Numsa party will weaken ANC to the benefit of DA

2014-11-11 09:08

This week has been a good one for journalists and political commentators. COSATU expelled Numsa and many in the media space argue this will be a game changer for South African politics. I agree but with reservations a small union of 330 000+ members can not bring radical change in the political landscape of one party dominance in South Africa

Wrong assumption people and our political analysts make is thinking all NUMSA  members don't want ANC and that ANC needs COSATU for its political survival; it does not. But to remain strong it does need the support of the COSATU. Survival and strength should not be confused though. ANC would survive without the union support but it will be weaker.

Voters in South Africa, the majority I must emphasis, don't vote based on Ideology. To ANC voters, voting is tradition it has to do more with what we are used to and our past than the Ideology the ANC as a party subscribes to.

As a matter of fact, the ANC does not have a single Identity, it has socialists, it has communists, it has liberals who all come together in the "broad church" that ANC is to contest their ideas.

Unfortunately no single group will be happy with the outcomes because they will be a compromise between all of them. ANC in its policy formulation will try to make everyone in the church happy but will surely not succeed. What all these groups should do is try to work together.

Problem with NUMSA and some sections in COSATU is thinking they can puppet the ANC especially its President in doing what they want exactly as it is. Thats why leading up to the Polokwane Conference all unions and affiliates were for Pres Zuma. They underestimated him and thought he unlike Mbeki was going to tip toe and ask "how high" when ever they told him to jump.

From the onset, President Thabo Mbeki was not liked by unions because of the decisions he took in the President Mandela administration. Thabo and Trevor Manual were a pain to both COSATU and SACP because he did not allow the country to be led by unions.

If President Zuma was loved by unions I would seriously worry because that would mean he is a populist. This madness proves something our media analysts won't say, President Zuma has proven to most that his policies and that of Thabo Mbeki are not to far apart.

And Numsa's decions to start a party can not be attributed to President Zuma only, it is the culmination of anger in NUMSA for not being able to puppet the ANC into doing all they want from the Mandela administration which President Mbeki was pulling the strings, to his administration which he pulled those strings tougher to the President Zuma one which has not changed the relationship ANC has had over the years with its unions.

Numsa should not overestimate its importance in society and the impact it can make if it heads for elections. As already stated South Africa don't vote based on ideology, they can shout"Socialism" all they want but no voter will vote for them because of that.

Even if they shout about "Land" it won't help. Malema failed to take lessons from PAC which has been shouting for land for decades but is now disappearing into thin air.

Numsa will only reduce itself to a small opposition party that will have to haul, shout and bang tables for the ANC to listen to it. It is never a good idea for a lobby group, interest group or trade unions to form political parties. It is more helpful to associate yourself with those who have power and in this case the ANC. Getting close to ANC helps in being able to state your case and hopefully persuade its leadership.

Yes NUMSA like EFF did will hurt the ANC in the polls

To the benefit of who we must ask ?

Strongest opposition in South Africa is the DA, all breakaway parties from ANC make the DA stronger. If ANC loses a metro municipality in the near future it will be lost to the DA which will win through a coalition government between those breakaway parties.

Voting in SA is like supporting Chiefs and Pirates (bad example I know)

It does not matter how many times Pirates loses, you will never hear its supporter saying I am moving to Chiefs. Supporters can be apathetic, not watch few games or attend few matches out of anger but the won't cross over.

Its the same in politics, DA and ANC supporters are very similar in their voting behaviour.

Blacks vote ANC because its black and fought against apartheid, they don't trust a white DA government.

Whites vote DA because its white and they don't trust or want a black government. Both DA's and ANC's vote base is dominated by a single race groups; whites and blacks respectively.

For a very long time these parties will define and dominate South African politics and contenders to the throne of government.

New parties will form, more will breakaway from ANC but as shown by PAC, UDM, COPE and in the future EFF no small breakaway party will be a real threat to ANC rather they will weaken it to the benefit of the DA which can win some provinces and municipalities through coalition governmentt with those small parties.

I really don't know though how will it be beneficial for Numsa to have a strong Democratic Alliance which they have consistently called a Demonic Alliance

Follow on twitter @EsethuHasane

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