The UN World Conference against Racism (WCAR) was held in August 2001 in Durban, South Africa. This critique was produced by the Anarchist Union and Bikisha Media Collective – 2 South African Anarchist groups whose members later went on to found the ZACF.
WILL EDUCATION END RACISM?
According to South Africa’s ruling elite, the problem of racism is basically a problem of ignorance. “Education”, according to Barney Pityana of the Human Rights Commission, “will cure racism”. This argument sounds appealing, but it is inaccurate and misleading. Most importantly, this view conveniently ignores the role of the CAPITALIST SYSTEM in inventing and perpetuating racism. Since capitalism emerged in the 1500s, it has committed many crimes against humanity. But few of these crimes are as vile as racism. Perhaps that is why Barney Pityana – as a defender of capitalism and the ANC government’s privatisation policies – wishes to hide capitalism’s dirty laundry with his stress on “education”.
The 2010 Soccer World Cup must be exposed for the utter sham that it is. The ZACF strongly condemns the audacity and hypocrisy of the government in presenting the occasion as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for the economic and social upliftment of those living in South Africa (and the rest of the continent). What is glaringly clear is that the “opportunity” has and continues to be that of a feeding-frenzy for global and domestic capital and the South African ruling elite. In fact, if anything, the event is more likely to have devastating consequences for South Africa’s poor and working class – a process that is already underway.
In preparing to host the world cup the government has spent close to R800 billion (R757 billion on infrastructure development and R30 billion on stadiums that will never be filled again), a massive slap in the face for those living in a country characterized by desperate poverty and close to 40% unemployment. Over the past five years the working poor have expressed their outrage and disappointment at the government’s failure to redress the massive social inequality in over 8000 service delivery protests for basic services and housing countrywide. This pattern of spending is further evidence of the maintenance of the failed neoliberal capitalist model and its “trickle down” economics, which have done nothing but deepen inequality and poverty globally. Despite previous claims to the contrary, the government has recently admitted this by doing an about turn, and now pretends that the project was “never intended” to be a profit making exercise .
ZACF on the recent Young Communist League (YCL) Statement
on the Unjustifiable Increase of Bread.
“We call on government to empower our people, especially through community cooperatives with the necessary inputs for bread production, namely land, tractors and seeds to plough wheat.” – this was the demand made by the Young Communist League (YCL) in their recent Statement on the Unjustifiable Increase of Bread.
The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) agrees with the YCL that “This increase will have negative consequences on the majority of our people, especially the working class and the poor youth who rely on bread as a source of living.” We support the YCL and Cosatu in defying this price increase. We regard the vast and repeated increases in the bread price – and in the prices of maize meal, other grains and food in general – as a direct attack by capitalist profiteers on the very survival of workers and the poor. An attack against which workers and the poor need to defend themselves.
But the YCL does not seem to recognise the inherent contradiction in its statement.
Right-wingers in the South African town of Potchefstroom removed street-signs with the names of liberation figures and replaced them with those of Boer leaders. But the Potch City Council attributed the actions to “racist anarchists”.
The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF) of South Africa and Swaziland notes with concern that the removal and defacement of street signs in Potchefstroom has been attributed without proof by Potchefstroom City Council spokesman Kaiser Mohau to “racist anarchists”. We presume that Mohau is simply politically naive in putting about his mistaken attribution of these acts of vandalism. However, his comments have the unfortunate effect of besmirching the good name of the small, but active anarchist movement in southern Africa.
Recent reports in The Star (25/11/06) allege that the development of the “armed struggle” tendency within a section of the pro-democracy movement in Swaziland could be accelerating. Given that the pro-democracy movement has set itself the goal of liberation in 2008, it is understandable that frustration has led some comrades in this direction.
We do not believe that an “armed struggle” approach is appropriate. The dangers inherent in such an approach are many. We support the right of the oppressed to self-defense against repression.