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southern africa / community struggles / news report Tuesday November 07, 2017 23:24 byNonzukizo Mute

Political fighting has destroyed the peace in Sebokeng township in the Vaal. Politicians are using government resources for private purposes, and parties and factions are fighting over which politicians get the most.

Published in “Tokologo: Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective”, numbers 7/8, November 2017

Political fighting has destroyed the peace in Sebokeng township in the Vaal. Politicians are using government resources for private purposes, and parties and factions are fighting over which politicians get the most.

WARD 17 SPLITS
There has been no peace in the Emfuleni Local Municipality’s Ward 17 since the August 2016 municipal elections. Ward 17 is a ward in Sebokeng, and consists of Eskom Village, Hostels 1and 2, the Masiza Flats and other places, as well as Zone 20. Emfuleni municipality is part of the Sedibeng District Municipality.

The African National Congress (ANC) controls the Ward, but is deeply split. ANC members vote against ANC members, complaining of a lack of accountability in the organisation. They claim that the people who represent the party and the local community in the Council do not represent the majority in the local party. This means the minority has the last say, with power and control over the masses through its positions.

MAYORS
The local ANC is divided into two groups and the conflict spills over into the community. The problem did not start in 2016. An ANC faction approached the Sedibeng mayor of 2011-2015, Mr Simon Mofokeng, complaining a Ward councillor was employing his siblings and friends. The Mayor responded by dividing four projects in the affected Ward between the two factions.

Mofokeng became Emfuleni Mayor later in 2015. In 2017, he was accused in the media of spending nearly R2 million on KFC and Nando’s fast food, and luxury hotels from 2011-2017.

RDP HOUSING
A public housing project was introduced by the provincial Department in February 2013. This involved a massive contract to the black capitalist firm Malgotamishe Building Construction.

In August 2013, when the project started, the Department of Housing established a Project Steering Committee with different groupings, so the project could run smoothly and the information flow to all stakeholders.

However, a section of the SA Communist Party (SACP) appeared on the scene, through the African National Congress (ANC)-led Alliance. The Alliance is made of the ANC, the SACP, and the Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU). It convinced the community that the project’s Community Liaison Officer (CLO) was only employing his friends, also pressuring desperate women in need of jobs into his bed. They called a community meeting to complain about the CLO, saying that they did not want the CLO because he was stubborn. They complained about the employment criteria he used, without consulting the community leaders or the Steering Committee.

After the dismissal of the first CLO, the SACP group used the community to appoint its members the new CLO and the Local Development Officer (LDO). Then they forced new rules onto the Project Steering Committee, which resulted in the project stopping for nine months. Then the project started again, running smoothly for one year and six months, until violence and hate speech came back, dividing the community again.

THE HOSTELS
The fight is over the houses, the jobs and the positions. An SACP person involved in the fights said the old people in the area “must go back to the Eastern Cape” as they are “expired.” These are former migrant workers; going back means losing access to the new housing in Sebokeng. The problems led to block committees disbanding, although block committees are independent structures not affiliated with party structures.

Major housing developments started taking place at Golden Gardens, close to the Golden Highway, around the Ward 17 area. The beneficiaries are mainly young people, who have access to the new subsidised “RDP” houses. Older people and workers are refusing to leave the old KwaMasiza Hostel, because it might be renovated and they want to benefit.

The Ward councillor is using his followers to fight for control of key projects: rival groups have ended in hospital, beaten up by his group.

Cheap politics destroys our communities. We need something better.

southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Tuesday November 07, 2017 23:19 byNkululeko Khubisa

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?


Published in “Tokologo: Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective”, numbers 7/8, November 2017

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?

EDUCATE!
The way forward is unity and solidarity, but that means we need knowledge. People need to be mobilised and taught about politics – real politics, not the party system – and this process needs to take place at all levels.

If everybody among the working class and poor could be informed and alert, and brought to the knowledge about what is really happening around them, and why, and how to fix it, they will want to take action. And that action will be directed into the right channels, not wasted-and not captured by the politicians and bosses.

