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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.

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  • WSA Statement on Marikana Massacre

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    Southern Africa

    Wed 24 Jan, 13:47

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    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

    uf.jpg imageLessons from the 1984-85 Vaal Uprising for Rebuilding a 'United Front' of Communities and ... Dec 13 18:12 by Jonathan Payn 0 comments

    460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_udf.jpg imageΠρακτικές αυτο-ο`... Dec 11 19:43 by Daria Zelenova 0 comments

    textLe vieux et le Coup d’État Dec 06 09:58 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

    udf.jpg imagePractices of Self-Organisation in South Africa: The Experience of the 1980s and its Implic... Dec 05 23:37 by Daria Zelenova 0 comments

    zimbabwe1758992_960_720.png imageThe Old Man and the Coup Dec 01 18:39 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

    sebokengphoto0042.jpg imageThe Cheap Politics that Destroy Our Communities Nov 07 23:24 by Nonzukizo Mute 0 comments

    anarchistbanneratantiprivatisationforummarchjohannesburgca2007.jpg imageThe Way Forward for South Africa Nov 07 23:19 by Nkululeko Khubisa 0 comments

    Protest in Freedom Park, south of Johannesburg on 8 May. Photo by: Jonathan Payn (ZACF) imageSouth Africa: Fueling the Fire Oct 12 19:58 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

    textNote on adherence to international solidarity against the criminalization of poverty and p... Aug 28 11:57 by CAB 0 comments

    textDesde Uruguay, solidaridad con los cuatro de Boiketlong Aug 16 08:48 by Resistencia Obrero Estudiantil 0 comments

    textSolidarity with the Boiketlong 4 from Uruguay Aug 16 08:41 by Resistencia Obrero Estudiantil 0 comments

    460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_b4s_2.jpg image[Appel à solidarité] Les « Quatre de Boiketlong » et la criminalisation de la pauvreté et ... Aug 04 20:43 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

    text[Appello di solidarietà] I ‘4 di Boiketlong’ e la criminalizzazione della povertà e della ... Aug 04 15:27 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

    text[Llamado a la solidaridad] Los “cuatro de Boiketlong” y la criminalización de la pobreza y... Aug 04 03:51 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

    b4s.png image[Call for Solidarity] The ‘Boiketlong Four’ and the Criminalisation of Poverty and Protest Jul 26 04:50 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

    Credit: eNCA / Xoli Mngambi imageSAFTU: The tragedy and (hopefully not) the farce Jun 27 23:19 by Mandy Moussouris 0 comments

    Credits: Ilanit Chernick imageFuelling the fires: South Africa in class war Jun 09 19:56 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

    Women constructing a shelter on occupied land at Bush Koppies. Photo: Lekhetho Mtetwa (ZACF) imageLand, law and decades of devastating douchebaggery Jun 08 02:20 by Jonathan Payn 0 comments

    textLucien van der Walt – 2017 Statement on Michael Schmidt Affair Apr 12 01:52 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

    zuma_gordhan.png imageA South African ruling class brawl Mar 31 20:26 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

    460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_taac_logo_1.jpg imageΤαξική πάλη κα_... Feb 26 17:20 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

    educate.png imageWhy Workers’ Education? Why trade unions and what’s next? Feb 26 04:39 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

    Credits: Daily Maverick image2017 South African Budget Speech: No Pravin, it was not progressive nor redistributive Feb 26 03:28 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

    d01f82389ada4e8fa0d0e0e1c4db3229.jpg imageCrisis within Crisis, Zimbabwe Feb 07 16:04 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

    untitled.png imageWoman in the Robertson Winery strike Dec 16 23:19 by Mandy Moussouris 0 comments

    grahamstownriots.jpg imageOne Year after the 2015 Grahamstown Riots against Foreign Traders Dec 15 06:59 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

    anclogoonwall.jpg imageIn the ANC’s battle of factions there are no superheroes Nov 05 22:47 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

    marikana_strike.jpg imageΗ ταξική πάλη στη &#... Nov 03 16:48 by ZACF 0 comments

    Source: “South African Labour Bulletin”, volume 40, number 4, pp. 40 imageWorker-Student Alliances: Anarchist Approach Needed Oct 30 02:39 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

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