Opinion

Terry Bell.NUMSA plans Marxist-Leninist, revolutionary, working class party

Faced with what appeared to be a veritable swamp of ideology at a “socialist movement” conference in Boksburg last week, the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) has embarked on the process of creating a “Marxist, Leninist, revolutionary working class” political party. However, Numsa also facilitated the Boksburg conference, where representatives from 11 political groups or parties and a number of trade unionists and individuals made up the approximately 150 attendees.

Apr 27, 2015
Terry Bell
SJC members map toilets in Khayelitsha.City's water and sanitation budget not pro-poor - SJC

On 25 April, the Mayor tabled the draft budget in council, challenging residents to find evidence that it is not pro-poor.

Apr 24, 2015
Axolile Notywala
Harsher prison sentences result in an increase in the rate of further offences. Photo by Shaun Swingler.The way we punish

South Africa is often branded as a country with a high incarceration rate. In certain respects, this is true. For with 290 people per 100,000 imprisoned, it has the highest incarceration rate in Africa. But there is much more to prison population rates than a national head count of bodies behind bars.

Apr 22, 2015
Clare Ballard
Somalis march against xenophobia on 7 June 2013. Photo by Tariro Washinyira.Xenophobia: let's avoid the easy answers

Much has been written about why the recent wave of xenophobic attacks took place. But it's more complex than the usual reasons given, argue the authors.

Apr 21, 2015
Matthias Krönke and Mpho Raboeane
Terry Bell.Some light amid the labour gloom

News on the labour front over the recent past — and the past week — has involved ongoing infighting, death threats, an assassination, and the petrol bombing of a union president’s house. Little wonder then that an important labour law development has gone largely unnoticed.

Apr 20, 2015
Terry Bell
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Photo by Daneel Knoetze.Will Phiyega survive? Parliament refuses to approve SAPS budget

Craig Oosthuizen describes the dramatic events in Parliament over the past two days that have put Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega's position under severe pressure.

Apr 16, 2015
Craig Oosthuizen
Mario Masuku, president of Pudemo, has been in detention for 11 months. Photo from http://links.org.au/node/4338.South Africa's questionable silence about human rights violations in Swaziland

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), campaigning groups and labour supporting members of the European parliament this month launched protests about the continued harassment and jailing of trade unionists and democracy campaigners in Swaziland. ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow has noted that, in Swaziland, “Violations against the fundamental rights of workers have become systemic.”

Apr 13, 2015
Terry Bell
Zabalaza Mshengu turned 101 in January. He wants to live out the remainder of his life where he was born and worked. Photo courtesy of Donna Hornby.Land Affairs Director General could face jail

A Land Claims Court judge could opt to jail the Director-General of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mdu Shabane, for contempt of court. Such a decision, however, may still be too late for Zabalaza Mshengu, who turned 101 in January, and has waited 14 years for his claim to land as a labour tenant to be processed. The case also raises uncomfortable questions about how far government will go to push judicial tolerance in order to avoid implementing constitutional rights.

Apr 13, 2015
Donna Hornby
Equal Education members protest outside Parliament on 1 April. Photo by Joey Hasson.Right to protest is under sustained attack

Equal Education’s recently concluded sleep-in protests in three cities have shown how disturbingly difficult it has become to hold legal protests, even for organisations fortunate enough to have access to resources and legal expertise.

Apr 10, 2015
Doron Isaacs
SJC members map toilets in Khayelitsha. The City of Cape Town says the SJC's analysis of sanitation in the City budget is faulty.Sanitation: SJC's analysis is faulty

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has asked the Mayor for a plan to deal with sanitation in informal settlements. We have a plan – one that has already been and continues to be implemented as part of this administration’s commitment to making this a city that delivers services to all our residents. Perhaps that is why so many people flock here from other parts of the country every year. After all, no one packs up their family and leaves their hometown for a worse life!

Apr 8, 2015
Ian Neilson

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