South Africa Archives - ROAPE
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South Africa Tag

The public debate on South Africa’s ‘social grant saga’ portrays the case as a typical example of political corruption, personal incompetence and corporate greed. However, as Lena Gronbach argues, behind the headlines is an agenda developed by the World Bank in the early 2000s, which sees poverty as a problem of financial exclusion and restrictive financial markets, rather than the result of deeper structural issues and the lack of a regular and adequate income. This has been nothing short of a fundamental shift in development policy. By Lena Gronbach In 2012 South Africa’s Social Security Agency SASSA appointed Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), a private financial service provider, as the sole paymaster for the country’s extensive and rapidly expanding social grant programme. This move was designed to address concerns about payment efficiency, high levels of grant fraud, and the fragmented nature of the previous provincial grant payment system...

In South Africa ten members of a militant shack dwellers organisation have been assassinated in the past six years. Yet many progressive organisations have distanced themselves from these militants. Jared Sacks exposes the complicity of a mainstream NGO that could have played an important role defending the movement against these political assassinations. Sacks argues that when movements refuse co-optation, repression, including assassination, become necessary to maintain power. By Jared Sacks On 12 June this year, at an Executive Committee meeting of the eThekwini Municipality (Durban, South Africa), the Mayor and Chief Whip made a number of veiled threats against the South African shack dweller movement Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM). The threats included references to a conspiratorial ‘third hand’ controlling the movement, harkening back to apartheid intelligence services patronage of the right-wing nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party in what effectively turned KwaZulu Natal (KZN) into a war zone. After...

Continuing our look at the life of Steve Biko, Heike Becker writes about two extraordinary events. The first was the formation of a Black organisation of student protest in 1968. The South African Student Organisation (SASO) was founded during a meeting exclusively attended by black students. Biko became the new organisation’s first President. The second was the astonishing friendship that developed between Steve Biko and Rick Turner. Together their political and philosophical ideas helped shape the massive strike wave in Durban in the early 1970s. Their murder – Biko in September 1977, and Turner in 1978 – put an end to the conversation between Black Consciousness and anti-capitalist notions of ‘participatory democracy’, which provided a brief glimpse of the possibilities of another South Africa. By Heike Becker In 2015 students at South African universities rose up in a mass revolt. Young women and men born after...

On the anniversary of Steve Biko’s murder, ROAPE’s Remi Adekoya speaks to South African scholar and activist Mosa Phadi. Phadi reflects on the legacy of Biko’s radical and important thought, but also discusses how he did not consider cohesive alternatives that could now serve as a counter to neoliberal ideas. In a wide-ranging interview Phadi also looks at the political and economic crisis in South Africa, the Economic Freedom Fighters, the failures of the ANC and the possibilities of a solution in the militancy and consciousness of working-class struggle....

Introducing her new book released this week, Gabrielle Lynch provides a radical analysis of the mechanisms of transitional justice. Looking at the case of Kenya, Lynch argues that truth commissions which hope to achieve truth, justice and reconciliation also require ongoing political struggles, and substantive socio-economic and political change. While reconciliation and justice may be goals which truth commission can recommend, and sometimes contribute to, they cannot be expected to achieve them. ...

Based on research on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Sophie Nakueira asks what the legacy of the Russian World Cup will be? She sees FIFA promoting the power and profit of global corporate brands such as Adidas, Nike, Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch. Can we justify spending vast amounts on such sporting extravaganzas in the name of global unity whilst simultaneously building walls and reinstating borders around the world? ...

As Donald Trump makes his first visit to the UK as president, Dirk Kohnert looks at how his policies will hit African countries. After years of talk of partnership for African economic development Trump’s tariffs mean a severe blow to African trade and sustainable development. Kohnert argues that Egypt and South Africa for example, potentially the most affected countries in Africa, face massive job losses....

For most commentators and scholars, it was only events in the Global North that constituted ‘Global 1968’. None of the relevant overviews brings related events on the African continent to the fore. In a detailed account of popular protest across Africa in the 1960s, it becomes clear that the decade was vital for activists – as it was elsewhere across the world. 1968 was a crucial year for popular protests and student militancy on the continent. roape.net begins to fill in the blanks in the story of ‘1968’ in a global perspective. ...

Heike Becker writes about the many uprisings in Africa’s 1968 and that these protests and revolts highlight the fact that Africa should not be left blank on the map of scholarship that seeks to understand 1968 in a global perspective. Yet, these revolts and protests are still forgotten in the global discourse of commemoration. This week roape.net will focus on the extraordinary African dimensions of the movements in 1968....

Zimbabwean activist Takura Zhangazha writes about the themes and debates of the recent ROAPE workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Themed 'Imperialism in Africa Today: The Place of Class Struggles and Progressive Politics', it had as its primary intention an historical assessment of the state of Africa's liberation and ideological left and its place in contemporary anti-global neoliberal and anti-imperialist politics. ...