Azania (South Africa): The Line Has Been Drawn and the Working Class Is Still Holding the Shorter End of the Stick

By Mandla ka Phangwa

(reprinted from Black Republic Issue No. 13, January 2019; for more information contact

It has been a year now since the ANC went to its Congress, where it elected “Marikana warlord” Cyril Ramaphosa and his ilk of the “New deal”. That was later followed by parliamentary appointments that shoved Tito Mboweni back into the political arena, where his first assault was against the working class as he spewed various inflammatory statements and threatened to shed more public workers’ jobs and further tried to make sure the real struggle for Socialism remains a far-fetched dream that will never be realised.

The year of an enforced tenure of Ramaphosa, who succeeded an embattled Jacob Zuma, marks another shift in the ANC’s allegiance to various imperialist powers as we have seen at the World Economic Forum in Davos that was attended by almost all the post-1994 election RDP and ASGISA implementors and champions like Pravin Gordhan, Jeff Radebe and Tito Mboweni, to name a few.

The World Economic Forum in Davos displayed and exposed how the South African government under Ramaphosa is willing to submit to the dictates of imperialism that come in the form of the World Bank and IMF, which had resulted in both Tito Mboweni and Pravin Gordhan speaking at cross purposes with the ANC’s Nasrec resolution on the Nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank by declaring that nationalisation of the Reserve Bank remains a “dream of the confused”. These are clear indications as to what the “New Deal” entails, where the old deal of CODESA proved to have failed especially when the pre-CODESA demands continue to radically emerge from the Black working-class majority in Azania on the question of land, Nationalisation of the mines and the South African Reserve Bank.

During this period of Ramaphosa as an illegitimate president, there have been various attempts to smuggle the IMF and World Bank agenda through various meaningless summits, starting with one that was called the Investment Summit and later the Jobs Summit, which was nothing but another scam aimed at paving the way for multinationals to exploit and plunder the resources of the country and those of the tax-paying Black working-class majority. The investors’ summit was clear in its aims of maximising profits with less labour costs, hence it suggests the creation SADC free trade zones, especially between the borders of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. As the Azanian Section of the 4th International (ASFI), we understand that such is not an investment summit but a sly introductory offer of the IMF and World Bank’s strategy of rescuing the already troubled Capitalist system in the Southern African Development Community.

The Jobs Summit, which was rejected by SAFTU and various labour organisations, became what the Azanian Section of the 4th International had predicted: a ploy to divide the working class and further enforce the acceptance of the so-called minimum wage, which exceeds the below-poverty line threshold more when in 2007 already the statistics had declared that an average family in Africa survives on only less than a $1 a day.

This summit also managed to expose the unwillingness of the ANC government to deal with the issues of unemployment and job cuts since its usurping of power from the National Party in 1994. Further the summit meant the government is not only willing to maintain casualisation but also to help the labour brokers continue to exploit and feed on the life blood of the working class, hence non-intervention by the Department of Labour on the arrogance by employers on the case demanding scrapping of Labour brokers, which is being appealed at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. The reiteration of the sentiments by Mboweni were confirmed by the Jobs Summit, which only seeks to enforce acceptance to IMF dictates by the poor Black working-class majority in Azania.

The line has been crossed. All the above-mentioned factors illustrate the extent to which Ramaphosa and his crew are willing to go in their will to achieve a “New Deal” with Imperialism. Thus mass privatisation of the State-owned enterprises is in the cards, starting with ESKOM and the South African Airways. These are part of the “New Deal” and anti-nationalisation plans by the ANC government led by Ramaphosa as an illegitimate government that has always been anti-working class.

Cover Black Republic BottomThe nationalisation of the mines was another demand by the workers in Marikana, hence some of the reasons why Ramaphosa suggested a “concomitant action“, leading to the massacre of the workers and the turning point in the politics of Azania. Already under ANC government post-CODESA there have been various attempts to totally privatise everything, leaving the majority with nothing. However, we must be grateful for the undying fighting spirit of the labour movement unions such as NUMSA leading to the formation of SAFTU and not ignoring the pivotal contribution of the SOPA prior to its liquidation.

