What's Happening in South Africa

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What's Happening in South Africa

Latest Rebellions in South Africa


"This language of 'service delivery protests' has been used for some years now by elites in South Africa, across the political spectrum, to be able to pretend that there is no politics of the poor.."

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hi NoDifferencePartyPooper.

I edited the title to read "South Africa" rather than "Africa".


I thought "Africa" might serve to catch other African stories as well and keep things together rather than separate dangling threads - but as you wish Maysie

Maysie Maysie's picture

It's just that Africa is a very large continent. Too many times the West will conflate "Africa" into bite-sized pieces of knowledge.

Do we start threads called "What's happening in Europe"?  Smile

Okay, enough drift. 


you're right -  but for purposes of organization maybe not - a thread called "what's happening in europe" would be just fine for organizational purposes here on Babble's ill designed format. Ok I'm done drifting too. cheers


Can Zuma Walk his Talk?


"The people want their lives to improve and want the government to look after their needs before those of big business.."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Beyond the Privatisation of Liberation

June 02, 2011

By Horace Campbell
Source: Pambazuka News

Horace Campbell's ZSpace Page

South Africa is a society where the actions of political leaders in the state machinery are threatening to reverse the popular struggles for liberation. Seventeen years ago, the formal shackles of apartheid were rattled. But the structural basis of apartheid was never dismantled. When Nelson Mandela became the head of state in 1994 there had been euphoria all over Africa, indeed all over the world, that a new road toward a non-racial democracy was being taken. The majority of the people wanted a better life: an end to racism, access to health, life, peace and a decent environment. However, very soon after the integration of the ANC (African National Congress) into the structures of apartheid, the political leadership of the African National Congress turned their backs on the ideas of transforming the society and embraced the ideas of liberalisation and the privatisation of the economy. The ANC embraced unbridled capitalism. Using the cover of reconciliation, the former powerful transnationals supported a class of blacks to enter banking, insurance and retailing as long as they accepted the standards of racist hierarchy and sent their children into the schools that taught Eurocentrism.....



laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Thanks for that link epaulo. What an amazing woman and incredible escape. I definitely want to read his book.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Nelson Mandela International Day - July 18, 2011


Resolution adopted by the General Assembly
[without reference to a Main Committee (A/64/L.13 and Add.1)]
64/13. Nelson Mandela International Day
The General Assembly,
Recognizing the long history of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela's leading role in
and support for Africa's struggle for liberation and Africa's unity, and his
outstanding contribution to the creation of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic
South Africa,
Recognizing also Nelson Mandela's values and his dedication to the service of
humanity, as a humanitarian, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations,
promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the
rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and
underdeveloped communities,
Acknowledging Nelson Mandela's contribution to the struggle for democracy
internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world,
Welcoming the international campaign initiated by the Nelson Mandela
Foundation and related organizations to each year observe 18 July, his birthday, as
Mandela Day,
Welcoming also the statements of support by the Secretary-General and the
President of the General Assembly at its sixty-third session, on the occasion of the
celebration of Mandela Day on 18 July 2009,
Recalling the worldwide participation and celebration of the inaugural
Mandela Day on 18 July 2009,
Recalling also the endorsement by the Heads of State and Government of the
Movement of Non-Aligned Countries of the observance of 18 July as Nelson
Mandela International Day and the request that a resolution to this effect be adopted
by the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session,1
1. Decides to designate 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day, to be
observed each year beginning in 2010;
1 A/63/968-S/2009/516.
2. Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system
and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including
non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe Nelson Mandela
International Day in an appropriate manner;
3. Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures, within
existing resources, for the observance by the United Nations of Nelson Mandela
International Day;
4. Also requests the Secretary-General to keep the General Assembly
informed at its sixty-fifth session of the implementation of the present resolution
within the United Nations system, and thereafter to keep the Assembly informed on
an annual basis concerning the observance of Nelson Mandela International Day;
5. Further requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to
the attention of all Member States and United Nations organizations.
42nd plenary meeting
10 November 2009

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

80,000 South African Platinum Miners Strike For A Living Wage

(with video)

In South Africa, miners have rejected a 9 percent wage increase offer from the platinum industry as their strike enters its second week. Tens of thousands of members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, or AMCU, walked off the job last week to protest harsh working conditions. They are also asking for a living wage that will double their current wages. Tensions have been high between the sides, with the media reporting several acts of violence in mining towns.

