South Africa

South Africa: COVID-19 cases soar with little prospect of widespread vaccination

By Jean Shaoul, 31 December 2020

The situation in South Africa is replicated in a second wave of the pandemic that is sweeping across much of the continent, which has seen a steady rise in infections since November

Pandemic fuels class struggle across Africa

By Jean Shaoul, 15 October 2020

The working class is manifesting its discontent with the situation in a resurgent wave of political radicalisation that had briefly abated after the onset of the pandemic.

One-day nationwide strike against South African ANC government

By Jean Shaoul, 9 October 2020

The mass walkout is part of a broader wave of struggles by workers in recent months that have seen repeated actions by healthcare workers, municipal workers, bus drivers, teachers and workers in meat processing plants, steel works and warehouses.

Report charges US-Saudi arms sale ignored civilian casualties

By Bill Van Auken, 13 August 2020

The report on the $8.1 billion arms deal came amid fresh reports from Yemen of atrocities caused by US-supplied Saudi warplanes and munitions.

Africa’s one million coronavirus cases “the tip of the iceberg”

By Stephan McCoy, 8 August 2020

Between June and July, the number of cases grew by 500 percent indicating that COVID-19 is more widespread than the official figures suggest.

South Africa has the world’s fifth highest COVID-19 cases

By Stephan McCoy, 27 July 2020

The rate at which detected cases are doubling in the country, about every two weeks, implies that confirmed infections will be one million early August.

South Africa sees surge in COVID-19 as restrictions lifted

By Stephan McCoy, 8 July 2020

South Africa is now the country with the second highest number of deaths on the African continent, behind Egypt, and the largest number of cases.

Pandemic spirals out of control in South Africa, India, Brazil

By Bryan Dyne, 4 July 2020

The official tallies in each country of daily confirmed coronavirus cases have become exponential, indicating that whatever containment measures were implemented to halt the spread of the virus have essentially collapsed.

ANC imposes back to work drive amid sharp rise in South Africa’s coronavirus cases

By Stephan McCoy, 20 June 2020

More than 84,000 people—25 percent of Africa’s confirmed cases—have now been infected with the virus, which has claimed the lives of almost 1,800 people.

South Africa: ANC government orders a partial return to work amid mounting economic crisis

By Stephan McCoy, 5 May 2020

The lockdown has caused grave hardship for millions of South Africa’s 60 million people, with videos of people waiting in kilometres-long queues for charity food aid going viral.

African economies in free fall as coronavirus pandemic worsens

By Stephan McCoy, 11 April 2020

An African Union study predicts that some 20 million jobs are at risk in Africa due to the impact of the pandemic.

Africa’s confirmed cases rise to 7,600, as 314 die from the coronavirus

By Stephan McCoy, 4 April 2020

The response of African governments has been to ramp up the powers of the state and impose brutal lockdowns with virtually no mass testing, contact tracing or isolation taking place.

South Africa’s ANC government suppressed report showing thousands could die from COVID-19

By Stephan McCoy, 23 March 2020

The Ramaphosa government’s response to the pandemic has been exactly what the study warned against—slow and virtually nonexistent.

South Africa: State of national disaster declared as coronavirus hits and social tensions mount

By Stephan McCoy, 21 March 2020

The African National Congress (ANC) government lost weeks doing nothing to prepare for the inevitable arrival of the virus.

Wave of anti-immigrant violence strikes South Africa amid deepening economic crisis

By Eddie Haywood, 13 September 2019

The ANC, along with other sections of the ruling class, have played a significant role over the years in stoking anti-immigrant poison and bigotry, seeking to scapegoat immigrants as the cause for the nation’s economic malaise.

South African jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim returns with The Balance

By Hiram Lee, 7 August 2019

This latest work stands out as an unusually open and humane collection of songs in a genre that has been lacking in those elements far too much in recent years.

French Nutella workers strike, Tram and metro workers’ stoppage in Greek capital

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 June 2019

Workers at the Nutella factory in Normandy have been blockading the plant over demands for a wage increase while Greek tram workers stopped work Monday to protest the Syriza government’s attacks on public transportation.

South African elections

Ramaphosa elected to full term as president amid record low ANC vote

By Eddie Haywood, 13 May 2019

The election marks the first time in the ANC’s post-apartheid history that its vote has fallen below 60 percent.

