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The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has called for a review of the constitution, and will lobby for a national strike to compel the government to scrap SA’s macroeconomic policies, its general secretary, Irvin Jim, said yesterday.
Numsa is the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (Cosatu’s) second-largest affiliate, and a powerful voice in the federation. Under Mr Jim the union is quickly gaining notoriety for its radical and provocative proposals to transform the economy.
Fresh from Numsa’s national congress last week, Mr Jim said only drastic changes to SA’s economic trajectory would address poverty and inequality.
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"We would want to do everything possible to convince our African National Congress (ANC) in the policy conference and towards December that the macroeconomic framework adopted in 1996 has failed the country," he said yesterday.
"That macroeconomic framework - its name is Gear (Growth, Employment and Redistribution), was about growth, employment and redistribution. It has failed all those targets."
Numsa would lobby Cosatu to issue a strike notice and "take to the streets" to compel the government to abandon its policies. It resolved to review the property clause in the constitution to allow for the expropriation of land, mines, the Reserve Bank and monopoly industries.
"The Freedom Charter said mineral wealth, banks and monopoly industries must be returned to the people as a whole, and this is not for manipulation by black or white, and on this we are not narrowly pursuing now another race ticket," Mr Jim said.
"Equal access to the economy of this country is in the best interest of both black and white."
The ANC requires a 70% majority in Parliament to change the constitution.
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