People need to know the most important concepts, which include “capitalism,” the “state,” the “ruling class,” “imperialism” and the centrality of the working “class struggle.” Knowing these will allow us to identify the real enemy. Knowledge is a tool to use against the oppressor. We need to understand how best we can fight back.

THE ENEMY
Capitalism is a system that is based on using money, paying workers wages to produce things (like food, clothes) or services (like cleaning), which are sold by the employers (bosses) to make more money: in other words, profit. The profit comes from the workers putting in more work than they get paid.

Capitalism puts profit first before needs, it is wasteful and unstable. That is why we have a crisis today, with jobs scarce. Capitalist organisations include private firms like Lonmin (mining), and government firms like ESKOM (electricity), run by private or government bosses.

The state – the government – is also caught in the cookie jar of capitalism. The people at the top of the state include politicians, MPs, top officials, department heads, mayors, municipal managers, directors, generals, government bosses and so on. These people (state managers and government bosses) have power, privileges and control over a lot of production, administration, tax, and weapons, The means of production (factories, equipment, raw materials) controlled or influenced by the state is not means held directly by the government (like railways, or ESKOM). It also includes means outside government, influenced by large share percentages in private firms (government shares in Lonmin), partnerships (TELKOM), contracting (RDP house building), and laws.

The state supports capitalism since it’s beneficial to it and because the state and capitalism work together. The state pretends to be neutral while it’s not. States can’t bring liberation, they oppress the working class and poor. The bosses and the state managers form the ruling class of a country.

Imperialism is a system in which the ruling class of one country expands to control other areas and countries, sometimes directly (through invasions and force) or more hidden (through unfair trade, agreements, pressure and so on). Local ruling classes may collaborate with, or resist, imperialism-but they are always oppressors too.

RULING CLASS VS WORKING CLASS
The class that is against the ruling class, against exploitation, poverty, authoritarianism, shortages, high prices, divisions and hatred among the masses is the working class.

Working class struggle is the only way to overthrow capitalism and the state. The working class includes all people who do NOT own or control the means of production, or the administrative power and violence means of the state. It includes the poor and unemployed, and it is worldwide.

We are kept back because we are not informed. The truth is hidden by the system. We also need to know that a key part of capitalism and the state to divide and rule us, the working class majority. This is done through xenophobia, parties, unemployment, job insecurity, racism, sexism, the way the workplace works etc.

But if we can fight against these factors and become united and determined, we can overthrow the system of oppression, and cut loose from its chains. Then we can build a new world.

MOBILISATION, SELF-MANAGEMENT
Our way forward is through anarchism. We have to build organisations that possess the characteristics of empowering working class communities, co-operation ad mobilisation, self-management, and class independence – and have a strategy (plan of action). This is mass anarchism. This strategy focuses on mass organisation of the working class as the path to revolution and a new society. This means developing knowledge from grass-root levels, winning the masses to anarchist ideas, using direct democracy, councils, delegates. We need to also unite anarchists into “specific” political organisations to work among the masses.

We need to destroy top-down discussion and decision-making, the rule of the elites, the system that oppresses and exploits. Let us replace thus with real people’s power. Unity and solidarity what we need.

Forward with anarchism!!!!

southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Thursday October 12, 2017 19:58 byShawn Hattingh

Wave after wave of community protests have been taking place in South Africa. People are angry that after twenty years of so-called freedom they are still confined to living in shacks, having to defecate in communal toilets, and having essential services terminated when they can’t afford to pay.

Fueling the Fire

by Shawn Hattingh (ZACF)

Wave after wave of community protests have been taking place in South Africa. People are angry that after twenty years of so-called freedom they are still confined to living in shacks, having to defecate in communal toilets, and having essential services terminated when they can’t afford to pay.

What fuels this anger further is that on the other side of the cities and towns, in the old white-only suburbs, the elite and middle classes flaunt their wealth.

