresses in relation to how the Alliance should function have not been implemented by the leaders of the Alliance.
1.10. In practice the Alliance is still in the hands of one alliance partner, the ANC. The ANC is the centre and implements government programmes and policies alone, with little or no consultation with other components of the Alliance.
1.11. There is strong opposition from the ANC to an alliance agreement or pact. The movement has told us in no uncertain words that the ANC is the political centre.
They have also argued against the pact, quoting OR Tambo when he said at the SACP’s 60th anniversary in 1981:
“Ours is not merely a paper alliance, as created at conference tables and formalised through the signing of documents and representing only an agreement of leaders”.
1.12. As Numsa we have been detecting an abuse by the ANC of other Alliance partners.
1.13. The alliance is used to rubber stamp neo-liberal policies of the ANC and not as a centre of power that debates policy issues and implementation.
1.14. The treatment of labour as a junior partner within the Alliance is not uniquely a South African phenomenon. In many post-colonial and post-revolutionary situations, liberation and revolutionary movements have turned on labour movements that fought alongside them, suppressed them, marginalised them, split them, robbed them of their independence or denied them any meaningful role in politics and policy-making.
1.15. The recent alliance summit still failed to make fundamental changes to the current proposed NDP and had no significant impact in changing policies in favour of the working class and the poor.
2. Further noting that:
2.1 There is no chance of winning back the Alliance to what it was originally formed for, which was to drive a revolutionary programme for fundamental transformation of the country, with the Freedom Charter as the minimum platform to transform the South African economy.
2.2 The South African Communist Party (SACP) leadership has become embedded in the state and is failing to act as the vanguard of the working class.
2.3 The chance of winning back the SACP onto the path of working class struggle for working class power is very remote.
2.4 In the struggle for Socialism, the working class needs a political organisation committed in theory and practice to Socialism.
3. Therefore resolve that:
3.1 In light of the above as NUMSA, we should call on COSATU to break from the Alliance. The time for looking for an alternative has arrived.
3.2 As NUMSA, we must lead in the establishment of a new UNITED FRONT that will coordinate struggles in the workplace and in communities, in a way similar to the UDF of the 1980s. The task of this front will be to fight for the implementation of the Freedom Charter and be an organisational weapon against neoliberal policies such as the NDP.
For this to happen it requires:
3.1.1. That our members and shopstewards must be active on all fronts and in all struggles against neo-liberal policies, whether these policies are being implemented in the workplace or in communities.
3.1.2. That in all our constitutional structures, there should be a standing agenda item on community struggles, their nature and NUMSA’s attitude to these community struggles.
3.3. Side by side with the establishment of the new UNITED FRONT, we in NUMSA must explore the establishment of a MOVEMENT FOR SOCIALISM as the working class needs a political organisation committed in its policies and actions to the establishment of a Socialist South Africa.
3.4. In order to execute the task of exploring the establishment of the MOVEMENT FOR SOCIALISM, as a union we must do the following:
3.4.1. In line with the existing NUMSA resolution, convene a Conference on Socialism
3.4.2. Leading up to this conference, conduct a thoroughgoing discussion on previous attempts to build socialism as well as current experiments to build socialism
3.4.3. Commission an international study on the historical formation of working class parties. As part of this study we need to explore the different type of parties – from mass workers parties to vanguard parties. We must look at countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Greece and any other international experiments.
3.4.4. The study on working class parties must also look at their programmes with the aim of identifying elements of what may constitute a revolutionary programme for the working class.
3.5. This work to explore the formation of a MOVEMENT FOR SOCIALISM must be regularly reported to constitutional structures and the work must be finalised by the first NUMSA Central Committee in 2015.
3.6. In all the work being done, whether on building a new united front or exploring the formation of a Movement for Socialism, as NUMSA we must be alert to gains that may present possibilities of either the new United Front or any other progressive coalition or party committed to socialism standing for elections in future. The NUMSA constitutional structures must continuously assess these developments and possibilities.
2. Special resolution on the misappropriate use of state funds and resources as can be seen in Inkandla and the neo-liberal path championed by the Jacob Zuma administration
1. There are allegations that taxpayers’ money has been inappropriately used to build a home costing more than R200-million for the President of the Republic of South Africa.
2. This alleged use of the taxpayers’ money takes place in the sea of poverty in our country.
3. When asked in Parliament in 2012, the President told the whole nation that development of his house was from his family’s own pockets.
