Numsa to stage national stay

The union is angry over Cosatu's failure to deal with their demands.

NUMSA's Irvin Jim is calling for the implementation of the ANC's Freedom Charter due to Cosatu's failure to deal with their demands. Picure:Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) announced on Friday that it will stage a national stay away on 2 September.

Numsa is calling for the implementation of the ANC's Freedom Charter due to the Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) failure to deal with its demands.

The union is unofficially Cosatu's biggest affiliate with 320,000 members.

Amongst their demands, is a call for the nationalisation of mines and the reserve bank as well as handing state control to several key industries.

"Since the 11th congress, the federation hasn't been able to implement the programme which has been agreed upon, it's basically paralysed," said Numsa's Irvin Jim.

"This is why we're submitting our own Section 77 because we can't wait any longer. Our members say they have problems which we said Cosatu would address."

Meanwhile, the union's deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said wage talks with the motor and rail industry don't look promising and a strike may be on the cards.

"We've now got to a point where we can clearly see that offering workers a five percent increase is not acceptable. We're looking for double digits. That's the bottom line"


Earlier this week, Numsa lashed out at the delays to Eskom's Medupi power plant saying it believes some of the contractors working there may be deliberately sabotaging the work.

The first electricity from the power station was initially due to come online at the end of this year.

However the power utility announced on Monday that Medupi's unit six will only hit the grid in the second half of 2014.

Eskom claims one of the main reasons for the delay is labour unrest.

Jim said it's clear something's gone badly wrong at Medupi.

"The greatest problem we may be sitting with is sabotage."

He claimed delays are good for these firms and said the number of companies trying to manage the site is an indication of this.

"The more the construction is being postponed the more these companies continue to make money out of the project."