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Numsa abandons ANC

An ANC supporter holds a flag of the ANC while the President Jacob Zuma addresses ANC Gauteng Cadre Assembly in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe

An ANC supporter holds a flag of the ANC while the President Jacob Zuma addresses ANC Gauteng Cadre Assembly in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Published Dec 20, 2013


Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of SA will not support the ANC in next year's elections, general secretary Irvin Jim said on Friday.

The union would also stop paying contributions to the Congress of SA Trade Unions and SA Communist Party, he told delegates at the union's special national congress in Boksburg, on the East Rand.

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"Numsa as an organisation will neither endorse nor support the ANC or any other political party in 2014."

Jim said the African National Congress continued to undermine the resolutions made during its conference in Polokwane in 2007. One of these was to make the Cosatu, SACP and ANC alliance a strategic centre of power.

"It has just passed anti-working class law and policies, such as e-tolls, the Employment Tax Incentive Act... instead of banning labour broking."

He said the ANC had abandoned the Freedom Charter, which was the basis of the alliance's existence, and had not kept its election promises.

"There is no guarantee that even if the ANC comes up with a progressive platform for 2014, that manifesto will be implemented."

He said the alliance was dysfunctional, in crisis, paralysed and dominated by infighting and factionalism.

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"The alliance operates only during election periods. It is used to rubber stamp neo-liberal policies of the ANC... It is our experience that the working class is being used by the leader of the alliance as voting fodder."

He said there was no chance of returning the alliance to what it was originally formed for -- to drive a revolutionary programme for fundamental transformation of the country.

"The SACP leadership has become embedded in the state and is failing to act as the vanguard of the working class."

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Jim said the SACP had been absent in mass struggle and had become an apologist for the government. Numsa called on Cosatu to break away from the ANC-led alliance.

"The time for looking for an alternative has arrived."

He said Numsa would lead a new united front to co-ordinate struggles in the workplace in a way similar to the United Democratic Front in the 1980s.

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The union resolved during its four-day congress that President Jacob Zuma had to resign with immediate effect because of corruption and the policies his administration were implementing.

"As a country, we have a recent experience where the former president 1/8Thabo Mbeki 3/8 was recalled for pursuing neo-liberal policies. The Zuma administration not only pursued neo-liberalism, but it is characterised by scandals, nepotism, and patronage."

Numsa resolved to expand its scope of operation to include security, transport, catering, and health services.

"Over time we should move from organising along industrial or sector lines, 1/8and 3/8 organise along value chains."

He said Numsa, which claimed to have 338,000 members, would intensify its recruitment drive.

"Numsa is not poaching members from other unions. Workers are coming to Numsa on their own accord. It is difficult to turn away workers who want to voluntarily join Numsa, particularly if we do turn them away, they are likely to go and join non-Cosatu unions."

Numsa raised R350 000 to help the families of Lonmin mineworkers killed at Marikana, North West, on August 16, 2012.

Jim called for an independent probe into the Marikana killings to investigate the migrant labour system and the exploitation of workers.



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