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southern africa / migration / racism / opinion / analysis Tuesday June 02, 2015 22:19 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
Like in 2008, the recent wave of anti-immigrant violence and looting of foreign-owned stores that followed King Zwelithini’s statement that foreigners must “pack their bags and leave” quickly spread to cities and townships across the country. Unlike other places in Johannesburg, however, there were no reports of xenophobic violence in Thembelihle and, although the violence spread to numerous parts of Soweto in 2008, this adjacent township was unaffected then too. This article, based on an interview with an activist from the Thembelihle Crisis Committee (TCC), looks at how working class self-organisation and solidarity helped curb or prevent the outbreak of xenophobic attacks and attempts to draw lessons for preventing future attacks.
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Photo by Jacob Potlaki (Casual Workers Advice Office)
southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Thursday May 21, 2015 16:50 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
The xenophobic violence and looting following King Zwelithini’s statement that foreigners “pack their bags and leave” spread to cities and townships across the country. However, the recent attacks are not an isolated incident; nor is Zwelithini solely responsible for fomenting it. Local elites – particularly those linked to the ruling party – also encourage anti-immigrant attitudes and actions. This article, based on discussions with Abahlali baseFreedom Park activists, looks at how local elites stimulate ‘xenophobia’ to protect their class interests, as well as how progressive working class activists have responded.
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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Tuesday May 05, 2015 17:54 by Sian Byrne, Warren McGregor, Lucien van der Walt   image 1 image
May Day – a call to build an international movement of working class and poor people across lines of race, nation and religion for workers’ control and democracy from below, social justice and freedom from political and economic oppression – remains critical. In a country racked by anti-immigrant violence, racial and ethnic tensions, the fragmentation of the labour federation Cosatu, corporate scandals and political corruption, it is time to remember May Day’s roots and aspirations.
**A version of this appeared in the South African weekly, "Mail & Guardian" (30 Apr 2015).

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southern africa / workplace struggles / opinion / analysis Friday April 24, 2015 19:45 by S. Byrne, P. Chinguwo, W. Mcgregor, L. van der Walt   image 1 image
When we celebrate May Day we rarely reflect on why it is a public holiday in Botswana or elsewhere. Sian Byrne, Paliani Chinguwo, Warren Mcgregor and Lucien van der Walt tell of the powerful struggles that lie behind its existence, and the organisations that created it and kept its meaning alive, including its roots in the radical working class struggles.
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Image by: STRINGER / REUTERS
southern africa / the left / feature Tuesday March 24, 2015 23:06 by Shawn Hattingh   image 1 image
Karl Marx once said that history repeats itself, first as a tragedy then as a farce. A case in point is that in South Africa sections of the left are once again calling for a mass workers’ party (MWP) to be formed to contest elections – this they believe will bring us closer to revolution. History says otherwise.

Of course the new calls for a MWP stem from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) breaking from the African National Congress (ANC). As an outcome NUMSA is exploring the possibility of setting up a MWP to contest elections. Many Marxist and leftist influenced organisations, but also cadres within NUMSA, are therefore providing reasons why activists should be interested in such a party. read full story / add a comment
Bernard Sigamoney (1888-1963)
africa meridionale / storia dell'anarchismo / opinione / analisi Wednesday December 24, 2014 15:43 by Lucien van der Walt   image 1 image
Un movimento globale, quello della tradizione anarchica e sindacalista rivoluzionaria, ha influenzato persone di tutti i ceti sociali. Una delle figure più rappresentative fu Bernard L.E. Sigamoney, nato nel 1888. Il nipote di braccianti indiani a contratto, che emigrarono in Sud Africa nel 1870, divenne un maestro di scuola con una impostazione da classe operaia. [English] read full story / add a comment
Bernard Sigamoney (1888-1963)
southern africa / history of anarchism / opinion / analysis Friday December 12, 2014 16:38 by Lucien van der Walt   image 1 image
A global movement, the anarchist and syndicalist tradition has influenced people from all walks of life. A notable figure was Bernard L.E. Sigamoney, born in 1888. The grandson of indentured Indian labourers, who arrived in South Africa in the 1870s, he became a school teacher with a working class outlook. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
région sud de l'afrique / mouvement anarchiste / communiqué de presse Friday December 12, 2014 07:49 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
Le Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front [Ndt. Organisation communiste libertaire d’Afrique du Sud] est profondément attristé d’apprendre la mort d’un grand être humain, un frère africain et un camarade de lutte – Sam Mbah. Nous voudrions envoyer nos plus sincères sympathies à ceux et celles qui ont connu Sam. Nous espérons que vous puissiez vous consoler par le fait qu’il a fait le plus pleinement usage du temps passé avec nous. read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / history / opinion / analysis Tuesday December 09, 2014 15:41 by Warren McGregor   image 1 image
Today the terms “populism” and “workerism” are widely thrown about in South African political circles. Often, these terms and others (“syndicalism,” “ultra-left,” “counter-revolutionary,” “anti-majoritarian” …) have no meaning: they are just labels used to silence critics. SA Communist Party (SACP) leaders do this often. But in the 1980s, “populism” and “workerism” referred to two rival positions battling for the soul of the militant unions.

