Phil Ferguson article on South Africa

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Jan 16 07:47:00 MST 2001

I have placed a long article by Phil and his comrade Sharon Jones on the
web at:

Here are the opening paragraphs:

It is now five years since the first non-racial elections in South Africa.
How have the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African
Communist Party (SACP), which plays a key role in the ANC, measured up to
their claims to stand for social justice and racial equality?  What are
conditions like for the majority of people in South Africa today?  What has
happened to the liberation movement, including the militant trade unions?

An indication of the current situation can be seen in the 1999-2000 budget,
delivered on February 17.  As Donna Block, the finance writer of the
Guardian and Weekly Mail noted, "The overall net result will be a
significant improvement in company profits."  Not only have taxes been cut
for top earners, but company taxes have been cut by about 16 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum are those township residents whose service
charges arrears amounted to US$555-780m or R2.5-3.5bn by 1997.[1]  In a
series of protests that year, bout 75 percent of Soweto residents and
around 90 percent in the Johannesburg township of Alexandra were among
those refusing to pay the charges, a campaign which had originally begun as
a protest against apartheid as well as a reflection of the economic
incapacity of many blacks and coloureds to pay.  The ANC regime's Masakhane
("Let's Build Together") campaign, aimed at establishing a new culture of
obedience to the state and payment for basic services, has found little to
recommend it to the millions of people who continue to languish at the
bottom of the heap in the 'new' South Africa

Louis Proyect
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