What would the ANC do without Cosatu?

You hear it bruted about that Cosatu provided the organisational structure and person-power to wrestle the ANC from Thabo Mbeki and his Xhosa-Nostra. You also might be told that the same strengths of Cosatu has won the ANC successive national elections. However, if you listen closely and to another set of people, you will hearContinue reading “What would the ANC do without Cosatu?”

Ruling Alliance breaking under the strain of corruption of “members of the cabinet and/or senior party leaders or officials”

Short of an angry and vindictive divorce you don’t really get a more serious breakdown between previous partners than described by the amazingly revealing Cosatu’s press statement yesterday threatening the end of the ruling alliance because ANC has laid disciplinary charges against Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi. This is what the statement reveals: The powerfulContinue reading “Ruling Alliance breaking under the strain of corruption of “members of the cabinet and/or senior party leaders or officials””

The productive classes versus the unproductive classes

As promised another occasional slide that illustrates a major theme of the moment. I have put the meat into the caption – note the reversion to some traditional Marxist theory … fractions of capital and the working class fighting to wield the state?  Was that Althusser or Nicos Poulantzas … hmm, no, for them theContinue reading “The productive classes versus the unproductive classes”

The new songsheet of the Left

A quick run through documents and press statement emanating from the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party reveals the existence of a new ‘song sheet’ our crimson brethren have devised to help them sing in tune with each other. This is something more than a coordinated set of slogansContinue reading “The new songsheet of the Left”

Cosatu and the ANC: the fat’s in the fire

I have been sitting on this for a few days partly because Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee statement on Thursday last week and the ANC response are as harsh as we have seen – and that includes the tone of voice that accompanied Cosatu’s huge strike against ‘Mbeki’s privatisation’ in 2002. Cosatu has a long andContinue reading “Cosatu and the ANC: the fat’s in the fire”

Sexwale: Oh I just can’t wait to be king!

The spat over Tokoyo Sexwale’s report criticising Gwede Mantashe for not stopping the booing and humiliation of Julius Malema at the SACP conference in December is more important than it seems. The direction a country takes (economically, socially and culturally) emerges from the interplay of too many factors to make the future even vaguely predictable.Continue reading “Sexwale: Oh I just can’t wait to be king!”

The SACP Conference – as I head off

Tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn I will begin travelling with my children for a respite after two years of my (it seems somehow personal) Great Recession. We will be moving through some places that are less connected than others, so I will be posting irregularly for some time. For this reason I wantedContinue reading “The SACP Conference – as I head off”

Cosatu does the right thing

Something very interesting on the sideline of the resignation of Bobby Godsell as chairman of the Eskom board and the non-resignation of Jacob Maroga as CEO. If a situation is impossibly confusing, or your view is obscured for some reason, then look around and check where others are looking – look at the stances theyContinue reading “Cosatu does the right thing”

The Polokwane chickens are coming home today …

Today Pravin Gordhan presents his (and Jacob Zuma’s) first Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. The post-Polokwane guillotine has been working overtime off late and we have seen the last remnants of the Ancien Régime flushed from the party, the state and government. The last man standing is Trevor Manuel, balancing precariously on a rapidly shrinkingContinue reading “The Polokwane chickens are coming home today …”