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Afrique du sud : NUMSA fully supports COSATU`s campaign on e-Toll and burning of e-Tags

D 29 octobre 2014     H 05:01     A NUMSA     C 0 messages

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on behalf of its 349 000 members fully supports the rolling mass action that will be taking place tomorrow Saturday 18 October 2014, as organised by our militant and fighting federation – the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), geared towards exerting popular and mass pressure on the fading ANC-led government to scrap the implementation of e-tolls on Gauteng Highways.

Our principled rejection of the implementation of e-tolls is informed by the Freedom Charter’s injunction “All shall be free to travel without restriction from countryside to town ; from province to province ; and from South Africa and abroad”.

Furthermore, the implementation of e-tolls will lead to massive retrenchments in major industries, particularly in the manufacturing sector, since the cost of doing business will be high, as a result of the high cost of transport ; food prices are going to escalate, amidst the socio-economic burden faced by majority of workers, who are subsidizing and taking care of the large army of the unemployed that is ravaging in squalor and poverty, in mainly working class communities and rural poor villages, as a result of the failed and disastrous neo-liberal and capitalist policies being championed by the ANC, post-1994 negotiated settlement.

We reject the e-tolls because they are a very dangerous form of privatisation, and therefore commodification, of public goods such as roads.

We demand that public goods be properly funded by the state, from its fiscus. We have seen the wholesale privatisation of strategic Department of Home Affairs via outsourcing. Is the current leadership of POPCRU waiting to join the struggles against privatisation only when the state will privatize all the police and prison services ?

We reject the cheap calls made by POPCRU’s leadership, which are not in sync and do not represent the views of its membership on the ground, that tomorrow’s (Saturday) fighting campaign by Cosatu to reverse the implementation of e-tolls is no different from calling on our people to resort to “anarchy”.

Clearly, this shows that POPCRU leadership is openly working against the implementation of Cosatu’s 11th National Congress resolutions, and agreed campaign’s to be rolled-out by the federation, which call for the struggle to abandon the e-tolls, among other demands.
Civil disobedience, even when it involves breaking the law consciously, is a well world-wide recognised popular and democratic means of struggle to achieve progressive and democratic ends.

We call on workers not to be demobilized by these cheap and irresponsible calls by a leadership clique that is hell-bent on destroying Cosatu campaigns and activities, in order to secure their long term and future careers outside the trade union movement.

As Numsa, we hold the view that Cosatu’s unity cannot be achieved in boardrooms or through mediated processes, but it can only be achieved through the theatre of struggles and through championing campaigns and programmes that directly respond to the many challenges faced by workers.

We call on all our Shopstewards and members across the province of Gauteng to join en masse this just struggle and campaign as organised by Cosatu.

It is only when the working class is united, as a class for itself, that we can be able to defeat such ill-conceived State-run programmes that are detrimental to lives of the working class and the poor.
We encourage all members of Cosatu affiliates, including Popcru to come in their numbers to participate in tomorrow’s (Saturday) planned action and campaign.

Castro Ngobese, NUMSA National Spokesperson