Labour

Sometimes It's Better Not to Overstay One's Visit: Once More on NUMSA and the Demise of COSATU

Picture credit: Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and Irvin Jim, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa Leonard Gentle - The COSATU Central Executive Committee (CEC), the decision-making body of affiliate leaders, which meets between the more representative Congresses and Central Committees, held a meeting last week to decide on the fate of its biggest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) and to discuss the report of its General Secretary, Zwelenzima Vavi, himself the subject of dispute. This CEC was the consequence of a decision at a postponed CEC in April this year at which time the ANC...

Overworked, Underpaid and In Your House: The Never Ending Exploitation of South Africa's Domestic Workers

Picture credit: Sharon Mollerus/flickr Video They are important drivers of the South African economy, yet domestic workers are still amongst the lowest paid workers today. Their fate was sealed during the apartheid era when “kitchen girls” were just servants with no workplace rights. Little has changed in post-apartheid South Africa we learn from Myrtle Witbooi, the general secretary of South Africa’s domestic workers’ union. Domestic work is still not considered decent work. Poor enforcement of regulations and...

Study Reveals Preference for Foreign Black Migrants in Some Sectors of South African Economy

Picture credit: Waiter courtesy Franschhoek Wine Valley/flickr Saliem Fakir - In the city where I live, Cape Town, it’s not unusual to hear a foreign accent or see a foreigner. Foreigners are part of the intricate web, not only of the Cape’s economy, but also of the rest of South Africa. Foreigners arouse one’s curiosity. Some are treated better than others, but there are always questions in people’s minds - how did they make their entry into South Africa? Where did they come from? Why did they come here? Who employs them? Despite our talk...

Is There Room for South Africa's Middle Class in Numsa's United Front and Movement for Socialism?

Picture credit: General Secretary of Numsa, Irvin Jim courtesy SACSIS Video In an extensive interview, Numsa’s general secretary, Irvin Jim, talks to Fazila Farouk of SACSIS about Numsa’s current strike, alliance politics as well as its United Front and Movement for Socialism. In response to a question about building greater solidarity between the middle class and the poor, Jim argues that Numsa’s movement for socialism is not only for people who are “red”. He says that the middle class has a right to live the kind of life that it...

On Strikes and Violence in South Africa

Picture credit: Police attack demonstration during the 2006 South African security guards strike courtesy Derek Blackadder/SATAWU/flickr. Mohamed Motala - In recent years, strikes in South Africa have become turbulent. Today the Farlam Commission is hearing evidence of the 2012 strike on the platinum belt that was characterised by extreme use of violence on all sides. Mining companies, Lonmin, AngloPlat and Implats, assisted by the South African police, displayed aggressive behaviour towards striking mineworkers, which resulted in an elaborate show of force culminating in the biggest post-apartheid massacre in the history of South Africa....

New Challenges Ahead for Labour after Platinum Miners End Five Month Long Strike

Video Prof. Patrick Bond of the Centre For Civil Society speaks to The Real News Network about the end of the platinum belt strike and its implications for the future of labour in South Africa. He argues that the economy is about to formally go into a recession and that rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Fitch’s recent downgrading of South Africa will likely lead to a great deal of posturing about the need to discipline labour and relax some of the gains that labour has won,...