The National Union of Metalworkers of SA is busy with preparations to launch a political party, it said on Sunday.
The party, to be called the United Front and Movement for Socialism, would be aimed at uniting the working class and mobilising around issues affecting workers.
“We need a movement for socialism,” general secretary Irvin Jim told reporters in Johannesburg.
He said work was well underway to mobilise the working class in all its formations, for the radical implementation of the Freedom Charter, the ANC’s document of goals and aspirations for the country, and against neoliberalism.
Jim said the leadership of the national liberation movement as a whole had failed to lead a consistent radical democratic process to resolve national, gender, and class questions post-1994 – the year of South Africa’s first democratically elected government.
He said the leadership was predominantly drawn from the black and African capitalist class which ‘kowtows’ to the dictates of white monopoly capitalist and imperialist interests.
“It is half-hearted and extremely inconsistent in the pursuit of a radical democratic programme and has completely abandoned the Freedom Charter,” he said.
Jim said it was those circumstances, combined with the worsening situation of the South African working class as a whole post-1994, which has made Numsa rethink and revisit its relationship with the ANC and its alliance.
“We need to organise ourselves as a class which is why we need a movement that will contest the elections at the appropriate time.”
In order to reach out far and wide, Numsa would convene provincial and national consultative meetings to share the content of its resolutions on the United Front and Movement for Socialism.
He said during Numsa’s January Marxist-Leninist Political School, meetings were held with the leaders of some of the social movements and community structures, to begin the process of mapping out how they could work together.
With more than 340 000 members, Numsa is the biggest trade union in the country.