Cosatu 'will degenerate' without Numsa

2014-11-08 12:31

Johannesburg - The expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) from Cosatu will see the labour federation degenerate, the Democratic Left Front (DLF) said on Saturday.

"The expulsion of Numsa brings an end to Cosatu as a fighting trade union," treasurer Brian Ashley said in a statement.

"Cosatu will degenerate further into essentially a sweetheart and bureaucratised union."

The metalworkers union was expelled during a special central executive committee (CEC) sitting on Friday. General secretary Irvin Jim confirmed the expulsion on Saturday.

"Yes, Numsa has been expelled," he said in an SMS.

Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven said he was not sure whether the trade union federation would send out a statement on the matter on Saturday.

"The meeting ran into the early hours of this morning, we are still trying to digest what happened," he said.

"I can confirm that there was a vote to expel Numsa by 33 votes to 24."

CEC members voted on whether Numsa should stay, with 33 votes for expulsion and 24 against it.

On Friday, Jim gave a presentation defending the union against possible expulsion from the Cosatu. Numsa went to court on Thursday to try and prevent its expulsion.

The case was postponed and the CEC meeting went ahead.

Ashley described the expulsion was a "sad day" and a "travesty of justice".

He said the working class would face greater and bolder attacks from the neoliberal state and predatory capitalism.

"During this entire saga, we have seen Cosatu under the leadership of [Sidumo] Dlamini and [Bheki] Ntshalintshali capitulate before the youth wage subsidy, eTolls, NDP and perhaps most damning of all, defend the indefensible -- the Marikana massacre," said Ashley.

Ashley said Numsa would continue to fight against the miscarriage of justice.

"It will fight to regroup the remaining and best elements of Cosatu."

Ashley said that the time was now for those who claimed to be left, progressive and working class to be counted. He said they should regroup around the leadership of Numsa and fight for a new Cosatu that would be militant, democratic, worker controlled, independent and socialist.

"This will open a new chapter in the history of the workers' movement in South Africa. Now is not the time to mourn. We must organise," he said.

  • Altus Kirsten - 2014-11-08 12:37


      Paige Turner - 2014-11-08 12:53

      Now the fatcat union leaders in fancy cars can butt out of the economy and stop interfering in other people's right to employment. Perhaps when they go out and get real, productive jobs they will be of some use to society.

      John Henry Viljoen - 2014-11-08 13:10

      ag shame,these unions have only caused trouble for the economy

      Godfrey Welman - 2014-11-08 13:10

      Cosatu got to big for its shoe's. Cheers, now you are just an anc labour desk.

      Mr.M. - 2014-11-08 13:17

      Strike season is going to be extra bloody next year, I'll make the popcorn!!

      Pierre Nortje - 2014-11-08 13:47

      Who cares - these idiots are destroying this country day by day with the poorest of the poor suffering the most ...

      Made-inthe South - 2014-11-08 14:19

      They are already degenerated.And together with their Alliance partners,degenerated our economy.

      sthembize.zulu - 2014-11-08 16:07

      This beloved country is pining for a strong majority black opposition party. Call me racist if you like but you get my point...

      Christien Scheepers - 2014-11-08 16:15


  • Marcus Mahadasen - 2014-11-08 12:38

    A new beginning....

      Godfrey Welman - 2014-11-08 13:15

      gree, just as NUM has been relegated in mining sector, so will Cosatu be, next the ANC in Parliament after 2019 General Election....what a good feeling

      Godfrey Welman - 2014-11-08 13:15


  • Moudy Mudzielwana - 2014-11-08 12:40

    This was long overdue

  • Emone Nomore - 2014-11-08 12:42


  • Johannes Mshini - 2014-11-08 12:52

    it would be assuring to the workers for NUMSA not to mourn for attachment to COSATU,but put an effort to have a new is surely not encouraging to have union leaders,vying for positions in the ruling party,as it blurrs the lines between independence and loyalty to the employer.However ,it would also not help to have a new federation concerning itself entirely and only with opposing COSATU .workers need a federation that represents purely the interests of the poor and exploited black majority, but detached from politics of positions in government.