Yet the ruling class – white and now black capitalists, top state officials, and politicians – have waged non-stop war against the working class to deepen this inequality. The reason they have done this is to increase their wealth – this class war lies at the root of the protests we have seen.

Many of the people that have been involved in the recent protests – or their parents – had hoped for a better life with the fall of apartheid. Under that horrific system, the black working class (workers and the unemployed) were subjected to racial oppression and exploitation. It was cheap labour, in the form of the black working class, which generated huge profits for corporations. To ensure the lowest costs of the reproduction of this exploited class, the apartheid state forced people to live in homelands and townships in which the most threadbare services were provided. The consequences were that the black working class were deliberately kept in poverty and when they rose up they faced the apartheid state’s gun barrels.

Fast forward to today. One can scarcely believe the reality in which the black working class finds itself, which materially is often as bad as under apartheid.

Since 1994, the portion of Gross Domestic Product which goes towards wages has declined. The implications of this are that in real terms the wages of the black working class have been in decline since the fall of apartheid. Unemployment too has exploded as capitalists have reduced their labour force, mechanised, and implemented flexible labour to boost profit rates.

The post-apartheid state has been central to the war on the working class. It has redirected wealth upwards towards the ruling class. It has done this through various means, which have included spending on infrastructure for corporations and tax breaks for corporations.

Since 1994 the tax rate for corporations has been driven down from 49% to 28%. This is money that could have been used to improve the lives of the poor through providing, amongst other things, decent services and housing. At the same time, however, Value Added Tax, a tax that targets the working class, has contributed a larger and larger part of the state’s revenue. Far from being an under resourced state, the South African state has been shifting wealth from the working class to the ruling class.

At the same time, the state has been active in attacking the poor. In real terms (inflation adjusted) spending on services for the working class has remained largely stagnant since 1994. On average the state under the ANC has allocated less than 2% of the budget to housing for the working class. As such, services like water, electricity, housing, sanitation, healthcare and education for black working class areas are a shambles.

The national state under the stewardship of the ANC has also dramatically reduced the amount of money that it transfers to local governments to deliver services such as sanitation and refuse removal. This has been done to please international capitalists in the form of speculators. Speculators tend to target buying the bonds of states with low debt levels. To keep debt levels low at a national level, the South African state slashed transfers to local governments.

This means local municipalities have less for service delivery. To try and generate income, local governments have adopted cost recovery for services to the working class, such as electricity, water, sanitation and refuse removal. The consequences are, if you can’t afford to pay you don’t get the services. Making matters worse is that at the level of local government, municipalities have outsourced basic services. For a connected local elite, usually linked to the African National Congress or in some areas the Democratic Alliance, this has been a godsend. This has seen contracts for housing and service delivery being handed out to those who have connections to politicians. The consequences of these neoliberal policies is that service delivery is abysmal.

The reality is that the state does this, at a local and national level, because it is an instrument of the ruling class. States exist to enforce the rule of a minority elite over a majority. Even in a parliamentary democracy, it is the elite that indirectly and directly control the state and they use it to increase their wealth.

Of course states do provide some services to the poor. These are and were concessions that have been forced on the ruling class by the working class through the history of struggle. Indeed, the black working class only receives some support from the state – although meagre – because of the history of struggle. Under neoliberalism though, these concessions are being rolled back, and it is this that is once again fuelling protests.

The role that the state plays in protecting the ruling class can be seen in how the police have reacted to the protests. Most people involved in protests try to follow the state’s prescribed procedures to air their grievances, for example engaging in Integrated Development Plans – and only embark on protest once these proved to be dead-ends. But once people protest, the police react violently.

