SAFTU rejects the xenophobia and Afrophobia
April 3, 2019
SAFTU calls on the working class across the country to intensify the service delivery protest actions!
April 11, 2019

SAFTU CALLS FOR A COORDINATED PROTEST IN ALEXANDRA AND ALL OTHER WORKING CLASS TOWNSHIPS

The South African Federation of Trade Unions was created after a number of unions came to a realisation that for over two decades, black people in general and black working class in particular had been on the receiving end of failed neoliberal and austerity programmes. This has not only led to neglect but also worsened the quadrible crisis of unemployment, poverty, inequalities and corruption.

Instead of implementing the Freedom Charter’s economic demands, which states that the land and the wealth shall be shared, the ANC government has been doing the opposite for 25 years and counting. The neoliberal policies introduced since 1996 has led to redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. National government transfers to the local government have been systematically cut. Faced with the increased levels of de-industrialisation and disinvestments by the light manufacturing industries which led to a massive decline of tax base leading to a situation where local governments had no option but to increase tariffs on rates and used electricity tariffs to cover the resultant shortfall.

The ANC and its allies have as early as 2012, admitted that in economic terms, the main beneficiaries of economic transformation remain the same people who benefitted prior to 1994. In fact the benefits to the white monopoly capital has been far greater under the conditions of so called freedom than they were during apartheid and colonialism. This is evidenced by massive growth in profits and executive pay as well as the ability of South African firms to move all over the continent and the townships. On the other side, the black working class has witnessed even greater levels of unemployment, poverty, inequalities, corruption and crime.

Apartheid fault lines have largely remained. The spatial apartheid development patterns remain firmly in place. The provision of inferior houses far away from even where the apartheid has placed the black people has worsened the crisis of transport and access to opportunities near economic activities. There has been a phenomenal of backyard informal houses that have compounded further the lack of infrastructure and put more pressure on already inadequate services including the provision of water and sanitation.

The steady movement of our people from poverty stricken rural areas to equally poverty stricken informal settlements that are mushroomed in all major cities has created anger and frustrations.

Some of the Alexandra residents work next door in Sandton. They see the phenomenal growth of shiny glass buildings, which symbolises the wealth, and the opulence of the few in a class divided society.

This crisis of depravation, want, neglect, poverty and squalor is what is driving the anger of the people of Alexandra and other black working class townships.

According to the Municipal IQ there were 144 service delivery related protests in 2018. Of major concern 94% of the service delivery protests recorded in 2018 were violent, an increase from 76% in 2004.

It is in this context that SAFTU fully supports the residents of Alexandra who have come out in their numbers to say, “enough is enough!” SAFTU is amazed that it took so long for the people of Alexandra to make this political statement. They are joining hundreds of others across the length and breadth of our country protesting daily but completely ignored by the mainstream media and the political elites.

The reason why the media has given attention to the Alexandra protests is because it is happening too close to the leafy suburbs and therefore may disturb the “peace” and tranquillity of the people of Sandton. Otherwise, normally, the mainstream media only report about service delivery when the poor inconvenience the elites driving in the highways and other major roads.

SAFTU has also noted that the bourgeoisie’s political parties whose policies are responsible for the totally unacceptable living conditions of the people of Alexandra have opportunistically jumped into fray of a mindless blame game. The ANC, which abandoned the people of Alexandra in favour of the Sandton/Houghton/Sandown/Bryanston/New York/London/Paris tycoons, is now blaming the DA, which has been in power for about 3 years. In return the DA whose policies will not lead to redistribution of wealth from Sandton to Alexander has been blaming the ANC 25 years of misrule for the crisis as if they would have solved the crisis we inherited from apartheid, colonialism and capitalism.

SAFTU calls on the Alexandra not to allow themselves to be used by the people involved in a stampede to go to parliament after the 08 May 2019 where they will do what they have done for the past 25 years.

SAFTU calls on the rest of the working class throughout the country who are without water, houses, electricity, infrastructure, etc. to join the protests in their own areas.

