South Africa’s trade union NUMSA says it was laying ground for a new ‘working class’ political party

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s biggest trade union, the 340,000-strong National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA), said today it was laying the ground for a new ‘working class’ political party.

Union spokesman Castro Ngobese announced the launch of a new platform, called the United Front Movement for Socialism, that would group together left-leaning organisations to fight for better education, healthcare and municipal services for South Africa’s poor.

This would be ‘a build up to the formation of an independent political party of the working class,’ he told AFP.

Last year, NUMSA broke with the ruling African National Congress (ANC), complaining the policies of the former liberation movement had become too capitalist.

NUMSA has called a nationwide strike on March 19 to demand more pro-labour government policies as an election looms in Africa’s largest economy in May.

The union’s executive committee will discuss the new party next year, he said.