4. Since the allegations on use of taxpayers’ money for renovations of the President’s home, there have been concerted attempts to squash the truth about the expenditure including the classification of the Inter-Ministerial Report on Inkandla, the use of the notorious and apartheid style legislation such as the National Key Points Act of 1980 as well as the attempt by the Security Cluster Ministers to interdict the Public Protector.
5. NUMSA’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had called on all facts on Inkandla to be put on the table and in public.
1. President Zuma’s administration has been marked by one scandal after the other if one considers the landing of the Guptas Group from India in a National Key Point which posed security risks for the country and the presence of the President’s family in business deals.
2. President Zuma’s administration continues to be characterized by lack of transparency and attempts to hide the workings of the state from the Public. An example of this lack of transparency is the passing of the so-called Protection of Information Bill or Secrecy Bill.
3. President Zuma’s reign has seen the continuation of neo-liberalism through policies such as the National Development Plan (NDP), the Employment Tax Incentive Bill, Youth Wage Subsidy, Labour brokers and E-tolls.
4. As a country, we have a recent experience where former State President Thabo Mbeki was recalled for pursuing neo-liberal policies.
1. It was correct that the NUMSA President in his opening remarks raised the question of whether should it not be appropriate to agitate for the recall of the State President if the final report of the Public Protector proves that taxpayers’ money was used inappropriately.
2. Reasons for the recall of the former president Thabo Mbeki was based on the neoliberal policies of his government.
3. The Zuma administration not only pursues neo-liberalism but it is characterized by scandals, nepotism and patronage.
4. The Public Protector’s report has the potential to destroy the image of the State President and send a negative image about this country.
5. Any State president should lead by example and the ethics and leadership style demonstrated by our late icon the late President Mandela.
4. Therefore resolve that;
1. As this Special National Congress we endorse the question raised by the Numsa President of whether should we not call for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma if all evidence shows that in the renovations, taxpayers’ money was used inappropriately.
2. As this SNC, we feel that the question by the Numsa President was pertinent and appropriate. The Numsa President showed leadership.
3. The SNC condemns all the attempts that tried to block the truth on Inkandla such as the classification of the report by Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi as well as the interdict of the Public Protector by the Security Cluster Ministers.
4. This SNC calls on President Jacob Zuma to resign with immediate effect because of his administration’s pursuit of neo-liberal policies such as the NDP, e-tolls, labour brokers, youth wage subsidy; and the track record of his administration which is steeped in corruption, patronage and nepotism.
5. NUMSA regions must take this resolution to the Provincial Executive Committees (PECs) and all our structures.
3. Resolution on Challenges Facing COSATU
1. Noting that:
1.1. The federation is currently in a complete state of paralysis and about to implode if no serious measures are undertaken to save it, unify it, rebuild it and reclaim it from forces who want to destroy or liquidate it.
1.2. COSATU is no longer a campaigning federation. There has been a failure to implement congress resolutions such as the resolutions for a campaign against the banning of labour brokers, against e-tolling and the proposed youth wage subsidy.
1.3. Since September 2012, there has been a failure to carry out the revolutionary programme adopted in COSATU’s 11th National Congress.
1.4. There are two voices, crystallised into two camps, coming from within and amongst COSATU’s top leadership: a camp that wants COSATU to continue to fight for socialism and against neo-liberalism and another that wants a COSATU that acts as the “labour desk” of the ANC thereby consciously or unconsciously advancing the neo-liberal project underway in South Africa.
1.5. At the centre of these problems are concerted efforts to turn the federation into a conveyor belt that feeds ANC-led government policies into the working class and thus turn COSATU from a revolutionary, militant and independent union movement into a “yellow federation”.
1.6. Certain leaders of the Alliance are deeply involved and are in fact the main drivers of the divisions in our federation.
1.7. Instead of uniting the labour movement, the South African Communist Party (SACP) has been the leader of criticising those who are for an independent and campaigning COSATU, labelling them as counter-revolutionary.
1.8. Motivating the SACP to launch this attack is the official criticism that COSATU levelled at the Party, arguing that since Party leaders went into government, the SACP has been absent in mass struggles and has become an apologist of the government.
Irritating the Party more than anything else was the call for the General Secretary and Provincial Secretaries of the Party to leave government and be fulltime in the organisation.
1.9. The divisions in COSATU are about the soul and the character of the federation.
2. Believing that:
2.1. There is no priority more important than safeguarding the capacity of workers and the working class to act in its own interests.
