Keyword: COSATU

Is the NDR Really a Formula for Radical Change?

Picture credit: COSATU Secretary General Zwelizima Vavi, President Jacob Zuma and COSATU President Sdumo Dlamini courtesy GovernmentZA/flickr Steven Friedman - Why is an idea, which featured in Marxist debates decades ago now thrown about by all sides in mainstream public debates? Why is it used by both sides in the dispute wracking Cosatu? Because it touches on a core issue facing our society. The idea - or slogan - is ‘national democratic revolution’ (NDR). Both those who supported Numsa’s removal from Cosatu and Numsa itself say they support the NDR - Numsa complains it is ‘not on track’ while its opponents say...

Cosatu/Numsa Split Indicative of Deeper Structural Problems in SA Trade Union Sector

Picture credit: Numsa Video Back in March 2012, a good five months before the Marikana massacre exposed the internal weaknesses of the South African trade union sector, SACSIS’ Fazila Farouk interviewed labour expert, Ighsaan Schroeder, who said that Cosatu was well on its way to demise and could collapse within a mere 15 years due to serious structural weaknesses in the trade union sector. Soon after the Marikana massacre, Schroeder revised his prediction saying that he gives Cosatu just another five years before...

The Political Significance of Numsa's Expulsion from Cosatu

Picture credit: Irvin Jim, NUMSA Dale T. McKinley - It is arguably the most important political development of South Africa’s post-1994 era. On Friday, South Africa’s largest union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) was expelled by the majority of the leadership belonging to South Africa’s largest union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). The political significance of NUMSA’s expulsion derives from three key, inter-related areas of impact. On the ANC-Led...

Sometimes It's Better Not to Overstay One's Visit: Once More on NUMSA and the Demise of COSATU

Picture credit: Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and Irvin Jim, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa Leonard Gentle - The COSATU Central Executive Committee (CEC), the decision-making body of affiliate leaders, which meets between the more representative Congresses and Central Committees, held a meeting last week to decide on the fate of its biggest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) and to discuss the report of its General Secretary, Zwelenzima Vavi, himself the subject of dispute. This CEC was the consequence of a decision at a postponed CEC in April this year at which time the ANC...

Is There Room for South Africa's Middle Class in Numsa's United Front and Movement for Socialism?

Picture credit: General Secretary of Numsa, Irvin Jim courtesy SACSIS Video In an extensive interview, Numsa’s general secretary, Irvin Jim, talks to Fazila Farouk of SACSIS about Numsa’s current strike, alliance politics as well as its United Front and Movement for Socialism. In response to a question about building greater solidarity between the middle class and the poor, Jim argues that Numsa’s movement for socialism is not only for people who are “red”. He says that the middle class has a right to live the kind of life that it...

What about the Workers? The Old is Dead, the New is Emerging

Picture credit: Daniel Arauz/flickr Leonard Gentle - Two issues that journalists file under “labour news” continue to make headlines – the one inspirational, the other ludicrous. They show two very different faces of the now tired refrain of “20 years of democracy”. In the one corner is the on-going platinum workers’ strike in which 70,000 workers lead a struggle to bury the tradition of cheap migrant labour that has been the cornerstone of wealth accumulation in this country. On the other is the spectre...