United Front groupings discuss the path forward

Day two of the Numsa people’s assembly began with a discussion on the purpose of the United Front.

Day two of Numsa people’s assembly began with a discussion on the purpose of the United Front. Picture: Emily Corke/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Civic organisations within the United Front, due to be launched next year, say they have not reached a resolution as to whether the umbrella body will contest the 2016 local government elections.

Day two of the people's assembly convened by the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) focused on the true purpose of the United Front.

The assembly is due to wrap up today with a presentation on the way forward.

Scribes have presented resolutions commissioners of the United Front made last night.

Numsa and other affiliations agreed the United Front will act in favour of the working class, particularly women and the youth.

However there was some debate about how to launch the organisation as a political actor, not part of party politics.

Some felt elections are the only way to be accepted as a political actor in the country.

Another point of contention was whether political leaders and tribal leaders may be members of the United Front.

The organisation made its final declaration, presented by Member and academic, Noor Nieftagodien.

The United Front has also warned it will march on Human Rights Day next year in defence of freedom of expression.

National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) on Saturday said the United Front will bring the democratic regime change that South Africa needs to free its citizens from neo-liberalism.

Numsa President Andrew Chirwa said South Africans can no longer wait for leadership to fix the class divisions in the working class encouraging members of the delegation to join the fight against neoliberalism.

"The working class can't be patient waiting for Jesus Christ to come."

Numsa was voted out of the Congress of South African Trade Unions last month by 33 votes to 24 and the decision has since exposed the rift between rival affiliates.

Eight of Numsa's allies in Cosatu subsequently refused to take part in the federation's meetings and have warned that if the metalworkers do not return to the fold, a mass walkout is on the cards.