NUMSA reveals anti-corruption strike demands

Union says citizens don’t have to wait for capitalism’s demise to deal with “hyenas”

Numsa’s National Strike Action for jobs and against corruption goes ahead on Wednesday 14 October 2015

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), supported by our allies in the many different trade unions (inside and outside Cosatu), the Unite Against Corruption (UAC) coalition and other civil society formations is emboldened by the massive support we continue to receive as we prepare for our National Strike Action to demand for decent jobs and fighting against corruption tomorrow, Wednesday 14 October 2015.

The union’s leadership has been addressing Shopsteward Councils (SC) to mobilise workers to be part of the National Day of Action. We are embarking in this struggle under the theme: Capitalism Breeds Corruption! Defend Jobs!

Our march taking place on Wednesday the 14th of October 2015 is protected by law. We successfully applied for Section 77 at NEDLAC and therefore every worker is allowed to participate. No employer can take any disciplinary action or dismiss a worker for taking part in this historic and unprecedented action.

The main march will take place in Johannesburg because it is just not possible to muster the funds to take marches across all major cities in our nine provinces.

We are expecting thousands of workers, ordinary South Africans, the unemployed, youth, women and members of various religious bodies to swamp the streets, irrespective of their union’s logos or t-shirts colors to stay away across South Across, but more specifically to gather in the national march in Johannesburg to the Gauteng Legislature; Chamber of Mines and SA Reserve Bank (SARB) to hand-over Memorandum of Demands, based on a number of specific demands.

South Africa is in the vicious grip of worsening mass unemployment, retrenchments, deepening inequality and poverty, amidst the ideological fog of a “good story to tell”, that continuous to be punted by the ANC who has lost its revolutionary credentials despite all its efforts to renew itself.

Working class communities have become war zones of violent crime. Everyday young men are killed because they have become a force of terror in their communities through committing violent crimes.

Corruption has fast become a way of life, and is the foundation of our capitalist system. Twenty one years after 1994, very little land has been transferred to its rightful owners.

What are then our demands with respect to corruption?

Although we know that the system of capitalism is inherently corrupt, we do not think that we should wait for its demise before taking concrete steps to deal with the corruption that takes place in front of our eyes. Here are some of the steps we can take to deal with the hyenas that are determined to ruin our future and the future of generations to come.

These are some of the concrete demands as the labour movement, we have used to mobilise our members around for the National Day of Action:

1. A compilation of a report by National Treasury on all organs of state that do not comply with legislation that says that such entities should procure local goods and services. The report must outline steps to ensure compliance. According to the Procurement Policy Framework Act, although designation is done by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Treasury is the department responsible for compliance. The department must do its job!

2. The South African Revenue Service (SARS), the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and Finance Intelligence Center (FIC) must investigate the problem of illicit financial flows, transfer pricing and money laundering in the country, and take strong steps to deal with the phenomenon.

3. We demand the release to the public of all forensic audits conducted in terms of section 6(2)(e) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and section 5(2)(d) of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA); particularly the 2009 Sicelo Shiceka audit of potential irregularities and maladministration in municipalities in the North West. Although handed to the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations and leading to several arrests and prosecutions for fraud and other irregularities, the Shiceka audit has never been released to the public.

4. A multi-disciplinary team made up of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Priority Crimes Litigations Unit, South African Police Services (SAPS) Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Office of the Public Protector and Auditor-General must investigate economic crimes committed under ‘late apartheid’ (1980-1994).

5. We demand the strengthening of the Offices of the Public Protector and the Office of the Auditor-General. The trick to merge the Office of the Public Protector and the South African Human Rights Commission being cooked by the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete using the 2007 Kader Asmal Report must be resisted.

6. We demand the strengthening of anti-corruption laws such as domestic legislation such as the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act; the Prevention of Organised Crime Act; the Protected Disclosures Act (also known as the Whistle-blowing Act); and the Criminal Procedure Act, among others.

7. We demand measures on how to strengthen domestic anti-corruption institutions such the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DCPI) – also known as the Hawks; the Special Investigating Unit (SIU); the Financial Intelligence Centre; the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) which has a number of specialised units, including the Specialized Commercial Crime Unit; the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Witness Protection Unit.