These debates, thirty years on, remain very relevant: let us revisit them, and learn. Today’s radical National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) was part of the “workerist” camp, while its key rival, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was identified with “populism.” The early battles over the direction of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) still echo today, although there is no longer a clear “workerist” camp. read full story / add a comment
Hector Pieterson (1964 – June 16, 1976). Killed at age 12 when the police opened fire on protesting students. 16 June stands as a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government.
southern africa / history / opinion / analysis Saturday December 06, 2014 23:58 by Bongani Maponyane   image 1 image
The massacre of South African school children in 1976 – for protesting for instruction in their native languages and for a proper curriculum – continues to be remembered and to influence us today. It showed the brutality of the apartheid state and it left scars still felt by people today.

The challenges faced by youth today are different to that experienced in 1976. This does not mean everything has changed. We need to look to history to learn about and not to repeat mistakes made. But we also look to history to provide us with inspiration. We need to revisit the spirit of the youth of 1976 and copy their courage – to overcome these issues facing our young people today. We need to be the change that we want to see. read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Wednesday December 03, 2014 15:03 by Siyabulela Hulu-Hulu   image 1 image
It is said we live in a democratic country; but, believe me it is for the chosen few. Current Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, was once widely considered a hero of the working class. Today he is a hypocrite and traitor to us, the majority.
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southern africa / workplace struggles / opinion / analysis Monday December 01, 2014 18:38 by Mzee   image 1 image
Workers in the Public Safety department of the West Rand District Municipality, Gauteng, are experiencing extremely stressful times. This is mainly due to management’s actions. There have been many cases of resignations and stress-related illnesses – and some workers have been affected badly enough to commit suicide.
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southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Thursday November 27, 2014 15:01 by Bongani Maponyane   image 1 image
Rising inflation means increases in food and petrol prices. Inflation is a global problem, driven partly by conglomerates maximising their profits at the expense of ordinary people. The state plays its role, continually raising prices for services.

The pressure of capitalism has impacted on our lives. It has caused clashes within the working classes, resulting in discrimination and prejudice. Ruling class elites – the political and economic elite – benefit from these struggles between people who compete for scraps from their tables.
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southern africa / anarchist movement / link to pdf Thursday November 20, 2014 00:44 by Tokologo African Anarchist Collective   image 1 image
Issue #4 of Tokologo, the Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective, has been released and is available online in PDF. read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / workplace struggles / appeal / petition Wednesday November 19, 2014 04:03 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front   text 6 comments (last - thursday december 11, 2014 11:18)   image 3 images
We are writing to you out of solidarity for CSAAWU, a union based amongst farmworkers in South Africa with which we have relations. In 2012/3 South African farmworkers rebelled against the deplorable conditions in the sector – for which hundreds were dismissed and victimized. CSAAWU is one of the few unions that organises in this difficult and under-represented industry. In the aftermath of the rebellion it took a decision to take up the struggle, including by defending close to 100 workers in the labour court.
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southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Thursday October 30, 2014 19:25 by Tokologo African Anarchist Collective   image 1 image
The Tokologo African Anarchist Collective supports the protest march held by members of the Khutsong community – where we have active members – to the Merafong municipal offices.
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southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Thursday October 30, 2014 19:20 by Tokologo African Anarchist Collective   image 1 image
The Tokologo African Anarchist Collective supports the protest march held by members of the Khutsong community – where we have active members – to the Teba Bank offices in Carletonville.
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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Monday October 13, 2014 16:37 by Nobuhle Dube   image 1 image
Although the Constitution protects the rights of whistle-blowers, and we have laws that are meant to promote their rights (such as the Protected Disclosures Act), in reality there is not much protection for whistle-blowers and such people face huge challenges.
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southern africa / the left / opinion / analysis Monday October 13, 2014 16:33 by Mzee   image 1 image
At the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) media briefing on Thursday 21 November 2013, its president Sdumo Dlamini told a journalist that the federation is “yet to decide” whether or not to contribute financially toward the ANC’s 2014 election campaign. The briefing followed a Cosatu central executive committee (CEC) meeting.
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Νότια Αφρική (Περιφέρεια) / Λαϊκοί Αγώνες / Γνώμη / Ανάλυση Saturday October 04, 2014 20:54 by Shawn Hattingh - Lucien van der Walt   image 1 image
Ο θάνατος του Νέλσον Μαντέλα συνοδεύτηκε από χιλιάδες άρθρα και εκατομμύρια ανθρώπων τα οποία απέδιδαν σε αυτόν φόρο τιμής. Εξυμνώντας τον σωστά, για την εναντίωση του στον φυλετισμό, την συνεισφορά του στους απελευθερωτικούς αγώνες στην N. Αφρική και για την στάση του ενάντια στο καθεστώς του απαρτχάιντ, το οποίο και τον κράτησε φυλακισμένο για 27 χρόνια. Για μεγάλο μέρος της ζωής του ο Νέλσον Μαντέλα υπήρξε η βασική φιγούρα των απελευθερωτικών αγώνων στην N. Αφρική κατά την διάρκεια των δεκαετιών του 1960, 1970 και 1980.
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