  • Themba Qwabe - 2014-11-08 12:54

    the breat could be a blessing in disguise and cosatu must now take a softer,firm but balanced approach that protects both economic development and labour rights. Abalanced view is lacking and they must not pursue the approach that we have seen destroying the little we have for no ones benefit.

      WG Morgan - 2014-11-08 13:14

      Right. Unions and left wing activists generally lose sight of the fact that they are not the only people in this country. No profitable businesses means no employment for anyone. Would you prefer to work for a poor company or a rich company?

  • Themba Qwabe - 2014-11-08 12:55

    sorry Imeant the break away

  • Dingane Legotla - 2014-11-08 12:59

    l agree with u DLF we must start poaching members lets see who will win the race

  • Searcher SA - 2014-11-08 13:01

    "militant, democratic, worker controlled, independent and socialist" Well there goes our already dismal economic growth forecast down a few more digits. Overall I think it is a good thing, as it will weaken the ZANC. If NUMSA can just set the right goals and drop the "militant" and "Socialist", talk nonsense.

  • Phil Galpin - 2014-11-08 13:02

    Its going to be painful, without a doubt, for the working class and, more especially, for the non working. But it will awaken many of the 'movers and shakers' in SA to the reality of the global village. People of all classes will have to become more self reliant and entrepreneurial. May also affect the 'Rights' culture in SA as more 'Rights' are eroded in the name of pragmatism. Twill be interesting if it has an effect on birth rates, by which I mean thinking about whether they can afford that extra child. Because, sure as eggs is round, the family grants are going to dry up in the very near future due to lack of money. This is the death knell of ' strength through solidarity'. Whether its a good thing or not, remains to be seen!

  • Kamohelo Moshodi - 2014-11-08 13:05

    Since booma become the president everything is falling apart I hv neva in my life see a cursed,zim we are comming wait for us.

  • Searcher SA - 2014-11-08 13:07

    It is also time to realise that workers do not control the Company that they work for, the Owners and Shareholders who risk their capital do !!

      Johan Kieser - 2014-11-09 09:06

      The so-called "workers" in South Africa have little or no idea what you are talking about. They are led by the nose by their militant "leaders" who do not understand the link of productivity to economics. South Africa just cannot afford to being downgraded all the time. Cosatu caused more job losses and poverty for their members through thoughtless strikes which are blatant blackmail. No sane person can just continue with demands. In business it is a day's wage for a day's work. If the union bosses could one day comprehend this, then South Africa would be the rainbow nation we all still dream of. For now we just see dark clouds with thunder and blitz.

  • SimonC1969 - 2014-11-08 13:10

    Cosatu 'will degenerate' without Numsa --- Let's hope so, perhaps we can start trying to build the country instead of destroying it.

  • Edward Radingoana - 2014-11-08 13:16

    Good. Hopefully NUMSA will start fighting for the rights of the workers as it won't be part of the betraying Alliance.

      Johan Kieser - 2014-11-09 09:16

      That is just the problem. All this fighting. Why are decent, peaceful negotiations not possible. We just hear constant demands. There should be a fair exchange of wealth. Shareholders are driving many businesses. If they see an increase in productivity to generate more money, they would be quite willing to share. In business it is a day's wage for a day's work. To strike is not the answer - it is cowardly and blackmail. Decency is often met with decency. But militant, malicious action is met with resistance and the worker is the one who suffers worse. Factories are getting more mechanized because they are sick and tired of strikes and workers lose jobs now and for future generations.

  • Sira Thafeni - 2014-11-08 13:31

    foward with Numsa foward lets show those bunch of loosers we are not cowards.

  • amadeus.geldenhuys - 2014-11-08 13:50

    Socialism is an outdated ideology. If Numsa wants to take the masses down this road they will meet fierce resistance from capitalists. They then can kiss foreign investment goodbye. Worker rights in a socialist state without investment is like having 10m Zim dollars in your pocket - useless

  • serendipity.tille - 2014-11-08 13:53

    Patrick Craven, when Thatcher broke your trade union powering the UK, you came here to stir and get rich. Please buzz off back to Britain we don't need you here!

      Ivan van Heerden - 2014-11-08 14:21

      Well said! Craven by name and nature!!

