The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is aiming to win all metros in the country that are currently controlled by the ANC in next year’s local government elections.
Numsa, which is expected to form a new workers party ahead of the elections, already has its sights set on Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Port Elizabeth that is led by the ANC. The DA is also working hard to win here.
The union has a strong membership in Port Elizabeth that which it hopes will win it the municipality.
Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Cloete told delegates attending its conference for socialism in Boksburg yesterday: “The metro is likely to be taken over by the DA. We can’t afford to allow that. The United Front has to make up its mind. The time has come for us to contest.”
The gathering was attended by leaders of groups including the Democratic Left Front, Pan Africanist Congress, Revolutionary Marxist Group, Socialist Group, Unity Movement and Bolshevik Study Circles, Azapo and the Workers And Socialist Party.
Numsa has already stated it is willing to support independent candidates who would challenge the ANC during the local government elections. It has also not closed the possibility of forming coalitions.
Expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi also attended the conference. His late arrival was greeted by much jubilation from what was initially a lethargic mood.
Vavi took to the podium singing that liberators like the late Chris Hani, Joe Slovo and Walter Sisulu would walk with him and light up his way.
Without mentioning socialism that had brought the delegates together, Vavi challenged Cosatu leaders, political parties and all South Africans “who truly cared and were embarrassed by xenophobia attacks” to join his march on April 22.
“When we do we should do so as a completely non-partisan faction. We should be prepared to march alongside the president of Cosatu (Sdumo Dlamini) as long as he and others are committed to the cause to end the embarrassing situation unfolding in front of our eyes,” he said.