Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/793/17928

From The Socialist newspaper, 8 January 2014

South Africa: Numsa's bold and historic decision to cut ties with the ANC

Workers And Socialist Party (WASP)

Delegates at the special congress of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have taken the bold and historic decision to cut ties with the governing party, the African National Congress (ANC).

With financial and logistical support for the ANC withheld, the ANC will be entering the 2014 elections without the support of the biggest and most politically influential union in Cosatu (the largest trade union federation in South Africa).

The ANC will emerge from the 2014 elections significantly weakened. The nightmare scenario of the ANC's own election strategists of receiving less than 50% of the vote cannot be ruled out.

The aftershocks of the earthquake detonated at Marikana (the police massacre of 34 striking mine workers in August 2012) have now found expression on the political plane.

The golden bars of the political prison in which the working class has been kettled for going on 20 years, have been broken and the process of establishing political independence of the working class has begun.

Additionally, Numsa will cease financial contributions to the South African Communist Party (SACP) breaking the political link with this (in the words of Numsa general secretary, Irvin Jim) "ideologically bankrupt" party.

Betrayal

The anger and sense of betrayal that delegates felt for the ANC and SACP leaderships was on full display throughout the conference.

At no point did a single delegate make any serious argument for continuing to support the ANC. In the minds of Numsa members the reality is clear: the ANC and the SACP are parties of the capitalist class.

The next ANC-led government, with the neoliberal National Development Programme as its centrepiece, does not deserve the support of the working class.

At this stage, Numsa has held back from taking a decision to support an alternative party in 2014. Instead, Numsa plans to launch a 'united front' modelled on the United Democratic Front of the 1980s to unite the struggles of workers and communities while simultaneously helping to bring into being a 'Movement for Socialism'.

WASP, in its open letter to Numsa made the call for the launching of a socialist trade union network to help overcome the divisions in the working class and the paralysis of united struggle caused by the crisis in Cosatu.

We also made the call for an assembly of working class unity to draw up a battle plan for the struggles of the masses.

In Numsa's decision to launch a united front and a movement for socialism we recognise these calls as broadly met.

However, with the national and provincial elections only months away we invited Numsa to "take its place in the leadership of WASP".

WASP was launched to unite the struggles of workers, communities and youth and is organised in a democratic and federal way that would allow Numsa to use the WASP umbrella to stand its own candidates, selected by its own procedures.

At Numsa's special congress the leadership laid down criteria that any political party would have to meet in order to warrant political support.

We believe WASP meets these criteria. WASP was born out of the struggles of the mineworkers and bases itself on the working class; WASP stands for the nationalisation of the mines, the banks, the commercial farms, the factories and other big business on the basis of workers' control as part of the struggle for a socialist society; WASP is a thoroughly democratic organisation.

Monumental shift

As part of the adoption of their new political strategy, the Numsa leadership was given a mandate to "be alert" to a "party committed to socialism standing for elections in future".

We therefore repeat our call for Numsa to take its place in the leadership of WASP and support and stand candidates under the WASP umbrella in the 2014 elections as a crucial part of building the new Movement for Socialism.

The limitations of Numsa's specific position on the 2014 elections cannot however detract from the monumental shift in the political landscape that Numsa's decision heralds.

Numsa sent a clear signal to mineworkers and other workers that Numsa will not abandon them to the pro-capitalist misleadership of unions that continue to cling to the ANC.

Irvin Jim declared, in open defiance of Cosatu's "one union, one industry" policy, that Numsa "will no longer reject any worker".

Jim even lamented that this has not been Numsa's policy at the time of Marikana. This will put Numsa on a collision course with the pro-ANC right-wing of Cosatu and almost certainly lead to the break-up of Cosatu.

With plans for rolling mass action in early 2014 and the extension of the hand of solidarity to the mineworkers by the congress - who will most likely be waging new struggles over wages and retrenchments in the new year - Numsa will be at the centre of workers' struggle in the next period.

Numsa has taken its first steps into the new landscape and, alongside WASP and the mineworkers, has taken up the historic task of rebuilding the political independence of the working class. WASP salutes the Numsa leadership and delegates for their decision.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 8 January 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Axe austerity in 2014

Another year of mass struggles beckons

Unite all workers to end bosses' race to the bottom

Truth revealed about Thatcher's war against the miners

Privatisation Act lies behind the A&E crisis

Greedy landlords create housing hell

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Stop cruel care cuts

Birmingham Labour 'consults' over 87 million cuts


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Numsa's bold and historic decision to cut ties with the ANC

Why capitalism mourned Mandela

US: Fight for $15 minimum wage heats up in Seattle


Socialist Party workplace news

CWU Royal Mail agreement: Defend our right to strike!

Hampshire Unison success shows potential for fightback

UPS workers' victory

Every job matters on London Underground

Two PCS strikes on both sides of New Year


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Is UK car building back in Top Gear?

Class injustice at Dickensian court

Time for a new workers' party

Energy Bills: Labour's 'supermarket special offer'


 

Home   |   The Socialist 8 January 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

South Africa:

triangleCWI news in brief

triangleSouth Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism

triangleCape Town drought

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: South Africa - Has the ANC been 'radically transformed'?

triangleZimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

Africa:

triangleNew Ebola threat

triangleThe life and legacy of Martin Luther King

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: South Africa - 5 years after the Marikana massacre

ANC:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: South Africa

triangleSouth Africa: burning anger

triangleSouth Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

WASP:

triangleSouth Africa: State victimises #OutsourcingMustFall activists

triangleSouth Africa: The battle for free education

Working class:

triangleAberfan disaster novel reminds us Grenfell was not an anomaly

Elections:

triangleVenezuela: Neither the capitalists nor regime can solve the crisis

COSATU:

triangleThe Marikana report - a whitewash

International

International

13/6/18

Venezuela

Venezuela: Neither the capitalists nor regime can solve the crisis

6/6/18

Italy

Italy's political crisis is reverberating through Europe

6/6/18

Jordan

Jordan: Workers and youth remove prime minister and demand end to austerity

6/6/18

Donald Trump

No to Trump's trade war

4/6/18

Gaza

Eyewitness report from Gaza: "Razan was killed in front of my eyes"

30/5/18

Ireland

Historic victory won by grassroots movement

28/5/18

Ireland

Landslide vote to repeal Ireland's abortion laws

23/5/18

Gaza

Yes to the struggle to lift the siege

23/5/18

Amazon

Tax Amazon movement wins in Seattle

16/5/18

Spain

Spain: Student general strike against sexist, capitalist 'justice' system

16/5/18

Belgium

Belgium Lidl strike victory

16/5/18

Gaza

Exclusive interview with Gazan activist: "The more they kill us, the more the anger increases"

16/5/18

Sweden

Sweden: Socialist elected leader of 77,000-strong tenants' union

9/5/18

Israel

Socialists fight for Palestinian liberation and workers' unity

9/5/18

Antisemitism

Socialists in Israel-Palestine reject establishment antisemitism charge against Jeremy Corbyn

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999