NUMSA wants privately held wealth nationalized

Castro Ngobese calls for Motsepes, Sexwales, Macozomas and others to be targeted


The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is concerned that massive wealth worth of billions is concerted in the hands of private individuals as reported in the Sunday Times - Rich List.

This obscene and massive wealth is being reported by the Sunday Times in the midst of the revelations that South Africa has apparently taken over Brazil as the most unequal country in the world ever. This has been confirmed by University of Cape Town, School of Economics, Professor Haroon Bhorat, that indeed South Africa is now the most unequal country in the world, with a significant increase in income inequalities. He also confirms that whilst inequalities have risen amongst Black South Africans, the growth of White South Africans salaries between 1995 and 2008 surpasses by far the growth of salaries amongst Black South Africans. He further points out that at this juncture, the salaries of Black South Africans grew on average by about 38%, and those of White South Africans salaries grew by a stinking 83%.

This quantifies the fact that income inequalities have worsen since the demise of Apartheid in our country and a tiny Black capitalist fraction has emerged, and which is dependent on both the State and established White monopoly capital for its own survival.

This absurdity has been sharply characterized by the vanguard - the South African Communist Party (SACP) as the javelin syndrome. The use of incumbency in particular positions in the State to ‘throw the javelin' (public resources) to a network of friends, family and other connections so that a comfortable personal transit can be made from the public sector to the private - where the ‘javelin', or at least the share of it, can be personally retrieved. This accumulation and obsceneness was fostered by the 1996 Class Project and deepened everywhere in the State, private sector and systematically transmitted to our society at large.

Currently, millions of jobs have been shed in the manufacturing and other sectors, the cost of basic necessities are skyrocketing, unemployment rate is escalating, massive service delivery backlogs, houses and cars are being repossessed by financial institutions and massive poverty is deepening amongst the vast sections of the workers and the poor. This can be attributed to deep seated and embedded crisis of capitalism entrenched in our economy and social sphere by the 1996 Class Project and which has reproduced a fraction of a black elites co-opted by dominant White monopoly capital. Why should such massive wealth be in the hands of private individuals?

We strongly believe that our National Democratic Revolution (NDR) as encapsulated in the Freedom Charter was never meant to reproduce or replace a White capitalist class with a Black capitalist class or co-opt connected politicians to join exploiters. The NDR has always been anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist. This then calls for the radical and revolutionary agenda to be championed by the broad movement as led by the ANC to transfer the wealth of our country to the hands of the people as a whole, as opposed to a selected few. The failure by the ANC and movement to champion this revolutionary agenda will spiral today's alienation and upsurge of service delivery protests over economic marginalization and resources.

As Numsa, we are calling for the nationalization, and eventually the socialization of the massive and privately owned wealth in the hands of Motsepes, Sexwales, Macozomas, Nhlekos, Mittals and Oppenheimers of this world. We are conscious of the fact that there has never been any transfer of wealth from the capitalists to the workers and the poor without any form of force or ‘imposition'. We are not blind to no way in which the exploiters and oppressors of the workers and the poor surrender our wealth without being forced to so.

Numsa will lobby other Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliated unions and progressive forces to mount a radical and militant campaign to put a stop on excessive privately owned wealth and salaries which are reproducing racialised (class and gendered) apartheid inequalities and opulence.

This also calls on the Tripartite Alliance Secretariat to have an informed and structured discussion on the privately owned wealth and earned salaries in relation to our ongoing efforts of building a Freedom Charter based society. The inability by the Alliance Secretariat to have a frank and honest discussion on this matter will be tantamount to auctioning the revolution to the highest bidders in the market.

Statement issued by Castro Ngobese, NUMSA national spokesperson, November 2 2009

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