Numsa to debate whether Polokwane ANC delivered

2012-06-05 11:09

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) will debate whether the ANC leadership it backed in Polokwane in 2007 has lived up to its expectations.

Numsa will also debate whether to influence the governing party quietly or to go public on leadership succession at its congress in Durban.

The secretariat of the union, which is the biggest union in Cosatu after the National Union of Mineworkers, says union members would be encouraged to push for its preferred candidates when they nominate in party branches.

NUM backs President Jacob Zuma’s re-election.

The document endorses Zuma’s proposal at the launch of the Numsa political commission a few weeks ago that more unionists should stand for election into the ANC national executive committee.

The report says while Numsa has enjoyed a good relationship with the ANC leadership,” we can boldly say we have had some difficulties at certain times with some key leaders of the ANC.

Some of its comments can be read as a swipe at both ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and SACP boss Blade Nzimande who have openly disagreed with the union on issues such as the call for the nationalisation of mines, and the issue of key SACP leaders serving full-time in government.

“We are convinced that our principled defence of a pro-working class ANC does not always sit comfortably with some leaders in the ANC, even when such leaders actually come from, and are, members and leaders of the South African Communist Party,” reads the report.

The report says Numsa has tried to secure a meeting with the leadership of the SACP, but this has failed.

“We have no problem with ordinary communists serving in any normal civil and state position. We are worried about the wholesale migration of the entire leadership of the SACP into government and Parliament,” says the report.

It says the SACP is weaker without Nzimande and provincial secretaries serving the party full-time.

SACP members who serve in government, it says, are uncomfortable when unionists criticise government legitimately.

“Thus the impression created is that we can no longer criticise or strike or march against the government as doing so is equivalent to demonstrating against the ANC and being anti-government,” says the secretariat report.

Numsa president Cedric Gina and Jim have been elected unopposed to their positions.

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