Blacks 'worse off than dogs'
LIFE of most black people in South Africa is worse than those of dogs, says the National Union of Metal Workers of SA
The union's secretary, Irvin Jim, said the existing inequalities were a reflection of persisting apartheid capitalist economic and social relations.
"There are dogs that eat better food than black people in South Africa. The dog food is expensive compared with the food a (black) person eats in a day," he said.
He cautioned that unless the ANC-led government reverted to the Freedom Charter and nationalised key sectors of the economy, the ruling party should brace itself for a social revolution.
"Unemployment among Africans was estimated to be 38% in 1995 and stood at 45% in 2005. Now the unemployment rate among Africans is almost 50%. Among whites the unemployment rate is estimated to be around 6%.
"Being African reduces the chances of being employed by 90% in comparison to being white."
He said the fragmented intervention of the ANC government would not appease the previously dispossessed masses.
He said the ruling party should revisit its Freedom Charter and implement nationalisation.
"The share of income going to the majority of the people of South Africa who, by and large, are black and African working class and the rural poor clearly confirms that without nationalisation the commanding heights of the economy, the situation can only deteriorate."
He slated the task team that was assembled by the ANC to investigate the viability of nationalisation.
"That task team did not act according to the mandate of the ANC's NGC (national general council) and we think that is demoralising. They (task team) went to look for reasons why nationalisation should not happen."
"If you say nationalisation is not the route to go, then you must accept that the freedom charter must be dumped."
Jim was highly critical of the National Planning Commission (NPC) which he said has diverted from its core mandate.
He said Numsa objected to Minister Trevor Manuel being appointed as a political head since his previous conduct during the Thabo Mbeki era favoured capital.
"We have noted that the NPC in its diagnostics merely diagnosed the symptoms, rather than the root cause, of our development challenges, the underlying apartheid and colonial character of our economy and its social relation," he said.