ZwelinzimaVavi says Cosatu has become far too absorbed with ‘palace politics’ and leadership squabbles, taking its eye off the issues that really matter to its members. Author Ebrahim Harvey has some tough questions for the union federation’s general secretary
I was not at all surprised when it was reported that outgoing Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe shed a tear during his final speech in Parliament on Tuesday night.
So dedicated was the apartheid state to racist ideology that even the white working class enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in the world, especially of urban infrastructure, under conditions typical of what would constitute the middle class in other nations.
The present haemorrhaging inside Cosatu, where I learnt so much about the struggles of the working class, is so sad that I cannot find the words to adequately describe it.
In a recent article, Julius Malema, leader of the newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), stated that “What is to be done?” was the “definitive question of our generation”.
The flurry of reports in the media about the huge 60% wage increase the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is seeking for their members at the bottom end of the industry in its annual wage negotiations, has imparted a sombre and dramatic note to it.
The recent birth of the Workers and Socialist Party (Wasp) on Human Rights Day in Pretoria is undoubtedly significant for the trade union movement, the broader working class and civil society.
There’s no question that the issue of whether ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe would challenge president Jacob Zuma for the party presidency in Mangaung last month was more prevalent than any other in the South African media last year.
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