South Africa

New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Cyril Ramaphosa

Essay by Dennis Webster, first published in The Jacobin, on the ascension of Cyril Ramaphosa to the Presidency of the African National Congress.

New Labour Bills in South Africa attack worker rights and democracy

In South Africa the Minister of Labour announced the state intends to carry out a new round of attacks on workers and their rights. The attacks come in the form of three Labour Bills currently being considered by parliament: the Basic Conditions of Employment Bill, the National Minimum Wage Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill. If passed, the changes to the labour laws these bills propose will be a major attack on workers’ rights, won through decades of struggle, and will further deepen and entrench inequality and roll back important democratic gains.

The 'Workerist-Populist' Debate in South Africa in the 1980s

Fosatu founding congress

In the 1980s there was a bitter debate in the anti-apartheid struggle between 'workerists' and 'populists'. This short piece compiled by Warren McGregor, first published at Zabalaza, gives a useful overview of that debate,

Manichean Delirium (In the Time of Jacob Zuma)

Jacob Zuma

An essay by Richard Pithouse that, drawing on Frantz Fanon, looks at Manichaeism as ideology in the postcolony. The essay makes specific reference to South Africa under Jacob Zuma and was first published in The Con.

South Africa: Land Expropriation from Below Faces Brutal Repression

The Women's Riot in Cato Manor, Durban, 1959

As the ruling African National Congress promises, with an eye on a coming election and the collapse in its popular support under Jacob Zuma, to expropriate land without compensation urban land occupations continue, and continue to face serious repression from the ruling party and the state.

The real land expropriation movement in South Africa

Garniston

There has been a massive international reaction to the vote in South Africa to begin the process of land reform, but the ANC is not interested in real land redistribution and persecutes the shack dwellers who are carrying it out.

Exceptional Space: Concentration Camps and Labor Compounds in Late Nineteenth-Century South Africa

De Beers diamond mine, Kimberley, South Africa

Lindsay Weiss explores the relationship between the 1886 'closed labour compounds' of the South African diamond industry, the concentration camps of the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer war, and the german camps used in th Herero and Nama massacre of 1904. The article makes a critical contribution to linking the wartime camps with to earlier colonial forced labour camps outside wartime, especially since camps in the Boer war have been almost exclusively explored by military historians.

To fully reconcile The Boer War is to fully understand the ‘Black’ Concentration Camps

Benneyworth concentration camp

South African military historian Peter Dickens on the black concentration camps during the Second Boer War in South Africa.

Year of Fire, Year of Ash. The Soweto Revolt: Roots of a Revolution?

Baruch Hirson's seminal 1979 book on the Soweto Uprising.