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Numsa calls for Zuma to resign

Numsa says the ANC is part of the problem in Cosatu because of its “anti-worker” policies.

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JOHANNESBURG - One of South Africa's biggest trade unions, the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) wants President Jacob Zuma to resign and reportedly says it's preparing itself for life outside Cosatu.

The Sunday Independent is reporting that Numsa will approach former cabinet ministers and others who have fallen out with the African National Congress (ANC).

The newspaper is reporting that according to a draft secretariat report, Numsa says the ANC is part of the problem in Cosatu because of its "anti-worker" policies.

The newspaper says Numsa has also accepted that it's likely to be expelled from the trade union federation adding that it will now work on investigating the formation of a workers' party.

The union is preparing for its central committee meeting next month which will likely reveal more on Numsa's future with Cosatu.

POLL: ANC ON COURSE TO WIN

The ANC is on course to win nearly a two-thirds majority in 7 May elections, a poll showed on Sunday, confounding analysts who had predicted a fall in support for the ruling party 20 years after the end of apartheid.

The poll, published by South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper, said the ANC was likely to win 65.5 percent of the vote, only a shade lower than the 65.9 percent it won at the last national elections in 2009.

The survey was conducted on 4 April.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela published a damning report into a R246 million state-funded security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private home.

The Nkandla homestead. Picture: City Press.

Madonsela judged that Zuma had benefited unduly from the upgrades, which included a swimming pool, chicken run, cattle kraal and amphitheatre at his residence at Nkandla in rural KwaZulu-Natal, and should pay back some of the money.

While overall support for the ANC remained largely unaffected by the Nkandla scandal, the poll said Zuma's personal approval ratings had slipped to 62 percent from 65 percent before Madonsela delivered her findings.

The poll also showed that the Democratic Alliance (DA), the main opposition party that already governs the Western Cape province, was on track to build its national support from 16.6 percent in 2009 to 23.1 percent this year.

It put support for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a radical leftist party founded last year by expelled ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema, at 4 percent.

SA ECONOMIC GROWTH PROSPECTS

The economy slipped into its first post-apartheid recession in 2009 and has struggled to regain the growth rates it logged before the global financial crisis.

The government is expecting economic growth this year of 2.7 percent, way below the levels needed to make any in-roads into 25 percent unemployment.

The police killing of 34 striking miners at Lonmin Marikana platinum mine in 2012 also drew widespread criticism, with many South Africans accusing the ANC-controlled police force of apartheid-style brutality.

However, Election Commission figures show that only one in three voters aged 18-19 has registered to vote.

The poll, conducted by Ipsos, surveyed 2,219 voters nationwide.

Analysts had also expected the so-called 'Born Frees' - young South Africans with no first-hand experience of white-minority rule - to withhold their support for the ANC, which still uses its defeat of apartheid as its main draw card.

Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Cape Town says it has started evicting drug dealers who live in council houses.

The party's leaders held an anti-gangsterism and drug abuse march in gang-ravaged Manenberg on Saturday.

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