Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Vol 23 No 2


As South Africa advanced to a post apartheid democracy it afforded some black people the opportunity to become the beneficiaries of land redistribution. However, little progress, as promised by the ANC manifesto, has been made in terms of the transformation of land ownership and resources for black empowerment. The ANC accepted the course of collaboration with colonialists while pretending that it would result in progress for the oppressed population of South Africa. The petty bourgeois in the ANC merely chose this route for their own benefit. Transformation for them was merely to parade a black face to manipulate the working class struggle into believing that things have changed.

The illusion of so-called freedom was spread rapidly where the working class thought that after the apartheid era that they would not work for long hours any more, they would receive good salaries and they would do their work without being pushed or punished by the white bosses. However, it was the opposite of freedom. The reality that nothing much has changed since the apartheid era dawned upon the oppressed masses very quickly. Anger and revolts have flared up, questioning the so-called Freedom Charter that the ANC trumpeted for so-called democracy. Revolts and the slaughtering of workers and communities, analogous to the Sharpeville and Langa massacres, continues during this democratic era. The massacre of mine workers at Marikana, where the deputy president had a hand and former police commissioner Phiyega, protecting their shares and status, allowed the murder of workers instead of giving them a salary increase to better their lives. It was an expression of their primary objective to suck more profits from the working class.

The recent announcement, by Mr Zuma in his state of the nation address, (SONA) of radical economic transformation and getting rid of the white monopoly capital has sent shock waves in some circles throughout the country. A huge contradiction in terms.  Mr President wants to install eight nuclear power stations through a nuclear deal with Russia that will lead the country into huge debt and further poverty for the working class and peasantry. It is strange to see how the ruling party always puts an indigenous black bourgeoisie forward through its “nationalisation” efforts while aligning it with the white bourgeoisie.

Amongst the BRICS countries, South Africa is the most unequal and our President continues to accept deals that will ultimately lead to the further exploitation of the working class. South Africa spends most of the budget of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in continuing to protect their mining and farming interests in Africa with their fellow African leaders and cronies in countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) etc., for their own benefit.

The “Zuptas must fall” movement, which was formed by political parties, trade unions and other NGOs to oust the president is nothing but a ploy, because we know that they also want to be in power and use the neo-liberalist system that is used by the ANC for their own benefit. Most of the parliamentary political parties who adopted the charter of South Africa do not have a clear program. What will they do after Zuma or Zupta is no longer in power? Even if Zuma steps down, there will only be another leader who will continue with the Freedom Charter and ANC program.