There are none so blind as those that will not see. It is a saying popularised more
than 300 years ago and it has had marked resonance following the bloody events at
Marikana and the more recent upheavals among the fruit and wine farms of the
Opinion | 28 November 2012
There should have been no surprise or outrage expressed by mining companies,
agribusiness, and government officials about the recent explosion of strikes and
protests on mines and farms. And trade unionists across the board should not have
been caught flat-footed by the outbursts of anger that erupted in the North West,
Limpopo and now in the Western Cape.
Opinion | 21 November 2012
By tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, October 20) it should become clear whether
Britain is about to join the growing tide of European rebellion against economic
austerity that has become particularly vociferous and violent in Greece and Spain.
Opinion | 24 October 2012
In a world wracked by ongoing economic crises, what is the role of trade unions? And if they focus
solely on “bread and butter issues”, are they, as National Union of Mineworkers spokesman Lesiba
Seshoka says, doomed to fail because “broader policies are shaped at a political level”.
Opinion | 10 October 2012
Both the Cold War and the bitter battles between communists and social democrats in
Germany of the Thirties found an echo at the 11th Cosatu national congress in
Midrand last week; an echo that is now being assessed by labour organisations and
activists around the world.
Opinion | 3 October 2012
Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven was amazed at the media interest shown in the
eleventh national congress of the federation. Shortly before the congress opened its
doors, 347 media accreditations had been processed, with additional enquiries still
being dealt with.
Opinion | 26 September 2012
Amid unprecedented media interest, Cosatu’s eleventh national congress gets underway in Midrand on Monday. Many of the nearly 300 journalists, photographers and members of camera crews accredited to attend the event are clearly expecting drama.
Opinion | 19 September 2012
Last year Rhodes University academic Jane Duncan warned of "proto fascism" emerging in South Africa. At the same time, in an article for a local publication, I wrote that "the first loud, trumpet calls to fascism in modern South Africa have been sounded".
Opinion | 12 September 2012
The bloodbath at Lonmin’s Marikana mine served to alert more of the public to aspects of feuding and tension that have been ongoing for years and not only at Lonmin and in the mining industry generally. In particular it has highlighted the stresses, strains and battles for power and position within the trade union movement and opened up a number of debates about the way forward.
Opinion | 3 September 2012
“Money, historic distrust, poor communication by and between different parties and the intervention of a small criminal element provided the volatile mix that exploded into violence....."
Opinion | 27 August 2012
Given the amount of often dangerous nonsense being sprouted about "anarchists" and about Amcu allegedly being a newly formed union sponsored by everyone from the Chamber of Mines to BHP Billiton, I provide this historic record: an Inside Labour column published on February 19 this year with which nobody from the NUM or SACP disagreed.
Opinion | 22 August 2012
The ongoing tension and violence at South Africa’s Lonmin platinum mine is a much more complex and messy business than a simple turf war between unions in the Rustenburg region of the country.
Opinion | 17 August 2012
In this week of Women’s Day, the 30th summer Olympiad is coming to an end. Over the past week and more, women and men from all backgrounds have displayed their sporting abilities, watched on television by more than 1 billion people around the world.
Opinion | 13 August 2012
That there is widespread and apparently growing cynicism within the labour movement about politics and politicians is perfectly understandable. Recent history provides many reasons, not least of them the corruption scandals, the circumstances surrounding the murder of Moss Phakoe and the ongoing school textbook crisis.
Opinion | 8 August 2012
The controversial medical parole of former top cop, Jackie Selebi, has once again thrown into stark relief questions about kidney disease and treatment, questions that have long disturbed the labour movement.
Opinion | 2 August 2012
Hope springs eternal in the human breast. So wrote the much-quoted 18th Century English poet, Alexander Pope. And, although this has all too often described the
futility of chasing after rainbows and never finding a promised pot of gold, hope continues to sustain millions of people in situations that, to the more fortunate, might seem hopeless.
Opinion | 25 July 2012