Deregistration claims anger Numsa
Numsa denied reports today that it was going to be deregistered as a union by the labour department.
"The [union] feels extremely angry, dismayed and provoked by the allegation..." National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim told reporters in Johannesburg.
He said the union had answered all the labour department's queries about its submission yesterday.
It received a letter from the department with minor queries early in August. From this it emerged that the department thought Numsa was auditing its national and regional accounts separately.
"We have given them proof that Numsa is a national union and therefore our national account is inclusive of regional expenditure," Jim said.
He said this was a minor issue which could have been resolved over the telephone.
The union had also been asked for its 2010 audit, as the department had only a draft version.
"We have accounted for all their queries," he said.
"Such a process could have been done without creating a big, wrong perception about Numsa, and in our view their reliance on a registered post mail was extremely bureaucratic."
Jim said the meeting on Wednesday ended with an agreement that the department would, from now on, communicate directly with Numsa by e-mail, and that Numsa had provided adequate explanations to the queries.
The Sowetan reported on Wednesday that most Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliates had not submitted audited financial statements and membership figures since 2009, in contravention of the Labour Relations Act.
It reported that only two Cosatu unions had complied with the act, which requires unions to submit audited financial statements, membership figures, and lists of office bearers, by March 31 each year.
It was suggested that close to 1.7 million workers, all of them members of the 16 unions that face deregistration should the labour department fully adhere to the Labour Relations Act, could lose their bargaining power.
Jim said the union was concerned that members might believe the report and lose confidence in Numsa's leadership.
"We can confirm to our members that our union is extremely healthy and it is organisationally strong."
He said reports such as The Sowetan article were proof that Numsa, Cosatu, and its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, were under attack.
"We think Zwelinzima Vavi has become a target."
There was an attempt to discredit him because he had been outspoken against issues such as e-tolling and labour brokers, Jim said.
He declined to comment on the unrest at Lonmin's Marikana mine in North West.
It was a sensitive matter and anything he said could possibly be misinterpreted, he said. "We wish the parties involved the best of luck."
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) has also denied that it will be deregistered.
"The organisation continues to grow from strength to strength. Our membership is rocketing and we are internationally recognised," spokesman Asanda Fongqo said in a statement.
He said Denosa continued to play a pivotal role in the country and remained the biggest union organising for nurses in South Africa.
"Therefore any reports about deregistration of our organisation are unfounded."