South African elections held amid rising social discontent and alienation from ANC

By Eddie Haywood, 8 May 2019

If the African National Congress secures a majority in today’s poll, as expected, this is only a testament to the political rottenness of the main opposition parties.

Zimbabwe-South Africa summit: The Butcher of Marikana meets the Crocodile

By Stephan McCoy, 28 February 2019

Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Cyril Ramaphosa will meet in the Zimbabwean capital next month against a backdrop of deepening economic crisis and rising social discontent in both countries.

Union federation stages national strike in South Africa

By Eddie Haywood, 14 February 2019

Tens of thousands of workers participated in the walkout, bringing economic activity to a near standstill across the country.

Five killed, 22 feared trapped in South African mine explosion

By Samuel Davidson, 13 February 2019

The explosion was at a mine owned by the Gupta brothers, who have close ties to former ANC leader and South African President Zuma.

German AfD parliamentarian joins weapons drill of far-right group in South Africa

By Johannes Stern, 31 December 2018

Petr Bystron, an AfD member of the Bundestag, took part in shooting exercises of the far-right paramilitary “Suidlanders” during an official parliamentary trip to South Africa.

In South Africa speech deploring “exploding inequality”

Obama boasts: “I’m surprised how much money I got”

By Barry Grey, 19 July 2018

Obama may be surprised at his recent entry into the American financial oligarchy, but it’s not for lack of effort on his part to “join the club.”

Seven killed in South Africa gold mine collapse

By Eddie Haywood, 14 May 2018

The May 3 incident comes amid an overall rise in fatal mining accidents across the country in recent years.

The inauguration of Ramaphosa and the degeneration of the ANC

By Chris Marsden, 17 February 2018

Two things recommend Ramaphosa to the world’s bourgeoisie—his fabulous wealth and the fact that he earned it through a readiness to deal ruthlessly with the working class.

Ramaphosa installed as South African president

By Nick Beams, 16 February 2018

The Johannesburg stock market welcomed the new regime with a surge of more than 3 percent, as the rand hit a three-year high against the US dollar.

South Africa’s ANC votes to remove President Jacob Zuma

By Eddie Haywood, 14 February 2018

The Zuma government has been characterized by corruption and nepotism while presiding over a deteriorating economy, conditions which have made foreign investors nervous.

Political in-fighting escalates as Cape Town, South Africa approaches “Day Zero” water shutoff

By Genevieve Leigh, 5 February 2018

The Democratic Alliance fears its inability to address the water crisis will lead to a loss of support ahead of the 2019 elections.

Cape Town, South Africa to become first city in the developed world to run out of water

By Genevieve Leigh, 29 January 2018

Local government in Cape Town, South Africa continues to implement drastic water saving measures in a last-ditch attempt to stave off a complete water shutoff.

South Africa’s ANC taps multi-millionaire ex-union chief Cyril Ramaphosa as leader

By Eddie Haywood, 21 December 2017

Since coming to power in 1994, the ANC has represented a corrupt layer of the black elite, ruling at the expense of the masses of workers.

China and Brazil: Two expressions of the deepening capitalist breakdown

By Nick Beams, 4 March 2016

As the “BRICS model” of economic growth disintegrates, conditions are emerging for another financial crisis.

ANC in crisis as President Zuma struggles to reassure big capital

By G.T. Maqhubela, 16 February 2016

The Economic Freedom Fighters, led by Julius Malema, are making political capital from the crisis confronting the ANC by posturing as a “left” anti-corruption alternative.

Job cuts and threats of defaults as commodity prices fall

By a reporter, 30 January 2016

The South African mines minister has warned that 32,000 jobs could be lost in the industry as a result of the fall in commodity prices.

South Africa: University students storm parliamentary precincts

By G. T. Maqhubela, 23 October 2015

Some students have been reported to be facing treason charges.

South Africa: Unite Against Corruption marches seek to exploit working-class anger at ANC

By G.T. Maqhubela, 12 October 2015

The intention of the UAC and other formations like it is to oppose a socialist alternative to ANC rule.

Global economic crisis leads to job cuts in South Africa

By G.T. Maqhubela, 5 September 2015

Amid a commodity price rout and rising costs, corporations have announced plans to shed some 10,000 jobs in South African gold, coal, iron and platinum mining.

