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Cosatu, ANC to meet on Numsa

An ANC intervention team is trying to prevent Cosatu from expelling Numsa.

Cosatu's headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has learnt that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is due to meet tomorrow with the African National Congress (ANC)'s intervention team.

The ANC task team, established shortly before the 7 May elections, is trying to find a way to prevent the trade union federation from expelling the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

The meeting comes amid questions about whether Numsa is also using its strike to make a political point with suggestions that it wants to create a new workers formation later this year to take on the ruling party.

At the end of May, Cosatu's Central Executive Committee was about to formally take the decision to expell Numsa.

But Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was able to persuade the committee to give him and the ANC a month to find a resolution to the dispute.

That deadline has now passed without the ANC and Numsa actually meeting.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says while this strike is about wages, it's also about this political issue.

"Numsa will use the strike to demonstrate its strength."

Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini won't confirm tomorrow's meeting, saying he won't speak publically about this process.

Cosatu has claimed Numsa is trying to damage the ANC after it withdrew its support for the party while Numsa has said it doesn't believe the ANC is helping workers.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim has strongly criticised President Jacob Zuma, claiming he is a hypocrite.

At the same time, the metalworkers union said earlier this year that it's considering forming a new independent labour federation as a last resort.

Numsa said there is growing concern over a 'dysfunctional alliance' among its members.

The union has also called for Dlamini's resignation, saying he has brought the federation into disrepute.