Daniel Silke, director of the Political Futures Consultancy, says the situation will pose a bigger challenge to the ANC than the left-wing uprising of Julius Malema.
“The ANC now faces a more serious threat, an intellectual threat coming from a trade unionist base. I think from a leftist perspective it’s much more important for a trade unionist worker’s political party to have that intellectual basis to it,” he said.
All eyes will be on the ANC as the local elections approach. Silke says there are questions around whether a new political party can take votes away from the ANC.
“The real danger for the ANC is that even if a NUMSA or trade union political party is not a mass based party, it can still prevent the ANC from gaining overall control in key metro areas around South Africa,” said Silke.
He adds that the situation has also provided the ANC and opportunity to act.
“This may be an opportunity for the ANC to bite the bullet, to be courageous, to have the political courage in a sense to move forward having shed perhaps one of the more disruptive elements within Cosatu at the moment,” he said.
Silke says that it will, however, take a lot to develop a new left wing alternative that will be able to challenge the ANC.
“Starting new political movements in South Africa is not easy and even for a trade union based federation like NUMSA it will have to spend huge amounts of money, it will have to gain much more than just a breakaway philosophy to actually expand its foot print in the country,” said Silke.
“I think we are on the cusp of a much more interesting and much more combative and competitive political system in South Africa. This is perhaps the real first salvo in the battle for ideology.”
(WATCH VIDEO: Economic impact of Numsa strike)
Over the weekend Irvin Jim, Numsa’s general secretary, said they are going to contest the expulsion. Numsa will launch a national united front in December and they are inviting socialist leading organisations like the EFF to a socialist conference.