Claire Ceruti

South Africa after the Marikana massacre

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The killing by police of 34 striking platinum miners at Marikana echoed the worst massacres of the old apartheid era. Socialist Review spoke to Claire Ceruti, a South African socialist, about the strike, the implications for the workers' movement and tensions inside the ruling ANC party


The Marikana miners have won a pay increase of up to 22 percent. Can you say something about the significance of the strike and its outcome?

Even though it fell far short of the miners' original demand, the result of the strike was a victory for the power of self-organisation. The mine management was forced to negotiate directly with the miners and the rock drillers won a 2,000 rand increase (around £150), with other sections winning a bit less.

South Africa: Communists and ANC to Split?

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This is not the first time South African newspapers have announced a serious rift between the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (CP) and the trade union federation Cosatu. What's fresh this time around is that the union and Communist leaders are no longer denying it.

In the past they might have accused journalists of sensationalising "healthy debate" among alliance partners. On 18 May this year, about 20,000 workers gathered in Johannesburg during a one day national strike for jobs. They heard Zweli Vavi, the general secretary of Cosatu, say that the gulf between the people of South Africa and the cabinet of President Thabo Mbeki is the gulf between rich and poor. Now both the CP and Cosatu are discussing various futures, which include fielding independent Communist candidates in future elections.

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