South African Communist Party and COSATU hold emergency national congresses

By G. T. Maqhubela, 27 July 2015

Among the usual blather and infighting, the key resolutions of both meetings were that neither COSATU nor the SACP would break out of alliance with the governing ANC.

South Africa: ANC’s anti-immigrant measures impact tourism

By G. T. Maqhubela, 13 July 2015

Tourist arrivals into South Africa from abroad have plummeted amid the government’s enforcement of xenophobic anti-immigrant policies.

South Africa: Commission whitewashes ANC role in Marikana massacre

By G. T. Maqhubela, 29 June 2015

For three months, President Jacob Zuma delayed releasing the Farlam Commission’s report into the murders of dozens of striking mineworkers in August 2012.

ANC whips up racism amid xenophobic attacks in South Africa

Part 2

By G. T. Maqhubela, 29 May 2015

The anti-immigrant agitation is aimed at diverting attention from the disastrous impact of the pro-capitalist policies pursued by the ANC and its partners since coming to power in 1994.

ANC whips up racism amid xenophobic attacks in South Africa

Part 1

By G. T. Maqhubela, 28 May 2015

The anti-immigrant agitation is aimed at diverting attention from the disastrous impact of the pro-capitalist policies pursued by the ANC and its partners since coming to power in 1994.

South African police fire on protesting foreign nationals

By G.T. Maqhubela, 13 April 2015

The forces directing enmity against foreigners seek to deflect attention from the responsibility of the South Africa ruling elite in condemning millions to poverty.

Students occupy University of Cape Town building in anti-Cecil Rhodes campaign

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 27 March 2015

Students have called for nearly three weeks for the removal from the campus of a statue of the colonialist Cecil Rhodes.

Top South African police officials targeted in ANC faction fight

By Thabo Seseane, 21 March 2015

The suspension of leading police officials has been allegedly linked to investigations of corruption by President Jacob Zuma.

The phony internationalism of the United Steelworkers

A warning to US oil workers on South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 10 March 2015

Last month’s tour of Houston picket lines by officials from South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers underscored the anti-working class character of the United Steelworkers.

South African finance minister raises income tax, fuel and electricity levies

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 3 March 2015

South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) announced the measures in his first full budget speech since taking office last year.

South African MP warned against investigating Russia-South Africa spy satellite

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 2 March 2015

The Spy Cables describe Johannesburg as the “El Dorado of espionage.”

South Africa: ANC provincial premier renounces electronic-tolling populism

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 17 February 2015

David Makhura of the African National Congress has called on motorists to pay the widely hated electronic tolls introduced on the province’s roads in December 2013.

Africa subject to billions in illicit capital flight

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 11 February 2015

A 2008 study covering the years 2002 to 2006 found that the continent lost $859 billion in cumulative capital flight.

South Africa: Mpumalanga premier roiled by African National Congress faction fight

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 7 February 2015

The Stalinist South African Communist Party has accused Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza of the African National Congress of instigating violence at a Communist Party lecture.

South Africa: Apartheid-era assassin Eugene De Kock granted parole

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 3 February 2015

Nicknamed “Prime Evil,” Eugene De Kock confessed to more than 100 acts of murder, torture and fraud.

South Africa’s politically connected elites profit amid power outages

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 29 January 2015

On Monday, ESKOM, the largest South African power utility, began implementing “managed” blackouts, cutting 2,000 megawatts from its grid.

Xenophobic attacks on foreign shop-owners spread in Gauteng, South Africa

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 28 January 2015

The African National Congress government’s policy of Black Economic Empowerment explicitly excludes foreign nationals.

Faction fight behind purge at South African tax-collection agency

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 30 December 2014

Recent suspensions over allegations that a covert investigative unit spied on senior politicians are the latest developments in an on-going shakeup at the South African Revenue Service.

Unscrupulous lenders target South African mineworkers

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 10 December 2014

Many South African mineworkers cannot obtain legal lines of credit and are forced to turn to loan sharks.

ANC-affiliated student group stages anti-Semitic stunts against South African retailer

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 6 December 2014

In late October, the Congress of South African Students dumped a severed pig’s head in the meat section of a Woolworths store in Sea Point, Cape Town.

