Nzimande heaps scorn on labour brokers

South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Addressing the ninth congress of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) in Durban, he also had a dig at the department of public works.

He said it should employ more people to do the government’s work instead of giving out tenders to the private sector.

“All companies that win major infrastructure tenders from government must not use labour brokers,” Nzimande said.

“No one will be given a tender by government if he or she is using labour brokers.”

Nzimande, who is also the country’s higher education minister, warned that corruption as a result of government tenders could dislodge the party from government.

He said that the ANC itself was not a corrupt organisation, but there were possibly corrupt individuals.

Public works programmes such as public housing should not be put to tender, but should be completed by the department of public works.

“Workers must be employed to do this work on a permanent and an ongoing basis so that we de-tenderise the state.”

Nzimande also said there was a need for the “socialisation” of the country’s financial sector and a need for “strategic control over public and financial institutions”.

“We are going to intensify the struggle for workers to make sure that they have an effective say over the investment of their pension and provident funds.”

He claimed middlemen were fleecing Numsa’s pension funds.

Nzimande said if there were trillions of rands in pension funds, there was no reason workers should not receive a housing subsidy.

Referring to the proposed national health insurance programme, he urged the government to ensure it was not exploited by private companies.

The global financial crisis was ensuring that “racialised poverty and racialised inequality” remained in the country.

He urged the SACP and Numsa to iron out their differences directly and not through the media. - Sapa

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