NUMSA vows to keep fighting until SAFTU is accepted into NEDLAC
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has vowed to keep on fighting until SAFTU is accepted into the National Economic Development Council (NEDLAC). NEDLAC was hosting its annual summit at Emperors Palace on Friday and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was the key note speaker. NUMSA together with several other SAFTU affiliated trade unions picketed outside Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni to demonstrate against NEDLAC’s refusal to accept SAFTU as a member. We were also protesting against Ramaphosa for promoting policies which are hostile to workers such as the poverty National Minimum Wage and, for driving legislation to limit the right to strike.
NEDLAC is a statutory body which enables labour, business and other sectors of civil society to participate directly in the formulation of policy before it is presented to parliament. It was at NEDLAC where the decision to impose a poverty wage of R20 per hour was taken with the help of sell out trade union federations like COSATU and FEDUSA. These federations continue to promote neo liberal economic capitalist policies, regardless of how damaging they are to workers.
Government is scared of having SAFTU as part of NEDLAC. They are terrified of being confronted by a truly militant, independent trade union federation and that is why they only want to deal with COSATU and FEDUSA in NEDLAC. NEDLAC cannot claim to have consulted labour if SAFTU is not part of that structure. SAFTU is only 4 months old but it represents almost a million South African workers and their families. NEDLAC has no legitimacy if SAFTU is not part of that structure.
COSATU’s unwavering support of the African National Congress as the governing party is a betrayal of the working class. The ANC has failed workers. It has embraced White Monopoly Capital and its goal is to protect and defend the wealth of the white minority, at the expense of the working class majority. The ANC needs the leadership of COSATU and FEDUSA to be weak so that they can keep using them to rubber stamp decisions and claim that they have the support of the working class. The adoption of the National Minimum Wage is proof of how far they are willing to go to betray the working class.
NUMSA 1st Deputy President Basil Cele has repeated NUMSA’s commitment to being part of building a strong fighting federation which will truly act in the interests of all workers:
“Workers want a federation which has their interests at heart. They do not want a federation which is obsessed with the internal factional battles of the corrupt ANC. They want a federation which is militant about overthrowing Capitalism and tacking inequality. They want a federation which will be a shield and a spear for workers in their quest for justice.”
NUMSA will work with SAFTU to fight the implementation of the National Minimum Wage to the bitter end. Our campaign against NEDLAC and all its reactionary Capitalist forces has just begun.
The struggle continues!
Statement issued by Basil Cele, NUMSA 1st Deputy President, 9 September 2017