The South African Federation of Trade (SAFTU) is concerned that the growing crisis of capitalism, neocolonialism and neoliberal is setting the poor against the poor, worker against a worker and an African against an African
The capitalist system, neo-colonialism and neoliberalism and with its austerity measures (budget cuts of social services to the poor) has dismally failed the working class not only in our country, but in too many parts of the African continent and the world over. The African continent, which is the wealthiest continent in the world endowed with minerals, arable land and good weather, is a den of failed states and corrupt leaders who merely fight for the crumps that falls from the dining table of the imperial capitalists.
Unemployment (expanded) rose by 2.2% from 44.4% in quarter 2 of 2021 to 46.6% in quarter 3 of 2021, taking a total of unemployed people, including those who have given up looking for jobs, to 12.5 million. Considering that we live in a society based on commodity production – where people must have money before they can access goods, unemployment therefore deprives them of access to key basic goods and services.
Using the National Upper-Pound Poverty Line, poverty is a little over the 50%. But this estimate assumes that people can survive R1 350, and therefore is conservative. Other estimates puts unemployment at 70%.
Inequalities are a central feature of capitalism, and any society based on class property. South African capitalism has created our nation to be the most unequal society on earth. The “the richest 10% of the population own more than 85% of household wealth, while over half the population have more liabilities than assets”, according to the World Inequality Lab. The Lab also estimated that 3,500 adults in this country own “more than the poorest 32 million people”.
This triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequalities exacerbated by corruption, is a ticking time bomb that will implode unless it is addressed. Elsewhere, there is proof that
We are marching towards this implosion, and #OperationDudula, the July 2021 unrests and the five a day service delivery protests are but symbols of an implosion already unfolding.
The economy has shown that it is shedding jobs and not creating jobs. Even for those whose employability prospects have been improved by acquiring a tertiary qualification, the pictures is gloom, as more than 200 000 graduates are also struggling to find employment. Let alone the 89.6% of those who only have matric and less. Thus, many people who are deprived and starving, are seeking ways to survive.
Hence the high levels of crime and violence. There is a mental health crisis that see many young men resorting to commiting suicide. Already 70% of the population has given up on the electoral system. There is growing disillusionment with the electoral system and seemingly all political formations are not inspiring the youth that their crisis will be solved through participation in the bourgeoisie democracy, as attested to by the mass stayaway from the LGE polls on 1 November 2021.
Faced with this worsening crisis and the continued squeezing from the neocolonial multinationals and the neoliberal austerity, an intense battle is playing itself between migrant workers and locals. The unemployed are trying to find solutions to this crisis and they are finding easy scapegoats in foreign workers for their unemployment, poverty, inequalities and corruption inherent in the capitalist system.
SAFTU calls on the working class to unite and fight against the system that by design not meant to address the needs of the masses of the people. We call on the workers to unite against all their political leaders that are being remote controlled by the institutions of capitalism. The political elites have failed the black majority in the country and in our continent. Taking out frustrations of this crisis on other workers will not solve the principal problem of corruption, unemployment, poverty and inequalities.
We are calling of those sharpening assegais against other victims of neglect, imperial dispossession, and capitalist deprivation and wars, to unite with SAFTU and other working class formations that are planning a general strike on the 25 April 2022 to fight against the neocolonial capitalist system and neoliberal policies that have dismally failed our people.