THE decision by the ANC government to talk to the Amcu trade union, which has won away from the NUM majority membership status in many mines, is a concrete expression of the way that the enormous crisis of world and South African capitalism is impacting on the once-dominant bloc of an ANC government standing on the shoulders of the Cosatu trade union federation and the South African Communist Party.
The latter two organisations are still calling the Amcu trade union a ‘vigilante organisation’.
What has made the difference is that the South African working class, which was the motive force in the removal of apartheid, has returned to the struggle with a vengeance, and now wants socialism and a government for the working class and the rural poor.
It is enraged by the fact that almost two decades after liberation it remains superexploited and oppressed by mass unemployment, low wages, poor schools and hospitals, and by vast rises in the cost of living, while the rural areas are gripped by abysmal poverty, with those who stole the land from the people still owning it
The black working class is now determined to put an end to the situation where the ‘black’ liberation movement of the ANC is running South African capitalism for the world’s bourgeoisie, while the Cosatu trade union bureaucrats sit on the boards of the big companies and are producing from their ranks black billionaires like Cyril Ramaphosa.
It was the eruption of the Marikana strike one year ago that signalled the arrival of this revolutionary working class movement with its demand for a salary of 12,500 rands, a demand that the bosses and the ANC and the NUM said was unthinkable and if granted would completely bankrupt industry.
The ANC, Cosatu and the Communist Party condemned the Marikana miners and supported their suppression by the capitalist state’s bodies of armed men, costing the lives of 34 miners and wounding hundreds.
One year on since that strike and massacre, the inquiry into what happened is still continuing, with the state refusing to pay the legal expenses of the dead miners’ families and the wounded miners, thereby crippling the inquiry.
This has further angered the working class. The floodgates of working class anger have now opened and a massive strike wave has begun, accompanied by the emergence of hundreds of new working class and youth organisations dedicated to fighting South African capitalism and the ANC alliance that sought to stop the revolution so that it could enrich itself through serving the bosses of the world.
It is this rapidly emerging revolutionary situation and its fear of the masses that has determined the ANC government to begin to try and mend its fences with the Amcu trade union.
As miners, transport workers, hospital workers, airport workers, car workers and garment workers take strike action, the task of the hour is the building up of the revolutionary party that will lead the South African socialist revolution.
This will put the working class into power and it will nationalise the mines and all of the major industries and put them under workers’ management.
It will also expropriate the land and return it to the ownership of the masses from whom it was stolen.
The South African working class is the most powerful in Africa and the impact of its revolution will have gigantic consequences in all parts of the continent, north, south, east and west, and will inspire the masses of Africa to follow the South African example.
This will see the entire continent freed from imperialist domination and the emergence of a Socialist United States of Africa, a goal that is already inspiring large numbers of South African youth.
Now is the time to build up the South African section of the Fourth International and build sections of the FI all over Africa.