Numsa’s new political party ‘unfortunate’: ANC

FILE PICTURE: General secretary of Numsa Irvin Jim. Picture: Ayi Leshabane

FILE PICTURE: General secretary of Numsa Irvin Jim. Picture: Ayi Leshabane

While the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) busily prepares to launch a political party, the ANC has said it is unfortunate and has advised against such a move.

The party, to be called the United Front and Movement for Socialism, would be aimed at uniting the working class and mobilising around issues affecting workers.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza yesterday said it was unfortunate that Numsa would opt to take such an initiative as they have never been isolated by the ANC and share the ANC’s vision.

“Noting the history between the unions and the ANC we have come a long way and we have a shared vision,” said Khoza.

This comes after Cosatu last week gave its affiliate Numsa until this week to give reasons why it should not be suspended or expelled from the labour federation. Numsa did not take kindly to the ultimaltum.

Yesterday Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said there is a need in this country to fully implement the Freedom Charter, which the ANC has proven to be incapable of doing.

He said work was well underway to mobilise the working class in all its formations, for the radical implementation of the Freedom Charter, the ANC’s document of goals and aspirations for the country, and against neoliberalism.

“We want to mobilise the working class that is already restless in the townships and in our communities. To basically taking up working class struggles,” he said.

Jim further said the leadership of the national liberation movement as a whole had failed to lead a consistent radical democratic process to resolve national, gender, and class questions post 1994. It was those circumstances, combined with the worsening situation of the South African working class as a whole, which has made Numsa rethink and revisit its relationship with the ANC and its alliance.

“We need to organise ourselves as a class, which is why we need a movement that will contest the elections at the appropriate time,” said Jim.

Khoza said the ANC could not stop Numsa from forming a po-

litical party, but would caution

it not to go forward with the initiative.

“For us Numsa has been a significant ally of the ANC as part of Cosatu and we would caution them not to, however we cannot stop them,” said Khoza.

“We believe the rest of the unions in Cosatu remain committed to the alliance,” he said.

With more than 340 000 members, Numsa is the biggest trade union in the country.


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