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NUMSA launches Political Commissions to Build Working Class Power from Below!

21 October 2011, Posted in Press Releases

NUMSA launches Political Commissions to Build Working Class Power from Below!

21 October 2011

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the strategic and integral component of the National Liberation Movement as led by the African National Congress (ANC), vanguard party of the working – South African Communist Party (SACP) and leading formation of the organised section of the working class – Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) will be establishing a Political Commissions in its nine (9) Regions as per 2010 December Central Committee (CC) to give practical expression to Vladimir Lenin political maxim “without revolutionary theory, there can be no real revolutionary movement”.

The current inter-class contestations within the Alliance, the triple crisis of unemployment and deepening inequalities, the poisoned atmosphere of divisions and fast-forming cliques, pigeonholing of unsuspecting individuals, innuendos, political wedge-driving, backstabbing, character-assassination, political and physical assassination as warned by COSATU General Secretary Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi, provides a space for all of us to go back to basics.

The basics that COSATU General Secretary speaks about are best articulated by the late SACP’s General Secretary Comrade Joe Slovo’s seminal work in his immortal contributory document: the South African Working Class and the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) that, “the increased tempo of struggle in our country in the last few years has stimulated a great deal of theoretical debate and political discussion among those in the very front line of the upsurge.

Workers in the factories, youth in the townships, mass and underground activists, radical intellectuals, cadres of uMkhonto weSizwe, militants at all levels are seeking answers to the pressing strategic, tactical and organisational questions of the day. Increasing numbers of our people understand the essence of Lenin’s political maxim: without revolutionary theory, there can be no real revolutionary movement…..These discussions and debates keep coming back, in one way or another, to certain fundamentals: class struggle and national struggle, the question of stages of struggle, inter-class alliances, and the role of our working class in the liberation front. Many of these debates are between people who share common starting-points; a belief that national domination is linked to capitalism and an acceptance of the goal of a socialist South Africa. But there is not always clarity on the most effective tactical road towards this goal”.

The Political Commissions are modeled around the Revolutionary Council which was constituted by the ANC, SACTU and SACP in exile to look at the key and fundamental questions of our revolution and threats posed by forces of reaction and foreign and domestic monopoly to the struggle for Socialism.

The Political Commissions will be operational in all spheres of the union, national, regional, local and will provide monthly reports to the constitutional structures of the union. The Alliance partners, ANC, SACP and COSATU will also participate in the work of the Commissions to influence and be influenced on contemporary struggles of the working class.

Such a Political Commission will not pay lip service to these key political questions nor will it be a catechism to our workers; but it will empower, enrich and deepen out theoretical framework on contemporary fluid terrain underpinned by riddles and permutations that requires ongoing corresponding tactical and strategic postures. 

The Political Commissions will therefore be charged with the following urgent and pressing responsibilities;

· Deepen the theoretical and ideological understanding of the class, national and gender content of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR), and the role of the working class;


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