Neue Veranstaltungshinweise

Southern Africa

Es wurden keine neuen Veranstaltungshinweise in der letzten Woche veröffentlicht

Kommende Veranstaltungen

Southern Africa | Miscellaneous

Keine kommenden Veranstaltungen veröffentlicht

No Illusions: 2016 Elections no Solution for the Masses

category southern africa | miscellaneous | opinion / analysis author Freitag Januar 29, 2016 17:12author by Warren McGregor - TAAC, ZACFauthor email tokologo.aac at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Published in "Tokologo: Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective", numbers 5/6, November 2015

Many in the working class hope the 2016 local government elections will prove a turning point. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) won the 2014 elections easily, but its grip is weakening. The ANC-allied Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) has split, the radical metal union NUMSA expelled. The ANC could even lose control of at least one of giant "metro" municipality in 2016, possibly greater Johannesburg or Nelson Mandela Bay - probably to the moderate Democratic Alliance (DA), not the ANC breakaway, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).


We anarchists and anarchist sympathisers in the TAAC (and ZACF) have stated consistently our opposition to elections to state power. State institutions of political power are the graveyard of the struggles of the working class and poor. Elected representatives, no matter what party, are quickly co-opted into these wealthy halls of ruling class power, no matter their origins. There they wheel-and- deal with others in the ruling class, including full-time (and unelected) senior state managers, like the directors and generals, and the capitalists who spend time and money lobbying, bribing and striking business deals with the politicians.

All state policies are in in the interests of furthering exploitation and profit-making. The only exception is where mass power forces politicians and bosses to make changes - out of fear. The massive student struggles of 2015 forced a fee freeze in all universities, as well as an end to outsourcing (privatisation) in some - achieving more in 2 weeks than EFF actions in parliament did in 2 years. Struggle is how you win change, not dropping paper into a box every few years.


The ANC rules, again, over a "better life" for the ruling class, the capitalists and state managers, with massive economic problems, unemployment and poverty for the rest of us. Its much-praised welfare system papers over the cracks, but does not come close to ending poverty and suffering with its tiny grants, and lack of assistance to the unemployed millions. Corruption by both politicians and capitalists, disastrous management by party "cadres" in SABC, ESKOM and other state enterprises, and neo- liberal policies are the sign of the dark times. New Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has repeatedly promoted austerity in his budgets and speeches. The ANC has meanwhile centralised executive power in the Presidency and Treasury, making parliament even more useless than normal.

But the problem is not just the ANC, let alone ANC leader President Jacob Zuma - as rival parties like to pretend. The state, by its very nature, ensures the exploitation and domination of the working class and poor, and it corrupts and co-opts all who sit at its head.


The EFF has proved no exception. EFF leaders signed a public pledge (the "Sankara Oath") stating they and their families would use state facilities like schools and hospitals, consult the masses and build an honest state.

Within hours of taking office, EFF MPs broke this promise, and also added that they would be making full use of generous parliamentary salaries and perks, like free flights. As for honesty, Malema's expensive lawyers have spent the last few years helping him dodge jail time for corruption, racketeering and tax fraud, arising from extensive involvement in corrupt privatisation contracts.

And consultation? The EFF is top- down in character, held together by the expelled leadership of the ANC Youth League, notably Malema and Floyd Shivambu.

3 EFF MPs were expelled in 2015 after providing evidence Malema used EFF funds for personal expenses. The 2014 EFF national conference post- elections was also used to purge critics, and other heavy-handed interventions into branches and regions also helped centre power in the Malema group.

The EFF sees the gap in the voting market as African youth stuck in impoverished townships, as well as struggling workers battling vicious bosses. Like the ANC itself, the EFF knows the value of staying in the public eye, of grand promises, of a rhetoric continually referencing "revolutionary" slogans, yet devoid of any revolutionary action, of politics built around the uncritical support for charismatic leaders, and of using party funds to build a network of patronage to centralise power.


The obsession of historically white-owned media with Malema, as "black bogeyman," provides free publicity. To access state office and benefits, it needs their votes; this is the aim of events like the "pay-back-the-money" shouting campaign in parliament. (Even so, EFF still secured only 6% of the vote in 2014 - more youth stayed away from voting than voted EFF).

Fundamentally, EFF is built on spectacular publicity stunts arranged from above, empty promises (like the 2015 land occupation campaign that was quietly cancelled), multi-million dollar rallies with free t-shirts, and so-called "socialist" catch-phrases to win poor black people's votes e.g. "nationalisation," "economic emancipation," "land reform." Its ideology is shifting, but has strong flavours of exclusivist Africanist (anti-minority) nationalism and Marxist-Leninist rhetoric, to brand it as radical and take the space the ANC seems to have vacated.


This type of politics is no basis for revolutionary transformation. It keeps the system where the masses are spectators, not players, where freedom is seen as something brought from on high, by great leaders, where change comes through parties and elections - not from the people, themselves. And its nationalism, hiding class divisions, including between the (wealthy) ANC and EFF leaderships and their (poor) mass voting base, further confuses the issues.

The 2016 elections will simply repeat the politics of spectacles, of the circus of politics, based on the 3 main parties. Nothing will be achieved, hopes will be dashed, and at most some faces in the ruling class will change.