8 Probe the effect of corruption on the delivery of socio-economic services, the provision of adequate housing, basic education, healthcare services, water, social welfare and basic nutrition for children.

9. Conduct an investigation into corruption and economic crimes during the apartheid years in particular in relation to sanctions busting.

10. Demand an end of the use of arbitrary golden handshakes to silence people or to remove those who are seen as determined fighters of corruption.

11. We demand the investigation of how life-style audits can be used to find out those who live beyond their means and fraudulently. 

Demands with respect to the jobs crisis in South Africa:

1. Designation of steel for local Government infrastructure spend

Local content and public procurement are critical. The use of locally produced and manufactured steel (as opposed to imported steel), can spur domestic demand and help ensure that steel producers have the volumes required to operate efficiently. This should be introduced urgently.

2. Urgent rollout of Government’s infrastructure programmes

Huge numbers are quoted regarding money allocated to infrastructure projects, but the activity, trends and company results in the sectors that should have benefited do not show the desired impact, as envisaged. The proposed Government’s Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs), which by their nature have a large steel content need to be urgently rolled out as a lever to driving local procurement. Transparency of current SOE capital programmes

It is a fact that the current SOE capital programmes do not prescribe any local content for steel.

This needs to be rectified immediately and we urge that the SOE’s become transparent as to where their steel is being purchased from and be instructed to change to local steel at a negotiated price.

3. Fair pricing for steel versus Import Price Parity (IPP)

As the key proposed mechanism for support to the South African steel industry, a “fair price” should be used. A fair price is a measure that decision-makers can use to understand the level of support the steel industry needs – it does however constitute or advocate to some extent a regulated steel price. Monitoring of Imports

4. Urgent advancement of Government’s beneficiation strategy

50% of the steel industry’s costs are raw materials. There is a need to ensure that the minerals and resources are used in a manner that contributes most effectively to the South African economy through the determination of certain raw materials as strategic is a critical issue that needs to be addressed urgently. 

5. Banning of steel scrap exports

Scrap steel is also an important input for the steel industry. Measures implemented by Government to control the escalating prices of local steel scrap have largely been frustrated and rendered ineffective. Time is running out and urgent action needed. The export of local steel scrap needs to be banned immediately.

6. Steel crisis committee

Government is urged to set up a high level steel crisis committee with all government, labour and industry players to deal with the crisis the industry finds itself in.  This committee must develop short and long term interventions to stem the current crisis and must develop strategies for ameliorating the impact of the crisis on workers as well as develop strategies for future sustainability. This must include setting up of survival support mechanisms for the workers who will lose their jobs imminently.


It is within this context that Numsa’s leadership calls on workers from all sectors of our economy to join en masse the planned march on Wednesday 14 October 2015, in Johannesburg, Gauteng province. The march will be led by Numsa’s National Office Bearers (NOBs) and leaders from other trade unions and civil society formations we are working with.

In other parts of the country, all workers shall be staying away in solidarity with the marchers in Johannesburg.

In Johannesburg, workers are expected to converge at Mary Fitzgerald Square (Newtown) at 09h00am; and we will march to Bayers Naude Square, where national government representatives shall receive our Memorandum of Demands;

From Bayers Naude Square we will proceed to the Chamber of Mines to submit a Memorandum of Demands; AND from Chamber of Mines we will march to the SA Reserve Bank (SARB). The march will officially ends at Mary Fitzgerald Square.

Thousands of buses; mini-buses and trains have been organised to ferry workers and communities in all the corners of the Gauteng province.

We are thrilled with the smooth running of our preparations. We have also strengthened our security capacity, so that our march is not marred by acts which are not in line with the objectives of the march. We shall make sure that we isolate those who might want to delegitimize our march by acting outside the agreed protocols or goals.

The details of the main march in Gauteng province are as follows:

DATE: Wednesday October 14, 2015

TIME: 09H00am

VENUE: Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg

We call on all South Africans to support the planned march in Johannesburg.

Issued by Castro Ngobese, NUMSA National Spokesperson, 13 October 2015