South Africa

Views and Comments No. 39 (August 1960)

The No. 39 (August 1960) issue of Views and Comments, an anarcho-syndicalist leaning publication produced out of New York by the Libertarian League from 1955 until 1966.

From a South African notebook - Maurice Goldman

An eyewitness account of the brutality of South Africa's apartheid system.

Digging into IWW history: South Africa – John Philips

A brief history of the South African Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) by John Philips. Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker (October 1976)

The South African Wobblies: The Origins of Industrial Unions in South Africa - John Philips

John Philip’s pioneering, hard-to-get study of syndicalism in South Africa, stressing the influence of the IWW.

Syndicalism on the Shopfloor: the Denver Shop-Stewards Strike, Transvaal, November-December 1919 - EA Mantzaris

This paper by Evan Mantzaris provides a critical chronicle of a strike by radical white metalworkers at the Denver Engineering Works on the Witwatersrand, organised through a workers’ committee.

The Rise and Fall of the ICU: a Case of Self-Destruction? - Phil Bonner

This essay, which first appeared in the South African Labour Bulletin, sought to draw the lessons of the spectacular rise and fall of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU) in South Africa, which in the 1920s was the biggest black protest movement in the country.

'Sifuna zonke!’: revolutionary syndicalism, the Industrial Workers of Africa and the fight against racial capitalism, 1915-1921 - Bikisha Media Collective

Police disperse a strike meeting, Market Square, Johannesburg, 1913.

Pamphlet from the Bikisha Media Collective on the development of revolutionary syndicalist organisations in South Africa, including the Industrial Workers of Africa.

Syndicalists in South Africa, 1908-17 - Baruch Hirson

Mary 'Pickhandle' Fitzgerald addressing strikers in Market Square, 1913.

Baruch Hirson, South African Trotskyist, provides some insight into the South African syndicalists of the early twentieth century recovering the history of South African left traditions ignored or caricatured in the South African Communist Party and academic accounts. Although his interest was in the Communist Party and the Trotskyists that emerged subsequently, his work also touched on the anarchist and syndicalist tradition, as this interesting paper shows.

South Africa: class struggle, 'xenophobia' and the local elite

This article offers a brief case study of how grassroots self organisation enables communities to resist xenophobic violence in South Africa.

The class struggle in South Africa 1976-80

Soweto schoolkids in the 1976 riots

A pamphlet published by the BM Combustion group, including parts of the texts Reflections on the Black Consciousness Movement and the South African revolution and On the poverty of Berkeley life, by various authors.