Human Rights Day: Numsa shocked at the inequality in SA 62 years later

The day commemorates 21 March 1960 when the apartheid regime police violently cracked down on resistance to the "dompas".

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN- The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa on Monday said it was shocking to celebrate Human Rights Day when poverty and unequal wealth-distribution were still rife.

The day commemorates 21 March 1960 when the apartheid regime police violently cracked down on resistance to the "dompas".

Numsa said they saluted the heroes and heroines of the Sharpeville massacre who protested against the pass laws 62 years ago.

Today, South Africa has been a democratic nation for some 28 years.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola believes not enough has been done to address the past.

“The dompas was a weapon to strip black people of their humanity and their dignity. That is why it is so painful that 62 years after this brutal incident and 28 years into democracy, the black and African working class majority are still suffering. In South Africa, the richest 10% of the population own more than 85% of household wealth.”

The union said in a statement that the high rate of joblessness in the country had exacerbated the inequality, with the expanded definition of unemployment now being up to 46%.

Numsa stated that they believe as long as the working class majority does not own land, and does not own the commanding heights of the economy, "we cannot be genuinely free".