Citizen Reporter
Reporter
1 minute read
28 Jul 2017
10:14 am

Numsa allegedly faces financial troubles, R500m reserve fund ‘raided’

Citizen Reporter

The relationship between the union's general secretary and his deputy is said to have been broken down by mistrust dating back to the union’s 2016 congress.

FILE PICTURE: Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Alaister Russell

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the country’s biggest trade union, is reportedly facing a serious internal rebellion and its finances are alleged to be in disarray.

The financial situation of the metalworkers’ union is apparently so bad it had to dip into its strike fund to pay salaries. The fund is a strategic reserve meant to provide workers with alternative income during prolonged strikes, Business Day reported on Friday.

According to Numsa’s unaudited financial statements seen by the paper, the union has been operating on a deficit budget for the past two years, and owes SA Revenue Service (Sars) R20 million in unpaid tax dating back to 2011.

Numsa members alleged a R500-million reserve fund established by the union’s former leadership had been raided.

The union’s general secretary, Irvin Jim, has also been accused of ruling with an iron fist, suspending and dismissing officials and leaders who question his decisions. Relations between Jim and his deputy, Karl Cloete, are also said to be tense as a result of mistrust dating back to the union’s 2016 congress.

Jim is reported to have revealed in his secretariat report to Numsa’s executive committee meeting this week in Johannesburg that the union might have to retrench some staff. Its head offices and regional offices would also have to be restructured.

Numsa acting spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi declined to comment on the allegations, as there was a central executive committee meeting in progress at the time of publication. But sources close to Jim dismissed the claims against him and played down the union’s financial troubles.

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