Knowledge is Power

“It’s a great feeling. I never thought I could, but I have. I passed a hurdle and now I want to continue studying.” These are the words of shopsteward and recent graduate, Vusumzi Tyhalwa.
Tyhalwa studied mechanical engineering, but dropped out. The piece-job wages could not cover his house-hold expenses. He could not earn enough to learn.
He had to work full-time work. Studying was out of reach for Tyhalwa for several years. Now this has changed.
Tyhalwa is one of 16 shopstewards drawn from Numsa’s region last year to purse a year-long certificate course in Social Theory & Research at the University of the Witwatersrand.
The class of 16 graduated in April 2014 to much fanfare. The role of trade unions, global capitalism, the political economy were one of several subjects offered.
“The courses are very relevant. As a unionist I need to understand how to cope in this new global order. “I want to pursue my degree in a field that allows us to understand how capital works and impacts on workers across the world. I wish all young unionised workers get to grips with theory because it will make their day a whole lot easier to deal with,” Tyhalwa said.
University of the Witwatersrand, Vice Chancellor, Professor Adam Habib said: “The symbolic reflection of the graduation means a lot especially in a highly fragmented society which is polarised by poverty which in turn evokes service delivery protests and incidents like Marikana.”
Numsa president Andrew Chirwa emphasised the role of the Social Theory programme offered by Wits in conjunction with Numsa: “Without this programme Numsa would have been bankrupt ideologically.”
His advice to Numsa graduates: “Advance the working class and help us in find informed solutions to the problems confronting the working class.”
John Manana 2013 Social Theory Class Representative