South Africa: Infrastructure ‘fast-track’ may trip up government and corporations By Patrick bond

21 January 2014 — The Daily Maverick

What we academics often term South Africa’s ‘Minerals-Energy Complex‘ (MEC) keeps getting away with murder, including economic strangulation. As just one example, in spite of a recent trade surplus, the balance of payments is going into extreme deficit largely because MEC multinational mining houses – especially BHP Billiton, Anglo, DeBeers, Lonmin and Glencore – vacuum out profits to their London and Melbourne financial headquarters. This leaves SA basking not in BRICS prosperity but instead leading the slide of the ‘Fragile Five’: big emerging markets suffering vast capital outflows.

Obama in South Africa: Washington tells Pretoria how to ‘play the game’ in Africa By Patrick Bond

1 July, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

US President Barack Barack Obama’s weekend trip to South Africa may have the desired effect of slowing the geopolitical realignment of Pretoria to the Brazil-India-Russia-China-South Africa (BRICS) axis. That shift to BRICS has not, however, meant deviation from the hosts’ political philosophy, best understood as “talk left, walk right” since it mixes anti-imperialist rhetoric with pro-corporate policies. Continue reading

Obama in South Africa: Washington tells Pretoria how to ‘play the game’ in Africa By Patrick Bond

1 July, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

US President Barack Barack Obama’s weekend trip to South Africa may have the desired effect of slowing the geopolitical realignment of Pretoria to the Brazil-India-Russia-China-South Africa (BRICS) axis. That shift to BRICS has not, however, meant deviation from the hosts’ political philosophy, best understood as “talk left, walk right” since it mixes anti-imperialist rhetoric with pro-corporate policies. Continue reading

South Africa’s ‘sub-imperial’ seductions By Patrick Bond

9 May 2013 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Thanks are due to an odd man, the brutally frank Zambian vice-president Guy Scott who last week pronounced, “I dislike South Africa for the same reason that Latin Americans dislike the United States”. Thanks are also due to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma for forcing a long-overdue debate, just as the World Economic Forum Africa summit opens in Cape Town: is Pretoria a destructive sub-imperialist power? Continue reading

BRICS: ‘Anti-imperialist’ or ‘sub-imperialist’? By Patrick Bond

20 March 2013 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

“We reaffirm the character of the ANC as a disciplined force of the left, a multi-class mass movement and an internationalist movement with an anti-imperialist outlook” — so said Jacob Zuma, orating to his masses at the year’s largest African National Congress celebration, in Durban on January 12, 2013.[1]

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Video: Platinum Miners and Class Struggle in South Africa By Patrick Bond

10 January 2013 — The Real News Network

 

Patrick Bond: Platinum miners strike inspires workers across <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>South <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Africa; Billionaire mine owner becomes deputy head of ANC

 

Bio

 

Patrick Bond is the Director of the Center for Civil Society and Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>South <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Africa. Bond is the author and editor of the recently released books, Politics of <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Climate Justice and Durban’s <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Climate Gamble. (inc. transcript) Watch full multipart Platinum Miners and Class Struggle in South Africa Continue reading

South Africa: Politics, profits and policing after the Marikana Massacre By Patrick Bond

20 December 2012Links International journal of Socialist Renewal

Lover of fast cars, vintage wine, trout fishing and game farming and the second richest black businessperson in South Africa (global financial publication Forbes puts his wealth at $675 million or £416 million), Cyril Ramaphosa (left) celebrates his election as deputy president of the ANC with South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa demanded that police break the Marikana mineworkers’ strike; police massacred 34 mineworkers and wounded 78 others.

By Patrick Bond

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The commodification of crap and South Africa’s toilet apartheid By Patrick Bond

5 December, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Durban — The December 3-6, 2012World Toilet Summit offers an opportunity to contemplate how we curate our crap. Increasingly the calculus seems to be cash, generating contradictions ranging from local to global scales, across race, gender, generation and geography. Nowhere are they more evident than in the host city, my hometown of Durban. We’ve suffered an 18-year era of neoliberal-nationalist malgovernance including toilet apartheid, in the wake of more than 150 years of colonialism and straight racial-apartheid.

From Copenhagen and Cancun to Bonn and Durban, Climate Meetings are Conferences of Polluters By Patrick Bond

4 July 2011 — Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 523

Judging by what transpired at the global climate negotiations in the former West German capital, Bonn, it appears certain that in just over five months’ time, the South African port city of Durban will host a conference of climate procrastinators, the COP17 (Conference of Parties), dooming the Earth to the frying pan. Further inaction on climate change will leave our city’s name as infamous for elite incompetence and political betrayal as is Oslo‘s in the Middle East.

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Gaza: A View From the Ground A South African Perspective By Patrick Bond

8 June 2011 — The Bullet – Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 514

Here in Palestine, disgust expressed by civil society reformers about Barack Obama’s May 19 policy speech on the Middle East and North Africa confirms that political reconciliation between Washington and fast-rising Arab democrats is impossible.