2.2. The unity of workers and the working class is critically important, but it has to be based on unity in action.
2.3. We need to continuously assert, in action, that we need a united, independent and campaigning COSATU that is able to implement its own resolutions without favour or fear. For this assertion to happen in action, the unity and independence of COSATU is sacrosanct and of paramount importance.
2.4. COSATU must at all times advance a revolutionary agenda. We need to capture the masses through the Freedom Charter and its implementation because many people and affiliates want to see that happening.
2.5. While we want to guard against splinters in COSATU and the fragmentation of the federation, we may not under the circumstances succeed.
2.6. We need COSATU leaders that are first and foremost accountable to the federation, who adhere to its constitution and are committed to implementation of the federation’s policies, resolutions and programmes.
2.7. We must fight for the unity and independence of COSATU and that it should not be influenced by outside forces and that we must resist COSATU from being reduced into a toy-telephone.
2.8. COSATU leadership, affiliates and members should champion policies agreed upon in constitutional meetings and not turn them into individual members’ or leaders’ mandates.
2.9. There must be immediate implementation of both the 11th National Congress and March 2013 Collective Bargaining Conference resolutions of the federation.
2.10. Only a Special National Congress of COSATU can help us move out of the current crisis in the federation.
2.11. As Numsa, we must continue to be visible in all COSATU structures and leadership positions in order to deepen our ideological perspectives, to change mindsets and to develop a clear understanding of the challenges confronting COSATU.
3. We therefore resolve:
3.1. To guard against any splinters in COSATU and the fragmentation of the federation; instead we must continuously engage other affiliates of COSATU, winning over those that are on the other side of the trenches.
3.2. That in striving for unity within the federation, we must ensure that we alleviate the social distance between the leadership and the general membership.
3.3. With all our strength and intelligence, that we should continue the fight to keep our federation independent and on the path of militant action in the interests of the working class. This requires full participation of NUMSA shopstewards in COSATU Locals.
3.4. To endorse the Numsa Central Committee decision which calls for a COSATU Special National Congress. Failing the convening of the COSATU Special National Congress by the President we must invoke clause 126.96.36.199. of the federation’s constitution.
This clause states that the COSATU Central Executive Committee (CEC) can appoint a convenor for the Special National Congress. In case we fail to have the CEC appointing a convenor, as NUMSA we must explore other routes beyond possible legal avenues that will lead to the COSATU Special National Congress being convened.
3.5. As Numsa, we should continue driving and championing all COSATU campaigns that are relevant to the workers and the working class at large.
3.6. As Numsa we must conduct further work in order to deepen our understanding of the crisis in COSATU.
This work must explore, among others:
3.5.1 The evolution and historical development of the Federation
3.5.2 The history of and the developments around different unity talks.
3.5.3 COSATU’s strategies of engagement and its programmatic manifestations
3.5.4 The shifting class composition and the shifting values within the federation
3.7. We must continuously engage other affiliates of COSATU, winning over those that are on the other side of the trenches, even if it means establishing a new federation.
3.8. As part of the fight, Numsa should adopt the tactic of withholding our subscriptions to COSATU as an ultimatum for the convening of the Special National Congress of COSATU.
3.9. If COSATU is incapable of remaining united around a militant programme of action we should begin the process of forming a new federation.
But not before embarking on the following programme of action:
3.9.1. Organising a march to COSATU House to push the COSATU leadership to accede to the clarion call for a Special National Congress and the withdrawal of charges against the COSATU General Secretary. The march should coincide with the 1st COSATU CEC in February 2014.
3.9.2. Consistently mobilising the rank and file to build capacity and enhance confidence amongst all workers and encourage other affiliates who support the call for an independent, militant and campaigning COSATU to follow Numsa’s approach in terms of ensuring a wider and broader involvement of members. This must include producing a pamphlet about the crisis facing COSATU, for circulation to the rank and file across all affiliates.
3.9.3. Engaging the broader mass democratic movement to appraise them about the impact of the challenges facing COSATU together with the collective affiliates behind the COSATU Special National Congress.
3.10 To empower the Numsa Central Committee to assess and to make strategic decisions from time to time towards the COSATU 12th National Congress in 2015 as part of our struggle to reclaim the federation.
