The Industrial & Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) – a trade union, rural peasant movement, and urban squatters’ movement – formed on the docks in Cape Town in 1919. Within a decade, the ICU had expanded across Southern Africa without regard for national borders and counted people from various African countries and the Caribbean in its leadership, as well as people who were Indian and mixed race. The largely forgotten history of the ICU is well worth recovering in a time of escalating chauvinism and xenophobia. Our Dossier #20 offers an introduction to this extraordinary popular movement.
A Brief History of South Africa’s Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (1919-1931)
ANC atrocity in South African shack settlement
On Saturday 26 September, Abahlali baseMjondolo, the shack dwellers movement, was attacked in the Kennedy Road settlement, Durban, by an armed mob chanting ethnic slogans and backed, fully, by the ANC. This article is based on a report from an Abahlali member in Durban.