Sunday, April 6, 2014

South Africa: NUMSA President Irvin Jim speaking in Toronto

New Working Class Leadership and the Prospects for Socialist Politics in South Africa. 

Irvin Jim speaking in Toronto last month from Left Streamed. (1 of three videos, two and three here) 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.

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