Mathunjwa: SA needs dictator style of leadership

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa said such a government would take a stern position against businesses which exploit workers.

FILE: Amcu's Joseph Mathunjwa at a press briefing on 13 August 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa said a dictatorship style of leadership was needed in the country to chart the way out of the economic crisis and other challenges.

In a wide-ranging interview with Eyewitness News on Tuesday, Mathunjwa said such a government would take a stern position against businesses which exploit workers.

Mathunjwa, who has ironically been accused of being a dictator, said the country needs a change in tack.

"In South Africa, unfortunately, we are facing different types of challenges and I think we need a kind of benevolent dictator style of leadership that will be very hard but for the benefit of people."

Amcu has been critical of the government and political formations since its inception.

Mathunjwa explained that the African National Congress and its members in government had ran out of ideas while workers and communities have to deal with the consequences of its mistakes.

“The businesses have the power to tell what the government what to do. Until such time we’ve got a new order of economic policies, we are not going to address the challenges of this country.”

Amcu has waged different battles against mining bosses since its inception, fighting for what it said was the restoration of workers’ dignity through economic emancipation.

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Mathunjwa has called for unity among all organised labour formations in the country, saying he was even willing to work with his union’s rival – the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

He said this collaboration would lead to the strengthening of workers in the face of heightened exploitation by employers.

Although Amcu is not aligned to any of the country’s trade union federations after disaffiliating from the National Council of Trade Unions in 2018, it maintained the only way for workers’ rights to be realised was through unity.

Mathunjwa said the stumbling block in the way of unions, however, was the affiliation of some to political parties.

“It’s our members that are killed by the mines every day, they are the ones facing the wrath of the multi-international capital oppression; let’s unite as the working class. We’re ready and I think the future of this country is the working class.”

He has also welcomed suggestions that the National Economic Development and Labour Council should expand its protocols to include all key stakeholders in the economy, including Amcu.