The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has slammed the decision by its former trade union federation – the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) – to lobby and support Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the ruling party’s next leader.
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On Friday, the metalworkers’ general secretary Irvin Jim said Numsa was “disgusted” by the pronouncement made by Cosatu on Thursday following its three-day central executive committee meeting in Johannesburg.
Jim said “an African National Congress (ANC) government led by Cyril Ramaphosa will be no better than the one led by Jacob Zuma”, and Numsa has already stated that Ramaphosa was an enemy of the working-class in the country.
“He has consistently attacked workers’ hard-won gains and defended the interests of the exploiting capitalist class‚ most recently when he supported legislation to maintain poverty wages and the super-exploitation of black and African labour under the disguise of national minimum wage at a level which will leave millions of workers in wage slavery.
“Worst of all‚ as a director of Lonmin‚ he was directly implicated in the massacre of 34 Marikana workers who demanded a living wage of R12 500. By now announcing a national minimum wage of R3 500, he is spitting on the graves of those workers who suffered exploitation until the oppressive agents of the capitalist state took their lives,” Jim said.
He also said the ANC under the former trade unionist and businessman would continue to “consolidate the power of white monopoly capitalism and to reassure credit ratings agencies that South Africa is a good place to invest and exploit our natural resources and cheap labour”.