1 October 2012
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) welcomes the leadership support and political intervention being provided by COSATU to the on-going working class battles for a living wage being fought by mineworkers, countrywide.
The visit by COSATU General Secretary comrade Zwelinzima Vavi to Goldfield`s KDC West mine, where 15000 mine workers are on a militant class battle against the mining bosses, is extremely welcome and must bury the demagogic and opportunistic elements that are playing with the genuine frustrations and angry emotions of workers. Such elements seek to put a wedge between the genuine voice of mining workers and their time tested revolutionary union, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
The visit by COSATU General Secretary Vavi should be understood and located within the general context of the deterioration of the living conditions of millions of workers in South Africa as the value of their extremely meagre wages are eroded in the face of the on-going crisis of capitalism, and the potential threat to the unity of the entire working class posed by this crisis.
We call upon all COSATU affiliates and progressive working class formations to rally behind COSATU and the NUM, in the revolutionary task of securing a living wage for all miners, at this crucial moment in our history.
As the General Secretary of COSATU has correctly said, it is time to place the revolutionary trade union giant of the South African working class solidly behind all the striking workers on the mines, in order to take the fight to where it belongs – to the mine bosses. Not doing so will leave the door open to all sorts of charlatans, demagogues, and opportunists of all kinds, to abuse the legitimate grievances of the working class against the mine bosses.
Even the most heartless capitalists have in the recent past expressed shock and horror upon watching on TV the horrible living conditions of ordinary miners in Marikana. These conditions are the common lot of the majority of Black and African workers in this country, in virtually all the sectors of our economy. These are the most obvious features of our continuing Colonialism of a Special Type.
Clearly, South Africa cannot afford to continue to rely on the greed of the mine bosses and “investors” to own, exploit, process and manage the massive mineral wealth of South Africa in the interest of all South Africans. It is time for the most decisive intervention by the ANC government in our minerals sector, on behalf of all South Africans.
We call upon the giant and revolutionary federation, COSATU, not only to take the battle to the mining bosses ‘boardrooms, but to further mobilize the entire society for a rolling mass action to demand the abolition of Apartheid wages and labour brokers and the full and radical implementation of the Freedom Charter.
As Metalworkers we are ready to swamp the streets in solidarity with all miners and we are fully aware that what we have won in the streets, will never won in the bosses boardroom!
NUMSA fully supports the call and urgent demand made by the President of NUM and echoed by the General Secretary of COSATU to the Chamber of Mines to immediately open negotiations.
We will view any delays from the Chamber of Mines in opening negotiations as a direct attack on trade unionism and on the NUM in general and on the entire Black and African working class in particular.
It is time to end Apartheid miserable wages!
Castro Ngobese, National Spokesperson 083 627 5197