Tag Archives: COSATU

Has the time for ‘talks about talks’ come in SA?

The student protests of the last year are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprisings. Those protests were the precursor to a political change in South Africa less than a decade later. When young, educated “born free” South Africans express anger and impatience it’s time to pay attention. They have shown they want action. They want…

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The assassination of Shaka the unifier is a lesson for the ANC

South Africans celebrate the enigmatic historical figure of Shaka Zulu, the military revolutionary who rose from illegitimacy to be a unifying monarch who used alliances and the occasional judicial assassination to build a Zulu powerhouse on South Africa’s east coast in the 1800s. Ironically, while Shaka’s use of military power, diplomacy and patronage succeeded at…

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Time to ease the trade union corset that confines SA

Despite the excitement generated among the British hard left by the election of Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labour Party, trade union influence has over the past two decades been on the wane throughout most of the Western world. And as in most of the developing world, it has not fared at all well in…

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How long can the ANC keep winning elections?

The discussion documents that have recently been released by the ANC in preparation for its national general council in October reveal renewed intention to have a serious discussion and reflection on a number of key issues, which if unresolved, can accelerate the demise of the organisation. In reality the fundamental question is about what is…

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Is there a good story to tell out there?

In recent weeks there has been a consistent stream of cautionary advice coming from leading economists and analysts warning us that our economic situation is so dire there is a danger that our ability to continue to provide social services at the current levels will be seriously constrained and may certainly lead to rolling social…

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The tripartite alliance was not designed to govern

Alliances are usually structured by different organisations that are motivated by a common purpose to achieve a shared objective. For such an arrangement to be sustainable, it must also be mutually re-enforcing in order to serve their different interests. It was therefore logical for the labour movement to collaborate with the ANC for the purpose…

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Humpty Cosatu’s fall is the best news in a long time

The Humpty Dumpty of South African trade unionism has fallen off the wall. And all Emperor Zuma’s horses and all Emperor Zuma’s men never will put Humpty together again. Callooh, callay, oh frabjous day! On balance, the exit of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) from union federation Cosatu is a damn…

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Numsa: Is this the left’s moment?

The announcement that Numsa would form its own socialist party should come as no surprise. Numsa’s battles within Cosatu (most notably with its historical rival, the Jacob Zuma-aligned NUM) and the ruling alliance (particularly with the Zuma faction, ostensibly on questions of ideology) have served as a generous forewarning that this was coming. Further, in…

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ANC must quit the alliance

For many people the last 20 years was a period of lost opportunities characterised by mediocre progress on the economic front and unmet promises. On the contrary, the ANC claims that there is a good story to tell. For the owners of capital, it has indeed been a period of unprecedented growth in their wealth…

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Sports quotas: At last, a role for designated whiteys

The Congress of South African Trade Unions this week expressed support for the imposition of race quotas in soccer, pointing to the absence of white players in the national team as a grave social injustice. On the paleface of it, what a breakthrough this is for minorities. Bafana Bafana – The Boys, The Boys –…

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