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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor


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COSATU Today  |  COSATU Press Statements


The 2009 has been a year of important popular advances in our country. The 15th anniversary of our freedom and democracy in April was marked by an overwhelming electoral victory for the ANC and its Alliance partners. This victory was achieved through an intensive door to door campaign in townships, squatter camps, factories and villages across the length and breadth of our country. It was also won through a progressive manifesto that re-affirmed the ANC’s core commitments and rooted amongst the working class and the poor.

Despite the electoral victory of the ANC alliance during the watershed April 22 elections and ascendancy of ANC President Jacob Zuma to the highest office in land, there are more persisting challenges. Our country has been declared as one of the most unequal societies in the world, there is massive poverty, deepening inequalities, skyrocketing cost of living, escalating unemployment rate and an increase on the HIV/AIDS pandemic inflicted amongst the working class and the poor. All these social pitfalls continue to exemplify the intersection of race, class and gendered inequalities in our society, with Blacks, workers and women bearing the brunt of the crisis of Capitalism and underdevelopment.

In the face of these persisting challenges, it is increasingly clear that our neo-liberal policies, with their disastrous impacts and failures are incapable of providing much needed solutions. This calls on the movement to champion a revolutionary agenda as encapsulated in the Freedom Charter, and the aborted Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). The failure by our revolutionary Alliance to heed this call, it will be setting itself up for failure and our people will never forget!

More and more, Numsa is becoming a revolutionary, active and campaigning trade union formation, providing strategic leadership on the many class struggles waged by the workers at the point of production linked with community struggles. By doing this, Numsa, is carving out an important strategic and organizational role, we are neither an oppositionist, nor a conveyor belt for the ruling ANC alliance. Where constructive criticism is required, we will make it. Where popular pressure is necessary, we will mobilize it to correct the technicist, top-down approaches, or expose anti-worker policies. In the coming year, the 55th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, Numsa will uphold the vision that the wealth of our country shall be transferred to the people (and just not to a few politically connected elites) as a whole.

In the year 2010, Numsa would be directing its programmes and campaigns premised on its Central Committee devised strategic theme “Metalworkers Unite for Decent Work”, thereby ensuring that we confront labour broking, casualisation and conditions of starvation benefits of employment. A very little effort is paid to women who are retrenched and as such Numsa must declare that Employment Equity Act will be used to protect women workers. As Numsa, we will be calling on Cosatu to declare a Section 77 dispute in Nedlac so that workers in the country can take strike action to ban labour brokers.

Further we will go into battle if there are any plans to privatize Eskom. As Numsa we will convene a National Energy Policy Workshop in February 2010. We will use this Energy Policy Workshop to reflect in much more detail on the energy pricing and renewable energy.

Metalworkers will be brazing themselves for tough wage negotiations in 2010 ever ready to demand the redistribution of wealth at the point of production. In respect of State Owned Enterprise`s, Numsa`s Central Committee resolved that we must not pull back on Affirmative Action appointments, but whoever occupies that space or position must be capable of delivering to ensure that the transformation as envisaged in our National Democratic Revolution (NDR) political programme is advanced to its logical conclusion.

On the political front, Numsa calls on metalworkers and the working class broadly to defend the unity and cohesion of our broad movement as led by the ANC. In recent weeks we have noted with disdain the negative publicity associated with the 2nd Special National Congress of the vanguard – the South African Communist Party (SACP) held in Polokwane. As Numsa we hold strong views as it relates to the events which unfolded or transpired at the SACP Special National Congress and we will use internal platforms to air our views.

Numsa takes this opportunity to wish the millions of workers a well-deserved rest. The workers and the poor deserve a rest in order to launch the New Year with more vigour and energy to tackle the many struggles that lie ahead. It is the sweat of the workers that keeps the wheels of the Capitalist economy rolling, with only a few bosses benefiting from the hard labour of workers. We are conscious that hundreds of thousands of casual workers, many of whom being young women, will be sweating it out in the opulent restaurants and hotels throughout the festive and holiday season.

The leadership of Numsa wishes its members, non-members and supporters, and indeed, all South Africa well over the festive season.

Issued by Numsa Head Office


Castro Ngobese

National Spokesperson – 083 979 5266