Since the historic 1994 democratic defeat of apartheid, South Africa has seen 18 years of rule by Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) Party. What has this meant for poor and working people? South African organizer Mazibuko Jara will contextualize the recent August 16th massacre of 34 striking platinum mineworkers at the Lonmin Marikana mine and the subsequent wave of mineworker strikes that continue to this day.
Last week, the ANC government released results of a national census confirming that socio-economic inequalities inherited from the apartheid era persist, including the fact that white families earn 6 times the average income of black families. Moreover, nearly a quarter of South Africa's population is unemployed, while the unemployment rate for black youth is believed to be double that. This ongoing inequality epitomises the crisis facing South Africa 18 years into ANC rule and provides the context from which to understand the mineworker strikes.
Mazibuko is a former spokesperson for the South African Communist Party and an activist involved in LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS, and rural struggles. He is part of the Democratic Left Front which has actively supported the mineworker struggles.
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