SAFTU and others convened the Working Class Summit in July last year in Soweto. Over 147 working class formations agreed that the ruling class and the elites will not stop ignoring the plight of the working class until workers and community’s struggles are knitted into a single working class struggle to demand a true and their total emancipation.

It is in that context SAFTU calls on the Alexandra residents to unite with other working class townships and combat neoliberalism and austerity programmes driven by both the ANC and the DA.

Instead of implementing the Freedom Charter economic demands, which states that the land and the wealth shall be shared, the ANC government for 25 years now has been doing just the opposite. The neoliberal policies introduced since 1996 has led to redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich through cutting funding to the local government layer of government. Face with the increased levels of de-industrialisation and disinvestments by the light manufacturing industries which led to a massive decline of tax base leading to a situation where local governments had no option but to increase tariffs on rates and used electricity tariffs to cover the resultant shortfall.

The ANC and its allies have as early as 2012, admitted that in economic terms, the main beneficiaries of economy remain the same people who benefitted prior to 1994. In fact the benefits to the white monopoly capital has been far greater under the conditions of so called freedom than they were during apartheid and colonialism. This is evidence by massive growth in profits and executive pay as well as the ability of South African firms to move all over the continent and the township. On the other side, the black working class has witnessed even greater levels of unemployment, poverty, inequalities, corruption and crime.

Apartheid fault lines have largely remained. The spatial apartheid development patterns remain firmly in place. The provision of inferior houses far away from even where the apartheid has placed the black people has worsened the crisis of transport and access to opportunities near economic activities. There has been a phenomenal backyard informal houses that have compounded further the lack of infrastructure and put more on inadequate services including water and sanitation.

The steady movement of our people from poverty stricken rural areas to equally poverty stricken informal settlements that mushroomed in all major cities has created anger and frustrations.

Some of the Alexander residents work next door in Sandton. They see the phenomenal growth of shiny glass buildings, which symbolises the wealth, and the opulence of the few in the class divided society.

This crisis of depravation, want, neglect, poverty and squalor is what is driving the anger of the people of Alexandra and other black working class townships.

According to the Municipal IQ there were 144 service delivery related protests in 2018. Of major concern 94% of the service delivery protests recorded in 2018 were violent, an increase from 76% in 2004.

It is in this context that SAFTU fully supports the residents of Alexandra who have come out in their numbers to say, “enough is enough!” SAFTU is amazed that it took so long for the people of Alexandra to make this political statement. They are joining hundreds of other across the length and breadth of our country protesting daily but completely ignored by the mainstream media and the political elites.

The reason why the media has given attention to the Alexandra protests is because it is happening too close to the leafy suburbs and therefore may disturb the “peace” and tranquillity of the people of Sandton. Otherwise, normally, the mainstream media only report about service delivery when the poor inconvenience the elites driving in the highways and other major roads.

SAFTU has also noted that the bourgeoisie’s political parties whose policies are responsible for the totally unacceptable living conditions of the people of Alexander have opportunistically jumped into fray of a mindless blame game. The ANC, which abandoned the people of Alexander in favour of the Sandton/Houghton/Sandown/Bryanston/New York/London/Paris tycoons, is now blaming the DA, which has been in power for about 3 years. In return the DA whose policies will not lead to redistribution of wealth from Sandton to Alexander has been blaming the ANC 25 years of misrule for the crisis as if they would have solved the crisis we inherited from apartheid, colonialism and capitalism.

SAFTU calls on the Alexandra not to allow themselves to be used in a stampede to go to parliament after the 08 May 2019 where they will do what they have done for the past 25 years.

SAFTU calls on the rest of the working class throughout the country who are without water, houses, electricity, infrastructure, etc. to join the protests in their own areas.

SAFTU and others convened the Working Class Summit in July last year in Soweto. Over 147 working class formations agreed that the ruling class and the elites will not stop ignoring the plight of the working class until workers and community’s struggles are knitted into a single working class struggle to demand a true and their total emancipation.

It is in that context SAFTU calls on the Alexandra residents to unite with other working class townships and combat neoliberalism and austerity programmes driven by both the ANC and the DA.