Building Trade Union Democracy as Prefigurative Politics in South Africa

 In examining the possibilities for politics within and at a distance from the state, it is important to revisit the democratic traditions of the working class, which are often learned through (...)

 Article original.

Mis en ligne par Sifuna Zonke
 7/12/2020

Building Trade Union Democracy as Prefigurative Politics in South Africa

 In examining the possibilities for politics within and at a distance from the state, it is important to revisit the democratic traditions of the working class, which are often learned through (...)

The Home of Southern African Anarchism Online

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front, or ZACF – Zabalaza meaning ‘struggle’ in isiZulu and isiXhosa – is a specific anarchist political organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is a unitary organisation – or federation of individuals, as opposed to a federation of collectives – whereby membership is on an individual basis, by invitation only. This is because we have seen – through our own experience, as well as that of global anarchism historically – that we can accomplish more as an organisation, and be more effective, when our members share a certain level of theoretical and strategic unity, and collective responsibility. Our activities include study and theoretical development, anarchist agitation and propaganda, and participation within the class struggle.

The ZACF identifies with the anarchist communist, Platformist or Especifista traditions within anarchism and, as such, we subscribe to the idea of active minority. What this means is that, unlike our anarcho-syndicalist comrades for example, we do not seek to build mass anarchist movements, nor to turn existing social movements into anarchist movements, but to participate in existing movements – and assist in creating new ones where necessary – with the objective of spreading the influence of anarchist principles and practices, even when these mass organisations remain ideologically heterogeneous. In fact, it is our belief that – as the mass fighting organisations of the working class – we should not seek to homogenise mass movements and organisations ideologically, as the strength of these movements lies in their ability to unite and mobilise the largest possible number of workers, regardless of their religious, ideological or political affiliations. Rather, we hold that it is the role of the anarchist political organisation to fight for the leadership of anarchist ideas within mass movements, and for the implementation of anarchist principles therein (even if not recognised as such by the majority of members of the mass organisation), such as : direct democracy, mutual aid, horizontalism, class combativeness, direct action and class independence (independence of working class organisations/ movements from political parties and electoral politics).

Founded on May Day 2003 – at a time when political space was closing down in the trade unions, with them coming increasingly under the control of the African National Congress (ANC) government through the tripartite alliance, and it being increasingly difficult to criticise the ANC-led Alliance or raise alternatives within the trade union movement – a decision was taken by the ZACF to orient itself towards the emerging popular social movements that had been mushrooming around South Africa since the turn of the decade in response to the failure of the ANC government to fulfill its election promises.

As anarchist-communists, we struggle for a classless, stateless and non-hierarchical society. We envision an international confederation of directly democratic, self-managed communities and workplaces ; a society where all markets, exchange value systems and divisions of labour have been abolished and the means of production, distribution and communication are taken over by the workers and placed under workers’ self-management (socialised) in order to allow for the satisfaction of the needs of everyone, adhering to the communist principle :

“From each according to ability, to each according to need.”

Les articles 

Broken world, broken people – we need a path to a better future

1er/02 | We are living in a world that for most people is broken and that has broken most people. It is not a god given world, but one that has (...)

The Political Party System : No Friend of the Working Class

17/12 | The question of state government elections and running a workers or socialist political party continues to be raised in the (...)

Building Trade Union Democracy as Prefigurative Politics in South Africa

7/12 | In examining the possibilities for politics within and at a distance from the state, it is important to revisit the democratic (...)

Nigeria and the Hope of the #EndSARS Protests

14/11 | A video went viral on social media platforms on October 3, outlining how the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the (...)

Economic Policy from Below : an Anarchist Critique of the COSATU Unions’ “Radical Reform” (...)

7/08 | Centred on the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and within it, key unions like the National Union of Metalworkers of (...)

Solidarity with the Struggle of the Mapuche People

6/08 | International anarchist statement We stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Mapuche people who are currently experiencing another (...)

Grave diggers : the grim tale of states, capitalism and COVID-19

14/07 | In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it often seems as if we are stuck in a dystopian movie. In this movie death is stalking us, (...)

The Oppressed Classes Rise Up Against Racism and Discrimination

10/07 | (International anarchist statement) The murder of George Floyd in the United States by the police has unleashed a wave of popular (...)

Democratic Confederalism and Movement Building in South Africa

29/06 | The ongoing capitalist crisis, and the impacts of COVID19, have made it clear that the capitalist and state system we live under is (...)

Recent publications and new editions from Zabalaza Books

16/06 | Over the past 18 months Zabalaza Books has published over two dozen new publications or new editions of previous publications, all of (...)

Vos commentaires

Nouveautés sur le Web 

 cette semaine: 90 articles référencés

Treasury Projects the Economy to Grow By 3.3 Percent

  24/02 | [SAnews.gov.za] As the country begins to roll out a massive vaccination programme, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to (...)

R217 Billion Allocated for Economic Growth Programmes

  24/02 | [SAnews.gov.za] A total R217 billion will be spent over the next three-years on ambitious economic development programmes aimed at (...)

Failure to Spend Budgets to Come Under the Spotlight

  24/02 | [SAnews.gov.za] From 2021, expenditure failure accountability is expected to take centre stage as the National Treasury is set to (...)

Over R200 Billion Allocated to Criminal Justice System

  24/02 | [SAnews.gov.za] Finance Tito Mboweni has announced that government will over the next three years allocate R213.4 billion to ensure the (...)

Health System Boosted to Respond to Covid-19

  24/02 | [SAnews.gov.za] Government will in the next financial year avail an additional R8 billion to the health system for the country's (...)

Education to Remain a Priority in 2021

  24/02 | [SAnews.gov.za] While education continues to be a priority, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has announced that government will in the (...)
 Izuba | 2002 · 2021