JOHANNESBURG, September 9 – The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has vowed to keep fighting until the recently established South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) is accepted into the National Economic Development Council (Nedlac).
Nedlac hosted its annual summit at Emperor’s Palace in Ekurhuleni on Friday and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was the main speaker, Numsa deputy president Basil Cele said.
Numsa, together with several other Saftu affiliated trade unions, picketed outside Emperor’s Palace to demonstrate against Nedlac’s refusal to accept Saftu as a member.
“We were also protesting against Ramaphosa for promoting policies which are hostile to workers, such as the poverty national minimum wage and, for driving legislation to limit the right to strike,” Cele said on Saturday.
“Nedlac is a statutory body which enables labour, business, and other sectors of civil society to participate directly in the formulation of policy before it is presented to parliament. It was at Nedlac where the decision to impose a poverty wage of R20 per hour was taken with the help of sellout trade union federations like Cosatu [Congress of SA Trade Unions] and Fedusa [Federation of Unions of SA]. These federations continue to promote neo-liberal economic capitalist policies, regardless of how damaging they are to workers,” he said.
“Government is scared of having Saftu as part of Nedlac. They are terrified of being confronted by a truly militant, independent trade union federation and that is why they only want to deal with Cosatu and Fedusa in Nedlac. Nedlac cannot claim to have consulted labour if Saftu is not part of that structure. Saftu is only four months old but it represents almost a million South African workers and their families. Nedlac has no legitimacy if Saftu is not part of that structure.
“Cosatu’s unwavering support of the African National Congress as the governing party is a betrayal of the working class. The ANC has failed workers,” Cele said.