Author: Sifuna Zonke

To vote or not to vote: Should it be a question?

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vote-cage

by Shawn Hattingh & Jonathan Payn

There has been much hype, amongst the media and sections of the public, in the run up to this year’s provincial and national elections in South Africa and, for some, the arrival of new parties to the electoral arena has renewed their faith in the possibility of an electoral solution to the myriad of problems facing South Africa. Politicians from across all parties have been using this hype and a seemingly renewed faith in the ballot box to their advantage.

The question, therefore, is: can equality, socialism, national liberation or ‘economic freedom’ – or even a respite from state violence – for a majority be brought about through parties and activists entering into the state or through voting for parties that promise not to use the state for violent or oppressive means; or will this only lead to a dead-end for the working class yet again?

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Don’t Vote! Organise!

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by Soundz of the South (SOS)

Voting copiapdf iconIn the build up to the 2014 elections, politicians – whether from the DA, ANC, EFF, or PAC – have been calling on us to vote. As part of this, they have promised to meet people’s needs, end poverty and serve communities when they are elected. The promises of all these politicians are lies.

Politicians don’t give a damn about workers and the poor; all they care about is their own power. They will tell us anything to get nice jobs in parliament. When politicians get into the state – whether at a municipal or national level – all they do is pass laws and put in place policies that benefit themselves and their rich friends. They protect their own interests and those of their allies in the form of the capitalists when they are in the state. Far from serving us; they wage a war on us. Read the rest of this entry »

Revolutionary Trade Unionism: The Road to Workers’ Freedom

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Click on image to download PDF leaflet
Click on image to download PDF leaflet

The trade unions are the combat organisations of the working class. They were built to defend and advance workers’ interests against the bosses.

BUT the unions can be MUCH more. The unions have the potential not only to fight the bosses in the here and now. They can ALSO organise the workers for a REVOLUTIONARY GENERAL STRIKE. This means that the workers take the land, mines and factories from the bosses and politicians. It means we run them in the interests of the workers and the poor.

Real democratic socialism and real working class freedom and power will never come through getting new political parties into parliament. This is an illusion. Parliament is the graveyard of struggles. It is the place where the radicals of yesterday become the crooked politicians of today.

Socialism, freedom and power can only come through class struggle. This means organising in communities AND building strong worker organisations.

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What does the ZACF stand for?

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ZACF logopdf iconZabalaza means struggle, the continual struggle of the working class to access real freedom. We mean freedom from the repression of the state, and oppression by multi-national as well as local companies. Too long has a small elite been in control. Workers and their communities have risen up many times in the past but have always been crushed by the police forces of the state. In the past the working class – including the poor and unemployed – has protested but often lost: social movements have burnt out and trade union leaders have made bad deals with the bosses.

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The Story of the Korean Anarchists and the Anarchist Revolution in Manchuria, 1929-1931

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Korean anarchistsThe Korean anarchist movement wanted to build an independent self-governing anarchist society, a cooperative system of the masses of the Korean people. They wanted to take civilisation from the capitalist class, and return it to the popular classes. By doing so, the capitalist and colonial society that existed in Korea (as elsewhere in Africa and Asia and east Europe) would be replaced with a new society. This new society would be based on the principles of freedom and equality, that guarantee the independent self-rule of the producing classes: the working class and the peasantry.

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The Story of the Makhnovists and the Anarchist Revolution in the Ukraine, 1918-1921

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nestor makhnoThe mass “Makhnovist” (anarchist) movement emerged in 1917 in Ukraine, a colonial country in East Europe that was until then divided between the Russian and Austrian (or Austro-Hungarian) Empires. The Makhnovists made an anarchist revolution. The anarchists were a central force in the 1917-1921 Ukrainian War of Independence.

They fought for decolonisation through anarchist revolution, meaning the independent Ukraine should be reconstructed on anarchist lines: self-management and participatory democracy, equality not hierarchy and domination, collectively-owned property, and the abolition of the class system, capitalism and the state. They were called “Makhnovists,” after the leading Ukrainian anarchist militant, Nestor Makhno. He came from a poor peasant family, had been a factory worker, and former political prisoner.

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Activists Demand End to Misappropriation of Funds and Wasteful Expenditure: Khutsong’s Corrupt Municipality

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by Mzee
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

khutsong

Once we stop thinking as individuals and start thinking as a working class group, change will become possible.

Our country’s conditions have gotten worse and worse in many ways. There is corruption, inequality and limited freedom for the masses. Someone has to stand up and say “Enough is enough! We need better education, more jobs and people-driven development plans.”

We are calling for change now!

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The Struggle at Kwa-Masisa Hostel in Sebokeng

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by Siyabulela Hulu
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

KwamasizaIn September 2002, residents of Kwa-Masisa Hostel in Sebokeng faced evictions by the so-called new and private owners. They resisted and won. But since then, the hostel has been abandoned to its fate. Today the struggle for secure tenure, decent conditions and control continues.

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Wake Up the Power of the Working Class and Poor

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by Lucien van der Walt
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

South Africa shacks residents protest for lack of servicesOur country is in a mess. Hunger, poverty, exploitation and injustice stalk the land.

The working class and poor face, at every step, the high walls of injustice, the chains of unemployment, and the bullets and batons of the police.

Conflicts shake the country, and hopes that shone in 1994 are fading, rusting under the waters of greed, oppression, and inequality; those hopes seem like a dream that fades when you awake to a grim reality.

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Pre-Paid Electricity Meters or Power to the People?

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by Pitso Mompe
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

eskom-candleIn 2000 the South African government announced its policy was to provide “free basic services.” The free basic electricity  policy was released in 2003 and claimed that it would ensure that a “basic supply” of electricity is made available free of charge to poor households.

In practice, the amount provided in the “basic supply” is very limited, and soon runs out.

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