Thursday, November 08, 2007

South Africa - the Struggle Continues

The ending of apartheid brought political rights and political power to the black working class , something that should be wielded with political knowledge . But in post-apartheid South Africa that lesson is still to be learned .

"Many of the millions who are unemployed, or whose jobs have been casualised, are even worse off than under apartheid: about 20 million of our people are still mired in poverty, we still face many challenges, and the task of transformation is far from complete" said Zwelinzima Vavi, general-secretary of the country's largest trade union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

The major beneficiaries of the ANC's free market polices are those that accrued their wealth under apartheid.
"We are faced with the contradictory situation that at least 80 percent of the whites who were already rich in 1994 - thanks to apartheid - are now much richer, while 60 percent of the blacks who were already poor in 1994 - as a direct result of apartheid - are now poorer," economist Sampie Terreblanche commented.

About a third of South Africa's roughly 48 million people live on US$2 or less a day, yet , South Africa contributes about 25 percent of the African continent's gross domestic product . The growing disparity in income between rich and poor now ranks as one of the widest in the world.

"The ANC has failed dismally in its main task: to shift back the frontiers of poverty... ANC policies over the past 13 years have created a black elite, the so-called 'black diamonds', of around 2 million people, and a black middle class of about 6 million. The gap between the roughly 8 million rich blacks and the 20 to 25 million poor blacks has become dangerously big. other 10 to 15 million blacks are neither poor nor rich," Terreblanche said "The fact that about 20 percent of blacks have become rich, and even very rich, while 60 percent of blacks remain poor and have to live in deteriorating socio-economic conditions, is a deplorable and dangerous state of affairs." Terreblanche described the policy of black economic empowerment , which was designed to overcome the economic injustices of the past , had now "become derailed by corruption, nepotism and careerism ... and built a comprehensive network of patronage," he said

The working class of South Africa must free themselves fromthe power struggles within the ANC and jettison their loyalties to the ANC . To act in their own interests , and not serve the political connected elite's .

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