Ernest Cole Photographer—A searing look at apartheid South Africa

By Fred Mazelis, 5 December 2014

A moving and powerful exhibit at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery showcases the remarkable work of a little known black South African, Ernest Cole.

South African police ignore official watchdog’s recommendations

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 1 December 2014

In the first six months of the 2014-2015 fiscal year, deaths in police custody rose by 1 percent.

South African banking in crisis as furniture unit threatened with closure

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 17 November 2014

Whatever the outcome of the business rescue plan of furniture retailer Ellerines, global finance capital will seek to make workers carry the cost.

Former South African police boss exploits footballer’s murder in comeback bid

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 13 November 2014

Under Cele, the ranks of the South African Police Service were again militarised as they had been under the white supremacist regime.

Cronyism paralyses South African state-owned enterprises

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 6 November 2014

An acrimonious strike has crippled the South African Post Office for 12 weeks.

South Africans under 60 disqualified from state-funded housing

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 4 November 2014

Having failed over 20 years to reduce the housing backlog, the government is now excluding younger South Africans from state-funded housing.

South Africa metalworkers union announces formation of new party

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 30 October 2014

Militant strikes by workers have earned South Africa the pejorative title of “protest capital of the world.”

A quarter of South Africans regularly go hungry

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 27 October 2014

Malnutrition is especially severe among women and children in South Africa, with Oxfam researchers reporting that childhood stunting has increased to 26.5 percent.

South Africa: ANC and unions exploit popular anger over electronic toll collections

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 14 October 2014

In its efforts to limit its losses in the municipal elections due in 2016, the Gauteng ANC is relying on the services of COSATU.

South Africa’s education department maintains apartheid-era victimisation of blacks

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 7 October 2014

While forming almost 80 percent of overall population at the last census in 2011, blacks made up only 8.3 percent of those with a tertiary qualification.

Miners Shot Down: Documentary about the 2012 Marikana massacre

By Derek Bell and Martin Kreickenbaum, 1 October 2014

The film deals with the atrocity against mine workers carried out by the ANC government in South Africa, in cooperation with trade unions and company management.

South African trade union federation promotes illusions in Castroism

Part Two

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 12 September 2014

This is the conclusion of a two-part article on the promotion of Castroism by South Africa’s trade unions.

South African trade union federation promotes illusions in Castroism

Part one

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 11 September 2014

This is the first of a two-part article on the promotion of Castroism by the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

Two years on, Marikana massacre continues to radicalise South African workers

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 19 August 2014

Workers’ resolve is hardening, even as the unions manoeuvre for paltry wage increases.

Over 100,000 protest in defence of Gaza in South Africa

By our reporter, 11 August 2014

On August 9 a massive protest took place in Cape Town, South Africa, opposing Israel’s bloody offensive against the population of the Gaza Strip.

South African platinum miners return to work

By Chris Marsden and Barry Mason, 27 June 2014

The five-month strike of 70,000 South African platinum miners is over following the acceptance of a deal by the Association of Miners and Construction Union.

South African mineral resources minister seeks end to 18-week platinum miners strike

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 31 May 2014

Ngoako Ramatlhodi has set up a team composed of personnel from his department, the Department of Labour and the Treasury in an attempt to ease the concerns of global investors.

South African miners speak: “We are striking so our children don’t also end up with nothing”

By our reporters, 29 May 2014

The World Socialist Web Site conducted an interview with two South African miners.

South Africa: Big business demands ANC speedily impose its National Development Plan

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 26 May 2014

The Employment Equity Amendment Act seeks to compel designated employers to meet racial targets at management level in aid of the “transformation” of post-apartheid society.

South Africa: Lonmin fails to break 16-week platinum strike

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 17 May 2014

The African National Congress government will now come under increasing pressure from international and domestic capital to find other means of breaking the strike.

ANC’s parliamentary majority reduced amid worsening economic conditions

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 14 May 2014

Protests during South Africa’s election expressed for the first time since 1994 working class hostility to the entire bourgeois post-apartheid establishment.

Workers reject employers’ offer in South African platinum mining strike

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 7 May 2014

The longest labour dispute since the end of apartheid is set to overshadow the May 7 general election touted as a celebration of 20 years of majority rule.

