Photos of anarchist/ syndicalist banners at the WSSD protests, Johannesburg, 2002

Local anarchists, including from BMC (Gauteng), attended the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, under UN auspices, from 26 August-4 September 2002. BMC was part of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), and would have marched with the big APF contingent. The march saw probably the largest ever single procession by the “new social movements” that emerged post-apartheid: these … Continue reading Photos of anarchist/ syndicalist banners at the WSSD protests, Johannesburg, 2002

Photos of anarchist/ syndicalist banners at Durban WCAR protests, 2001

Local anarchists from BMC (Gauteng) and ZAG (Durban) attended the 2001 World Conference against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa, which was held under UN auspices, from 31 August to 8 September 2001. BMC was part of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) and the Workers Library and Museum at the time, and marched with the big APF contingent. This is how poor ordinary digital photos were … Continue reading Photos of anarchist/ syndicalist banners at Durban WCAR protests, 2001

How others saw us: Learning Nation, 1990, “The Second International 1889-1915 (Part 1)”

Anarchists and syndicalists did feature in the left and anti-apartheid press from the 1950s to the 1990s, but usually in problematic or confused ways. This example comes from the Learning Nation, a supplement to the weekly New Nation, in a series on the “History of Communism,” and deals with “The Second International 1889-1915 (Part 1).” (2-8 November, 1990). Here is the PDF. Continue reading How others saw us: Learning Nation, 1990, “The Second International 1889-1915 (Part 1)”

How others saw us: Learning Nation, 1990, “The First International 1864-1876 – part 2”

Anarchists and syndicalists did feature in the left and anti-apartheid press from the 1950s to the 1990s, but usually in problematic or confused ways. This example comes from the Learning Nation, a supplement to the weekly New Nation, in a series on the “History of Communism,” and deals with “The First International 1864-1876 – part 2” (26 October to 1 November, 1990). Here is the … Continue reading How others saw us: Learning Nation, 1990, “The First International 1864-1876 – part 2”

Evangelos Mantzaris, 1988, “Radical Community: The Yiddish-Speaking Branch of the International Socialist League, 1918-1920”

Evangelos Mantzaris, 1988, “Radical Community: The Yiddish-Speaking Branch of the International Socialist League, 1918-1920,” in Belinda Bozzoli (ed), 1988, Class, Community and Conflict: South African Perspectives. Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Ravan Press. This pioneering study includes some important material on the revolutionary syndicalist International Socialist League, its complicated relations to the (rival, also syndicalist) Industrial Socialist League, and the birth of the 1920 (non-Comintern) Communist Party of … Continue reading Evangelos Mantzaris, 1988, “Radical Community: The Yiddish-Speaking Branch of the International Socialist League, 1918-1920”

Labour History Group (1984), “Organising at the Cape Town Docks”

This 1984 text, Organising at the Cape Town Docks, is notable for its discussion of the revolutionary syndicalist Industrial Workers of Africa in Cape Town from the late 1910s, and its links to the rise of the massive Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU). The ICU was influenced by syndicalism (among other things). Get the PDF here. A Xhosa translation, Abasebenzi Basedokisini Ekapa, can … Continue reading Labour History Group (1984), “Organising at the Cape Town Docks”

Labour History Group, 1984, “Abasebenzi Basedokisini Ekapa” (Xhosa translation of “Organising at the Cape Town Docks”)

The “Labour History Group” based in Cape Town issued a series of pamphlets on the history of the working class in South Africa — more precisely, on some notable events in trade union history. For more on this group and its context, see here. This particular pamphlet, entitled Abasebenzi Basedokisini Ekapa is a Xhosa translation of Organising at the Cape Town Docks, which you can … Continue reading Labour History Group, 1984, “Abasebenzi Basedokisini Ekapa” (Xhosa translation of “Organising at the Cape Town Docks”)

Ulrich, 2004, “Remembering and Learning from the Past: The 1976 Uprising and the African Working Class” (Zabalaza)

Nicole Ulrich, 2006, “Remembering and Learning from the Past: The 1976 Uprising and the African Working Class,” Zabalaza: A journal of southern African revolutionary anarchism, number 7, pp. 22-23. 

