In this speach, originally published at Anarcho-Syndicalist Review # 61, Lucien van der Walt, invited speaker at the 2013 inaugural National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) Political School, debated anarcho-syndicalist versus Leninist views of the potential of trade unions, with Solly Mapaila, Second Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP). The NUMSA Political School was held at Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa, September 13-18, 2013, on the theme of “The Political Role of Trade Unions in the Struggle for Socialism.” NUMSA is the largest trade union in South Africa: an affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), NUMSA has been a radical opponent of the policies of the ruling African National Congress to which both COSATU and the SACP are formally allied. This transcript captures Lucien van der Walt’s main points, as well as selections from the other speakers where they are essential to understanding the discussion. It has been lightly edited for publication. Initial input in response to David Masondo’s presentation, titled “From Rustenburg to Ongoye: The Evolution of the SACP’s Programmatic Approach”.
* Download the complete article here: Lucien van der Walt – Speech to Metalworkers