4. Resolution on 2014 Elections
1. Noting that:
1.1. Numsa has in the past contributed towards ensuring an ANC victory in elections.
1.2. Since 1994, Numsa has invested resources and person-power in ANC election campaigns.
1.3. The African National Congress has just passed anti-working class laws and policies such e-tolls, the Employment Tax Incentive Bill and the regulation instead of a ban of labour broking.
1.4. The Freedom Charter as the basis of our existence as an Alliance has not found expression in government policies.
1.5. The ANC-led government continues to ignore and duck the question of how to fundamentally change property relations in the country.
1.6. The ANC-led government has also imposed the National Development Plan (NDP), which is a neoliberal policy embedded in the failed Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) strategy of 1996.
1.7. The NDP will not address the triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequality. The policy has the potential to reverse working class gains; even those secured under apartheid.
1.8. The South African Reserve Bank continues to target inflation instead of targeting jobs. This has produced massive joblessness.
1.9. The ANC continues to undermine the Polokwane resolutions to make the Alliance a strategic centre of power.
1.10. Despite the good election manifestos of the past, the ANC has failed to deliver for the working class in accordance with those manifestos.
1.11. The ANC national leadership is part of the agenda to turn COSATU into its labour desk through targeting loyal working class leaders within COSATU.
2. Further noting that:
2.1. The country will be going to the general elections in 2014.
2.2. The Alliance led by the African National Congress (ANC) expects the working class as the motive force of the revolution to participate in the elections.
2.3. The African National Congress is expecting Alliance components to go all out and campaign and mobilise communities to vote for it.
2.4. The ANC is expecting the Alliance partners to put resources into the 2014 election campaign as they have done in the past.
2.5. The African National Congress no longer adheres to the Freedom Charter which was the glue that brought the Alliance together.
2.6. The African National Congress as the ruling party, particularly since 1996, has and still implements neo -liberal policies against the wishes of its Alliance partners, particularly organised labour.
2.7. As the NDP is now the policy of the ANC it has been made abundantly clear by the ANC leadership that the National Development Plan will be the ANC government’s strategy until 2030 and be government’s blueprint along which all government departments and ministries must develop their budgets for 2014.
2.8. The ANC has not only departed from the Freedom Charter, but from the Morogoro Conference core values and the Reconstruction and Development Plan (RDP).
2.9. Given its track record of not delivering on its manifesto promises, there is no guarantee that, even if the ANC comes up with a “progressive” platform for 2014, that manifesto will be implemented.
3. Therefore resolve that:
3.1. In 2014, NUMSA as an organisation must endorse no political party whatsoever.
3.2. Although endorsing no political party, the union however recognises the constitutional right of its members to vote for a political party of their choice.
3.3. NUMSA will not support the ANC or any other political party financially or in terms of personnel or other material resources.
3.4. Officials and shopstewards who feel the need to campaign for the ANC or any other political organisation will have to do this in their own time and using their own resources.
3.5. This special national congress mandates the Numsa National Executive Committee to cease to pay into the Cosatu/SACP political levy and to channel the funds into other union activities as the Numsa structures see fit.
3.6 Any individual member is entitled in their own time to be active in any political party including getting elected to leadership positions. No NUMSA Office Bearer is allowed to hold any office bearer position in any political party.
5. Resolution on Positioning NUMSA as the Spear and Shield
1. Noting that:
1.1 Outsourcing “non-core functions” through breaking up different services within a workplace has weakened unions and shopfloor organisation.
1.2 Employers are using the concept of “non-core” to deal with the strength of the union. In most cases this strategy of employers is not based on financial reasons but is an attempt to deal with the power of the union within a workplace.
1.3 Primary employers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) dictate to component companies and providers of outsourced services in terms of pricing. This leads to the cheapening of the labour of those who work in outsourced services and the entry of labour brokers.
1.4 Labour brokers are also contributing to the workers wanting to join Numsa as some of the employers are part of labour broker networks.
1.5 It is difficult to turn away workers who want to voluntarily join Numsa particularly when they are likely to go to non-Cosatu unions.
1.6 Technological changes, changes in production and restructuring of sectors and the impact of value chains necessitate new organisational strategies.
2. Believing that:
2.1. This fragmentation of the workforce makes it difficult for outsourced workers to join the union because employers threaten them and tell these workers that they will terminate their contracts if they join the union.
2.2. The split of jobs and outsourcing affects us as Numsa as it undermines the principle of workers’ unity and the principle of one industry one union.
2.3. A consequence of outsourcing is the emergence of many unions within a single workplace and the creation of multi-bargaining forums in a single establishment.
