Neue Veranstaltungshinweise

Southern Africa

Es wurden keine neuen Veranstaltungshinweise in der letzten Woche veröffentlicht

Kommende Veranstaltungen

Southern Africa | Miscellaneous

Keine kommenden Veranstaltungen veröffentlicht

Out with the old, in with the not so new

category southern africa | miscellaneous | opinion / analysis author Montag Februar 19, 2018 14:58author by Shawn Hattingh - ZACF Report this post to the editors

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

In South Africa, for white and international capital the last few weeks have been a period of rejoicing due to Ramaphosa being elected as ANC President. Zuma’s days as the State President are now also over. He was recalled by the ANC and in doing so he was forced to resign; leading the business elite to feel an even greater sense of smugness.

The bitter faction fights within the ANC, therefore, have seen Zuma defeated and his erstwhile supporters – a section of BEE capital and parasites in the top of the state - placed squarely on the back foot.

The slate that Ramaphosa won on was the promise to eradicate corruption within the state and the ANC. The tone that accompanied this was that Zuma would be removed from the Presidency and that he may even be prosecuted, along with the Guptas, for his role in ‘state capture’. The ANC itself is hoping that such moves will reverse its ailing fortunes and bolster its election campaign in 2019. Its alliance partners, the SACP and COSATU, are also opportunistically hoping Zuma’s exit from the state will give them a new lease of life politically; and that their leaders will be able to hold onto their cushy and ridiculously well paid jobs in the top echelons of the state under Ramaphosa, which were initially handed to them by Zuma for their backing in Polokwane in 2007.

The reality is that the battle within the ANC and now Zuma’s total demise has very little to do with addressing corruption – despite Ramaphosa’s claims. It was a fight for top positions in the state and the speed with which Zuma’s former die-hard supporters and allies, including the Ace Magashule and Malusi Gigaba, have quickly jumped ship since Ramaphosa’s victory has shown this. In the bid to secure their well-paying jobs going forward and to use positions in the state to secure business deals, old allies have been dumped and a new one, in the form of Ramaphosa, has been embraced.

Ramaphosa’s history highlights how his talk of tackling corruption within all structures of the state was and is simply a ploy, which has no substance. This is because Ramaphosa himself has been involved in corruption. Ramaphosa got rich overnight in the 1990s when he used workers’ pensions (supplied by union investment companies) to raise capital for his business deals. He was also supplied capital by white South African capitalists. To be sure, they were not buying Ramaphosa’s business acumen when they provided him shares, board positions and capital; they were buying the influence he had in the ANC and the state in order to further their own capital accumulation. All of this was backed by the ANC as it was expected that Ramaphosa would use his new found riches to boost the coffers of the Party.

Ramaphosa’s main business interest was Shanduka, which he was involved in founding in 2001. While in charge of the company, it was involved in cases of tax evasion as revealed in the Panama Papers. By 2012, as is well known, Ramaphosa was also a shareholder and Board member of Lonmin and he was the one that used his political connections to get the state to crush the strike, which saw the police gun down 34 workers at Marikana. Ramaphosa is not a man who, therefore, particularly shuns corruption or using connections to the state and political power to further his own vile money making interests or those of his business partners.

Likewise, his backers in the form of white capital are also not averse to corruption. Historically, their capital comes from colonial conquest and the state creating a pool of cheap black labour that could be exploited on farms, mines and factories through land grabs, hut taxes, pass laws, legalized racial discrimination and ultimately violence. In the apartheid era, the state also provided the world’s cheapest electricity to white capital and it paid handsomely for the sub-standard coal it bought from Afrikaner capital to fire Eskom’s power stations. Corrupt deals in the apartheid years, and there were many corrupt deals, built up white capital and were part and parcel of how business was done in those years – including transfer pricing, tax evasion and sanctions busting.

