|Politically active during high school|
|2001||Elected president of the SRC at the tertiary institution where he was studying|
|2001||September Started working at Ford Motor company|
|2003||Elected a shop steward at Ford|
|2008||Elected deputy chairperson of Hlanganani region|
|2009||Elected chairperson of Hlanganani region|
|March 2012||Re-elected chairperson of Hlanganani region|
|June 2012||Elected Numsa First vice president|
|December 2013||Elected president unopposed|
|1979||started working at Smiths manufacturing|
|1984||elected Numsa shop steward|
|1986-1989||Elected Numsa Pinetown local vice chairperson|
|1989||elected Numsa Pinetown local chairperson|
|1996-1999||elected Numsa KZN regional treasurer|
|1999-2013||elected Numsa KZN regional chairperson|
|2009||elected Cosatu KZN Provincial deputy chairperson|
|2010-2012||elected Cosatu KZN Provincial chairperson|
|2013||elected Numsa 2nd deputy president|
He is currently the president of the Motor Industries Bargaining Council (Mibco), a position he has held since 2002
|1997||started working for Johnson Matthey|
|2006||elected NUMSA shop steward|
|2007||elected local deputy secretary|
|2008||elected NUMSA Gender regional secretary|
|2011||elected gender national chairperson|
|2012||elected treasurer of the region|
|2012||elected to the NFC|
|2012||re-elected to the gender national chairperson position|
|2016||elected regional chairperson|
|2016||elected 2nd deputy president at the 10th NUMSA National Congress|
|1996||Employed at General Motors (GM), Port Elizabeth|
|1999||Elected a part-time shop steward|
|2004||Became plant secretary at his workplace and a negotiator in the National Bargaining Forum for the auto manufacturing industry|
|2005||Elected member of the regional finance committee|
|2005||Elected regional treasurer, a position he held until March 2012|
|2007||Elected the chairperson of the auto national shop stewards council|
|2010||Appointed acting regional secretary in Eastern Cape until March 2011|
|2012||Elected chairperson of Eastern Cape region, March 2012|
|2012||Elected Numsa national treasurer, June 2012|
Maqungo has also represented Numsa in the GM world company council where representatives of all GM workplaces have met globally since 2005.
|1991||Employed at Firestone Tyre company|
|1993||Elected as a full-time shop steward|
|2000||Elected regional secretary|
|2008||Elected general secretary|
|2012||Re-elected general secretary|
Irvin Jim is the General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa). He is currently serving his third term as General Secretary, having been re-elected to serve the militant metalworkers in its December 2016 elective congress, following his first election in October 2008 and re-election in June 2012.
Following the fall of the apartheid regime in 1994, Comrade Irvin became the regional chairperson for Numsa’s Eastern Cape region. He later served as the Regional Secretary. He was at that time the youngest member of the Numsa Central Committee and remained in the regional leadership until his election to his position as General Secretary. He cut his political teeth as an anti-apartheid student activist in the 1980’s and has also served in the leadership structures of the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape.
Not adverse to hardship. Comrade Irvin, born in 1968, grew up as a child of Eastern Cape farm workers on a farm called Theophilus. From farm dwelling to urban settlement, he spent most of his later life in South Africa’s third most populous township, Motherwell, a sprawling and underdeveloped settlement in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality located in one of South Africa’s poorest provinces. It’s been described as "a proud and sport-loving township which is struggling with unemployment and HIV/Aids".
Poverty forced him to abandon his education in order to work in a Port Elizabeth tyre factory. In 1991, on only his second day at work, his fellow workers at Firestone Tyres nominated him as their union representative. Aged only 23, he turned down the nomination that day but within three months had taken on the role of shop steward, and two years later that of full time shopsteward.
Now, as one of South Africa’s most senior and prominent trade unionists, he is both loved , revered and despised, his political adversaries have called him a "sponsored agent" and “populist demagogue”, those in the state have accused him of "an infantile disorder that manifests as an acute aversion to anything rational", the media have referred to him as a “charmless ideologue” but for those who know Irvin Jim, who and what he is was best captured by one political analyst, "Irvin Jim is the left. He's not doing this to create some rhetoric to get something. It is the political tradition he was brought up in and one that he believes in."
Nothing can be truer. He is a proud Marxist, who claims “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of all class struggles” as his favourite quote, the bane of the ruling elite and its sycophants, is misunderstood by the chattering classes, and is undoubtedly a hero of the working class and the poor. He holds strong views and convictions, but is always ready to defend them. By his own acknowledgement he can sometimes be “rough” but his beliefs are heartfelt, his commitment to class struggle unwavering, his passion for resolving workers issues unflinching, his responsibility towards a united and consolidated union unquestioning and among his staff and comrades he is warmly looked upon for his kindness, compassion and easy accessibility.
Under his leadership Numsa continues to be a militant and principled left trade union. Its membership has grown to over 340, 000; making it the biggest trade union in the history of South Africa. He has gotten everyone to sit up and listen, where even the conservative media recently claimed that “his union is here to stay”, it “presents a powerful obstacle” to the current ruling elites.
Born on a farm between Klaver and Vredendal near Cape Town. He was baptised in politics by Atlantis Christian Youth Association in 1981. After that he never looked back, his love for the mass movement flourished.
|1982-1984||Activist for South African Allied Workers Union (SAAWU) and Clothing Workers Union (CLOWU) in Atlantis during 1982 – 1984. Both unions became affiliates of the UDF.|
|1984||Member of the 1st UDF Steering Committee in Atlantis in 1984.|
|1987||Recruited into the ANC underground|
|1987||COSATU Atlantis Local Secretary|
|1993||Resigned as Councillor when Numsa adopted the position that full-time officials of the union cannot be Councillors. He was a Councillor on the Transitional Council.|
|2002-3||Acting regional secretary|
|2004||Elected regional secretary|
|2008||Elected Deputy General Secretary|
|2012||Re-elected Deputy General Secretary|
He is a board member of the Merseta.