“…World Federation of Trade Unions and NUMSA.
The WFTU has a long history with South Africa’s own liberation movement. When SACTU, the forerunner of COSATU was banned with all people’s organisations in 1960, the WFTU became a home away from home for the leadership of SACTU.
Two years ago, NUMSA took a conscious decision to affiliate to WFTU. Our decision was questioned by many organisations, at home and in foreign lands. Our explanation which has not changed, is that we believe that the call for workers of the world to unite is a progressive call. We said that if our affiliation to WFTU will start a process of the total unity of all workers, we would have contributed in something very important for the working class as NUMSA.
We want to invite more affiliates of COSATU to join us in the WFTU family. We currently have NEHAWU and NUMSA. CEPPAWU’s discussion on affiliation is an advanced stage, but we are already with them in all our campaigns. Please allow me to give a special welcome to these affiliates of our federation. Many comrades have attended the other events organised by our other comrades from our other global federations, I invite all comrades to listen carefully to the input by our General Secretary, Cde Mavrikos and make up their minds!
I wish to thank the leadership of WFTU for deciding to bring the next Presidential Council to our country in February next year. We are looking forward to a successful meeting. The Africa office of WFTU, led by Cde Lulamile Sotaka and Cde Vuyo Bikistha will work very hard to ensure a smoothly coordinated meeting.
NUMSA AND CLIMATE CHANGE
This seminar is a culmination of the NUMSA Central Committee resolution that we took in August 2011. This is what we resolved:
· The Central Committee endorsed a call for a socially owned renewable energy sector.
· The Central Committee resolved to introduce a need for a socially owned renewable energy sector in the current nationalisation debate.
· The CC resolved to convene a workshop on renewable energy in February 2012.
· The CC resolved to set up a worker controlled Research and Development Group on climate change.
Preceding the above resolution was an in-depth discussion on the dangers facing the working class on climate change. The two extremes were identified, the maximalist ( close the smelters) and the green capitalism project informed by negotiated(win/win) transition to renewable energy. It is an undisputed fact that there can never be a win/win outcome in a class struggle.
Our view is that the language of ‘just transition’ needs a class analysis. We believe that a ‘just transition’ can become a disarming term for the working class if we are not careful. It must always be able clear that capitalism has caused the crisis of climate change that we see today.
The solutions to the crisis of capitalism do not lie in finding the appropriate regulation, but in the extent to which movements are able to wage a worldwide process of class struggle from below, that seeks profound changes in worldwide relations of production and the reproduction of human life.
NUMSA believes that the new envisaged renewable energy sector must be in the hands of the state. We see an opportunity for our government and the developing countries to opt out of reliance on the foreign owned technologies in developing a path towards a renewable energy future.
There is an urgent need to situate the question of climate change in a class struggle perspective. This is necessary in order to collectively become strong enough to face the period ahead as the worldwide climate crisis and crisis of capitalism intensify. This is a long- term process. It will not be solved in a 1-day seminar. The NUMSA seminar merely seeks to contribute to such a discussion.
We hope that this historic seminar will allow us to explore the resolutions of NUMSA Central Committee even further, informing the content of the February 2012 conference on socially owned renewable energy sector. This seminar and the conference must ultimately feed into the 9th national congress agenda for climate change.
I invite all participants to freely participate in the discussions today. NUMSA is what it is today because it allows debate to take place.
Asikhulume! Thank you ”