South Africa

The strike by metalworkers that began on the 4th of July, ended over the weekend when workers accepted a 3-year contract from the Steel and Engineering Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA). Metalworkers will receive a first year pay rise of 10% effective from July 1 2011. The second year and third year, the workers will receive not less than 8% in each year.

South Africa is witnessing a growing strike wave, with the metalworkers in the lead, but with more and more sections taking strike action or threatening to do so. A new wave of militant class struggle is on the agenda as the contradictions between bosses and workers become more exacerbated by the day. Here we publish an outline of what is happening

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) went on strike action on Monday, following a breakdown in negotiations at the end of June. NUMSA would not budge on its demand for a 13% increase across the board, better working conditions and a total ban of labour brokers.

In the recent local elections in South Africa we witnessed a concerted campaign by the Democratic Alliance, backed by the media, to exploit discontent with the ANC to their own advantage. They failed to do so, as the masses instinctively see the DA as a threat to the conquests of the anti-apartheid movement. However, what is true is that the ANC leadership, pursuing policies that are limited to what can be achieved within the confines of capitalism, have failed in the recent period to solve the fundamental economic and social problems faced by working people.

We publish here an article written by a comrade of the Young Communist League in South Africa. The article, which was first published on the website of SASCO (The South African Students Congress) was a reply to another comment on the same website called "A revolution foresaked or advanced: 2007 Polokwane aftermath" (at the bottom of the page). Although we are not in complete agreement with all the content of the article we think that it is an important contribution to the debate that is going on within the South African worker movement.

Ever since the South African masses overthrew the apartheid regime and propelled the ANC into power, the South African bourgeoisie, its ideologists and its media have waged an uninterrupted and daily war of lies and slanders against the ANC, SACP and COSATU – i.e. the traditional mass organizations of the South African youth, workers and poor.

On Saturday, April 9, the Pretoria Central branch of the South African Young Communist League held a political seminar and a memorial session on the anniversary of the death of the South African Communist leader Chris Hani, where two speakers addressed the gathering, Leon Wiitboi, the branch secretary and Ali Nooshini of the International Marxist Tendency.

The Young Communist League of South Africa held its 3rd Congress in the university town of Mafikeng on December 8-12, 2010. The congress was the culminating point of four years of explosive growth and big success for the organization that has quickly grown to be a massive force of more than 56,000 activists. It also brought into sharp focus the conflict between the left and right wing within the South African Communists.

Miners at the Aurora mining company’s Grootvlei mine in Springs, on the East Rand, and the Orkney mine in the North West have taken action demanding the payment of their wages and to get their jobs back. We publish here a letter (with an introductory explanatory note) we have received from South Africa regarding this issue, which expresses the anger of the miners and also advocates the only solution to the problem: nationalization under workers’ control.

South Africa was moving towards a general strike type situation as the public sector strike that started on August 18 was building up momentum. Now the strike has been suspended by union leaders because of some concessions on the part of the government. This has angered many workers who wanted to step up action, not take a step back.

As the strike by more than a million public sector workers in South Africa enters its second week, the government has launched an all out attack against the unions using all powers at its disposal, including the courts, the police, the Army and the media. The unions have replied by threatening solidarity action which could involve the police and the army.

More than a million South African public sector workers started an all-out national strike for better wages and conditions on Wednesday, August 18. The present wave of strikes shows that the South African workers are not prepared to accept promises anymore and it's time for the Zuma government to deliver the change it was voted in for.

After months of build up, the World Cup is finally underway. As it approaches the end of the first week, in what is a month-long bloated competition, something has become rather clear. Hype is everything.

The recent death of Eugene Terre Blanche, leader of the AWB (Afrikaner Resistance Movement), at the hands of two farm workers, has highlighted the situation that exists today in South Africa, on the one hand the many unresolved problems of the huge majority of black workers and poor, and on the other a minority within the white population who cannot reconcile themselves to the end of Apartheid, upon which their privileges depended.