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southern africa / migration / racism Monday December 16, 2013 00:39 by Shawn Hattingh and Lucien van der Walt
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The destruction of the apartheid state form, with its odious policies of coercion and racism, was a major triumph for the working class in South Africa and elsewhere, showing that ordinary people can challenge and defeat systems that seem quite unbreakable. Mandela did play a heroic role, but was also the first to admit that “It is not the kings and generals that make history but the masses of the people, the workers, the peasants, the doctors, the clergy." And indeed, it was the black working class, above all, that through struggle tore down many features of apartheid by the late 1980s, such as the pass law system, the Group Areas Act and numerous other odious laws and policies.

The 1994 transition in South Africa was a political revolution, a break with the apartheid and colonial periods of state-sanctioned white supremacy, a “massive advance” in the conditions of the majority. It introduced a new state, based on non-racialism, in which South Africa was to be a multi-racial, multi-cultural but unified country, founded on human rights; welfare and social policy and legislation was transformed; capitalism was kept in place, but despite this, there were very massive and very real changes, political and material, that made qualitative differences in the daily lives of millions of black and working class people. And for millions, it is precisely the association of Mandela with that victory and with those changes that makes him so emotionally powerful.

Yet at the same time, Mandela’s policies and politics had important limitations that must be faced if the current quandary of South Africa, nearly 20 years later, is to be understood. Mandela never sold out: he was committed to a reformed capitalism, and a parliamentary democracy, and unified South Africa based on equal civil and political rights, a project in which black capitalists and black state elites would loom large. These goals have been achieved, but bring with them numerous problems that must be faced up if the final liberation – including national liberation – of South Africa’s working class is to be achieved.

The 1994 breakthrough was a major victory, but it was not the final one, for a final one requires a radical change in society, towards a libertarian and socialist order based on participatory democracy, human needs rather than profit and power, and social and economic justice, and attention to issues of culture and the psychological impact of apartheid.

As long as the basic legacy of apartheid remains, in education, incomes, housing and other spheres, and as long as the working class of all races is excluded from basic power and wealth by a black and white ruling class, so long will the national question – the deep racial / national divisions in South Africa, and the reality of ongoing racial/ national oppression for the black, Coloured and Indian working class – remain unresolved. And so long will it continue to generate antagonisms and conflicts, the breeding ground for rightwing populist demagogy, xenophobia and crime. By contrast, a powerful black elite, centred on the state and with a growing corporate presence, has achieved its national liberation.

southern africa / repression / prisoners Thursday May 09, 2013 23:48 by TAAC, iWAC, ZACF
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Umthetho sisekelo walelizwe uthembisa amalungelo epolitiki nokulingana kwabantu. Kucacile ukuthi osozimali nosomapolitiki bazenzela umathanda. Banyathela ubuso babantu baseMzansi. Isibonelo esidumile esamaphoyisa ebulala abasebenzi bezimayini zaseLonmin Marikana.

Abantu! Kumele sibhekane neqiniso. Uhulumeni we-ANC nezikhulu zosozimali yibona abashaya isicathulo. Indlela yokwenziwa kwezinto eMzansi yenza abanemali neziqumama bakhukhumale. Abasebenzi nabahlupheki bazabalaze. Asinasisekelo. Uyasebenza, kodwa awukwazi ukuphila. Amanani okudla ayanyuka ngala. UGESI uyanyuka ngale. Kumele sikhokhe? Ngani? Mesizabalaza sigqugquzelana, siyadutsulwa.

[seTswana] [English] [Italiano] [Français] [Ελληνικά ]

southern africa / indigenous struggles Thursday February 14, 2013 20:31 by Lucien van der Walt
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2012 is the centenary of the African National Congress (ANC). The party that started out as a small coterie of black businessmen, lawyers and chiefs is today the dominant political formation in South Africa.

It was founded by the black elite who were marginalised by the united South Africa formed in 1910, and who appeared at its Bloemfontein inauguration “formally dressed in suits, frock coats, top hats and carrying umbrellas”. Today it is allied via the Tripartite Alliance to the SA Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

Can the ANC be a vehicle for fundamental, progressive, social change in the interests of the black, Coloured and Indian working classes (proletariat), still mired in the legacy of apartheid and racial domination? This is what Cosatu (and the SACP) suggest.

southern africa / workplace struggles Monday September 17, 2012 19:06 by Shawn Hattingh
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Sugar workers

This article explores, from an anarchist perspective, the sugar industry in southern Africa, and how the two dominant companies - Illovo and Tongaat-Hulett - exploit and oppress workers and communities surrounding their operations.