This is the largest strike in the mining sector since the Marikana strike in 2012. South Africa is the leading supplier of the world’s platinum, and the strike is expected to take a toll on its economy.

Now joining us to discuss all this is Patrick Bond. Patrick is the director of the Centre for Civil Society and professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa....


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..my pleasure laine. i was impressed by her humanness. going from positive struggle to dispare to escape.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Forging a New Movement: NUMSA and the Shift in South Africa's Politics

The decision of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to cut ties with the African National Congress (ANC) has received poor analysis. Comment has tended to focus on the possibility of a new political party in 2019 or whether all this means that suspended general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Zwelinzima Vavi will get his job back. The greater significance of the biggest trade union in the country throwing in its lot with a growing movement in opposition to the neoliberal order, and thus to the left of the ANC, rather than the line up to the right is being missed.

This very week NUMSA is holding a national political school, which culminates in an “expo” of forces of resistance, to which activists and communities that have been active in service delivery struggles, have been invited. This is part of NUMSA's declared commitment to what it calls a “united front” from below.


..see more pics at photo link.

NUMSA Engineers on strike. [Photo: Cherisse Fredricks/Flickr]

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture


The people, as political agents in a broad mass movement, were replaced by the individual voter participating in secret at the ballot box once every five years. Occasional flare-ups or disputes were settled through the courts. The press conference replaced the mass rally as the means whereby politicians talked to the people. Journalistic comment and media reports therefore only knew about political parties and their press conferences.

This is not a uniquely South African phenomenon. Globally this passive citizenry has, until now, been the stuff of the political terrain in all countries for nearly 30 years. The last three decades were also the years of the triumph of neoliberal capitalism and the biggest attacks on the living standards of ordinary people since World War I.

Neoliberalism relies on the passivity of ordinary people and the complicity of all political parties that have confined politics to the world of the ballot box and the press conference. But South Africa had an active mass movement until the 1980s, so our neoliberalism would have to await the triumph of an ANC de-linked from that mass movement – transformed in its own language from a “liberation movement to a political party.”

Our trade unions also evolved from a labour movement seeking broader social transformation to a set of trade unions indulging in collective bargaining within the range prescribed by labour relations law. They too would have their parliamentary officers tracking new labour laws and the press conference replacing the factory general meetings and the mass rallies of their constituencies.

So the movement was replaced by a party and the party by its leadership and the leadership by a few individuals. And political comment has become obsessed with the cult of individuals. We have even lost the language to distinguish between a movement, parties, organizations and individuals....


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

“Manifestos and Reality”

A Presentation to the Cape Town Press Club by NUMSA General Secretary

I speak to you today with a powerful and united mandate from 341,150 metalworkers. They made their views extremely clear in our workers’ parliament in December last year – the parliament we called the NUMSA Special National Congress. In that parliament there was vigorous debate. Every delegate knew that they would have to account to their constituency. We are justifiably proud of our democratic heritage. We know that what we decide has the backing of our members. We don't have to change decisions after the Congress has spoken, as some do, even though there are those who would urge us to “come to our senses” and take NUMSA in another direction from the decisions of that Congress....


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from democracy now. you will thank yourself for watching this!!!!


As Nelson Mandela Turns 93, A Discussion With Anti-Apartheid Freedom Fighter Ronnie Kasrils

As South Africa celebrates the 93rd birthday of anti-apartheid leader and former South African president, Nelson Mandela, we speak to one of Mandela’s allies, Ronnie Kasrils, who was on the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress for 20 years. Kasrils also served as Minister for Intelligence Services in post-Apartheid South Africa from 2004 to 2008. He has just published a new book “The Unlikely Secret Agent,” about his late wife Eleanor, a Scottish South African anti-apartheid activist.



