South Africa

Thinking freedom: achieving the impossible collectively

Michael Neocosmos

An interview with Michael Neocosmos first published by the Transnational Institute.

New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class Struggle Unionism

This is the first book to compile workers’ struggles on a global basis, examining the formation and expansion of radical unions in the Global South and Global North.

Smashing H&M in South Africa: not the first attack on the garment supply chain (and not the last either!)

A H&M that's seen better days, South Africa.

Hand-wringing over the trashing of a few H&M branches in South Africa ignores the often highly militant struggles of the workers in H&M's supply chain (and others like it), themselves often women of colour and one of the most combative sections of the international working class.

South Africa 1985: The organisation of power in black and white

The police stations are surrounded by sandbags and barbed wire. They look like trenches in a battlefield. The police buildings are flanked by Saracens & Hippos.

Abahlali baseMjondolo activists kidnapped then tortured at house of local ward councillor

Abahlali baseMjondolo

On Monday two members of Abahlali were attacked by unknown people in their Silver City branch in uMlazi. The two men, who are serving in the local Abahlali structure were abducted by a group of men and forced into a car with no registration number. They were then taken to the house of the local ward councillor. They were beaten and tortured for two hours at the home of the ward councillor by the same men that had abducted them. After this they were taken to the police station by these men.

SAFTU: The Tragedy and (Hopefully not) the Farce

The labour movement has been unable to de-link itself from its archenemy: capital. As its structures bureaucratise, as its leaders become career unionists, as it opens investment companies and pays staff increasingly inequitable salaries, it increasingly mirrors the very thing it is fighting. If the South African Federation of Trade Unions is to meet its promise, it must be fundamentally different from the organisation it was born out of.

Fueling the fires: South Africa in class war

The hope that the end of apartheid would herald a better life for the oppressed in South Africa has evaporated. Their conditions today are materially as bad as under apartheid - and even worse in some cases. But the upper classes are having the time of their lives. Working class struggles should be intensified and linked, based on self-organising and direct democracy to bring about real change.

Land, law and decades of devastating douchebaggery

This article looks at the recent wave of community protests in South Africa with a focus on the case of Freedom Park in Soweto

The ANC’s South Africa: kleptocracy and exploitation

Zuma uses Gordhan as front for his corruption (cartoon)

The corruption of the Zuma regime has now reached scandalous levels but it was entirely predictable given the ANC's past.

Politics at stake: a note on stakeholder analysis

Abahlali baseMjondolo in Caoe Town

In what Partha Chatterjee calls 'most of the world' the state and capital have two defences against grassroots political society - the police and civil society (especially NGOs and the academy). The first protect oppression with violent repression, the second do the same by throwing up a spongy wall around it in which grassroots political society is absorbed via individualising technocratic 'public participation' processes and educated to accept domination via all kinds of workshops and training that teach people to know their place. This article is an important attempt to think with grassroots militancy against civil society.