National Union Of Mineworkers Bewails SACP’s ‘Irrelevance’ In The Country


In life generally, irrelevance doesn’t pay anyone good because it often disconnects one from the realities of life. Pathetically, being irrelevant in any organization or anywhere one finds himself usually leaves one weak, unproductive, profitless and what have you.

So, to be pragmatic, the best thing one can do for an irrelevant person anywhere is to at least help him jack back to life, become relevant by offering him help in any possible way.

And I surmise this mindset was what really propelled South African National Union of Mine workers to question the relevance of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in politics and in the country at large.

Read also: There Is No Communist Party In SA, SACP Died With Chris Hani In 1993 – Vavi

Speaking at its central committee meeting at the St George Hotel in Irene, Tshwane, on Friday, the union’s General Secretary, David Sipunzi lambasted the leadership of the communist party for greatly neglecting its roles.

According to Sipunzi, who spoke in his secretariat report to the union’s central committee, SACP is often seen in parliament at the expense of their presence at its headquarters – the party’s supposed ‘control or engine room’.

“The SACP is the vanguard of the working class movement which is supposed to continuously lead the struggle of the working class.

The question we must ask is how relevant is the SACP in today’s political agenda. The party must protect the interest of the working people and lead them to economic emancipation.

Little is heard about its contribution in the public space. We must be honest here. The leadership of the party is in parliament when the party requires their leadership at all times,” NUM’s Sipunzi said.

David Sipunzi Doubts SACP’s Political Fitness

David Sipunzi had earlier doubted SACP’s to vie for political positions in the country after the communist party had a scuffle with the ANC in Mpumalanga.

Following the incidence, the SACP in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga demanded that SACP contest elections on its own and abandon the ruling party- its political ally.

Sipunzi asked:

“Comrades I am not questioning the ability and the capability of the SACP, but we must vigorously and intellectually [critique] our strategic intervention and the deployment strategy, including dual leadership roles.

“Is the party failing to meet its mandate to be the vanguard of the working class?” 

Meanwhile, NUM said on Thursday that about 45,000 workers face layoffs in the South Africa’s struggling mining sector.

NUM president Piet Matosa disclosed this in a conference. He noted that mining companies in the country are under pressure from low commodity prices and rocketing costs triggering a wave of job cuts.

See also: ANC Jabs Political Ally SACP Over ‘Irresponsible’ Talks

The embattled union (which was former Cosatu’s affiliate) have been losing members in droves lately. Their trouble began after former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and the union alleged that the SACP was irrelevant. Both Vavi and Numsa were then kicked out of Cosatu.

Also, Numsa boss Irvin Jim strengthened the union’s dismissal from Cosatu after he accused SACP senior leaders such as the party’s general secretary Blade Nzimande of enervating communist the party.