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Durban

March for 'the total decommodification of land' in Durban, South Africa

Abahlali baseMjondolo outside the Durban City Hall - 24 February 2019

Today, Abahlali baseMjondolo, from a base on more than seventy ongoing land occupations, and with a membership in good standing approaching 80 000, organised a major march in Durban against control over the allocation and management of land by the state and capital. The march follows promises of a new top down land reform programme by the ruling African National Congress, which is split between neoliberal and kleptocratic factions.

A Brief History of South Africa’s Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (1919-1931)

ICU membership card

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.

Rick Turner, Participatory Democracy and Workers’ Control

This article considers the contribution of radical South African philosopher Rick Turner to theories of ‘workers’ control’. Turner’s philosophical work, especially his book, The Eye of the Needle (1972), posited the workplace as a fundamental site of ‘participatory democracy’ and a space for the potential radical transformation of South African society. The confluence of Turner’s ideas about workers’ control, the students’ activism, and the collective action of the black working class gave South Africa’s labour movement a radically democratic, shop-floor orientation that deserves a revival in the new South Africa.

Rick Tuner and South Africa's Sixties

Rick Turner

This article examines the life and thought of South African radical philosopher Richard “Rick” Turner (1941–1978), a crucial figure in the 1973 anti-apartheid political conjuncture known as the “Durban Moment.” Though steeped in existentialist philosophy, Turner’s real contribution to New Left thought in South Africa came elsewhere. Turner’s receptivity to “Black Consciousness,” his vision of radical pedagogy, and his commitment to participatory democracy and “workers’ control” all made a deep imprint on Black working class mobilization and the birth of a democratic trade union movement in South Africa.

Abahlali baseMjondolo march against assassinations in Durban

Abahlali baseMjondolo outside the Durban City Hall - 8 October 2018

More than 5 000 members of Abahlali baseMjondolo took to the streets of Durban yesterday to demand accountability for, and an end to, political violence being meted out against their comrades and other activists.

Abahlali baseMjondolo leader S’bu Zikode’s life is ‘in grave danger’

S'bu Zikode

Abahlali baseMjondolo continues to be subject to assassination in Durban. This article, from the Daily Maverick in Johannesburg, reports on recent threats to the movement.

Another Abahlali baseMjondolo leader assassinated in Durban

S'fiso Ngcobo

Last night S'fiso Ngcobo, chairperson of his local Abahlali baseMjondolo branch was assassinated in Durban. Earlier in the day Ndumiso Mnguni, also an Abahlali baseMjondolo member, was shot and seriously wounded by Municipal security guards.

Unfreedom Day Rally: Freedom a figment of elite imagination, say 50,000 shack dwellers

UnFreedom Day 2018

An article from the mainstream media on the annual 'UnFreedom Day' rally held each year by Abahlali baseMjondolo in Durban as a counter event to the national public holiday 'Freedom Day'. Thousands of people, from various parts of the country, participated in the event. The movement affirmed its commitment to the collective ownership and democratic management of land, outside of the logic of capital.

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.

Strikes in Durban, 1973

The Durban Strikes (1973)

Gerhard Maré's study of the 1973 strikes of nearly one hundred thousand workers in Durban, South Africa.