Cosatu split

I’ve lost the plot somewhere. Why did NUMSA left Cosatu? From my (very small and not well informed) view point it looks good. Organized labor is far too powerful and by splitting the alliance they are doing the country a favor. Or do I miss the point?

The first paragraph of this article explains why Cosatu expelled Numsa. It goes on to examine the possible consequences.


But if Casatu, as a unit, could not get entirely what it want how will Numsa get it? Or is it more like, with Cosatu in the government’s control, they could not get it all? That the government toned them down, so to speak? Are their demands now going to be totally ridiculous?

I think Numsa will now go to court and the court will probably over turn the expulsion.

What happens next will be interesting.

But either way this is damaging to any cosatu and what it will be after it all ends will be interesting to see.

I think you misunderstand what has happened. Cosatu, the SACP and the ANC formed the so-called Tripartite Alliance which basically ensured that the ANC would be the political party of choice. That is, Cosatu and SACP members were encouraged to vote for the ANC.

Until its expulsion from Cosatu, Numsa, a very large trade union, was one of many trade unions and labour organisations that formed part of Cosatu. About a year ago, Numsa leadership decided that the ANC’s social and economic policies weren’t socialist enough and not sufficiently geared towards helping the poor. Cosatu disagreed and Numsa continued a strike over a protracted period. After much to and fro over the issue of government policies, Cosatu voted in favour of expelling Numsa from its ranks.

You must also remember that historically in SA, labour organisations were at least as much political instruments as trade unions in the traditional sense, an attribute they have unfortunately retained to the present day because the ANC feared that alienating the unions by stripping them of political power would cost it votes.

Anyway, Numsa might now start a political party of its own, one that is politically to the left of the ANC, diluting the ANC vote. Another option is that Numsa will back the EFF. The rest of the Tripartite Alliance remains intact for now, so it’s unlikely that Cosatu member unions will start making ridiculous demands. However, Numsa may well do so.


How I long for a world in which at least some substantial part of the populace understands that their best interests do not lie in the form of hand-outs.

As I’ve pointed out before I’m not Rand-ian in a strict sense, I’m all for social safety nets, to a degree even some form of minimum wage (On which my mind-jury is still out for lack of proper research). But I’m saddened how after all the huge failures, destroying the lives (when not taking it) of millions (if not billions) of this earth’s people, of communism… it’s still something people seriously consider as a boon to themselves and their countries. The sheer ignorance is STAGGERING.

How can people look to soviet Russia, or disease ridden rural (pre-capitalistic) China, or the murderous drug-ridden slums of parts of South America, and think: “Damn, that looks good! So much better than the UK or the USA!”. The sheer ignorance beggars belief.

To ride the old war-horse: It’s definition of insanity.

To quote Rand: “Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man’s rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims. When unlimited and unrestricted by individual rights, a government is mans’ deadliest enemy. It is not as protection against private actions, but against governmental actions that the Bill of Rights was written” “The Virtue of Selfishness” Rand A 1961.

At least what we see with NUMSA et al is so far still the workings of a faltering, possibly wounded democracy but as we see the conflict growing, one should grasp the reality that unions such as NUMSA and all COSATU affiliates are frankly illegitimate unions where the individual is obliged to join (no freedom of association any longer) and the legal structures in the country recognise these unions: in other words the rights of the individuals have been subordinated to the rights of a “group” and as Rand says: "Any doctrine of group activities that does not recognise (in a real way my insertion) individual rights, is a doctrine of mob rule… The harvest will inevitably be unavoidable conflict, reduction of civil rights, gangsterism, mob rule, a move to absolutism.

Don’t tell me your one of those.

I assume she knows a lot about politics and matters of economy. Why else would she have a national currency named after her?

Ayna! :wink:


A while ago Zuma or somebody said the ANC will rule till Jesus comes. Do the Cosatu split and the parliament circus mean he’s knocking on the door? The end is nigh! Take cover!

The great creating is nigh! 8)


Don’t tell me your one of those

Not sure which “those” you speak of. Objectivist? No: Capitalist? Yes: Philosopher? amateur: Communist/Socialist? absolutely bloody not!
I assume you are familiar with Rand’s works? Despite all the negative comments about her she was one of the last centuries’ more significant thinkers.

Ivo Vegter’s got an article in Daily Maveric not about Rand, but a bit of that kind of thinking. I like the idea of Bitcoin myself. The idea that it’s not some government or big corporation somewhere that pulls the strings.

Was just teasing you a bit.

From the little I’ve read and heard about her and her work, I’m not sure I want to get more familiar.

If you can read with a critical mindset I actually recommend you do read it.

There is a lot of vitriol in the world about her works, some fair, but most not. A lot of the disdain for her works is pure ad-hominem, based on demonizing her as a person, instead of tackling the validity of her reasoning, which you’ll find quite rigorous. She was nothing if not thorough. In the very least, her works will get your brain gears turning, as she does tend to make a good point quite often. There are extremists on both sides of the debate who refuse to see the work as an impetus for further thought.

In that regard, I myself found it highly useful, sometimes the trick is not knowing the answer, but knowing which questions to ask.

Here’s a thought provoking YouTube article on her by Sven Molineuax: Atlas Shrugged came 2nd only to the Babble as having influenced most Americans and both her Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged rated as #1 and #2 of world’s greatest 100 books of the 20th Century in 1998 beating Ulysses, The Grapes of Wrath etc. Not bad for a Russian lady who fled USSR and witnessed the pogroms etc.

Obviously Americans would like the book. It’s got trains in it.