We in the TAAC again declare that the state is in no way the avenue for working class struggle. It is a site of ruling class power - and no matter the colour of your beret, whether black (ANC), blue (DA) or red (EFF), you and your party cannot change this essential characteristic of state power - it will change your party.

By voting you give your right to create social change to a party, a bunch of people you don't know, to do as they wish. Real working class power lives in our organisations - trade unions and grassroots social movements, organised democratically - and in our spaces - the streets, the neighbourhoods, the shop-floor, the meetings. Here we must do the hard work of building a working class counterculture for revolutionary transformation, and through daily struggle, build counter-power against the ruling class and their institutions, the state and corporations, to create the change we want.

We continue the call:


Verwandter Link:
This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
George Floyd: one death too many in the “land of the free”

Southern Africa | Miscellaneous | en

Do 03 Dez, 09:59

browse text browse image

textAnarchism, Ethnicity and the Battle of the ANC Clones 16:18 Di 28 Okt by Jon 0 comments

Once again we, the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), have to defend our political tradition from bourgeois politicians, this time on both sides of the ANC split, and explain to them what exactly is meant by a term that they throw about without actually knowing its meaning.

textReal Human Freedom Not Fake Human Rights 03:46 Fr 21 Mär by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

South Africa is said to have one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. It enshrines the rights of every person, of every background, from workers and immigrants to women and homosexuals. As such you would think that, especially for people from oppressed groups, South Africa would be a safe haven.

imageSurviving Zimbabwe: An anarchist critique Mär 19 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

This article, with the guidance of anarchism as a theory, provides a critical analysis of Zimbabwe and its current state, arguing against simple analysis and going beyond individual politics. The real, underlying problem is a society governed by a class system under the control of a predatory state that cannot survive a day without the exploitation of its people. It is essential to organize and educate the masses for a revolution they can claim as their own, against all forms of oppression and that builds on everyday struggles to improve the deplorable conditions of Zimbabwe.

imageAlternatives from the Ground Up Mär 17 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

This commentary, an input at a Globalization School debate in Cape Town, engages current labor and Left debates on building alternatives, drawing on the experiences of the radical wing of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and on anarchism and syndicalism. It argues for a strategy of bottom-up mobilization based on debate and pluralism, and building structures of counter-power and a revolutionary counter-culture that can prefigure and create a new social order. The aim is to foster a class-based movement against exploitation, domination, and oppression, including national oppression, that can win reforms through self-activity, unite a range of struggles against oppression, and develop the capacity and unity needed for deep social change. This should be outside parliament, the political party system and the state. The outcome, ultimately, would be the replacement of capitalism, the state, and social and economic inequality, by a universal human community based on self-management, the democratization of daily life, participatory economic planning, and libertarian socialism.

imageWhere to now Zimbabwe? An anarchist / syndicalist perspective after the dust has settled Mär 08 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

It’s been around 100 days since the birth of a “new” Zimbabwe: 37 years of authoritarian rule by Robert Mugabe ended when Emmerson Mnangagwa took power through a soft military coup . But what has changed, what we can we expect now? This paper argues that no deep changes are taking place. The slight liberalizing of political life and some promises of economic reform (good and bad) do matter. But the changes in the White House of Zimbabwe centre on removing one vicious state capitalist manager to make way for another, and will not bring liberation for the masses. This replacement does not address the problems Zimbabwe faces: a ruthless ruling class, a predatory state, crisis-ridden capitalism and imperialism. The problem is not individuals: the system is the problem. This paper argues against Mugabe and Mnangagwa, but also against the state as a form of social organization and against the idea that states can be used for liberating the people. All states oppress the working class, peasantry and poor, and the state in Zimbabwe is just an extreme example of how states are based on repression, corruption and promoting the interests of economic and political elites (the ruling class). It rejects the notion that Mugabe was a champion of the poor and landless, and the claim that his ousting was a defeat for progressive forces. But it has no illusions in Mnangagwa. True, real freedom will never come through parliament, or military take- overs, or old men who take turns to spout out neo-liberal or ultra-nationalist rhetoric, while their hands are covered in blood. It can only come from mass action and organising, the transformative engine to build real democratic, stateless socialism based on self-management, freedom political tolerance and common property (anarchism).

imageOut with the old, in with the not so new Feb 19 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

The article looks at the structural reasons why Ramaphosa replacing Zuma as the head of state in South Africa won't end corruption.

imageThe Way Forward for South Africa Nov 07 by Nkululeko Khubisa 0 comments

South Africa is in a mess. That is clear, more than 20 years since the end of apartheid. We have won many things. It was our struggle that beat apartheid laws and the old government. But we are not free yet. Corruption, poverty, job losses, hatred, violence, the apartheid legacy are all part of the mess.

What is the way forward for South Africa? It is struggle by the masses of the people for a better society.

What does that require?

more >>

textAnarchism, Ethnicity and the Battle of the ANC Clones Okt 28 Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

Once again we, the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), have to defend our political tradition from bourgeois politicians, this time on both sides of the ANC split, and explain to them what exactly is meant by a term that they throw about without actually knowing its meaning.

textReal Human Freedom Not Fake Human Rights Mär 21 0 comments

South Africa is said to have one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. It enshrines the rights of every person, of every background, from workers and immigrants to women and homosexuals. As such you would think that, especially for people from oppressed groups, South Africa would be a safe haven.

© 2005-2020 Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]