The working class, however, has proved that it won’t lie down under the fire from the ruling class. This is where hope lies. What is needed now is for these struggles that we have been seeing across the country to link, based on self-organisation and direct democracy. There are many challenges to this, including toxic party politics, but if society is too change it will have to be done. The fire of resistance needs to burn; and to do so struggles need to link and become a force capable of blunting the attacks of the ruling class in South Africa.

southern africa / economy / other libertarian press Wednesday September 20, 2017 17:53 byPhilip Nyalungu

A sharp increase in fuel prices on Wednesday 6 September will hit the working class and poor hardest. The official reasons for the price hike are rising crude oil costs and the weak Rand. Government tax is also rising. Energy Minister Mamoloko Kubayi claims 4.6 cents a litre will go towards salary increases for petrol station workers.

The reality is rising prices get passed directly onto ordinary people by, for example, increases in taxi fares and food prices.

Fuel Price Hikes Hammer South Africa’s Working Class

Philip Nyalungu

A sharp increase in fuel prices on Wednesday 6 September will hit the working class and poor hardest. Petrol, diesel and paraffin now cost 67c, 44c and 65c more, respectively. This is the fifth fuel increase this year. Economists have warned more will be disastrous.

The official reasons for the price hike are rising crude oil costs and the weak Rand. Government tax is also rising. Energy Minister Mamoloko Kubayi claims 4.6 cents a litre will go towards salary increases for petrol station workers.

The reality is rising prices get passed directly onto ordinary people by, for example, increases in taxi fares and food prices. LP gas, which with paraffin is the main fuels used in poor households, is up 86 cents a kilogram. Rising prices affect jobs, and many workers are vulnerable.

Informal economic activities, like street vending of food, are harmed, also affecting low-paid consumers like taxi drivers and petrol pump attendants. It is not clear how 4.6 cents a litre of petrol tax will supposedly get into the pockets of petrol station workers. If it does, it will just vanish due to rising prices. South African capitalism, enabled by the state machinery, rests upon cheap black labour, and the working class and poor majority continue to suffer. Real freedom remains far off.

Rising prices are part of the ongoing inflation problem in capitalism that keeps reducing real wages. Owners of the means of production, including oil refineries and fuel chains, the banks and the state, have the power to increase prices and devalue currency, and so, increase profits by increasing poverty.

But the victims, workers and their families, lack both economic power and political influence. So long as the economy remains under the control of the bosses and politicians, rather than the broad working class, problems like endless price rises will continue. Only class struggle from below through counter-power, aiming at a better society, based on self-management, collective property and participatory planning, can move us from this track. This requires working class autonomy from the parties and the state.

southern africa / crime prison and punishment / press release Monday August 28, 2017 11:57 byCAB

The Brazilian Anarchist Coordination repudiates the cowardly criminalization of South African fighters and social fighters and their persecution.

The Brazilian Anarchist Coordination repudiates the cowardly criminalization of South African fighters and social fighters and their persecution.
In February 2015, four community members were sentenced to 16 years in prison for participating in a protest in their community. After a brief period of provisional release, two of the four militants were again sent to jail on June 19, 2017.

On February 6, 2016, Papi Tobias, the father of three children and a community leader struggling for housing and social rights in his community, disappeared as he went out to watch a football game at a bar. He was seen leaving a bar in the presence of the local police commander, Jan Scheepers. He is missing until today.

The South African ruling class has often used criminal laws and expeditions from the apartheid era to condemn the black and poor working class and criminalize the activities of militants and social fighters.

As in Brazil (Rafael Braga and many others cases), the ruling class in South Africa uses the justice system and its racist armed apparatus to promote the criminalization of poverty, protest and racism.
The continuity between state terrorism and its apparatuses continues regardless of the government it assumes, in South Africa or in Brazil!
Freedom for Dinah andSipho!
Justicefor Papi!

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Southern Africa

Sat 18 Nov, 14:03

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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

textFuel Price Hikes Hammer South Africa’s Working Class Sep 20 17:53 by Philip Nyalungu 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

gca_rally.jpeg image[Johannesburg] Housing and Land: We demand answers Aug 16 05:09 by Gauteng Civic Association 1 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

text[South Africa] Kroonstad explodes – Call for solidarity Jun 29 05:16 by Maokeng Advice And Resource Centre 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

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

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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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