  • Makung Mogamisi - 2014-11-08 13:55

    With Numsa expelled their next target is to suspend Vavi, then support the e-tolls openly.

  • Ta Xi - 2014-11-08 13:58

    A strong and militant trade union movement is neccessary to prevent the further slide towards greater economic inequality. The weaker the unions, the greater is economic inequality. This is one of the cogent observations made by Piketty in his seminal book. It's a pity SA economists and public intellectuals have done us a great disservice by not engaging with Piketty. Even Bill Gates - who differs with some of Piketty's assertions - has penned a 6-page analysis on this seminal book

      Ivan van Heerden - 2014-11-08 14:24

      Because Militant unionism has been so beneficial to the country. Stalled production, investor flight, ratings downgrades etc etc.

      Johan Kieser - 2014-11-09 09:25

      you have to forget what other people dished you up to believe. Get realistic. Fighting would always escalate fighting and the one who can offer more resistance wins, but in the end everybody lose. No strike or malicious action ever solved any problem. Educate people to become more productive to improve productivity. China is doing exactly this and would soon be the biggest economy in the world - see if they have any strikes? And most of their workers live in tiny cramped apartments.

  • Aubrey Mnisi - 2014-11-08 14:04

    This is the beginning of the end for the anc Zumakie corrupt government ,viva numsa.

  • Khuliso Mutsha - 2014-11-08 14:08

    Irvin Jim, some of us will stay within COSATU, that is the fact you must know and understand.

      Mbangiswa Skosana - 2014-11-10 07:14

      No one is forced to leave cosatu but only those who suffer the arrogant csatu leaders,,a new political route has emerged and all good leaders will display the likes of cde Nelson Mandela who made it clear that if a party you voted for is derailing from the people's mandate should be kicked out like National party,,,whatch the space ANC days are numbers and the only thing they will opt for is war....

  • nona - 2014-11-08 14:10

    I love this... a rebirth of a real Trade Union for the workers' rights, not an extension of "a" political party - Viva NUMSA Viva!

  • Graziella Mali - 2014-11-08 14:11

    Cosatu degenerated many moons ago when it allowed her leaders to be asorbed into the corrupt ANC. SA workers might get a chance to be at the forefront of their struggles again instead of relegating their objectives to wanna be unionst looking to get into Parliament. SA needs a true workers party!

  • Theo Martinez - 2014-11-08 14:16

    Cosatu degenerated when it blindly jumped on the Mbeki-revenge trip by Zuma at the ANC Polokwane conference. It got only ONE to blame and that's itself. Just as the ANC created EFF, Cosatu created the political party that will come out of NUMSA's exit. Which will all make the ANC even more 'wounded' and thus anti democratic, and it will start kicking and screaming around like a nutter in a striaght jacket. And OFCOURSE it will all be the fault of external forces (media, third forces, the wets, big business, spies, DA,...). there will be ZERO intro perspective. Watch this space and don't get surprised if reports of internal ANC vote rigging and beyond will surface in the near future. Cuz the future ain't what it used to be.

  • G Mgwenya Goodman - 2014-11-08 14:16

    NUMSA expulsion from cosatu is the great opportunity for work to be protected under the leadership of NUMSA not cosatu because is representing the capitalism and protect capitalise than protecting working class

      Johan Kieser - 2014-11-09 09:27

      the only problem is: without capitalists there would be no workers. The rest is common sense.

  • Lesiba Lelahane - 2014-11-08 14:18

    Indeed this is not a time to mourn but a time to regroup,i like it.

  • Thema George Maruma - 2014-11-08 14:30

    good news long overdue•

  • cornu.perold - 2014-11-08 14:33

    So it all falls apart...

  • Drick Zaal - 2014-11-08 14:35

    The Tripartite alliance enters the era of the Apartheid alliance. The writing is on the wall. ANC enters its last twenty years cycle. Could be only down hill from here. They will have to find a coalition partner after 2024. Who wiil be prepare to side with them? Could be break away IFP party and the smaller parties .

  • denise.coates.98 - 2014-11-08 14:48

    Who cares?