Wilf Day

South Africa's new left party Economic Freedom Fighters, in its first election campaign, has formed the official opposition in its stronghold province of Limpopo, but with only 10.25%. It is also the official opposition in North West Province. Nationally, with 5.93%, it will hold 23 of the 400 seats.  A group of once ANC affiliated youth politicians who were ousted from their positions within the ruling party seek to continue pursuing political life by mobilising others looking for a new political home and create a new entity which in the space of less than a year is able to present itself as a force to be reckoned with.

The previous left party, the Congress of the People, has crumbled after factional fighting, dropping from 30 seats to only two. It had been the official opposition in Eastern Cape province, but has dropped from nine seats to only one.





epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Three Union Leaders Shot Dead in South Africa


Here at The Real News we've reported on the month-long strike that was conducted by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, or NUMSA. With 220,000 [striking] members, they have the largest labor organization in South Africa, which is why last month it was a major, major victory for them to come to a three-year agreement for a wage increase. But now the union is mourning, mourning the deaths of three of its shop stewards, who the union claims were shot and killed in a targeted attack....


montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

If we can have global metal prices we can have a global mining union with a global mining wage.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Political Significance of Numsa's Expulsion from Cosatu

It is arguably the most important political development of South Africa’s post-1994 era. On Friday, South Africa’s largest union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) was expelled by the majority of the leadership belonging to South Africa’s largest union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

The political significance of NUMSA’s expulsion derives from three key, inter-related areas of impact.

On the ANC-Led Alliance

Since 1994, the alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), South African Communist Party (SACP) and COSATU has relied heavily on the maintenance of a politically accomodative union leadership. Despite numerous and politically-charged policy disagreements, wars of words over the functioning of the alliance and leadership power plays, the respective leaderships have always held the alliance to be politically sacrosanct. Even if NUMSA’s earlier announcement of its withdrawal of electoral and political support for the ANC signalled serious trouble on this front, its expulsion confirms a definitive political rupture within the leadership ranks of COSATU.

In other words, papering over the regular cracks with another ‘alliance summit’, attempting to isolate individual union leaders via personalised innuendo and public attack and ‘disciplining’ troublesome unionists through suspensions and dismissals is no longer going to cut it. At yesterday’s post-expulsion press conference, NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim put it bluntly: “Cosatu has become consumed by internal battles between two forces; those who continue to support the ANC and SACP with their neo liberal agenda and those who despite their understanding of the ANC as a multiclass organisation, consciously and consistently fight for an independent, militant federation.”....


Adam T

Apparently the ANC government is telling anybody that advertises anywhere in a media source that is critical of the government that they won't get any government contracts.

For those who think the ANC is left wing, the Minister of (I believe) Social Development recently said that any black person born after 1994 (the year Apartheid ended) was fully capable of taking care of themselves and couldn't receive any government assistance.

The ANC is becoming very autocratic and anti democratic.


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Excellent documentary on Marikana massacre of miners in South Africa. Available for free online viewing or download for 1 week only.


Miners Shot Down


Business as usual...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

South African students rise up to demand free education

In the biggest protests since the end of apartheid, students have shut down universities and forced the government to abandon a planned tuition hike.

Over the last week, South African students shut down 17 universities in an attempt to prevent proposed fee increases. The initial focus of the national shutdown was on students’ demands for the removal of proposed fee increases. Now, this has shifted towards the fundamental goal of the acquisition of free education, to end outsourcing of support staff and other issues that fall under the call for the transformation of the institutional culture and operational structure of higher education establishments across the country....

Post image for South African students rise up to demand free education

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more on this awesome student revolt.

South African Students Demand Free University Education While Building a Broad Front (1/2)

video report

Vishwas Satgar has been a grass roots activist in South Africa for the past 28 years. He is currently engaged in supporting the Solidarity Economy Movement in township communities, supporting food sovereignty campaigning , climate jobs campaigning and defending popular democracy in South Africa. His academic interests include a focus on African political economy, Empire and Global crisis, Green Global political Economy and Transnational Alternatives. He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand. His latest book is COSATU in Crisis.

Part 2

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

South African Workers Mobilize to Challenge Neoliberal Policies

Irvin Jim is General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) Special National Congress in December 2013 resolved: “There is no chance of winning back the Alliance to what it was originally formed for, which was to drive a revolutionary programme for fundamental transformation of the country, with the Freedom Charter as the minimum platform to transform the South African economy.”

