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Will Numsa’s political party take off?

The metalworkers’ union has been given the go-ahead to register a political party, Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party.

FILE: Numsa-affiliated workers protest against the RAF. Picture: @Numsa_Media/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – As the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) deliberates whether or not its new political party should contest next year's elections, questions are being raised about whether the party has prospects of success.

The metalworkers’ union has been given the go-ahead to register a political party after its attempts to register a workers’ party were blocked in July by the Electoral Commission due to a problem with the party’s logo.

The Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) is, according to Numsa, unapologetic about its agenda for socialism, saying the party will represent and give workers whom it says have been neglected a home and a voice.

So, if it contests the next general elections will it take off?

Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni said: “I don’t think prospects of success are high, simply because in South Africa we have quite a conservative electorate that does want to experiment with a level of revolutionary change, but doesn’t necessarily want to commit outright to a revolutionary party.”

He says the party would also be hampered by the perception that it's only sectoral and represents only workers.

“How do you counterbalance the interests of the workers, the interests of the economy, and the interests of those who hold the means of production?”

Mnguni says the party hasn’t elaborated sufficiently on its policy position and has questioned whether Numsa still enjoys the support it had when it was booted out of Congress of South African Trade Unions.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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