Numsa not going back to ANC

2017-01-22 06:10
ADAMANT:  Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim.

ADAMANT: Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim.

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Johannesburg - The National Union of Metal Workers of SA (Numsa) has shot down speculation that the union could bury the hatchet with the ANC and return to the alliance if a “unifying leader” were elected to succeed President Jacob Zuma at the party’s national elective conference later this year.

“Our view is that the ANC succession process is not guided by a revolutionary agenda,” union general secretary Irvin Jim said in an interview.

He said the “only solution is to replace the ANC with a truly militant, revolutionary Workers Party”.

A section of ANC lobbyists in Gauteng in Johannesburg had been upbeat that the likes of Numsa, axed Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and Economic Freedom Fighters’ leader Julius Malema could be tempted to return to the ANC fold if someone like former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe were to succeed Zuma.

“Malema has already shown a degree of affinity towards Motlanthe and it is a good sign that we should build on,” an insider to proceedings in the ANC’s Johannesburg region told City Press.

Asked whether a Motlanthe-led ANC may be able to persuade him to see the party differently, Vavi declined to comment.

Negotiated settlement

Jim said that “no matter who wins in the ANC succession battle, if the party itself is unable to change its course and abandon its failed neoliberal economic policies then nothing will change [and] unemployment, inequality and poverty will continue”.

He said the ANC had “no political will to deal with or push for radical economic transformation; to address fundamental issues of ownership and control of the economy”.

Numsa, with an estimated 360 000 members, was expelled from Cosatu two years ago for acting in opposition to Cosatu in a number of ways, including refusing to support the ANC in the 2014 elections.

Jim said the ANC was protecting the current status quo of inequality “because of a deal they struck with white business in the early 1990s, which allowed the white population to monopolise and control the economy through a negotiated settlement.

“The property clause in the Constitution has successfully ensured centralisation and concentration of wealth continues in the hands of the white population, maintaining the colonial status of Africans by other means and by keeping the African majority at the bottom of the food chain,” Jim said.

He said the ANC could have exercised its majority during the past 22 years as the governing party to make meaningful changes in the lives of the working class and the poor.

“The commanding heights of the economy remain in the hands of white males, just as it was under apartheid.”

He said “history has shown that once a liberation movement like the ANC fails to fulfil its revolutionary agenda of fundamentally altering the economy for the benefit of the majority, corruption generally seeps in.

“And it is usually in that environment where dictatorship in all its ugliness begins to spread. The ANC leadership is currently locked in this crisis.

“It is paralysed and it is unable to self-correct,” he said.

New industries

He said the paralysis meant that the ANC was incapable of solving inequality.

It had no new ideas and, as a result, it was bound to continue to implement strategies that deepened poverty and unemployment because it was unwilling to dump neoliberal policies, said Numsa’s secretary general.

He said the ANC could only recover if it were “willing to go back to its liberation mission and vision to fully implement the Freedom Charter.

“It must restore the land back to the people; nationalise the commanding heights of the economy; it must nationalise minerals and place them under worker control; it must beneficiate and diversify and build new industries.”

Further, it must “bring back capital controls to stop capital flights; ensure the Reserve Bank targets jobs instead of its hot pursuit of inflation targeting and cuts interest rates.

“In other words, it must fully pursue the principles of socialism,” said Jim.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  numsa  |  jacob zuma  |  irvin jim  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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