Recent events have fully vindicated this view. The global capitalist system is in terminal crisis and continues to inflict great human and environmental stress, pain and destruction. The world working class is under attack; unemployment, poverty and inequality are on the rise, in the biggest global crisis of capitalism since the 1930s.

In South Africa this simply makes worse the already existing crisis of our racist and colonial economy and society, which is based on the racist and inhuman super-exploitation of black and African labour.

Jobs are being slaughtered daily. Whole industries are in danger of disappearing. Unemployment at 36 per cent is among the highest in the world. Employers are on the offensive. They are seeking to exploit workers’ desperation to find or keep jobs at any cost in order to drive down wages and working conditions by outsourcing and casualizing work, using labour brokers and sabotaging collective bargaining structures.


Build Numsa and Reach the Target of 400,000 Members by December 2016

Our Central Committee (CC) in August agreed that to meet the target of 400,000 members by December 2016, at a time when jobs are disappearing, we require more aggressive recruiting of all workers regardless of where they work, and to focus on the unorganized 76 per cent of workers and employees of labour brokers. In line with the 2013 SNC on the extension of our scope and the formation of a new federation, the CC stressed that no worker must be turned away.

We are committed to providing quality leadership and better service for members, while defending and strengthening our democracy and unity. We are determined to ensure that all Numsa's Regional Congresses and the December 10th National Congress are a huge success in the best interest of Numsa members and the broader working class.

Build the New Federation

Workers are impatient to replace the now totally discredited and ideologically bankrupt Cosatu with a new anti-imperialist, socialist, democratic, independent, militant workers’ federation. Numsa called on both Cosatu and the SACP to review the alliance with the ANC as it was benefiting the property-owning class and a parasitic and corrupt bourgeois elite. Opportunistically, however, because Numsa took the side of the workers and the poor, they expelled us.

But today Cosatu and the alliance have crumbled. The SACP and the ANC are at each other's throats. The SACP has lost its hegemony. There is no revolutionary agenda. Slowly but surely they are withering away. In all this, what is painfully bad for the working class is that the DA, a counter-revolutionary, clearly reactionary party, is being made to appear victorious today.

Numerous new breakaway unions have been formed and we are working with them in a Steering Committee for a New Federation. We have warmly welcomed Fawu's historic decision to leave Cosatu. The CC agreed that we must continue to discuss with larger unions like Amcu, some other Nactu affiliates, and some Cosatu affiliates who were part of ‘The Nine’ which have not yet committed to the new federation.

It was agreed to aim to launch the New Federation on 1 May 2017 and reaffirmed that it must be independent of any political party but should never be apolitical, and agreed that it should have youth and gender structures.

Build the United Front

The United Front (UF) remains a priority and must reach out to working class communities, more and more of which are moving into struggle against deplorable living conditions and service delivery. Numsa will continue to build and to play a very active role in the UF and ensure that its revolutionary policies are adopted and adhered to.

While the CC maintained its policy that the UF is not a political party and should not be contesting elections, it endorsed the decision to back those UF members who stood as independents and/or UF candidates on 3 August 2016. We are studying the lessons from this experience....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

South African Demonstrators Demand Zuma's Resignation

ANC's leadership called into question as Zuma's corruption ridden Presidency is headed to an end, who will lead the country next, ponders Trevor Ngwane of the Johannesburg United Front and Professor Patrick Bond

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

SAFTU – This Is What We Stand For

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has been born. We have passed a milestone in the history of the South African trade union movement at this Launching Congress held in Boksburg from 21-23 April 2017.

700,000 workers represented by 1,384 voting delegates from 24 unions and other non-voting unions have taken the first decisive step to building a new, vibrant, independent, and democratic workers’ federation, leading the struggle against exploitation, mass unemployment, poverty, inequality and corruption and taking up the struggle for the total emancipation of the working class from the chains of its capitalist oppressors.....


South Africa's Ruling ANC Says Land Expropriation Bill Withdrawn For Further Reconsideration


"A bill allowing the South African government to seize private land without compensation has been withdrawn by the Portfolio Committee on Public Works pending further study, according to the ANC..."