Zuma: ‘I remain a worker’

2012-02-23 09:25

During his address at the opening of National Union of Metalworkers SA’s national political commission in Johannesburg today, President Jacob Zuma said he was a worker above anything else.

“No matter what you do with me, I remain a worker,” said Zuma, adding that he owed everything that he was to unions.

“Until the end of time, at the centre of me will be the working class feelings,” he told delegates.

The relationship between the ANC, of which he is also president, and the workers was significant, he said.

“The working class must influence the ANC from within. It is very crucial.”

There were working class movements that called themselves unionism, but were not, Zuma said. The relationship between the ANC and the workers had been discussed for a long time.

“We as workers in South Africa succeeded to make the ANC a progressive organisation, a revolutionary organisation.”

The ANC had also worked closely with the unions in the struggle against apartheid. Some of the movement’s best leaders were leaders of both the governing party and the South African Communist Party.

Delegates listened attentively, with an occasional smattering of applause as the president traced the history of the relationship between workers and the ANC.

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