Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Cosatu - Too Distracted for Their Own Class

analysis

While Cosatu battles itself over access to power, the purchase and sale of buildings, and other mundane issues, the platinum strike has put workers' issues at the top of the national agenda... and Cosatu has nothing to do with it.

The funny thing about the platinum strike, into its fifth month, is it's both uniting and dividing workers. Around the mines, AMCU members are not only rallying behind a better wage, but fighting for their broader class interests, holding a middle finger to a system that screwed their grandfathers, their fathers and hasn't done much better for themselves while some people get stinking rich, whether or not they have any legitimate claim on the wealth of the land. Purely due to the length of the strike, support, or at least knowledge about the mineworkers' situation, has increased as the issues in the streets of Marikana are taken to the bars of Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Yet right when support for working class issues is rallying around the militant core of unionists, the militants are attacking those who share their environment but not their resolve to go without pay for four months. Empty stomachs. Children who've been pulled...

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