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southern africa / the left Wednesday May 07, 2014 19:28 byShawn Hattingh & Jonathan Payn
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There has been much hype, amongst the media and sections of the public, in the run up to this year’s provincial and national elections in South Africa and, for some, the arrival of new parties to the electoral arena has renewed their faith in the possibility of an electoral solution to the myriad of problems facing South Africa. Politicians from across all parties have been using this hype and a seemingly renewed faith in the ballot box to their advantage.

The question, therefore, is: can equality, socialism, national liberation or ‘economic freedom’ – or even a respite from state violence – for a majority be brought about through parties and activists entering into the state or through voting for parties that promise not to use the state for violent or oppressive means; or will this only lead to a dead-end for the working class yet again?

southern africa / migration / racism Sunday December 15, 2013 23:39 byShawn 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 / indigenous struggles Thursday February 14, 2013 19:31 byLucien 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 17:06 byShawn 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 19:17 byZACF/ 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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    Fri 28 Nov, 10:04

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    web01bossneedsyou.gif imageWorking Class Livelihoods: Struggle against Each Other, or Revolt against the System? Nov 27 14:01 by Bongani Maponyane 0 comments

    tokologo4cover.gif imageIssue #4 of the Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective Nov 19 23:44 by Tokologo African Anarchist Collective 0 comments

    10170935_396142273860594_8013352971820945983_n.jpg imageCSAAWU South Africa: Plea for assistance Nov 19 03:03 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 2 comments

    tokologologo3_1.jpg imageTokologo supports the community march on the Merafong municipal offices Oct 30 18:25 by Tokologo African Anarchist Collective 0 comments

    tokologologo3.jpg imageTokologo supports the Khutsong community march on the Teba offices, Carltonville Oct 30 18:20 by Tokologo African Anarchist Collective 0 comments

    knowyourrightsprotectwhistleblowers.jpg imageWhat are your rights? Oct 13 14:37 by Nobuhle Dube 0 comments

    cosatuusedtopumpmillionsofrandstosupporttheanc.jpg imageCosatu used to pump millions of Rands to support the ANC’s election campaigns Oct 13 14:33 by Mzee 0 comments

    policekhutsongtragedy.png imageKhutsong: Pre-emptive “crime-stopping” leads to police brutality Sep 09 19:15 by Bongani Maponyane 0 comments

    Photo: eNCA.com imageThe Khutsong Tragedy Sep 04 14:10 by Lucky Sumione 0 comments

    erricomalatesta.jpg imageAnti-militarist United Fronts and Italy’s “Red week”, 1914 Sep 03 15:34 by Jonathan Payn 0 comments

    NUMSA: The United Front is a weapon for uniting the working class. imageNUMSA and the ‘United Front Against Neoliberalism’ Sep 03 15:26 by Jonathan Payn 0 comments

    orbituaryofousilawrencezitha.gif imageOrbituary of Ousi Lawrence Zitha Sep 01 15:03 by Nobyhle Dube 0 comments

    tokologo3cover.gif imageIssue #3 of the Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective Sep 01 14:40 by Tokologo African Anarchist Collective 0 comments

    305.gif imageLucien van der Walt: Speech to South African Movements on Politics at a Distance from the ... Aug 06 19:58 by Red and Black Action 0 comments

    10436355_1463125620598802_5730913014986195359_n.jpg imageLesson of the 1976 Uprising for the African Working Class Jun 15 15:58 by Red and Black Action 0 comments

    votecage.jpg imageTo vote or not to vote: Should it be a question? May 07 19:28 by Shawn Hattingh & Jonathan Payn 2 comments

    images.jpg imageDon't Vote! Organise! May 05 19:36 by Warren McGregor 0 comments

    saasha.png imageLaunch of the online Southern African Anarchist and Syndicalist History Archive (SAASHA) May 01 03:07 by SAASHA 0 comments

    rev_trade_unions.jpg imageRevolutionary Trade Unionism: The Road to Workers’ Freedom Mar 24 15:54 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

    munic.jpg imageSpeech to Metalworkers: anarcho-syndicalism for South African unions? Mar 07 05:44 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

    zacfront_symbol.jpg imageWhat does the ZACF stand for? Feb 17 13:37 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

    khutsong.jpg imageSouth Africa: Activists Demand End to Misappropriation of Funds and Wasteful Expenditure Jan 09 14:56 by Mzee 0 comments

    untitled1.jpg imageThe Struggle at Kwa-Masisa Hostel in Sebokeng Jan 04 19:50 by Siyabulela Hulu 0 comments

    Nelson Mandela imageMandela, the ANC and the 1994 Breakthrough: Anarchist / syndicalist reflections Dec 15 23:39 by Shawn Hattingh and Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

    Nelson Mandela's Spartan jail cell on Robben Island. Picture: Michael Schmidt imageNelson Mandela Dec 10 21:40 by Michael Schmidt 6 comments

    290709_zuidafrika_johannesburg_staking_ambtenaren_anp10457586_0.jpg imageWake Up the Power of the Working Class and Poor Dec 10 14:12 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

    b0856d149945ca9bb73b6286345d8b.jpg imageStop Evictions, Stop the State, Defend the Working Class and Poor Nov 29 03:42 by Pitso Mompe 0 comments

    tokologo_2.png imageIssue #2 of the Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective Nov 28 04:23 by Tokologo African Anarchist Collective 0 comments

    bcmsa_rev1.jpg imageRemembering and Learning from the Past: The 1976 Uprising and the African Working Class Jun 17 22:59 by Zabalaza 0 comments

    voting_copia_copia.jpg imageThe System of Voting for Leaders is Killing Us Jun 16 00:26 by Lekhetho Mtetwa 0 comments

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