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South African Public Sector Strike Highlights Society’s Contradictions By Patrick Bond

23 August, 2010 — The  B u l l e t Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 405

The two major civil service unions on strike against the South African (SA) government vow to intensify pressure in coming days, in a struggle pitting a million members of the middle and lower ranks of society against a confident government leadership fresh from hosting the FIFA World Cup.

Along with smaller public sector unions, teachers from the SA Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) and nurses from the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) continued picketing at schools, clinics and hospitals, leading to widespread shutdowns starting on August 18. Skeleton teams of doctors and military personnel were compelled to send non-emergency cases home.

In several confrontations with police at town centres, clinics and schools late last week, workers were shot with rubber bullets and water cannons. On Saturday the courts enjoined workers to return to jobs considered to be emergency services. In dozens of hospitals and clinics, military healthworkers took over.

President Jacob Zuma threatened mass firings and attacked labour movement activists who successfully disrupted health and education facilities: “Even during the campaigns against the apartheid government we did not prevent nurses from going to work.” The South African Communist Party (SACP) issued a statement defending the strikers but requesting the labour movement and ruling African National Congress (ANC) to desist “flinging irritable insults at each other, while the private sector and anti-worker elements sit back and laugh.”

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The Bank Loan That Could Break South Africa's Back By Patrick Bond

13 April, 2010 — MRZine/Monthly Review

Just how dangerous is the World Bank and its neo-conservative president, Robert Zoellick, to South Africa and the global climate?

Notwithstanding South Africa’s existing $75 billion foreign debt, last Thursday the bank added a $3.75bn loan to Eskom for the primary purpose of building the world’s fourth-largest coal-fired power plant, at Medupi, which will spew 25 million tons of the climate pollutant carbon dioxide each year.

SA Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan repeatedly said that this is the bank’s “first” post-apartheid loan, yet its 1999 and 2008 Country Assistance Strategy documents show conclusively that Medupi is the 15th credit since 1994.

Gordhan also claimed the loan will now help South Africa “build a relationship” with the bank. He forgets the bank co-authored the 1996 Growth Employment and Redistribution (Gear) programme, which led us to overtake Brazil as the world’s most unequal major country, as black incomes fell below 1994 levels and white incomes grew by 24 percent, according to official statistics.

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Fatima Meer, 1928-2010: `Regardless of how many years we have spent in this life, we must get up and shout' By Patrick Bond and Orlean Naidoo

28 March, 2010 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

In January 2000 Fatima Meer enraged ANC leaders by opposing the eviction of destitute families from council flats in Chatsworth, Durban. The ANC’s objective was to sell off the council housing. Meer helped to establish the Concerned Citizens’ Group to organise protests against the ANC’s anti-poor policies like privatisation and cost-recovery, which had led to violent evictions and water cutoffs. The ANC deputy mayor of Durban Trevor Bonhomme called Meer a counter-revolutionary. Watch the video to hear her response.

On March 12, 2010, Fatima Meer passed away at the age of 82, the result of a stroke she suffered two weeks before. Meer was a long-time fighter against apartheid, racism and social injustice, both before and after the fall of the white minority regime in South Africa in 1994. Despite being a veteran of the ANC movement, and the author of the definitive biography of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela (Higher than Hope, Penguin 1988), when the ANC in government embraced neoliberalism Meer threw in her lot with poor and oppressed who, despite the change of government, continued to bear the brunt of inequality and exploitation. Below, Patrick Bond and Orlean Naidoo pay tribute.


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Curing Post-Copenhagen Hangover By Patrick Bond

22 December, 2009 — Climate and Capitalism

Uncivil society will have to take up the slack and apply direct pressure, starting with the slogan ‘leave the oil in the soil, the coal in the hole and the tarsand in the land!’

In Copenhagen, the world’s richest leaders continued their fiery fossil fuel party last Friday night, ignoring requests of global village neighbors to please chill out.

Instead of halting the hedonism, Barack Obama and the Euro elites cracked open the mansion door to add a few nouveau riche guests: South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, China’s Jiabao Wen (reportedly the most obnoxious of the lot), Brazil’s Lula Inacio da Silva and India’s Manmohan Singh. By Saturday morning, still punch-drunk with power over the planet, these wild and crazy party animals had stumbled back onto their jets and headed home.

The rest of us now have a killer hangover, because on behalf mainly of white capitalists (who are having the most fun of all), the world’s rulers stuck the poor and future generations with vast clean-up charges – and worse: certain death for millions.

The 770 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere envisaged in the Copenhagen Accord signatories’ promised 15% emissions cuts from 1990 levels to 2020 – which in reality could be a 10% increase once carbon trading and offset loopholes are factored in – will cook the planet, say scientists, with nine out of ten African peasants losing their livelihood.

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