PDF here, text below

This year [2006] marks the 30th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa, which marked the start of the fall of apartheid, and inspired activists worldwide. African working youth played a leading role, and their sacrifices showed us that ordinary people can make a difference to the injustices of our world. Revolutionaries should commemorate this struggle, but also learn from its failings.

RACE AND CLASS

The 1976 uprising was sparked by the imposition of Afrikaans-language teaching in African schools, seen as an act of national oppression. But there was more at play. The 1970s saw growing inflation creating much discontent amongst urban African youth. South Africa’s economy, which boomed in the 1960s, entered crisis in the 1970s. Unemployment grew steadily, reaching levels unseen for decades.

This was fuelled by under-funded, racist and authoritarian government institutions like the local government township administrations, the Bantu Education system and the miserable conditions in the segregated township schools. Although the government and large companies such as Continue reading “Ulrich, 2004, “Remembering and Learning from the Past: The 1976 Uprising and the African Working Class” (Zabalaza)”

Shawn Hattingh, 2007, “BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward Capital Movement and the International. Expansion of South African Corporate Giants”

From here Get the PDF here Citation details: HATTINGH, S. 2007. BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward capital movement and the international expansion of South African corporate giants. Available at: http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/upload/pdf/Ilrig0809South African giants.pdf [accessed 2014-02-18].         Shawn Hattingh (ILRIG), 2007, “BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward Capital Movement and the International Expansion of South African Corporate Giants” Abstract From the 1940s until the mid-1970s, the largest South African corporations, … Continue reading Shawn Hattingh, 2007, “BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward Capital Movement and the International. Expansion of South African Corporate Giants”

Profiles: Bobo Makhoba, 1975-2016, ZACF founder member

Bobo Makhoba of Soweto, South Africa, was a founder member of the Zablaza Anarchist Communist Federation (later, Front), and active in the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee, largest affiliate of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), a coalition of post-apartheid protest movements in Gauteng. He later moved to Trostkyism. This obituary from here. Hamba kahle comrade Bobo Makhoba (1975-2016) 1 October 2016, by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) The … Continue reading Profiles: Bobo Makhoba, 1975-2016, ZACF founder member

Profiles: Abel Ramarope, 1961-2005, South Africa

Abel Ramarope was a political prisoner from the nationalist Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), who did not receive amnesty in South Africa’s transition to a parliamentary, post-apartheid state. He was in contact with the Anarchist Black Cross, a project of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (later, Front), and ran an anarchist study circle in Pretoria. Obituary from ZACF here. Obituary from mainstream media here. Continue reading Profiles: Abel Ramarope, 1961-2005, South Africa

Profiles: Ousi Lawrence Zitha, 1969-2013, South Africa, TAAC

Ousi Lawrence Zitha came from Kliptown,Soweto. A factory worker much of his life, he lost his job in 2006, and became involved in anarchist political schools/ Red and Black Forums, and joined ZACF-linked Tokologo African Anarchist Collective (TAAC). The following appeared as Nobuhle Dube, 2014, “Obituary of Ousi Lawrence Zitha,” Tokologo: Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective, number 3, p. 3. (You can get … Continue reading Profiles: Ousi Lawrence Zitha, 1969-2013, South Africa, TAAC

Profiles: Mandla Khoza, 1974-2019, ZACF anarchist-communist and Swaziland activist

A pioneering member of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) in South Africa and Swaziland, Mandla Khoza (“MK”) passed away in 2019, having suffered ill-health for years. See here. Continue reading Profiles: Mandla Khoza, 1974-2019, ZACF anarchist-communist and Swaziland activist

Interview: Warren McGregor, 2014, on anarchism, ZACF and strategy

This is an interview with Warren McGregor, an office-bearer in the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), on anarchist-communist strategy and vision in South Africa. All reference details are in the PDF itself. The interview was conducted by Leroy Maisiri. Get the PDF here. Continue reading Interview: Warren McGregor, 2014, on anarchism, ZACF and strategy