Olebogeng Molatlhwa 17 April, 2015 00h08
Metalworks union Numsa has all but decided to form a workers’ party.
What remains to be seen is how much of the remnants of Cosatu will go along with the union’s plans for the party to contest the 2016 local government elections.
The party’s first mission will be to fend off an onslaught by the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay, which Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Kloete believes will fall to the opposition because of the ANC’s weakness there.
Numsa will also next week decide whether to establish a new trade union federation.
Said Numsa president Andrew Chirwa: “All these processes and decisions for us are about recognising the fact that the time and circumstances are now ripe for the working class to stand on their own [and] create their own revolutionary vanguard Marxist political party for the struggle for a socialist South Africa and world.”
Indications are that the proposed party will be driven by Numsa, with other leftist formations playing a minor supporting role.
Most of the 174 guests and delegates at the union’s conference in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, were Numsa central committee and United Front members. Representatives of other left-wing organisations, academia and disgruntled Cosatu affiliates made up a small contingent. But that has not deterred Numsa – which yesterday admitted to standing no chance of convincing former tripartite alliance partners Cosatu, the ANC and SACP – of seeing its way.
“We cannot win back the alliance to what it was originally formed for, which was to drive a revolutionary programme,” Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said yesterday.
Numsa will also next week decide whether to establish a new trade union federation. File photo
Image by: Daniel Born