In May 2011, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a Working Paper by Burcu Aydin called ‘Ghana: Will It Be Gifted Or Will It Be Cursed?’ (WP/11/104). Oil had just been discovered off the shore of Ghana. This anticipated a bounty of revenue for the country. Aydin asks whether Ghana will face the ‘resource curse’. The resource curse – also known as the Dutch Disease – occurs where revenue from sale of this resource rushes into a country, appreciates the currency and causes a major crisis in other parts of the economy. Looking at 150 middle- and low-income countries, Aydin came up with a strong finding: ‘Results show that there is a poverty trap for poor resource-rich countries due to their low institutional quality’. Bad governance and poor macroeconomic management, Aydin suggests, diminish the possibility for the onrush of revenues from natural resources to enhance a country’s development. There is no mention, in the IMF’s Working Paper, of the other actors in the process – namely, the multinational companies that dominate the natural resource extraction business. The pro-corporate literature explains problems in the resource economy in two ways: 1) poor macroeconomic management that allows revenues to flood the economy and appreciate the currency, 2) bad governance because of corruption and theft by government officials.
8 May 2019 — Terry Bell Writes
While there has been much media debate about what “black middle-class” voters will do today, there has been nothing about where the votes of unionised workers may go as South Africa completes its sixth non-racial election. This is perhaps because it is widely assumed that, in terms of labour voting patterns, nothing much has changed in the 25 years since the transition from apartheid.
8 May 2019 — Internationalist 360°
With the slogan “Equality, Work, Land!”, the newly-founded Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) of South Africa is set to contest the general election scheduled on May 8. The party aims to use parliamentary institutions to complement mass struggles, with the slogan “socialism and nothing else”. It has unveiled a radical agenda for the country, including abolition of private property rights and free education and healthcare.
25 April 2019 — MROnline
First part of a 2 part series
Over 25 years ago now the people of South Africa won the struggle to end the Apartheid regime.(1) Nevertheless, even though it is now against the law, de facto racial segregation is still apparent. Moreover the capitalist assault on the majority of the population is blatant. The class struggle is all the more clearly perceptible as the main social progress has been the rise to capitalist status of a small minority of Blacks. While there are white and black capitalists, the majority of the non white population are still living in serious to extreme hardship.
8 April 2019 — Terry Bell Writes
First published in City Press, Sunday, April 7
South Africa’s trade unions were probably just as confused as most people when a considerable fuss was made last week about the decisions of ratings agency Moody’s. The agency first said it would not publicise its views on South Africa’s status before the May 8 elections. Days later, it changed tack.
5 April 2019 — Terry Bell Writes
[South Africa may be thousands of miles away but the debates on the left taking place there, are directly connected to the kinds of debates taking place here within and about the struggle for socialism. WB]
What will workers decide when faced with the confusion of 48 political parties listed for the national and provincial poll on May 8? Many clearly did not register to vote, some have said they will abstain, others remain uncertain about who to support.
22 March 2019 — Terry Bell Writes
As South Africa coasts uncomfortably toward national and provincial elections on May 8, accompanied by rolling blackouts and with commissions delving ever deeper into sewers of corruption, it is time to take stock of where the country is and where it may be going. This should apply in particular to trade unions that have, in recent years, touted models of “socialist alternatives”, in Brazil and Venezuela.
10 February 2019 — New Eastern Outlook
The Anglo-European monopolization of Africa as a cash cow may soon be at an end. Until then, however, Africans will have to stomach the never-ending distortions of truth, on top of watching their legacy evaporate like a mirage over the sands of the Sahara. I’ve covered the disinformation on neo-colonialism many times, but today I want to deconstruct, line-by-line, the latest Russophobia propaganda about Putin’s role with African nations.
10 February 2019 — Terry Bell Writes
A version of this item appeared in the City Press on February 10
The people shall govern. So says the Freedom Charter. And so they do, says the ANC along with all the parties represented in parliament.
But this is a lie. And awareness of this fact is what has caused such widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics and political parties. In our party list electoral system this is particularly pertinent: every five years we go to the polls to vote for a party where a president and perhaps the party elite, usual decide on the representatives over whom we have no control. Yet a universal franchise — one person, one vote — is a concession won after many bloody and bitter battles in recent centuries by working people deprived of even the slightest influence over those who governed them.
9 February 2019 — Terry Bell Writes
South Africa is again in the midst of that five-yearly cycle when politicians make extravagant promises that, on even cursory examination, ignore reality. And that does not even mean looking ahead to the consequences of the fourth industrial revolution that the world has already embarked on.
2 February 2019 — Terry Bell Writes
There is a clear lesson — amounting to a wake-up call — for every trade unionist in the allegations and evidence emerging from the Zondo Commission into state capture. It is that the perception in the labour movement that the present economic system is inherently rotten, is true.
27 January 2019 — Alternative Information and Development Centre
The end of the human race is a very real prospect in the context of climate change and ultimately a heating world. Global warming at increases of 3, 4 or 5 degree Celsius means planet earth will no longer be habitable for human and most non-human life. There is scientific evidence that this has happened to other planets like Venus but was caused through natural processes. Our end is not inevitable and neither can it be prevented by false solutions. As a scientific process, climate change is the result of the sun’s rays (energy flows) being trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere by greenhouse gases (such as carbon and methane). This is creating a heating planet. This article engages with this challenge from a climate justice perspective.