We are just voting cows

2014-05-04 15:00

The rank and file of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) say they will vote for change in Wednesday’s election.

City Press interviewed 18 members of Numsa at two of the country’s largest car manufacturing plants, Volkswagen (VW) in Uitenhage and Mercedes-Benz in East London.

Only two said they would vote for the ANC, five said they would vote for the DA and three planned to support the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The rest did not want to say who would get their vote.

All 18 – none would give their names as they feared victimisation – said they supported the idea of Numsa splitting from the trade federation, Cosatu.

A 40-year-old workshop operator at VW, who has worked at the plant since 1999, said he was disappointed with the tripartite alliance.

“We have nothing to show for this alliance. We are just voting cows. These people only remember we are in the alliance when it is time to vote. It’s nonsense.”

He would not say which party he was voting for.

A 24-year-old production operator at Mercedes-Benz in East London said he would vote for the DA. He also supported the Numsa split and the formation of a labour party.

Another Mercedes-Benz employee said he would vote for the ANC, but supported the Numsa split because Cosatu had been made “weak and irrelevant” through its alliance with the governing party.

A metal finisher aged 23 had just joined Mercedes-Benz. He said he would vote for the EFF because the ANC had been given a chance, but had failed workers.

“It’s now time to give other parties the chance and see if they can deliver on their promises,” he said.

A 25-year-old spray-painter at VW said she would also vote for the EFF and supported Numsa’s split.

“It’s obvious, I’ll vote EFF. They are young like me and speak the truth without fear or favour,” she said.

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