2.4. Numsa is not poaching members from other unions. Workers are coming to Numsa on their own accord.
2.5. While our first goal should be to intensify our fight against labour brokers and oppose any new outsourcing in production processes, where outsourcing takes place and where we are unable to block it, a condition should be put to the employer to ensure that outsourced workers retain organisational union rights.
3. We therefore resolve that:
3.1 Over time we should move from organising along industrial/sectoral lines to organising along value chains.
3.2 The starting point for the shift towards value chain organising should be the implementation of our Organizing, Campaigns and Collective Bargaining Strategy which speaks to issues such as re-organising existing collective bargaining and extension of the scope of sector agreements in relation to outsourced services.
3.3 NUMSA’s Research and Policy Institute should commission a study that thoroughly investigates the value chain linkages relevant to our industry including the possibility of having one collective bargaining forum for the same value chain. The outcome of such research should be fed into constitutional structures.
3.4 We must reject management’s division of workers into “core” and “non-core” and organise every worker in workplaces that are in our sectors whether they are in cleaning, security, catering, health services or any other service that is provided in support of activities in our sectors.
This we can do by inserting a clause in the definition of our sectors in Annexure B of our constitution that makes it clear that included in the definition of each sub-sector are “incidental and ancillary services” related to the sector.
4. We further resolve that:
4.1. We should register the amendments of Numsa’s scope of operation as per the mandate of the 9th National Congress in June 2012 which called for the inclusion of the following in Annexure B of our constitution:
4.1.1. the production, sale and fitment of raw glass components for example windows, including windscreen and window production and fitment centres;
4.1.2. car valet and wash bay establishments which are not attached to a garage and which are not covered in (9) above;
4.1.3. and/or the manufacture of jewellery and/or the refining of petrol, wholesale, transportation and distribution of petrochemicals including all work involved with pipelines and/or the extraction of petrochemicals;
4.1.4. The mining and smelting of both base and precious metals and any/or allied industries and any/ormrelated industries including but not limited to extractive mineral processes of natural resources.
4.2. As a union we should add the following amendments to the scope of Numsa:
4.2.1. Drivers and handlers that provide support to activities of Numsa sectors;
4.2.2. Building and construction;
4.2.3. Auto industry textile workers (car seat manufacturing);
4.2.4. Security workers that are employed in all sectors covered by our scope;
4.2.5. Cleaning workers that are employed in all sectors covered by our scope
4.2.6. Canteen workers workers that are employed in all sectors covered by our scope
4.2.7. Health service workers workers that are employed in all sectors covered by our scope
4.2.8. Kiosks linked to garages and forecourts along with ancillary businesses such as shops, wash bays and restaurants attached to garages irrespective of whether they are owned by a franchisee and/or any third party.
4.2.9. Industrial Chemicals: Incorporate the NOBs recommendation into the current scope. Exact formulation to be finalised.
4.2.10. Alternative energy: Agree that it must be included in the resolutions. Exact formulation to be finalised.
4.2.11. The resolution on the information and Communication Technologies (ICT) subsector: Agree that it must be included in the resolutions. Exact formulation to be finalised.
4.3. The Special National Congress should mandate the Central Committee to review the organising and bargaining strategy that was adopted in the 2012 National Congress and the 2013 Special National Congress so that the strategy is in line with the proposed new scope as detailed above.
6. Resolution on Membership Service Charter
Executive Summary: This service charter spells out what service you as a Numsa member can expect from Numsa and in turn your responsibilities as a Numsa member.
1. Mission, vision and values
We, the members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) firmly commit ourselves to a united South Africa, free of oppression and economic exploitation.
We believe that this can only be achieved under the leadership of an organized and united working class.
Our vision as Numsa is to put members first.
We commit to providing service practicing these values:
• Non discriminatory
• Political independence
• Worker control and democracy
• Commitment to the union
2. The services Numsa provides:
• Solve your problems and take up your grievances
• Give legal assistance
• Improve your wages and working conditions
• Defend you at work
• Ensure a healthy and safe workplace
• Train your representatives
3. The benefits Numsa provides:
• Funeral benefit
• Bursary scheme for members’ children
4. Our commitments to you:
• Opening our local offices 6 days a week
• Open a regional and national dedicated call line to process all collective or individual complaints from members.
