ANC’s NEC must be 50% working class – Numsa

2012-11-01 13:04

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) says it wants half of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) in Mangaung to come from the ranks of the working class.

The ruling party is due to elect its national leadership next month, and its NEC is expected to be reduced to 60.

Speaking after a four-day meeting of the Numsa leadership, the union’s general secretary Irvin Jim said Numsa was not happy with the performance of President Jacob Zuma and those who were elected with him in Polokwane.

He said Cosatu’s second-biggest union had done an evaluation of the ANC leadership’s performance and felt it had “failed to deal with the fundamental questions” confronting the country. They had not addressed the ownership of the economy and inequality.

However, Jim said the union wanted Zuma to be re-elected without his collective in line with a recent Cosatu decision on the matter.

He said labour can’t “fold our hands while our leadership is being assembled”.

“Black, green and gold (the ANC flag) is our symbol. But our people don’t eat colours,” he said.

Those who still wanted to continue with “neoliberal policies” that have worsened poverty, unemployment and inequality should not seek re-election in Mangaung, Jim said.

“We, the working class of South Africa, the low colonial-wage sufferers have declared that enough is enough. We want change, real and fundamental change in our lives,” he said.

Jim also criticised Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s assurance to ratings agencies during his recent medium-term budget policy statement that there was no crisis in South Africa. He said Numsa found it insensitive that Gordhan thought the death of 34 workers in Marikana did not constitute a crisis.

He played down Zuma’s call for opinion makers to project positive messages and not talk the country down, saying it was the economic status quo that was talking the country down.

“We are old, we can no longer lie now. What we see is what we say,” he said.

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