Lulamile Sibanda, WFTU Youth Secretariat member addressed on October 12th the National Conference of the NUMSA Youth Forum which convened in Johannesburg, South Africa from 12-14 October 2012.
The National Conference held important deliberations and the contemporary issues conserning the South African and international youth and elected the new youth leadership of the south african metalworkers. In the epicentre of the discussions was the denouncing of the youth wage subsidy which as the final declaration states “is all about advancing a two tier labour market”.
In his speech at the opening of the conference the WFTU Youth representative specified how the NUMSA Youth Conference is connected with the resolutions of the International Conference of the Working Youth that was held in Cuba on April 2012, “comrades, as the WFTU Youth Secretariat, we think your Conference must be about taking our Action Plan, as adopted by the WFTU 2nd Young Workers Conference, forward. This Conference must tackle the challenges of youth unemployment, labour brokers and the liberal youth wage subsidy. This Conference must be about transforming trade union consciousness into working class consciousness. This Conference, being the laboratory of progressive working class ideas, must be about developing a programme that will provide practical international solidarity to the people of Cuba, Palestine, Swaziland, Western Sahara and all the oppressed people’s of the world.”
Above you can read the whole speech of comrade Lulamile Sibanda:
“Comrades Chairperson and your leadership
Leadership of the Progressive Youth Alliance
Who are the selfless foot-soldiers of this great, growing, glorious, beautiful, red, REVOLUTIONARY, class-oriented Trade Union of Jabulile Ndlovu, Mbuyiselo Ngwenda and Mtutuzeli “Wowo” Tom!!! We are extending the most warmest, fraternal revolutionary greetings on behalf of the WFTU Youth Secretariat. Your Conference is unique and historic because of the contextual conditions that define the time and space within which it takes place. We gather here as Communists the world over celebrate the impeccable example of the 1917 Socialist Revolution! Ninety five years down the line, the that revolutionary example continues to teach us that the unity of the working class is paramount and sacrosanct!
Indeed, the working class cannot continue being a class-in-itself. It MUST be a class-for-itself!
We gather here as the ANC-led Mass Democratic Movement is celebrating the life and times of Cde OR Tambo, a towering giant of our National Liberation Struggle, and a revolutionary par excellence! Cde OR Tambo taught us that humility is an inherent quality of a revolutionary, and that revolutionaries must ALWAYS be prepared to learn, learn and learn!
Comrades, as the WFTU Youth Secretariat, we think your Conference must be about taking our Action Plan, as adopted by the WFTU 2nd Young Workers Conference, forward. This Conference must tackle the challenges of youth unemployment, labour brokers and the liberal youth wage subsidy. This Conference must be about transforming trade union consciousness into working class consciousness. This Conference, being the laboratory of progressive working class ideas, must be about developing a programme that will provide practical international solidarity to the people of Cuba, Palestine, Swaziland, Western Sahara and all the oppressed people’s of the world.
An injury to one, is an injury to all!!!
As we deliberate in this Conference, we must look into the mammoth, yet necessary task of TU Education and Training for young workers. These, MaQabane ka Tambo, ka Hani, ka Barayi, ka Ngwenda, are the political tasks of this important Conference.
Since Havana, the WFTU Youth Secretariat in different parts of the world, has been at hard work in implementing its Action Plan. In South Africa, we have been consistent in mobilizing young workers in pickets as we seek to expose the genocide perpetrated by the Zionist Israel against the Palestianian people. We have adopted FOCUS as our platform to continue to provide practical solidarity to the people of Cuba as they battle against the cruel, criminal US-imposed economic blockade. We have led young worker pioneers from the Franco-phone Africa to the 8th International Trade Union Forum, and a week-long TU mission with the ACFTU, and is affiliates.
As we move forward, this Conference must assist us in paving a way forward in preparing for the WFTU Africa Meeting of Working Youth. We have done some work in co-ordinating other affiliates from the African Continent, but more still needs to be done. We must also start from this Conference to think about preparing for the WFTU Young Workers Conference in 2015. As we move to the 30th Anniversary of COSATU, and the 70th Anniversary of WFTU, this must be our cardinal priority as young workers in South Africa and Africa.
This Conference must be about aggressively lobbying NEHAWU, CEPPWAWU and PORCRU to establish young worker sub-structures.
As you debate in this Conference, be reminded of what Lenin says about organisations:
“An organisation not based on principles is meaningless. In practice, it converts the working class into a miserable appendage of the bourgeoisie in power”.
We wish you a successful Conference, constructive in debates, instructive on resolutions.