5. Monitoring our work performance
• Shop stewards and organisers to submit regular reports of work done
• Regularly update case register
6. Where to complain
• Report to your shop steward, your local, regional or national office bearer
• Phone the Numsa call centre – (project still to be set up)
• Write to “Dear Judy” in Numsa News
7. What Numsa expects from you as a Numsa member
• Attend all your workplace and local general meetings
• Participate in protected strikes and pickets
8. Our Pledge
We pledge to remain accountable to member mandates and to build members’ confidence in Numsa, as an independent, autonomous, fighting, militant and revolutionary union.
9. Plans for the service charter campaign –
9.1 Publicise it at local and factory general meetings
9.2 Print a t-shirt which displays what is encompassed by the charter
9.3 Place the Numsa service charter in every Numsa office and Numsa-organised workplace, will be included as a booklet for each member of staff and translated into the 11 official languages
9.4 Distribute service charter pamphlet/posters in every general meeting and in Numsa offices and workplaces
9.5 Include the shortened version of the service charter on the inside page of every Numsa News.
9.6 Print the service charter on the back of the membership form
9.7 Every shop steward to take members through the service charter – each and every member must have a booklet as well
9.8 Launch during the 2014 engineering bargaining process; take it back to the members during the negotiations so that they are taken on board
9.9 The first Numsa Central Committee in 2014 should decide on the date of the launch of the service charter
7. Resolution on NUMSA Programme of Rolling Socio-Economic Strikes
1. Noting that:
1.1. The 9th National Congress of Numsa adopted a set of socio-economic demands that were meant to reverse neoliberal policies that were being implemented. The socio-economic demands were also to address the plight of the working class and the poor in our country.
1.2. NUMSA took these demands to the September 2012 National Congress of COSATU with the call for the federation to serve a notice to go on a socio-economic strike as stipulated in Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA).
1.3. Although the federation filed the notice for a Section 77 with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) at the end of 2012, little energy has been injected into the campaign. The situation has been made worse by the political and organisational paralysis that exists in COSATU.
2. Further noting that:
2.1. After detecting that there was no enthusiasm within COSATU to mobilise for the socio-economic strike, the union’s July 2013 National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting took a decision that as NUMSA we should have our own programme of rolling socio-economic strikes that will be taken on the basis of Section 77 notices.
2.2. The union has established its own Section 77 Task Team led by the General Secretary. The role of this task team is to coordinate the programme of rolling socio-economic strikes.
2.3. The decision within the union is that the programme of rolling socio-economic strikes will unfold in the following manner:
2.3.1. Phase 1: beneficiation of all strategic minerals, a ban on the export of scrap metals and rebuilding of foundries, import parity pricing and an export tax on all strategic minerals.
2.3.2. Phase 2: an increase in import tariffs on certain goods to the maximum allowed by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
2.3.3. Phase 3: Nationalisation of the Reserve Bank, exchange controls and an end to inflation targeting
2.3.4. Phase 4: de-commercialisation of state owned enterprises and the re-nationalisation of SASOL and Arcelor Mittal South Africa
2.3.5. Phase 5: Labour market issues and low wage employment including the minimum wage.
2.3.6. Phase 6: Nationalisation of the mines
2.4. Despite labour’s objection and opposition by the Young Communist League, the Employment Tax Incentive Bill was tabled in Parliament without National Treasury having taken the Bill to NEDLAC. The Bill provides;
2.4.1. Tax incentives (subsidies) to employers who employ workers earning less than R6 000 per month and who are 18 to 29 years of age,
2.4.2. Tax incentives (subsidies) to employers who employ people in “Special Economic Zones”. Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are designated areas where imported goods may be unloaded and processed without being subject to import duties or customs procedures or zones focussed on development of specific sectors or industries, through specific industrial infrastructure, technical workforce and business support services. No age restrictions would apply in the tax incentives meant for SEZs.
2.4.3. Tax incentives (subsidies) to employers who employ workers within sectors that the Minister of Finance has the power to designate. No age restrictions would apply in the tax incentives in these designated sectors.
2.5 NUMSA has lodged a Section 77 application on the Employment Tax Incentive Bill which is now an Act as the union believes that;
2.5.1. The Act will have negative consequences for workers and the working class
2.5.2. The Act will not encourage real employment creation
2.5.3. The Act discourages decent work
2.5.4. It will lead to the displacement of unsubsidised workers, as the protections for unsubsidised workers are wholly inadequate.
2.5.5. It will exert a dramatic downward and negative pressure on wages, the provision of benefits and other terms and conditions of employment.
