NUMSA THREAT TO PICKET MBOWENI
THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsas) has lambasted Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni, calling him arrogant and are threatening more pickets.
Addressing the media yesterday, the union's general-secretary Irvin Jim said Mboweni had agreed to receive its memorandum last week during the march to the Bank's Pretoria headquarters, only to decline to do so on the day.
Defending Numsa's decision to march on the Reserve Bank, Jim said it was the constitutional and democratic right of any trade union in the country to peacefully demonstrate and deliver petitions to any public and constitutional office bearer.
He said: "Mboweni failed to discharge his public duty when he failed to either directly receive the petition or send his representative to do so."
With regard to the cutting of interest rates, Jim said: "Mboweni is not the Father Christmas of this country, and he should not act as if dropping the rates is a favour."
Jim said the Reserve Bank should uphold the 2007 ANC Polokwane conference resolutions and "target employment, not inflation".
The union's leadership will meet ANC general-secretary Gwede Mantashe after the latter criticised the union's march last week.
Mantashe said the march by Numsa members to the Reserve Bank was "not helpful".
"It is not a helpful tactic to march when the MPC is in an emergency meeting to look at the interest rates. It may be counter-productive, particularly when there is an ANC that is willing to engage," he said.
Numsa says it is opposed to inflation targeting and wants the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates more aggressively.
"We don't agree with Mantashe's utterances but we do not wish to engage with the ANC in public platforms," said Jim.
The Numsa leadership also vowed to continue with its marches to the Reserve Bank and said it would use this week's Cosatu central executive committee meeting to influence other leaders within the federation to join the looming rolling mass action.
Dawie Roodt of Efficient Group said Numsa's march to the Reserve Bank undermined what South Africans stood for.
"It is irresponsible because the Reserve Bank is independent and part of the reason for its independence is that in the process it will make some unpopular decisions," said Roodt.