Even today, corruption is common practice in the private sector (still mostly in the hands of white South African capitalists). This has been shown through numerous leaks in 2017 and into 2018. For example, it recently surfaced that blue chip South African companies, such as Liberty and Illovo, have been using measures to evade tax on an ongoing basis. Not to be outdone, several South African financial institutions were of late caught manipulating the Rand in order to profiteer from the volatility created. Then of course there is Steinhoff that used Special Purpose Vehicles to fraudulently boost profits and lower debts on its books to the benefit of its shareholders and top management. When this became public knowledge, it was clear that the company was in reality in financial difficulties and its share price plunged at the end of 2017. Like Zuma, Steinhoff’s days may be numbered and it soon may disappear altogether. Nonetheless its shareholders, like Christo Weise, have got away with the ill-gotten gains and are unlikely to be prosecuted for the shenanigans that were taking place at Steinhoff.

White capital, therefore, has no problem with corruption. The problem they had with Zuma is that they were being side-lined in the corrupt deals of the state under his watch, with far more going to the Gupta family and a new BEE elite. Hence, they turned on the Zuma faction and backed Ramaphosa as their man: they wanted back in on the money, often involving corruption, which could be made through relations with the state and top politicians.

This means that corruption is not going to end under Ramaphosa’s tender. Making matters worse is the deal that was made in 1994, which saw the bulk of the private sector remaining in the hands of white capital. In return there would be some BEE, but more importantly the ANC leadership would be allowed to take over the state. In other words, capitalism would stay in place, including the harsh exploitation of the black working class on which it was and is based, but the faces in the state would change.

Since then, there has been some BEE, but it has been limited. As a result, white capitalists still mainly dominate the private sector. Aspiring capitalists that were linked to the ANC, who wanted to own large private companies, were and have been largely frustrated by these capitalists. In this context the state became the key, and in many cases the only, site through which an ANC elite could build itself into a prosperous black section of the ruling class – and corruption has been part of this structural problem.

The working class, in its bid to battle corruption, therefore need to be clear that the Ramaphosa regime won’t end corruption. It is a structural problem; and has nothing to do with good or bad personalities. New patronage networks will emerge, some old ones – including corruption at all levels of the state – will remain; although it will probably be less blatant and amateurish than under Zuma. Zuma and the Guptas will probably also be thrown to the wolves as a token; but corruption within the private sector and state won’t end. This is because corruption is a problem linked to the path that capitalist development has taken in South Africa.

If there is a serious bid to get rid of corruption, therefore, the structure and purpose of the South African economy would have to be fundamentally changed, which probably can’t be fully achieved under capitalism or the state system (which entrenches the rule and oppression of an elite minority over a majority and allows for corruption). Trying to end corruption, by definition, will have to be a revolutionary struggle to fundamentally change the society we have unfortunately inherited.

Verwandter Link:
This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
Rojava: Mensaje urgente de un compañero anarquista en Afrin

Southern Africa | Miscellaneous | en

Mo 19 Mär, 11:19

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.

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.

textWhere 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).

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?

imageA South African ruling class brawl Mär 31 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

In the midst of gorging themselves through exploitation and corruption, competing factions of the flabby ruling class in South Africa (the ruling class being capitalists, politicians and top state officials) have once again stepped into the ring to take pieces out of one another. In the one corner of the fight is the Zuma faction - comprised of sections of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) capitalists, top state officials, and politicians aligned to Zuma - while in the other corner is the Ramaphosa/Gordhan faction - comprised of sections of the ANC leadership such as Ramaphosa and Gordhan, white capital and the South African Communist Party (SACP). These factions have recently been standing toe to toe exchanging blows and in the process, metaphorical blood has been spilled: those of a few Cabinet Ministers, including Pravin Gordhan.

imageCrisis within Crisis, Zimbabwe Feb 07 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

Bribery and extortion of the piblic police and other officials is to fund the Zimbabwean state. The regime destroyed any healthy form of industry and severely cut itself from its financial feeding source. Now they have employed police, city council and Zimra to become state fund-raisers ticketing for almost everything a citizen is supposed to receive from the state but the state cannot provide.

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.

© 2005-2018 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 ]