South Africa

We provide here a link to this important document produced by the ANC Youth League on the question of the nationalisation of the mines. The ANC YL document is inspired in the bold call of the Freedom Charter that "the mineral wealth beneath the soil, monopoly industries and banks should be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole." This document has created a heated polemic within the workers' movement in South Africa and with the capitalist class. We publish it here for the information of our readers. This should be read in

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A storm erupted in policy circles in South Africa after Julius Malema the leader of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) boldly proclaimed the need for the mining industry in South Africa to be nationalized. The demand was predicated on fulfilling the vision of the Freedom Charter, which was adopted at Kliptown in 1955 as the ‘manifesto’ of the liberation struggle. According to the Charter “The wealth of the country shall be shared among all who live in it!” (Note: the full ANC YL document on nationalisation of the mines can be read ...

The working masses and poor of South Africa overthrew the old hated Apartheid regime as a means of improving their living and working conditions. Instead what we have is a party in power, the ANC, which was created by the working masses but which is presently carrying out policies in the interests of the rich. This contradiction must be resolved and the only way is for the working people to take back control of the party they created.

The entire land redistribution programme in South Africa is being bedevilled by a mixture of feudalist and capitalist land rights, with the liberal constitution of the country protecting private property as a 'right', while the majority black African population not having private property in land, still being subject of a pre-colonial property dispensation that came to be entrenched under Apartheid.

The National Union of Mine Workers of South Africa today marched on the Reserve Bank of South Africa to deliver a memo protesting the conservative monetary and fiscal policies of the Reserve Bank. The Reserve Bank Governor Toto Mboweni refused to receive the memo from the protesting workers. After hours of waiting outside the SARB, the protesters broke down a police barrier and threatened to storm into the bank.

The workers and poor of South Africa voted massively for an ANC that had been purged of its right wing. Now that the ANC is once more in office, the bourgeois – having failed to stop this – are putting enormous pressure on its leaders to steer away from any radical pro-worker policies. What is required is a struggle within the South African labour movement to anchor its organisations to genuine socialist policies.

Today South Africans are going to the polls. The elections come after the December 2008 Pholokwane Conference of the ANC, where the Mbeki-led right-wing clique was resoundingly defeated, breaking away to form the Congress of the People, while the new Zuma leadership took over. For years workers in South Africa have waited for the "second stage" of the South African revolution that never materialised. It is about time the socialist agenda were taken up again by the ANC!

The recent barbaric events in some of the poorest townships of South Africa highlight the dramatic situation that is developing in the country. The ANC leaders have sold out the cause the masses struggled for so many years. Apartheid was brought down but not the system that spawned it. There is an unfinished task to accomplish.

There has been a lot of talk about eradicating poverty in Africa over the past few days. Africa is a continent rich in raw materials. There is no logical reason why it should be poor. But under capitalism there is a logic, the logic of the greedy multinationals, of the capitalists who condemn Africa to this poverty.

As was to be predicted the ANC government and the employers made a combined effort to discredit COSATU's two-day general strike on October 1 and 2. The strike has opened the doors for an all-out attack on COSATU by the right wing of the ANC. This started with Thabo Mbeki's statements on Friday to the effect that the "ANC is not a vehicle for socialism" and that anyone who disagreed was welcomed to leave, and accusing COSATU of being infiltrated by the "ultra-left".