  • Kabelo Magadlela - 2014-11-08 15:21


  • Kabelo Magadlela - 2014-11-08 15:21


  • Mose D Sithole - 2014-11-08 15:21

    cosatu has been useless for a verylong time,let numsa reorganise the workers,and fight the anc's bad policies against the workers

  • Mose D Sithole - 2014-11-08 15:21

    cosatu has been useless for a verylong time,let numsa reorganise the workers,and fight the anc's bad policies against the workers

  • Anthoula Joshua - 2014-11-08 15:24

    Tough Luck Cosatu!!! You sold out the very people who supported you. You and the ANC sold out the very people who gave you the power. They can take it away too.

  • Mavisto Wa Lavisto - 2014-11-08 15:29

    Zuma's mess!

  • Nkosinathi Nkubungu-Ntshongwane - 2014-11-08 16:44

    The ANC says it's very sad to see numsa being expelled from Cosatu, mean while then know that they are the instigator of this.

  • Thabo Victor - 2014-11-08 18:30

    Sdumo is a coward, just like Num and Nehawu. They are all chasing ANC positions at the expense of workers. We support u Numsa, continue to fight for workers and u can now freely organise in other sectors.

      Johan Kieser - 2014-11-09 09:37

      Stop the fighting. Start to educate the workers to be smarter to earn better and live better.

  • Niel Langner - 2014-11-08 18:45

    Foreign Investment has dried up. Wake up Workers of South Africa, no investor will invest in your unpredictable behaviour.

  • Jack Bongani Phala - 2014-11-08 20:30

    Cosatu belongs to the working class not to the anc(african national criminals)

  • Spade is spade - 2014-11-08 22:29

    Hope this will benefit the working class.

  • Pieter Daniel Niemandt - 2014-11-09 08:03

    Both organisations have caused this country great economical damage.It is a good split.Hope they both go down.They are responsable for more strikes than I can remember.

      Johan Kieser - 2014-11-09 09:35

      Nobody would need a union to always just fight if simple human dignity is maintained everywhere. To strike is cowardly and a display of the inability to negotiate. With more productivity one can compromise easily but with constant demands and being malicious, distrust and resistance cause strife. Factories mechanize for they are sick and tired of strikes and disputes. A day's pay for a day's wage is still applied in any business. If one does better work one gets better pay. If one does not like it at a work place, one goes elsewhere where one could apply oneself to get what one is worth.

  • Johan Kieser - 2014-11-09 08:55

    The real tragedy is the fact that the union "bosses" always have to fight. It would be so much better is they could work for a change. Yes work for more productivity, less absenteeism, prevention of strikes, building investment confidence and concentrate on education. It would be great if they could try make friends and influence people by example instead of just always be radical and malicious.

  • Meogamat Shafiek Leonard - 2014-11-09 10:09

    Unions these days have lost their moral compass, let's name the great failures or some of them, salary gap between management and workers, income gap between rich and poor, employment conditions, employment growth or lack there off, and the real big one Employment Agencies that ensure people get financially abused daily.

  • S'bonelo Richard - 2014-11-10 06:53

    This case is annoying that Numsa has been suspend from Cosatu because Numsa wasn't agree with Cosatu for e-tolls and exploite people with salary R2000.00 per month,It seems like Cosatu is not a union for people organization is a part for those people who being paid by government,to me they don't even meet each other and decide what to do only few people have meet the meetings a come with decision then after that they go and inform people what to Numsa must not focus to Cosatu now Cosatu shows that they don't about Numsa anymore 'you can't go back in to your EX if she/he want you back because you know everything about the past,so now Cosatu mustn't even think to open their own organization for defeding peoples right,they must stand and fight their owm.

  • Mbangiswa Skosana - 2014-11-10 07:00

    This came as no surprise to us,,the intention is clear we will organise all the working class and the poor of his country not only to rally against cosatu but to build a strong federation and a labour party that will not be a lap dog of any political is the time for all unions who tried hard to request special congress from cosatu to stand firm and lead the country to socialism..I hope vavi is now more than ready to take a lead on united front and leave cosatu course it doesn't reflect what best known him NUMSA viva

  • Danny Debeila - 2014-11-10 12:21

    The number of votes were 33 to 24, not an overwhelming difference, so why expel them. Won't it leave a bad taste on the 24 that voted for NUMSA.

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