1 November 2017

South Africa: Cosatu Statement On the So-Called #BlackMonday March

press release

Millions of people live a terrible existence in this country surrounded by crime, unemployment and poverty and to single out farmers as some rare species that should be specially protected smacks of hypocrisy and racism. There is still a minority of white people in this country who continue to believe that they should be given special treatment. Thousands of farm workers are killed and illegally evicted everyday in this country not by some unknown criminals but by their own employers. It is the majority of black people , who remain victims of violent crimes and economic deprivation in this country.

Despite the advances made in the past 23 years, the high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality remain unresolved and these affects blacks in general and Africans in particular. Combined with extreme landlessness, rampant mineral extraction, corruption and elicit outflows of billions of rands, more and more people in this country still find themselves trapped in sprawling slums and haunted by the spectre of avoidable diseases and death.

We still see severe exploitation and slave like conditions, where workers rights and human rights are violated with impunity and the plight of the workers is so severe that they are living in conditions that are a step above the grave.

This is more so amongst the youth, women, community care workers, domestic workers and foreign nationals, who tend to make the bigger proportion of the vulnerable sections of the labour force. This also affects the sectors such as catering, wholesale, hotel, mining, farming, cleaning and private security.

All of these issues need to be equally resolved if we are to manage to form a truly non-racial society. The undeniable fact is that there will be no peace or social stability in this country if there is no economic justice. While millions of people remain landless and economically deprived ,we can expect these unacceptable crime levels accompanied by social upheaval to be with us for a long time.

This march is also a reminder that if the current self flagellation by the African National Congress leads to its implosion , it will have dire consequences not just for the economy but also for the project of nation building. One of the achievements of our national democratic revolution (NDR) has been its ability to mobilise and unite our people, particularly the black majority around the project of non-racialism and non-sexism, and more precisely around the project of nation-building. This achievement was secured first and foremost in uniting our broader movement, the ANC itself, the Alliance and the broader range of popular formations. This is an important achievement precisely because at the heart of their strategy of maintain state power and class power, the colonial and apartheid rule relied on "divide and rule" strategy to create and maintain tribal and racial divisions to deny us our common identity as South Africans.

The implosion and the disintegration of the ANC and the abandonment of the values it upholds will breed more of this emerging rightwing Afrikaner nationalism and narrow Africanism, including tribalism.

South Africa

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