Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Political Rupture in South Africa and the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA). New Start for Socialist Politics?

The resolutions adopted at the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa’s (NUMSA’s) congress in December mark an important rupture in South African politics. NUMSA, the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (COSATU’s) largest affiliate, has refused to endorse the African National Congress (ANC) ahead of this year’s elections and is to explore the establishment of a new movement for socialism. This is a significant challenge to the increasingly contested leadership of the ANC-led alliance, not least because it seeks to build and draw on a mass movement in order to win social and economic change. In our view, it is also the most promising development that progressives – those who support substantial economic and social change in favour of the disadvantaged – could have hoped for.