Anti-ANC vote campaign initiated in South African general election

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 6 May 2014

The Vote No campaign is cast in the interests of and broadly supported by the pro-Thabo Mbeki bloc, which is now scattered inside and outside the ANC.

Looming job cuts in South African platinum strike

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 16 April 2014

South Africa’s ruling elite hope to utilise the long-running strike in the platinum mines to push through a sweeping “restructuring” of the industry.

Apartheid-era coup leader Bantu Holomisa calls for South African electoral commission head to resign

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 11 April 2014

Holomisa first gained prominence in 1987 when he led a coup as a major-general in the defence force of Transkei, the apartheid-era Bantustan now incorporated into South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

South Africa’s platinum strike in its 10th week

By Thabo Seseane Jr, 10 April 2014

Some 70,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union have been on strike at the three largest platinum producers since January 23.

South African police evidence in tatters as Marikana Commission enters phase two

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 4 April 2014

At the Farlam Inquiry into the police murder of 34 striking miners in Marikana, evidence was heard that the victims were surrendering when they were killed.

ANC and its competitors stir up racialism in advance of South African elections

By Thabo Seseane Jr, 3 April 2014

Some 500 people joined an African National Congress march in Cape Town on March 26 to demand better sanitation, housing and land from the ruling Democratic Alliance.

National Union of Mineworkers presses for end of 10-week platinum strike in South Africa

By Thabo Seseane Jr, 3 April 2014

Mine owners are holding the threat of mechanisation and mass layoffs over the heads of the strikers.

The “left” posturing of South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 20 March 2014

The aptitude for horse-trading that Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters displays, the willingness to sit around a table and cut deals, is the hallmark of a self-seeking member of the elite.

Police and ANC fire on protesting South African schoolchildren

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 19 March 2014

Along with scores of other towns, Bekkersdal in the west of Gauteng is the scene of violent protests over issues such as municipal corruption.

South African police attack naked assault victim

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 12 March 2014

The latest instance of brutality involving the South African Police Service, the beating of a naked man who had already suffered an assault, was filmed by concerned office workers from a nearby block.

Marx 21’s Christine Buchholz visits German troops in Africa

By Johannes Stern, 8 March 2014

Christine Buchholz’s trip to Africa underscores how the Left Party and the pseudo-left groups within it play a central role in the revival of German militarism.

North West police commissioner appears before inquiry into Marikana massacre

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 27 February 2014

Evidence belies the testimony of Police Commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo that the massacre at the Lonmin mine in 2012 was not a premeditated bloodbath.

Freed “illegal” miners face imprisonment and deportation in South Africa

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 24 February 2014

Abandoned mines around Johannesburg, often improperly secured by mining companies, are a magnet for laid-off workers, and the sites of numerous fatalities.

South African unions vie for control of militant workers

Part two

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 21 February 2014

This is the conclusion of a two-part comment on the manoeuvres of South Africa’s trade unions to contain growing militancy in the working class. Part one was posted February 20.

South African unions vie for control of militant workers

Part one

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 20 February 2014

This is first in a two-part comment on the manoeuvres of South Africa’s trade unions to contain the growth of militancy in the working class.

Robert McBride appointed as South Africa police watchdog: The ANC’s “answer” to police brutality

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 11 February 2014

Police brutality is rising amid protests that show no sign of abating.

South Africa: Mamphela Ramphele’s planned merger with Democratic Alliance collapses

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 7 February 2014

The exigencies of class interests are the real key to understanding the evolving membership profile of the Democratic Alliance.

The roots of South Africa’s Workers and Socialist Party and its political role

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 4 February 2014

While claiming to point the way towards a socialist reconstruction of society, the Workers and Socialist Party is related through its core elements to the bourgeois nationalist ANC.

South Africa: Economic Freedom Fighters target voters fed up with African National Congress

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 29 January 2014

The EFF, led by ex-ANC leader Julius Malema, have targeted North West province's Madibeng municipality over water shortages amid the district’s worst drought in 80 years.

Campaigning underway in South African elections

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 10 January 2014

The next general election in South Africa will be held between April and July of this year.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: A film largely without history or even politics

By Isaac Finn, 10 January 2014

Director Justin Chadwick has taken a shallow, unserious approach in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, focusing on Nelson Mandela’s personal life and using his public activities as a mere backdrop.