The football World Cup did not end our poverty
South Africa has been the center of the world's most watched spectator sport this summer, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Championship.
The press from every corner of the globe were there to report on the world’s largest football (soccer) tournament, which takes place every four years.
This was the first time the FIFA Championships were held on African soil, although it is the most popular sport on the Continent.
Every world press reported on the good organizing and delivery of world class services by the ANC-led South African Government.
Capitalists of all sorts, media, catering, hotels, security, construction, etc., made billions of dollars on the month long event held throughout Occupied Azania (South Africa) from June 10 through July 11, 2010.
Now that the capitalists have flooded their pockets and the media attention is no longer there, the masses in Azania are still facing the reality that they are still poor, and the world cup has not changed their conditions of existence by one iota.
The World Cup‘s objective was to entertain people from oppressor nations, as they are the ones with money to spend and time to enjoy themselves as if tomorrow brought no worries for them.
They are the ones with facilities to train their athletes for top competition.
The oppressed and starving nations despite all the emotional appeal for the games do not have the resources to challenge the capitalists’ teams of the oppressor nations.
We just go there to make the number balance out and legitimize this unequal capitalist game, which is used to validate our status as incompetent and impotent so-called independent capitalist nations.
The most important thing, however, was not and is not to win the World Cup, although African people may have felt good about it if we had.
But just like everything else the capitalist involved themselves in, they cheated.
Ghana could have reached the final of the world if it was not robbed of a place in the semi-final by a wrong /bad call which should have warranted a penalty in Ghana’s favour.
The truth was that the ball was heading into the net until the Uruguayan striker, instead of the goal keeper, used his hand to stop it.
But even if Ghana had won this World Cup, we would still be poor in Ghana too.
What we need is a strategic win, which will restore freedom and genuine African self- determination throughout the African Continent.
There is no short cut, no substitute. It must and can only happen through a revolutionary struggle.
The most important event in Africa must be an African worker and peasant freedom victory over the present capitalist choke hold the US and European imperialist have on our people and our land. It has to be our determination to win our freedom.
In the African world, every country, every struggle, every leadership, every strategy and so forth must be assessed by the pursuit of genuine freedom or complete overthrow of parasitic capitalism on our people and our Africa.
COSATU and ILC strike paralysed the ANC government
COSATU (Confederation of South African Trade Unions ) which represents about 56% of the unionised employees in the public service workforce, the rest of the unionised employed are represented by Independent Labour Caucus (ILC).
These two unions mobilised about 1.3 million employees in the South African public sector to bargain a wage increase and housing allowance.
This year (2010) from August to September, for four weeks, South Africans have been paralyzed by their massive strike. Workers at state-owned firms are demanding an 8.6 percent pay hike, and are seeking a R1000 ($140) per month housing allowance.
A mid-grade public sector employee currently makes on average R8800 ($1,230.00) a month in salary and benefits, above the national average wage of R6383 ($900.00), according to government figures.
The government's offer is a 7 percent wage raise and R700 ($100.00) a month for housing (24 August, Business Report, http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=5615518).
On the top of these wages and housing allowance, the unions are also demanding that South African president Zuma take action on the following: “Scrap the labour brokering system which bypasses unions' pay negotiations, move faster to implement a national insurance health plan, take firm action against corrupt individuals who use the government for personal enrichment” (Pumza Fihlani, 30 August 2010, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11113937).
It is not just unions who were breathing on the Zuma government’s neck, but sectors of ANC itself who are vying for power within the ANC have also added extra pressure on the president.
“The ANC Youth League( of Julius Malema) previously seen as another pillar of support for Mr Zuma, has even more radical policy demands: Nationalise the country's mines, speed up the redistribution of white-owned land to the black majority, transfer more business into black ownership” (Pumza Fihlani, 30 August 2010, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11113937).
In addition to these discussions, questions are also being raised and debated on whether or not this is the end of the triple alliance, the so-called tripartite, between the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa Communist Party and the COSATU?
Others put the same question differently: would COSATU and other Unions split from their alliance with ANC?
What is the truth? This strike is not part of any strategy by African workers to seize power in South Africa.
