Hosting the World Summit for Sustainable Development was an important test for the ANC
government in South Africa. Since it came to power in 1994 the ANC government has pursued
openly pro-capitalist policies. A growing protest movement has emerged, particularly from
the poorest townships where residents are being cut off from water and electricity and
evicted because they cannot pay their bills.
A massive march marked the first day of the 2-day general strike called by COSATU in South
Africa to protest against the privatisation plans of the ANC government, and against job
losses and poverty which have been aggravated by the recent increases in the prices of
staple foods. Report from Johannesburg by Jorge Martin.
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".
Phineas Malapela, member of the Executive of the Anti-Privatisation Forum and member of
the Vaal Working Class Communities Co-ordinating Committee spoke to In Defence of
Marxismbefore the recent October 1-2 general strike in South Africa. He
explains the devastating effects of the privatisation policies of the ANC government on
ordinary working class people in South Africa and explains how people are organising to