2.5.6. It will increase the numbers of working poor i.e. workers earning wages below the poverty datum line
2.5.7. It will negatively affect orderly collective bargaining by creating multi-layered labour markets
2.5.8. It will result in the exploitation of both subsidised and unsubsidised workers
2.5.9. It will not promote skills development and training. There is no mandatory requirement in the bill to link the incentive with issues of skills and training
2.5.10. It will reduce the amount of money that government is able to raise through taxes and thereby negatively affect government’s capacity to provide for basic services
2.5.11. The Act’s provisions are not properly aligned with the provisions of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and other employment laws.
2.6. NUMSA is also currently seeking legal guidance regarding bringing the Minister of Finance to court for not bringing the Bill to NEDLAC.
2.7. The NUMSA Youth Forum’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on 09-10 November 2013 has agreed to spearhead the campaign amongst young people and expose how inadequate the legislation is, in solving the issue of youth unemployment.
3. Therefore resolve that:
3.1. This Special National Congress of NUMSA endorses the programme of rolling socio-economic strikes outlined above.
3.2. After exhausting all the procedures within NEDLAC, NUMSA should target Budget Day (26 February 2014) as the day when our members will embark on a protected socio-economic strike as provided for under Section 77 of the LRA.
3.3. NUMSA National Office Bearers (NOBs) should engage other COSATU affiliates and urge them to join us in the Section 77 notice on the Employment Tax Incentive Act so that we can turn the action on 26 February 2014 into a general strike.
3.4. As the labour movement, we must continue with our attempts to bring the Minister of Finance to court for not bringing the Bill to NEDLAC.
3.5. Our NOBs must convince labour federations (COSATU, NACTU and FEDUSA) and even SANCO to join the legal matter as this will solve one legal hurdle that we will have to overcome, which is that of our standing or locus standi in the matter. Legal opinion is that given the fact that as NUMSA we are not one of the founding social partners of NEDLAC, our locus standi may be challenged in court.
3.6. As NUMSA, we must build a broad coalition against the new legislation, bringing into the campaign – community organisations, faith-based organisations and other social movements.
3.7. The union must allocate a budget for the campaign and the campaign should take the form of the successful 2013 electricity campaign
3.8. The NUMSA Youth Forum must have bilateral meetings with other youth formations with the aim of using our opposition to the Bill to build a Jobs for Youth Campaign. Such a campaign must put forward real solutions to the problem of youth unemployment and show that the Bill is nothing else but a false solution.
3.9. NUMSA must build capacity in union structures to educate members on the issues around the Bill.
3.10. Educational material that explains the issues around the Bill must be produced. A cartoon booklet that is user-friendly must be produced to educate our people about the Employment Tax Incentive Bill, showing the disadvantages of the legislation. Early in January 2014, we must issue a special NUMSA Bulletin containing all the information regarding the incentive with proposed alternatives.
3.11. We must link the Employment Tax Incentive Bill with the current infrastructure development plan. With the infrastructure development plan there are requirements that workers are skilled before being employed. We must therefore suggest that the same must apply with the incentive bill, where we require that workers be trained.
3.12. Before the day of action on 26 February 2014, we must talk about the Bill at our Local Shopsteward Councils, in Local General Meetings (LGMs) and in our communities.
3.13. The Section 77 Task Team should finalise our approach on export taxes and import parity pricing and file notice for a strike. It should also prepare for other phases of the programme of rolling socio-economic strikes.
8. Draft Resolution on the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (53/2003): Issue of Codes of Good Practice (Gazette No. 36928)
1. Noting that:
1.1 On the 11th October 2013 (Gazette No. 36928) the Minister of Trade and Industry released the revised Codes of Good Practice to promote the objectives of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (53/2003).
1.2 Notwithstanding the revised codes, the BBBEE codes released in 2007 acknowledge that some multinational corporations (MNCs) might not be in a position to comply with the ownership element provided for in the BBBEE Act through the sale of shares to black South Africans.
1.3 To compensate for this shortcoming the 2007 Codes provide for multinational companies to make contributions “in lieu of such sale of equity … such contributions are referred to as Equity Equivalent (EE) contributions”.
1.4 Examples of EE programmes include:
1.4.1 Enterprise Creation Programmes.
1.4.2 Economic Development Programmes.
1.4.3 Projects aimed at technology transfer/diffusion within the small, medium and micro-enterprise sector of the local economy.
