June 2010

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Currency Fixing and Economic Development: Are They One and the Same Thing?

Picture: Fazila Farouk Saliem Fakir - While they may fight on the shop floor and often agree on little, in a rather strange twist of relations between business and the labour unions, they seem to agree on one key macro-economic policy issue, i.e., on the question of the rand’s value. Both want a lower rand in order to boost the order books for our locally manufactured goods. A joint statement by South Africa’s three top unions and manufacturers was issued on the 10 of May 2010. The statement called for...

A Luta Continua: The Struggle for Housing in South Africa Continues

Video Formerly of Symphony Way, a group of 100 Cape Town families were evicted and relocated to the infamous "Blikkiesdorp" or "Tin Town." Blikkiesdorp is a temporary relocation area for families on the waiting list for government housing. It’s come to represent a dumping ground for families who live in conditions that can be compared to a concentration camp. This documentary tells the story of their struggle for housing, while a seemingly uncaring state bungles its way...

The Changing Political Face of the God Squad

Picture: mulmatsherm Dale T. McKinley - Back in the bad old days of apartheid, things seemed to be a lot clearer when it came to God and politics. Leaving aside the confirmed agnostics, atheists and confused fence sitters, you were either in the Nat camp and embraced the God of 'Christian nationalism', racist and class privilege or you were in the liberation movement camp and embraced the God of social justice, racial equality and the oppressed poor.  A couple of decades on though, and the politics in the God equation has...

Cosatu Under Attack from the Nationalists in the ANC

Picture: ILR Cornell Richard Pithouse - The living party, which ought to make possible the free exchange of ideas which have been elaborated according to the real needs of the mass of the people, has been transformed into a trade union of individual interests. - Frantz Fanon, Tunis, 1961 It’ll be some time before we really know what happened in the National Working Committee (NWC) of the African National Congress (ANC) on Monday. But it seems clear enough that a majority of the NWC supported a proposal to bring disciplinary...

Interview with Hamas

Video Is Hamas willing to negotiate directly with Israel or not is the question put to Hamas representative in Lebanon, Usamah Hamdan, by The Real News Network. Hamdan responds that negotiations are a political step which depend on political conditions. Until now the political climate has not allowed such a step, he says. Would Hamas recognize the state of Israel if the majority of the Palestinian people supported a two state solution? "If our people accepted anything through a free...

New Power Brokers in the Middle East

Picture: Vanderlizer Saif Shahin - America's failure to talk peace is undercutting its influence in the Middle East. It has cleared the way for proactive nations like Turkey and Qatar, who want a quieter neighborhood to push their economic growth, to step in and broker deals such as the recent Iranian nuclear fuel swap and the Lebanese accord of 2008. Continued U.S. intransigence may lead them to try and sort out issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well. The United States chooses to be unconvinced by the...