‘Get ready to lose’ – NUM warns ANC

‘Get ready to lose’ – NUM warns ANC

With nine months to go before the watershed ANC elective national conference, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) – a political ally within the tripartite alliance – has warned of the governing party losing the 2024 polls if it failed to produce quality leaders.

The NUM caution, contained in the political report tabled on Thursday at the union’s 17th national congress taking place in Ekurhuleni, blamed the ANC losses in last year’s local government elections on “the decline of selfless leadership quality”.

Scathing of the ruling party, the report said: “Many leaders in government are compromised and betraying the genuine vision of the national democratic revolution and aspirations of the Freedom Charter.

“The poor, indigent South Africans have become intolerant to this tendency.

“The masses do not eat and live through election manifestos. They live through a caring system of government and selfless leadership, which has disappeared in the ANC.”

NUM has maintained that failure by the ANC to change the quality of its leadership, would lead to the party “kissing goodbye to the political power in the forthcoming South African elections in 2024”.

“It is sad to say this, but if we love the ANC and want it to continue to rule properly, we must say these hard realities, before its opponents celebrate its fall.”

NUM said the decline in the ANC quality of leadership and rampant corruption in government were among contributing factors, which led to major losses in last year’s polls.

The union secretariat report, also tabled before the congress, reflected NUM’s unhappiness with SA’s jobs crisis, with president Joseph Montisetse describing the unemployment rate as representing “the deepening crisis in South Africa”.

“The gains of the 1994 democratic elections and replacing apartheid with a democratic system are fast withering away under the weight of deepening inequality, poverty and mass unemployment,” said Montisetse.

“No country or nation can sustain a society where almost 50% of people who are eligible to work, are unemployed – where just 10% of the superrich own 90% of the wealth and land.

“A spiral of economic decline is underway and might well precipitate social collapse on an unprecedented scale.

“The NUM has noted that the crisis of mass unemployment gets worse each quarter.

“This is a result of a stagnant economy, caused by an investment strike undertaken by big business and systematic disinvestment from the SA economy.”

Government austerity measures, favouring privatisation through public-private partnerships and conservative monetary policies imposed by the SA Reserve Bank and National Treasury, “have significantly contributed to the widening of inequality, where the poor are becoming poorer and a small elite amasses extreme levels of concentrated wealth”.

“We can’t have a country where most of our people are relying on social grants,” added Montisetse.

“The closure of mines [in Mpumalanga] and power stations will have devastating consequences – an imperialist agenda NUM will not allow.

“The view of NUM is that the agenda of closing these mines is an agenda that seeks to collapse the economy and our country.”

He warned that NUM planned to undertake “a programme of mass action to fight against the closure of mines and power stations”.

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