Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 18.2019
2019.04.29 — 2019.05.05
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
SA's foreign relations rest on common interests and goals – not political regimes (Внешние связи ЮАР опираются на общие интересы и цели, а не на политические режимы) / South Africa, April, 2019
Keywords: expert_opinion, quotation, mofa
South Africa

When South Africa reintegrated into international affairs, our foreign policy was conceptualised under Nelson Mandela's leadership. We live by the maxim that we "are at peace with the world and ourselves", writes Ndivhuwo Mabaya.

South Africa's foreign policy has recently been the subject of robust discussions in the media, on various civil-society forums and within government circles. This is a welcome development as it is indicative of an engaged society that wishes to contribute to South Africa's success in global affairs.

On 14 April 2019, Mr Phumlani Majozi penned an article entitled, "Time to rethink our foreign relations". At first glance, it seems the author has a serious problem with countries that subscribe to socialism. The article is an analysis that may have been relevant during the Cold War and in the 20th century context. However, the issues raised in the article do not connect the 20th century to the 21st century as the global landscape has changed significantly to a world that is more interdependent.

Failure to recognise this new world may have unintended consequences of sending out a message that is neither appropriate nor correct.

Cognisant of being relevant and responsive to the evolving global landscape, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has been undergoing an intensive foreign policy review process over the past year, driven by seasoned thought leaders with extensive experience and vast advisory networks in the domain of foreign policy. That said, these are not the reasons that prompted a response to the article, but rather the necessity to get the correct message out, in order to build a value-adding, responsive, contemporary and relevant foreign policy agenda.

As we navigate the realm of our changing world, we are guided by the pillars of our foreign policy and national interest. This includes our "immediate neighbourhood and the African continent; working with the South to address shared challenges of underdevelopment; promoting global equity and social justice; working with the North to develop true and effective partnerships for a better world; and transforming and strengthening the multilateral system to better reflect global diversity and its centrality in global governance". In seeking to achieve these foreign policy objectives, South Africa has partnered with countries from both the Global North and Global South.

South Africa shares warm and cordial relations with Cuba, Russia and Libya as well as the United Kingdom, the European Union, Japan and many other sovereign states in the world. South Africa does not base the choice of which country to partner with on the current political regime of the country but rather on shared interests and common goals to achieve a just and more equitable world.

All three countries are part of the broader Global South and cooperation is based on mutual respect and in line with South Africa's foreign policy objectives and national interests.

Majozi's article decries South Africa's continued relations with the aforementioned countries based on human rights abuse but at the same time acknowledges that concerns about human rights in sovereign countries should be raised at the United Nations (UN). We agree, and South Africa, as a matter of conscience, remains fully committed to the promotion of human rights, the rights of vulnerable groups and the promotion of a just and rules-based world order with the UN at its centre. I can therefore assure you that South Africa will continue to uphold the principles enshrined in the UN Human Rights Charter.

Singling out specific countries while ignoring human rights abuses, military conquests, terrorism, and aggressive and unilateral actions by other, more powerful countries amount to unfair criticism. The contextualisation of Cuba and Russia purely in terms of a historical Cold War narrative fails to explain their existence within the 21st century global affairs discourse.

Linking the current Russian system to its Soviet era is not only regressive but flawed. The selective reference to injustices paints a bleak picture that unfortunately omits to highlight many of the positive contributions Russia has made in contemporary international relations, through mediation and peacekeeping efforts across the world, including the Middle East, cooperation in various technical fields and development assistance rendered to developing countries.

South Africa engages Russia through the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation and views it as a strategic partner in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), the G20 and other critical formations. Areas of mutual benefit, exchanges on best practice and tackling issues affecting our nations drive South Africa's bilateral relations with Russia, as with any other country. Russia is also a Permanent Five (P5) member of the UN Security Council (UNSC). Therefore, it is an important, responsible and deeply committed leader in the international community and, as such, South Africa values its friendship with Russia.

Likewise, Cuba has been and continues to be a dear friend of South Africa and its people, not only because of its support during apartheid, but selfless support since 1994 in assisting to build our democracy through skills development and capacity-building programmes in education, engineering, medicine and other disciplines. The current Libyan establishment has changed and we look forward to rebuilding our bilateral relations as soon as stability returns.

Russia, Libya and Cuba have each contributed to South Africa's liberation and the role that their leaders have played in the history of our country cannot be denied. However, South Africa's relations with its bilateral partners are not solely built on struggle politics but rather on fostering mutually beneficial partnerships based on common interests.

When South Africa became a democracy and reintegrated into international affairs, our foreign policy was conceptualised and implemented under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. You will recall former president Nelson Mandela unapologetically stating that: "One of the mistakes which some political analysts make is to think that their enemy should be our enemy. Our attitude towards any country is determined by the attitude of that country to our country."

Further to this, South Africa has consistently lived by the maxim that we "are at peace with the world and ourselves".

