New Working Class Leadership and the Prospects for Socialist Politics in South Africa
Toronto — 6 March 2014.
The dramatic upsurge of popular grass-roots protest in South Africa's townships and rural areas in recent years has been well-termed as marking a virtual “rebellion of the poor” in that country. The working-class itself has also been assertive there, prompting the ANC-led state's orchestration of an horrific massacre of dissident mine-workers at Marikana in 2012. Until recently, however, leading trade unions have themselves been cribbed and confined within the tri-partite governing coalition of the ANC, the South African Communist Party and COSATU, the country's largest trade union central body. Now NUMSA – the country's National Union of Metalworkers with over 340,000 members – has begun to break that mould, under the leadership of its General Secretary, Irvin Jim, a longstanding socialist militant in the union. At its Special National Congress in December it heralded a new socialist political direction for South Africa.
Presentation by Irvin Jim, General Secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA). Moderated by John S. Saul.
More recent analysis of South African politics:
- NUMSA, “The State of Class Struggle in South Africa,” The Bullet No. 946
- Judith Marshall, “Building a United Front Against Neoliberalism,” The Bullet No. 944
- Irvin Jim, “Manifestos and Reality,” The Bullet No. 936
- Sam Ashman and Nicolas Pons-Vignon, “NUMSA Rupture Could Mark New Start for Socialist Politics in South Africa,” The Bullet No. 935
- Leonard Gentle, “Forging a New Movement,” The Bullet No. 933
Sponsored by: Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly, Centre for Social Justice, Socialist Project, and BASICSnews.ca.