Scepticism over new party

2013-03-22 22:11
Steven Friedman (Pictue: Supplied)

Steven Friedman (Pictue: Supplied)

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New Workers and Socialist Party formed

2013-03-22 12:40

The forming of the Workers and Socialist Party on Human Right's Day has been welcomed by some while others are still skeptical. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - The Workers' and Socialist Party (Wasp) will be taken seriously if it works on strengthening its organisational skills, an analyst said on Friday.

"I am very sceptical. Organisation is something that happens over months and years. I don't see that they have the organisation," said political analyst Steven Friedman.

The party, which was launched on Thursday, needed to cultivate networks and needed to be sensitive to the place working people occupied in the country, he said.

"If I was forming a party like this one, I would be far more sensitive. I would build relationships and also be sensitive to the idea of building the organisation itself."

He said the new party was hoping to gain the support of unions which had broken away from the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), but that this was unlikely.

"There are millions of workers who are angry. It's one thing for people to sing songs at a rally and another thing to change party loyalty," he said.

"If they were taking a major Cosatu union, one would prick [up] your ears and listen, but at the moment it is difficult to see this as a substantial force."

Wasp spokesperson Mametlwe Sebei said before its launch that it would raise the banner for a "new kind of politics".

"Wasp will be a party that stands for genuine democratic socialism and the interests of the majority.

"That it is an initiative by the mineworkers, the backbone of the working class, is deeply embarrassing for the ANC," Sebei said.

"They [the ANC] can no longer claim to represent working class South Africans, and workers are getting organised in opposition to the ANC to hammer that point home."

The party is not yet registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Sebei said on Friday it would submit its application to the IEC next week.

According to the IEC's website to register a political party an application form must be submitted. Along with the form, the party must indicate its name and abbreviation, submit a copy of its constitution and have a deed of foundation signed by 500 registered voters.

"We already have over 1 000 signatures," Sebei said.

Friedman said the party was not doing its maths "very well".

"You need at least 70 000 to 80 000 people to have a seat at Parliament," he said.

"Once you translate their figures into votes or seats, it is not very much."

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  wasp  |  steven friedman  |  politics

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