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Johannesburg - Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi has indirectly accused metalworkers union Numsa of trying to bring down the ANC government and promoting “anarchists” and the DA.
Addressing a meeting of the SA Democratic Teachers Union in Khayelitsha on Friday afternoon, Nxesi said “ultra leftists” were misleading people.
After listing the rights gained by workers, and teachers in particular, under the ANC, Nxesi asked why “these ultra left people” would risk these “by bringing down an ANC government”.
“And you promote anarchists, and you promote the DA, which you know does not represent the interests of the black people. All they need is the vote of the black people,” Nxesi, also the deputy chairman of the SACP, told the meeting.
He said capital, the DA and the right wing all sought to roll back workers rights in the name of labour market flexibility.
“And you know the DA does not want unions. The DA wants labour brokers.
“The DA wants school governing bodies to be the employers of teachers, so that those schools in the rich areas, where they can pay exhorbitant fees, will employ their own teachers and the poor can see to themselves.
“But because now they want the vote they come and say they are standing for everybody, they represent everybody, which is lies. They are using a black face,” Nxesi said.
A divided alliance would see the capitalists “laughing all the way to the bank”.
There was a “lot at stake”.
Trade union independence meant they could “take the government head on if you feel they are not delivering, when they are violating our rights”.
“But trade union independence didn’t mean we wanted to work outside and isolate ourselves from the mass struggles of our people, like other people are arguing today, misleading you, that you need to break away from the alliance and argue independence.
“Those people are just misleading you,” Nxesi said.
Numsa resolved in December not to campaign for the ANC in the elections and has mooted the idea of working towards the establishment of a workers party, complaining about the direction of economic policy under the ANC and the National Development Plan in particular – a key pillar of the governing party’s election manifesto.
“If we remain divided it is us who will be injured. It will not be capital who will be injured. That is why we continue to say, even if it is not enough yet, we have a good story to tell as the alliance,” Nxesi said.