Our task as the Black Majority in Azania now relies on the will to form a United Front of the labour movements fighting against these sly maneuvers by the ANC, which seeks nothing but another “New Deal“ to further sustain the loot of pre-CODESA and post 1994. It is the task of the Azania Section of the 4th International to champion this revolutionary obligation as that is embedded in the founding pillars of the Section.

* * * * * * * * * *

In Defence of an African Working-Class Agenda

By Neo Mokatsanyane(dimeko wa bataung)

(reprinted from Black Republic Issue No. 13, January 2019; for more information contact

“Insofar as a victorious revolution will radically change not only the relation between the classes, but also between the races, and will assure to the Blacks that place in the State which corresponds to their numbers, so far will the Social Revolution in South Africa also have a national character.” — Leon Trotsky, Black Republic Thesis

*   *   *

As NUMSA, however, we have always been consistent in articulating our ideological and theoretical perspectives. We have repeatedly maintained that we are a Marxist Leninist inspired, revolutionary trade Union. We regard the concrete and historical analysis of South African society as a Colonialism of a special type founded primarily on white Monopoly capitalist and Imperialist super-exploitation of Black Workers in General and African workers in particular, as the most advanced and scientific description of the lived reality of the vast majority of the Black and African working class.” — NUMSA National Congress December 2016

SRWPThe historic formation of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party should never be confused with narrow factional driven motives, that are highly characteristic of the newly formed cluster of pro-Zuma “bundle of joy ” petite bourgeoisie political organizations.The formation of SRWP is informed by material conditions that are clearly and visibly dictating to us the political vacuum of a proletarian vanguard in the South African political landscape. To a large extent the above-mentioned sad reality is perpetuated by anti-working class and pro-capitalist neo-liberal policies of the African National Congress, given the green-light by its alliance partners in implementing neo-liberal policies that not only undermine the interests of organized labour but that of the working class as a whole.

This is not entirely unique to South Africa where by the so-called National “Liberation” movement throws the working class to the exploitive vultures of global-capitalism; it is an international phenomenon.

Question is, how do we have innovative, creative and productive minds without having a basic income? If we could create and allocate jobs according to the needs of society as a whole and not for maximising profits for the capitalist, then the issue of unemployment facing the working-class would be swiftly dealt with!

Now without going into too much details, these (above mentioned) are some of the indicators that concretely highlight to us the level of poverty and inequality that plagues a minerally wealthy and resourced country like South Africa, and most importantly the consequences of neo-liberal policies such as Gear and NDP. It is correct for one to state without any fear and doubt that the implementation of these policies under the watch and thumbs up by the SACP have not led to the transfer and redistribution of wealth to the African Working Class.

I lay emphasis upon the African working class due to my point of departure being based on the synchronicity of the Black Republic Thesis by Leon Trotsky and the NUMSA National Congress Resolutions of December 2016 . The geographical facts are that this is an in African continent whereby it is only conceivably logical that South Africa be ruled by an African Majority in as far as locating the national content of the working-class struggle.

The SRWP is the only vehicle in its agenda of ensuring that the means of production are under workers control and guarding against the manipulative idea of a “revolution” by and for Black Nationalist petite-bourgeoise.

History has taught us that the compromising class character of the nationalist bourgeoise is only in it for itself, and its objectives and interests contradict those of the working class, which seek to completely do away with capitalism and can only be achieved by a socialist democratic workers’ state as a transition to an ultimately communist (classless) society. SWRP does not compromise with any form of class rule!

Our primary agenda is one — and that is to place the means of production under workers’ control, e.g community committees, agriculture, mining and factory, workers’ councils; this will translate to the African working class playing an active, direct and decisive role on how wealth is equally distributed and utilized, even decision-making relating to the affairs of the country as a whole .

This is working class participatory democracy, which can be distinguished from capitalist representative democracy with its many flaws that are consistent in creating favorable conditions for Black capitalist aspirations in exercising state-capitalism.

Azania Black Republic

Black Republic Contents

%d bloggers like this: