UNITED FRONT STRUCTURES REGISTERED TO CONTEST LOCAL ELECTIONS
By Govan Whittles
While NUMSA has not yet launched its political party, it says it will after holding a workers summit.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says some United Front structures have registered to contest the local government elections in the Eastern Cape, including Sterkspruit and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
The union will support independent candidates.
Numsa will launch its own political party after holding a workers summit.
Numsa abandoned its alliance with the African National Congress (ANC) in 2013 and after being kicked out of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) the following year, it has advocated for the ruling party’s defeat at the polls.
The union has remained tight-lipped about its ambitions in this year’s local government elections.
Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim says the need for a political party is immediate.
“What is immediate for us is to build a political party in this country; that we must raise levels of consciousness of the working class.”
He says while no decision has been made, the party to be formed will probably support campaigns by United Front structures.
“Numsa is busy crystallising the United Front. There is no reason why we should not support them, but as to whether we are going to take money and do all that, we will let you know.”
The United Front is seen as possible challenger to the Democratic Alliance (DA), ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Port Elizabeth where Numsa maintains strong support.