Patrick Bond Discusses the Surge in South Africa’s Class Struggle
Patrick Bond, environtmental activist and author of Politics of Climate Justice, recently wrote an article for Counterpunch that looks at the history of class struggles in South Africa, and how this ties together with recent movements that have taken place on the world stage, including the events in Egypt’s Tahrir Square and at Marikana.
How long can the amazing upsurge of class struggle in South Africa go on? Living here 22 years, I’ve never witnessed such a period of vibrant, explosive, but uncoordinated worker militancy. The latest news from the labour front is that 12 000 workers were fired on October 12 by Angloplats for a wildcat strike (it is likely most will be rehired in coming days if an above-inflation wage settlement is reached), and thousands of others are threatened by the mining houses. Jacob Zuma’s government is panicking about lost elite legitimacy, calling on October 17 for a pay freeze for top private sector, parastatal and state management to make a token gesture at addressing unemployment.