4 August 2020 — Tricontinental
Kerry Ryan Chance
23 March 2013 — Leftstreamed
The dramatic upsurge of popular grass-roots protest in South Africa’s townships and rural areas in recent years has been well-termed as marking a virtual “rebellion of the poor” in that country. The working-class itself has also been assertive there, prompting the ANC-led state’s orchestration of an horrific massacre of dissident mine-workers at Marikana in 2012. Until recently, however, leading trade unions have themselves been cribbed and confined within the tri-partite governing coalition of the ANC, the South African Communist Party and COSATU, the country’s largest trade union central body. Now NUMSA – the country’s National Union of Metalworkers with over 340,000 members – has begun to break that mould, under the leadership of its General Secretary, Irvin Jim, a longstanding socialist militant in the union. At its Special National Congress in December it heralded a new socialist political direction for South Africa.
Toronto — 6 March 2014.
3 March 2014 — Daily Maverick
So it has finally happened. The militant metalworkers union Numsa is now actively campaigning against the ANC government and has issued a call to South Africans to join its “United Front” – a mass movement for socialism and radical economic change. Numsa will soon be hosting provincial consultative conferences to bring together left-leaning organisations and social movements, and this will culminate in a national summit. Numsa will also ratchet up the pressure on the ANC government through a national strike on 19 March. If you read through Numsa’s demands and objectives and somehow hear the echo of Julius Malema’s voice, you are not alone. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY. Continue reading
14 February 2014
I speak to you today with a powerful and united mandate from 341,150 metalworkers. They made their views extremely clear in our workers’ parliament in December last year – the parliament we called the NUMSA Special National Congress. In that parliament there was vigorous debate. Every delegate knew that they would have to account to their constituency. We are justifiably proud of our democratic heritage. We know that what we decide has the backing of our members. We don’t have to change decisions after the Congress has spoken, as some do, even though there are those who would urge us to “come to our senses” and take NUMSA in another direction from the decisions of that Congress.
28 January 2014 — SACSIS
The decision of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) to cut ties with the African National Congress (ANC) has received poor analysis. Comment has tended to focus on the possibility of a new political party in 2019 or whether all this means that Zwelenzima Vavi will get his job back. As such, the greater significance of the biggest trade union in the country throwing in its lot with a growing movement in opposition to the neo-liberal order, and thus to the left of the ANC, rather than the line up to the right (which includes the newly merged Agang and Democratic Alliance who want more of the same), is being missed.
27 January 2014 — The Daily Maverick
Elections 2014 will come and go, the ANC will be top of the pops, and a new bag of Liquorice Allsorts will fill the parliamentary benches. The great shake-up in South African politics looks set to happen after the elections – and metalworkers’ union Numsa is likely to play a big role in the new alignment. Numsa and a group of other Cosatu unions will put their federation on notice this week on a number of issues. Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim is also taking on the government’s enforcer, Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa, for police killings during protest marches. And even before the split in Cosatu happens, workers from other sectors are seeking to join the Numsa movement. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY. Continue reading