South Africa

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.

The party is haunting us again

NUMSA members

The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) recently split from the African National Congress (ANC). As part of this it is exploring establishing a mass workers' party in South Africa. This article examines why this path is deeply flawed.

Escalating Political Violence in South Africa

An article from the mainstream media in South Africa on escalating political violence including assassinations, police murders and violence from local party structures.

Another Abahlali baseMjondolo comrade has just been assassinated in Durban

South African shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo have just announced that Thuli Ndlovu, their Chairperson in KwaNdengezi has been assassinated. As the statement below indicates there had been serious threats against another comrade, Ndabo Mzimela, but the hammer of oppression fell elsewhere. The Marikana Land Occupation has been attacked by the ANC since this statement was issued. It seems that the Land Invasions Unit stood back and let the party members do the work. A women who tried to resist was attacked and injured with a spade.

They are using Facebook for live updates.