1.4.4 Programmes that promote economic growth and employment creation through the enhancement of technological innovation.
1. The question of ownership is fundamental if we want to seriously address the issues of poverty, unemployment and inequality in our country
2. Our approach is not to deracialise capital but to reclaim our natural and material resources in line with the vision as set out in the Freedom Charter
1. To register our protest with the DTI about the exclusion of multinationals from complying with the ownership requirements of the BBBEE codes.
2. To lobby to have the BBEE codes amended to include ownership of multinationals and their subsidiaries operating in South Africa.
3. To ensure that multinationals in our sectors, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the automotive sector, are compelled to enter into collective agreements with the union on the issue of ownership and/or the redistribution of resources to combat poverty, unemployment and inequality.
4. To explore the possibilities of joint ventures, including the extension of ownership to collective structures such as employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and co-operatives, or the transfer by multinational corporations (MNCs) of their property assets into worker-owned trusts.
5. To embark on an extensive research programme to ensure that the equity equivalents demanded by NUMSA offer concrete benefits for the black working class.
6. The NUMSA Research and Policy Institute must investigate the practice of OEM’s in relation to patterns of ownership in countries other than South Africa and make recommendations to NUMSA for consideration including the option of a section 77 application.
7. The resolution will be taken back to Numsa structures for discussion and decision by the Central Committee.
9. Resolution on Marikana
Marikana as a turning point
Since the first post-apartheid massacre took place in Marikana, it has been the view of Numsa that what happened on that day, similar to the 1922 Rand Revolt and the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, marked a turning point in the social and political life of South Africa.
What happened in Marikana is one of the reasons why we convened this Special National Congress. As a union we said that after the mowing down of 34 miners in Marikana, it can’t be “business as usual” in South Africa. How do we explain the killing of striking workers in a democracy? As a union we have conducted a sustained and thorough analysis of the political meaning of Marikana.
What we wanted to do at this Congress was to look closer home and ask what Marikana means for trade unions and the entire labour movement. We wanted to do this introspection because as Numsa we sincerely believe that as a union we are not immune from the mass desertion by members of a traditional union to a new union.
Marikana was a deliberate defence of mining profits and mining capitalists! Delegates at this Congress were shown a new documentary that gives an alternative narrative to what we have been fed; that the police in Marikana were acting in self-defence. What we saw was that Marikana was a well-planned and orchestrated strategy by the state to defend the profits of mining bosses.
The Congress resolved With all this evidence, delegates at this Special National Congress resolved as follows:
1. To call for a full and impartial investigation of the causes of what happened in Marikana as the 11th National Congress of Cosatu had called in September 2012.
This investigation, unlike the Farlam Commission, would look not only at who pulled the trigger or who gave instruction to murder the workers in Marikana but would also investigate the root causes of the massacre such as the persistent migrant labour system and super exploitation of labour by capital in South Africa.
2. To call upon the South African government to make available all the necessary resources and requirements to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the massacre, and more especially, accede to the demand for necessary assistance to the families of the miners and the injured miners and their lawyers.
3. To call for the dismissal of the Commissioner of Police, General Riah Phiyega.
4. To demand that all the politicians and individuals who are in complicity with the police and state in the murder of the Marikana miners be brought to book.
5. To demand that the mining bosses accept full responsibility for the deaths of all the workers on the mines, and that where appropriate, necessary prosecutions must follow.
6. To demand the immediate absolute dropping and withdrawal of police charges against all the arrested Marikana miners.
7. To call on our trustees to investigate how workers, through withdrawal of pension fund monies, can punish those involved in the massacre.
8. To obtain a legal opinion with respect to how the Marikana Massacre should be probed by the International Criminal Court.
A word to the media The Special National Congress had a word for the media. It noted the poor media coverage of the massacre, which in the main serves the interests of private capital. You as media, like us, need some introspection.
International Day of Action The Special National Congress committed, on behalf of the entire membership of NUMSA, that if the above demands are not met, we commit ourselves with our allies to an International Day of Action in support of our demands. Numsa and delegates and staff raise R350,000.00 for Marikana families
Through personal pledges by worker delegates at this Congress and the entire staff of Numsa, we collected an amount of R80 000 from worker delegates, R70 000 from Numsa staff and R200 000 from the Numsa Investment Company (R350 000 in total) which will be donated to victims and the children of victims of the massacre. The National Office Bearers (NOBs) have been asked to investigate what is the best trust in this regard.