Numsa slams ‘misleading’ ANC

The union also confirmed it will begin campaigning in the run-up to forming its own political party.

FILE: Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Thursday once again lashed out at the ANC.

It accused the ruling party of fuelling tensions in the tripartite alliance and blaming it for the nearly four-month long wage strike in the platinum sector.

Speaking to the media about the union's latest central executive committee (CEC) meeting, Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim said the ANC's "good story" was misleading, painting the party with the same brush as capitalist corporations.

"The CEC categorically holds the mining bosses and government responsible for the impact on the economy and deficit of the GDP by failing to concede to the demands of the mineworkers."

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have been on strike at three major platinum miners since 23 January, demanding a basic salary of R12,500 a month.

Jim also blamed the ANC for the ongoing troubles at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

"The CEC is not convinced that the ANC task team intervention in the last special Cosatu meeting was genuine and sees it for what it is - an election ploy."

Numsa has been on the frontline in the Cosatu battle since last year, fighting to have General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi reinstated - an effort which came to fruition in March.

It accused the federation's President Sidumo Dlamini of bowing to ANC pressure.

But Jim says Numsa will not abandon its position in the collective.

"Cosatu remains our fighting weapon and we must struggle to reclaim it as an independent, militant, fighting federation. We shall not be leaving the federation."


The union also announced it will continue to mobilise the working class behind its United Front and Movement for Socialism project.

Jim says the ANC is misleading the country when it says it still has a strong support base and that Numsa will go ahead with its formation of the party, which could compete in future elections.

He says Numsa will act as a shield for workers but doesn't want to rush into Parliament just yet.

"This programme will include building township-based United Front political discussion forums with the express aim of building the front locally and exploring the possibility of taking up local campaigns and issues."

The union says the project is not aimed at improving the ANC but rather at organising itself as an entity fighting for socialism.