Socialist Worker

South Africa


Struggle continues for real liberation

17 April 2004
WHEN SOUTH Africans went to the polls this week it marked ten years since black people won the right to vote. A cursory examination of South Africa today reveals deep cracks in the post-apartheid capitalist society. Despite big talk about what has been achieved, the rich continue to get richer and the poor poorer. The majority black ANC government wants South Africans to celebrate and relish the newfound peace, justice and national unity after centuries of conflict, division and injustice.

Modern day slavery

26 July 2003
FAR FROM being a drain on the economy, workers from abroad keep key industries and services in Britain going. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) showed last week how some parts of the NHS would "cease to function" without nurses from South Africa and the Philippines. Guardian journalist Felicity Lawrence has uncovered how "in food processing there is a hidden army of labour on whom we all depend".

Chief plunderer goes to poorest continent

12 July 2003
"GEORGE BUSH is coming to South Africa with his hands dripping with the fresh blood of Iraqi people. When they roll out the red carpet for him, it will be to hide the bloodstains." That's how Trevor Ngwane, the leading South African anti-privatisation activist, summed up what Bush's tour of Africa means.

Foreign terrorist is now living among us

21 June 2003
IMAGINE THE outcry if the Home Office gave residency to a Muslim political activist wanted by Interpol in connection with the murder of a policeman. Imagine if that person was found living in luxury and working with children. Now imagine if that person was a racist member of South Africa's fascist Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB), which used extreme violence to oppose black majority rule.

A struggle to put life before profits

31 May 2003
Zackie Achmat is one of the leading figures of the South African movement fighting to get lifesaving drugs made available to everyone living with HIV and AIDS. He was an anti-apartheid activist from an early age. Although he is HIV positive, he is refusing to take antiretroviral drugs until they are made available for everyone in the South African public health system. He is chair of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

New conquests for Imperial boss

02 November 2002
RICHARD SYKES is the chairman of the giant pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline. The firm makes £10,000 every minute - the same time it takes 21 people in the Third World to die of preventable diseases. It was also one of the firms which tried to prevent South Africa from developing its own cheaper drugs for AIDS and HIV.

Unions lead resistance to privatisation

12 October 2002
HUNDREDS OF thousands of workers went on strike across South Africa against the policies of the ANC government last week. Bosses and the government claimed the strike was a flop but the Cosatu union federation, which called the action, disputed their figures. Cosatu leaders said that up to 60 percent of their members had taken part in the strike.

In brief

21 September 2002
Tuesday 22 October will be a global day of solidarity with the Kensington 87, the protesters who were arrested in Johannesburg, South Africa, for demonstrating against water and electricity cutoffs. The defendants include Trevor Ngwane. They will go before a court on 23 October to face serious charges. Globalise Resistance has called a demonstration outside the South African embassy in London at 5pm on 22 October.

Hot air from world leaders

07 September 2002
TONY BLAIR claimed to be leading the world on tackling poverty and environmental destruction at the Earth Summit this week. The truth is that the summit's outcome represents no progress at all. On key areas it will guarantee things get worse, not better. That is why 25,000 protesters, mainly the poor of South Africa, defied the police and government and staged an angry march on the summit last Saturday (see report below).

Earth Summit

31 August 2002
ANOTHER SUMMIT, and more claims from government leaders that they want to tackle world poverty and global warming. But as the delegates meet in the South African city of Johannesburg, they are likely to entrench the same forces and policies responsible for the crisis. Almost three billion people, half the world's population, live on less than two US dollars a day.

Links in the global chain

31 August 2002
THE PROTESTS against the rich and powerful at the Earth Summit in South Africa have been inspiring. Following on from the protests in Barcelona and Seville earlier this year, they are a powerful rebuttal to all those who claimed the anti-capitalist movement was dead after 11 September.

Durban women attack 'satans who run industry'

31 August 2002
WOMEN IN one of South Africa's poorest townships, Wentworth on the edge of Durban, issued a statement about why they are protesting at the Earth Summit. They have called their grassroots organisation the Wentworth Summit on Sickness and Death (WSSD), mirroring the official title of the world leaders' gathering, the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

The summit will not help world's poor

31 August 2002
"WE ARE inspired by Seattle and Genoa, and we hope our protest turns into something like Seattle." That's how South Africa's Anti-Privatisation Forum summed up its aim and hope for the mass protest it planned at the Earth Summit on Saturday. The forum is an umbrella group uniting a wide range of people campaigning for social justice.

International solidarity

24 August 2002
AROUND 120 people demonstrated outside the South African embassy in London last week in solidarity with 87 people who went on trial in Johannesburg. The accused included Trevor Ngwane who was interviewed in Socialist Worker last week.

Rulers' ten years of broken promises

24 August 2002
THE EARTH Summit starts in Johannesburg, South Africa, next week. World leaders will talk about tackling poverty, dealing with the environmental crisis and embracing "sustainable development". US president George W Bush is hostile even to making such noises. This could lead some people to think that the summit must contain something good.

Protesters brand summit a sham

24 August 2002
SOUTH AFRICAN workers, landless labourers, campaigners and activists are preparing a massive demonstration outside the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. Inside the plush corridors of the conference complex in Sandton, surrounded by police and barbed wire, politicians and businessmen will be meeting from Monday.

International solidarity

10 August 2002
PROTESTERS will gather outside the South African embassy on Thursday next week in solidarity with 87 anti-privatisation activists from the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee. The 87, including renowned militant Trevor Ngwane, will be hauled before a court in Johannesburg on that day.

Trevor Ngwane

10 August 2002
NEXT week Trevor Ngwane and 86 others go on trial in Johannesburg, South Africa, for protesting against electricity and water cut-offs and evictions. They face jail.

Victory in South African strike

27 July 2002
Council workers in South Africa have won big concessions over pay after a national strike lasting almost three weeks. The Samwu municipal workers' union won a £14 a month increase in the minimum wage and a 9 percent increase for most of its members. The employers' body had earlier refused to budge from 8 percent.

South African workers in key battle

20 July 2002
OVER 100,000 South African council workers started their second week on all-out strike on Tuesday. They are fighting for a minimum wage of £150 a month. At present the minimum wage is £125 a month.

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