A new political party that champions the rights of workers is on the cards ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has vowed to launch what it calls a workers’ party.

This was revealed at media briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

It says the party will focus on improving the lives of the poor and working class and work to realise promises made in the Freedom Charter.

According to Secretary General, Irvin Jim, “The central committee this year has resolved that we are now forming a workers’ party and we doing that work both overt and covert so if you thought we were going to call a big meeting and a rally and explain what we are doing on the ground we are not going to do that. We will do that at an appropriate time. But we can tell you that the central committee will be propelling the process of implementation for crystallising a workers’ party.”

While the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has cautiously welcomed the proposed minimum wage of R3500, Numsa says this amount is a slap in the face for the country’s lowest paid workers.

Jim has criticised Cosatu, saying the federation has lost its credibility and is now colluding with the African National Congress (ANC), pursuing the neo-liberal agenda.

They can’t support what they call a capitalist exploiter who seeks only to protect his own investments and that of white monopoly capital

The union has also weighed in on the ANC succession debate.

It has rejected calls to have Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa take over from President Jacob Zuma.

Jim says they can’t support what they call a capitalist exploiter who seeks only to protect his own investments and that of white monopoly capital.

He says all those supporting Ramaphosa are trying to appease the ratings agencies.

Numsa is expected to hold its 10th National Congress in Cape Town next week where its new political party will be launched.