Covid-19 attacks the down-and-out in ultra-unequal South Africa

16 April 2020 — Solidarity

Patrick Bond

Shoppers queue outside a grocery store during a 21 day nationwide lockdown, aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19 in Soweto, South Africa, March 30, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

It’s hard to imagine a more worrying place to watch Covid-19 hit a society than Johannesburg, South Africa.

This is, after all, the world’s most unequal major city, serving as economic headquarters for the most unequal country. In spite of a poverty rate (at $2.80/day) of more than 60 percent and a national unemployment rate of 40 percent before the current crisis, the labor movement is now considered (by corporate elites) to be the world’s third most militant (although its political divisions are profound). And the capitalist class is rated (by PwC) as the world’s third most crime-prone and corruption-riddled.

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The Fate of Xolobeni Would Be the Fate Of Us All

7 October, 2019 — Tri-Continental

Xolobeni

Since 1996, activists in Xolobeni, a coastal region in South Africa, have been fighting a foreign mining conglomerate that learned that their ancestral lands happen to be rich in titanium. The anti-mining activists of Xolobeni, who have lost many comrades to hit squads, continue to struggle against this foreign company and its partners in the South African government. Given that their land is located in a global biodiversity hotspot, their struggle is the struggle of us all: it is the fight for water, soil, food, and air.

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Resounding “No” to Monsanto’s “Bogus” GM Drought-tolerant Maize

4 October 2019 — GMWatch

South Africa minister, appeal board, and biosafety authority reject Monsanto’s GM seeds

After more than 10 years of battling Monsanto’s “bogus” drought tolerant maize project, the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has welcomed the decision by the Minister of Agriculture, Ms Thoko Didiza, upholding the decision by the Executive Council: GMO Act and the appeal board to reject Monsanto’s application for the commercial cultivation of its triple-stacked “drought-tolerant” GM maize seed.

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Trump’s Vision for Africa? The 1960s By Wayne Madsen

26 July 2019 — WSWS

Although Donald Trump can barely place a single country in Africa, his few utterances on the continent have yielded what can only be described as a nostalgia for the 1960s. It was a decade that saw three white minority-ruled governments ruling in South Africa, Rhodesia, and the South African territory of South-West Africa. All three white-ruled entities practiced varying degrees of apartheid. This was accomplished through economic, social, and political means.

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Rainbows, dreams & ethical journalism By Terry Bell

29 June 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

South Africa seems to be obsessed with rainbow images. First there was that grand illusion of a rainbow nation, now faded. But it did, for some time, obscure, to a degree, rotten reality.

Now, with the latest State of the Nation (SONA) address we have what seemed to boil down to a “somewhere over the rainbow image” taken from that iconic Hollywood film, The Wizard of Oz. That 1939 movie, based on a 1900 fantasy novel, featured a young girl in dull, dusty Kansas, being swept up in her house by a tornado and landing in a glittering world “over the rainbow”.

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Death of South Africa’s Lonmin Mining House. “Murder by Money” By Prof. Patrick Bond

30 May 2019 — Global Research

Autopsy reveals the British-South African corpse’s poisoning by microfinance, ‘development finance’ and corporate finance

The death of the 110-year old mining house Lonmin at a London shareholders meeting on May 28 occurred not through bankruptcy or nationalisation, as would have been logical at various points in time. It was the result of a takeover – generally understood as a rip-off of investors and workers – by an extremely jejune (7 year-old) South African corporation, Sibanye-Stillwater. The latter’s chief executive, Neil Froneman, is known for extreme aggression in both corporate takeovers and workplace cost-cutting, with by far the highest fatality rate in the mining industry.

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SA — still awaiting a workers’ party By Terry Bell

22 May 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

(Inside Labour column – first published in City Press, May 19)

One interesting result of South Africa’s May 8 national and provincial poll was the effective demolition of an enduring myth, beloved of many bosses and union-bashing free marketeers: that union bosses call the shots and members blindly follow. This is a claim trotted out at the time of almost every major strike.

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Ronnie Kasrils on South African Election

15 May 2019 — Rebel News

Ronnie Kasrils on South African Election

Ronnie Kasrils joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1960 after Sharpeville and later played a leading role in Umkhonte we Sizwe, the ANC’s armed wing. He served for a number of years as a minister in Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid government as Deputy Minister of Defence and as Minister for Security. He has since become a major left critic of the ANC and its embrace of neo-liberalism. He is also known as an outspoken opponent of Apartheid Israel. Rebel is pleased to publish his assessment of the recent South African election here.

The best aspect of South Africa’s sixth national election since democracy in 1994 was that it was extremely peaceful, virtually incident free, fair, and credible. The top marks go to the 16 million who cast their votes, many in difficult rural terrain and some in cold, rainy conditions. The downside was that this was the lowest turnout of registered voters since that first seminal democratic election.

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South Africa elections 2019: widespread fury and big gains for the EFF

15 May 2019 — In Defence of Marxism

Election results can provide an important barometer of the mood in society. The results of the Sixth National and Provincial elections on 8 May confirm that there is a deep ferment in South African society. The sharp drop in voter turnout, together with the high abstention from the election process, especially by the youth, meant that, for the first time ever, a minority of the voting-age population voted in the elections. This is highly significant in a country where the working class conquered the right to vote from the ruling class only 25 years ago.

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