This strike, like the other ones before, under the ANC’s government, is an economic struggle to bargain over resources.
Along with the imperialist and settler colonialist, it was COSATU and others Unions who put Zuma in power.
They did not put him in power to impose the workers' will, but to allow reforms which could ease workers' anger.
These reforms are not for all workers, but unionised workers only, because the massive army of over 6 million unemployed workers (32 percent of South Africa's labour force) would not get these benefits.
This pay increase, after all, is just a pittance to maintain the status quo.
Part of the deal is that the unions would not mobilise for workers' power.
No matter how long the strike lasts or how many people participate in it, COSATU is not about overthrowing the ANC and the African petty bourgeoisie from power.
The strike helps also to secure the position of the trade union leaders inside the ANC’s coalition; the position of unions has been shaken by the surge of unemployment.
According to the African Communist of September 2010, “Since the first quarter of 2009 when the South Africa economy officially entered into a recession, almost 1.2 million jobs have been lost, the majority of them in the six month period between January and September 2009” (Rethinking South Africa’s Growth Path, Kimani Ndungu, Senior Researcher in the National Labour and Economic Development Institute).
The political power is left in the hands of the African petty bourgeoisie that leads the ANC. This is the deal. This is the betrayal of the workers in South Africa.
There is no preparation whatsoever to seize power. If we want to solve all the problems, we must organise for black workers' power In Azania.
What is true for COSATU is equally true for the Communist Party of South Africa. This is an organisation of African and white petty bourgeois intellectuals, which is part of the ANC s opportunist leadership.
To be part of the ANC coalition, you have to be for the status quo. The SACP is for the status quo.
They talk about the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) but they never mobilised for it.
These intellectuals know better than anybody else, that Nelson Mandela, Mbeki, Zuma and others of this tripartite are there to develop a black middle class of capitalists whose role is to maintain the status quo, a layer between the white capitalist class and the oppressed African population for the benefit of imperialist exploitation.
Equally, the call to nationalise the mines by Julius Malema, the ANC youth league leader, is not a national call for nationalisation of the key strategic sectors of the economy, but it is a call, although popular, which would leave the system of settler neocapitalism intact.
It would possibly create more jobs for the black elite at state owned companies, but would not change the capitalist economy nor the orientation of the South African economy.
More statistics on the deepening capitalist crisis in South Africa
In 2008, the Quarterly Labour Survey found that in 2005-6, the average income from work in the richest 10 percent of households was 32 times the average income of the poorest 60 percent.
Assets were even more unequally distributed than earned income. In 2005-6, the average household in the richest decile earned 94 times as much from investments as one in the poorest 60 percent.
It received three quarters of its income from capital, compared to under 1 percent for the poorest 60 percent (Neva Makgetla, Debating Development: Paradigms Shaping Economic Proposals, page 10).
Another statistic from the same article adds that, “Data from the 2005-6 income and expenditure survey indicates that some 80 percent of total credit to households went to the richest 10 percent, almost entirely for housing and cars” (Neva Makgetla, Debating development: Paradigms Shaping Economic Proposals, page 10, African Communist, September 2010).
The way forward
The ANC leadership which has led the struggle against the Jim Crow state (not capitalism), better known as the apartheid regime, has been heavily rewarded by the white rulers from within and without South Africa.
This is the phenomenon that Desmund Tutu, the clerical opportunist who led the Anglican Church for the reform of the apartheid regime, referred to as the “gravy train.”
Top jobs in the state bureaucracy and government as well as board directorships of imperialists’ corporations are opened to the African petty bourgeoisie.
The ANC is the leader of opportunism in South Africa. We have to begin from the beginning.
The African workers need to build their own party for revolutionary democratic revolution using the Revolutionary Democratic National Program of the African Socialist International adapted to the on-the-ground situation in Occupied Azania, and reposition the struggle within the context of a single worldwide African revolution, currently called for and headed by the African Socialist International.
There is a place for all honest and dedicated forces who are disenchanted with the opportunism of the African Liberation movement in Azania: join the ASI, to advance the Azanian revolution to its logical conclusion.
All power to the workers, land to the peasants!