Numsa strike under control, Zuma tells Chinese investors

2014-07-10 17:21

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

President Jacob Zuma today told Chinese automotive investors that the ongoing National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) strike wasn’t cause for alarm.

He also warned that the government would act against violent protesters.

Zuma was speaking during the First Automobile Works Coega assembly plant launch at the Coega industrial development zone in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape today.

Zuma assured the FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA delegation, led by the company’s vice-president Qin Huanming, that the government was working hard to make sure that the Numsa strike was resolved amicably and swiftly.

“The government will continue to provide support to make sure that the strike, which is currently under way, is resolved fast.

“I am sure we are all aware of the strike. I don’t believe it’s a major cause for alarm because South Africa has a progressive labour framework. Both workers’ and employers’ rights are entrenched in the Constitution,” Zuma said.

He said all the parties knew how to go about resolving any disputes through the country’s effective labour practices and dispute resolution mechanisms.

The president said that the government was continuing to provide support through the department of labour and relevant structures.

“We wish the parties well as they discuss the issues and trust that they will reach a mutually beneficial agreement without much delay.”

He said the metal industry sector needed to go back to full production “as soon as possible”.

Zuma added that although the government respected the constitutional rights of workers to strike, violence and anarchy would not be tolerated.

“Let me emphasise this ... we will always act against those who use violence and intimidation to advance their cause. We have enough instruments in our labour relations machinery to resolve labour disputes. There is no need to resort to violence.

“We condemn all acts of violence that have been reported thus far. In a constitutional democracy like ours, we cannot agree that others undermine the rights of others,” he said.

He said it was the government’s duty to ensure that there was no violence during strikes.

Zuma’s comments come during the Numsa strike, which entered its second week on Monday, during which incidents of violence and intimidation have been reported.

Read: Newsmaker – Irvin Jim: In the eye of the storm

Numsa is also known to be a fierce critic of Zuma’s government and the ruling ANC, which it has slammed for allowing labour brokers.

The Numsa strike began shortly after the end of the five-month-long strike in the platinum belt, which had huge consequences for the country’s economy.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies was also quick to point out that what happened in the platinum belt strike was unique and unlikely to happen with Numsa.

“The strike in the platinum sector was abnormal. We should not read into what happened there as though all strikes in the country would be like that. Negotiations are in place and we are confident an agreement will be reached soon,” Zuma said.

Meanwhile, Zuma welcomed the R600 million investment in Coega, which will create 400 jobs in the first phase of the project.

Zuma said the opening of the plant was historic and important in sustaining the economy.

“The R600 million invested here will create much-needed jobs and improve the lives of the people of this area and its surroundings. As a member country of the Brics [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa] group, this investment encourages us,” he said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Junior Chef

Century City
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R8 000 - R9 000 Per Month

Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Creative Sourcing
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

CSR Inbound

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
O'Brien Recruitment
R14 000 - R16 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.