Southern Africa has become well known for being one of the cheapest places to produce sugar. Millions of tons are produced in the region every year and two companies have come to dominate much of this lucrative industry: Illovo Sugar and Tongaat-Hulett, who have once again declared massive annual profits. Illovo and Tongaat-Hullett have publicly claimed that despite their drive to maximise profits and their self-declared goals of becoming the cheapest sugar producers in the world; they have also played a valuable social role in the southern Africa. Both companies have publicly declared that they care deeply about the welfare of workers, claiming they are well paid, respected and valued. And they have repeatedly highlighted their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, including work around HIV/AIDS and outgrowing schemes. This has all been used by these two companies to argue that they play a very positive role in society.

Unfortunately, much of this is a public relations campaign that is designed to sugar coat the shady practices of these two companies. In reality, both of these companies’ profits are based on paying abysmal wages.

southern africa / repression / prisoners Monday August 20, 2012 21:17 by ZACF/ TAC/ IWAC
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Joint statement on the Marikana Massacre issued by the Tokologo Anarchist Collective, Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front and Inkululeko Wits Anarchist Collective.

The Constitution promises political rights and equality. It is quite clear that the bosses and politicians do exactly as they wish. They walk on the faces of the people. This is shown by the police killings of strikers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.

[Ελληνικά] [Français] [Português] [Italiano] [seTswana] [isiZulu]

  • WSA Statement on Marikana Massacre

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    Neste 8 de Março, levantamos mais uma vez a nossa voz e os nossos punhos pela vida das mulheres!

    Neste 8 de Março, levantamos mais uma vez a nossa voz e os nossos punhos pela vida das mulheres!

    Southern Africa

    Wed 01 Apr, 17:15

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    ICU meeting July 1929, South Africa imageThe relevance of the ICU of Africa for modern day unions and liberation movements Dec 12 14:58 by Warren McGregor (ZACF) 0 comments

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    a.jpg imageMoving from Crisis in South Africa's Municipalities to Building Counter-Power Jul 19 22:09 by Bongani Maponyane 0 comments

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    saftu1024x768.jpg imageRebuilding the workers’ movement for counter-power, justice and self-management May 28 17:53 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

    Lekhetho Mtetwa imageA ZACF Anarchist in the Landless People’s Movement, South Africa Apr 06 00:57 by Lekhetho Mtetwa 0 comments

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    hammer_sickle.png imageA Workers’ Party and Elections or Class Struggle? Feb 26 17:32 by Warren McGregor 0 comments

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    herwar01s.jpg imageGenocidio In Namibia Jan 07 16:53 by Gianni Sartori 0 comments

    pollution.jpg imageSouth Africa’s polluting giants: it’s about profits and class Dec 07 19:20 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

    warren.jpg imageBuilding black working class counter-power against state, capital and national oppression Nov 13 19:11 by Warren McGregor 0 comments

    selbysemela.jpg imageΈφυγε ένας Νοτιο^... Sep 01 14:21 by ZACF 0 comments

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    boiketlong4.jpg image[South Africa] Renewed appeal for Solidarity with the Boiketlong 4 Aug 15 07:09 by Solidarity with the Boiketlong 4 0 comments

    correll_voa_21535371w.jpg imageTearing racism up from its capitalist roots: An African anarchist-communist approach Aug 10 22:21 by Bongani Maponyane 0 comments

    uf.jpg imageLeft unity, left cooperation or a working class front? Jul 21 05:45 by Warren McGregor 2 comments

    again1.jpg imageSouth Africa: Minimum wages can’t end suffering when the rich abuse the poor May 12 19:31 by Bongani Maponyane 0 comments

    textAbahlali baseMjondolo to hold their annual UnFreedom Day rally tomorrow Apr 22 02:43 by Abahlali baseMjondolo 0 comments

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    'Workers' rights are human rights' demonstration against new Labour Bills, 21 March 2018, Johannesburg. Photo: Nimet Arikan imageNew Labour Bills attack workers' rights and democracy Mar 28 01:14 by Jonathan Payn 0 comments

    cosatu__educate_consolidate_advance_colour.jpg imageAlternatives from the Ground Up Mar 17 21:59 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

    zimbabwepolitics.jpg imageWhere to now Zimbabwe? An anarchist / syndicalist perspective after the dust has settled Mar 08 05:57 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

    ramaphosa.jpg imageOut with the old, in with the not so new Feb 19 14:58 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

    fosatu_logo.png imageSouth African ‘Workerism’ in the 1980s: Learning from FOSATU’s Radical Unionism Dec 13 18:23 by Lucien van der Walt, with Sian Byrne and Nicole Ulrich* 0 comments

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