Nzimande warns of ‘strained relations’ if Numsa continues criticism

2012-06-04 11:31

SA Communist Party (SACP) boss Blade Nzimande has urged the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) to refrain from criticising the decisions of the communist party in public.

The SACP leadership and Numsa have not seen eye to eye on a number of issues, including the nationalisation of mines and the party’s decision to allow Nzimande to serve full-time in government as the minister of higher education.

Numsa is holding its five-day elective national conference in Durban today where its 967 delegates will elect leaders on behalf of its 295 983 members.
 
It is the second biggest union in Cosatu.

Nzimande said the SACP “has not taken kindly to Numsa consistently questioning SACP decisions through the media”.

“If we have issues with your decisions we will at all times raise them internally with you and not through bourgeois media and in public platforms,” he said.

“As the SACP we cannot (and should not) behave as if we are custodians of Numsa’s internal organisational decisions as the SACP.”

He said his party would also respect, and would not publicly disagree with them.

The two organisations ran the risk of straining their relationships if they did not respect protocols, he said.

He reminded the delegates that Cosatu and the SACP were not the same thing, even though they had fought common battles in the past.

“The SACP is a political party, not some Marxist-Leninist NGO. We are deeply interested political power and party political influence in all key sits of power.”

He said in the past there was an anti-congress and anti-SACP sentiment among the unions that eventually morphed into Numsa in the 1980s.

He said the formation of Numsa put an end to those debates.

“We dare not revert back to those difficult days in our relationship, much as we should not avoid robust, but disciplined debates, among ourselves,” he said.

Nzimande said two organisations should not raise their disagreements on public platforms, and committed his party to raising issues of disagreement internally.

“As the SACP we cannot (and should not) behave as if we are custodians of Numsa’s internal organisational decisions as the SACP,” he said.

He said his party would also respect, and would not publicly disagree with them.

The two organisations ran the risk of straining relations between if they did not respect protocols, he said.

Before Nzimande started his speech, the delegates shouted at him to denounce e-tolling on Gauteng’s freeways.

He later yielded to their demand, saying it had been wrong of government to follow the e-tolling model in funding the R20 billion public infrastructure programme, but said some of the people who had taken the decision had since joined the Congress of the People.

He said forcing the government to pay for e-tolling might mean less money for schools and further education and training colleges.

Earlier, eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo told the conference that his municipality had hired permanently over 2000 temporary workers in execution of the SACP and Cosatu decision to get rid of labour brokers.

A further 3 000 would be employed permanently on the current financial year, he said.

Nxumalo said there would be no temporary workers or workers employed by labour brokers when his term of office ends.

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