United Front will no longer contest polls
The United Front will not contest any elections in the future.
This, as metal workers union Numsa started its new Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party that would contest the 2019 general elections.
On Tuesday, the new party’s interim national chair, Zanoxolo Wayile, said the role of the United Front was to mobilise the community and champion its plight, while the new party would fight for the working class.
Wayile said it was never the intention to have the United Front contest elections.
“When there were elections in 2016, our members asked us if we’re going to fold arms while it’s elections.
“The United Front nationally said it would not obstruct its own structures from contesting if they felt they were in a state of readiness and also received pressure from their communities. The United Front is not a permanent feature.
“The United Front’s role is to continue advancing the struggles of communities, the working classes and churches.”
Wayile said the new party was a result of the decision taken by Numsa members at the special national congress in 2013 to establish a party to champion workers’ rights.
He said in terms of the 2019 elections, the new party was not power-hungry, but noted that the contest for political power was important for the working class.
Wayile said it had not been ruled out that the party would contest elections in the near future.
“The near future will be decided by the congress of the workers’ party.
“That congress may be in December or early January.
“We, as the interim structure, can’t pronounce on fundamental policy matters; the congress has constitutional powers to pronounce on those issues.
“There’s huge pressure from our people – from the workers – that we pronounce on the 2019 elections, not as Numsa because it will remain a trade union,” he said.
“We will go to all workers and trade unions, whether they’re in Cosatu, Fedusa [Federation of Unions of SA] and any trade union movement because workers can differ through federations but work as a class can’t be separated, but rather need to be organised as a class in itself and also as a class for itself.”
The goals of the new party include fighting capitalism, which it claims is a failed system in SA.
On Friday, Numsa was granted permission to register the political party after the Independent Electoral Commission rejected its application in July due to an issue over its name and logo.
The registration was rejected on the basis that the colour and the logo of the party were similar to those of other parties and could confuse voters.
Meanwhile, branches and interim positions have been set up to raise awareness.
The new party’s interim national working committee member, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, reiterated that the United Front was never a political party but rather it was formed to link workers’ struggles with community-based struggles.
“The UF and [Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party] are two completely separate entities. [The new party] is a political party while the UF is a community-based lobby group.
“The UF contesting elections in Nelson Mandela Bay back in 2016 was a once-of f. It was an exception because members in Port Elizabeth insisted,” Hlubi-Majola said.