Numsa boss slates ANC

2011-07-09 08:56

Irvin Jim, the general-secretary of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa), has lambasted the ANC for failing to use its parliamentary majority to free workers from what he called an “apartheid economy”.

Speaking to City Press, Jim accused the current ANC leadership of letting its people down by not banning labour broking, which he described as “an ­attack on the humanity and ­integrity of workers”.

He also said that President Jacob Zuma’s administration was a carbon copy of former ­president Thabo Mbeki’s ­government in its pursuit of neoliberal economic policies.

Labour broking
Jim issued an ultimatum, calling for the banning of labour broking by the end of this year. Failure would result in rolling mass action organised by Cosatu. “The working class and unemployed youth must take to the streets. We’ll take to the theatre of the struggle, the streets, to fight the ANC. There’s no turning back on this issue,” he said.

He said the ANC was going back on its word. “The ANC clearly said in its manifesto it would ban, not reform, labour broking. If the ANC can’t listen to the entire population of the country, who will it listen to?”

He said opposition parties were against the ban as they were the “spokespeople of the class exploiting the workers”.
“The ANC must stop hiding behind bureaucratic processes.

“The ANC must act now,” he demanded.

‘Neoliberal policies’
Jim said for the past 17 years the ANC had failed to transform the country’s “apartheid” economy. “We live in a country where we have an apartheid wage structure. There is continued colonisation of the economy,” he said.

He slammed the New Growth Path (NGP), saying it was highly embedded in GEAR, a macro-economic policy adopted by the Mbeki and Mandela administrations. The NGP aims to create 5 million jobs by 2020.

Jim said the Zuma administration was merely pushing a neoliberal agenda through its economic policies.

He said the government should stop over-valuing the currency and do away with inflation-targeting, which does not create jobs. He also criticised relaxing foreign exchange controls, saying it took money out of the country, and called for capital controls to be brought back.

Nationalisation & succession

Jim said Numsa was firmly behind the ANC Youth League’s controversial call for the nationalisation of mines.

“We also want some strategic sectors to be in the hands of government,” he said.

He said the struggle for economic freedom could no longer be postponed.

However, he warned against opening the succession debate too early.

“It would be so disruptive to open the debate now. It should be opened some time next year,” he said.

Jim said Numsa still had confidence in Zuma as the leader of the ANC.

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