Our foreign relations reflect diplomatic engagement with the entire world. South Africa has 126 embassies and high commissions in the world. Tshwane has one of the largest concentration of foreign embassies and regional and international organisations globally. South Africa is highly regarded by the global community, evident in our participation in global formations.

The global community has expressed trust and confidence in South Africa's ability to lead, evident in our recent chairship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), BRICS, our current chairship of the Indian Ocean Rim Association and upcoming chairship of the African Union in 2020. We are also active participants in the G20 and are currently serving our third term as a non-permanent elected member on the UNSC. In seeking to be a responsible global leader, we have carefully sought to balance our national interests by engaging with all countries for shared prosperity.

Times have indeed changed and so has the complexity of global problems such as increased instability and strife brought about by terrorist activities, climate change and the rapid evolution of technology, which necessitate global cooperation. It is here that South Africa finds itself in a privileged position to call upon all its friends to share in this collective responsibility.

- Ndivhuwo Mabaya is Dirco's head of communications and spokesperson

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. ener is a specialist reporter for News24.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
Global And BRIC Manufacturing PMIs Signal Ongoing Growth Declines (Глобальный и производственный PMI БРИКС сигнализируют о продолжающемся снижении темпов роста) / United States, May, 2019
Keywords: rating, expert_opinion, economic_challenges
United States
Author: Constantin Gurdgiev

The latest data, released this week by Markit under their PMI headings, show that the global slowdown in the manufacturing sector has entered into its 6th consecutive quarter in the first month of 2Q 2019.

In line with this momentum, BRIC economies overall, with exception (for now) of Russia and China, have also posted slower growth in April compared to 1Q 2019 average.

Global Manufacturing sector PMI averaged 50.7 in 1Q 2019, and in April, it fell to 50.3, statistically implying zero growth in the sector.

The latest data, released this week by Markit under their PMI headings, show that the global slowdown in the manufacturing sector has entered into its 6th consecutive quarter in the first month of 2Q 2019. In line with this momentum, BRIC economies overall, with exception (for now) of Russia and China, have also posted slower growth in April compared to 1Q 2019 average:

Russia posted slightly more upbeat growth in April at 51.8 compared to 1Q 2019 average growth of 51.3. China has barely bounced back into growth in April 2019 compared to 1Q 2019 reading of 49.7. Brazil's slowdown was marked, with PMI for Manufacturing down from 53.0 in 1Q 2019 to 51.5 in April, while India suffered an even more significant fall-off in activity, with Manufacturing PMI falling from 1Q 2019 average of 53.6 to April reading of 51.8.

Global Manufacturing sector PMI averaged 50.7 in 1Q 2019, and in April, it fell to 50.3, statistically implying zero growth in the sector. One has to go back to 3Q 2013 to see a reading at or below April 2019 levels.

Editor's Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.
Extended SPIEF program with sustainable development as key topic has been revealed (Расширенная программа ПМЭФ с устойчивым развитием в качестве ключевой темы) / Russia, April, 2019
Keywords: sustainable_development

MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. The extended business program of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum scheduled for June 6-8, 2019 containing the sessions' brief descriptions has been postedon the Forum's official website, press service of Russia's Roscongress Foundation, the organizer of the forum, said in a statement on Tuesday. The key topic of the Forum is 'Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda'.

The program consists of four thematic blocks. The first bloc dubbed 'The Global Economy in Search of a Balance' features sessions on the most topical issues of global macroeconomic development, including changes in the structure of the world economy and trade in the era of digitalization, competition and regulation on the consumer market, balance of commercial goals and the objectives of sustainable development in business. Several sessions will be devoted to the impact of climate change on the development of today's world, conservation of the World Ocean and ecotourism.

The next bloc named 'The Russian Economy: Achieving National Development Goals' will focus on ways to stimulate economic growth as a basis for achieving national development goals. The sessions will look at topics such as attracting investment into national projects, the quality of the investment environment, protection of investors' rights and promotion of high-tech Russian exports.

Sessions within the 'Technologies Shaping the Future' track will concentrate on the opportunities and challenges implied by the development of technology and digital transformation of the economy. Development of artificial intelligence and cyberthreats, digitalization of certain sectors of the economy, as well as international cooperation in science, will be discussed.
Top 11 SAARC and BRICS Countries Ranked By GDP (1961 - 2017) (11 стран СААРК и БРИКС, ранжированных по ВВП (1961 - 2017)) / India, May, 2019
Keywords: rating, economic_challenges

India is part of International regional cooperation organisations SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation consituting India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka) and BRICS (Brazil, #Russia, #India, #China, South Africa). Although BRIC was not really an organisation initially but a term invented by the chairman of Goldman Sachs - Jim O'Neill in 2006 to refer to the then developing nations of the world. It is interesting to see how these countries have compared to each other for about fifty years now.
Political Events
Political events in the public life of BRICS
Lindiwe Sisulu honoured with Humanity and Social Cohesion award (Линдиве Сисулу удостоена награды «Человечество и социальная сплоченность») / South Africa, May, 2019
Keywords: social_issues
South Africa

Johannesburg - Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was honoured with the Humanity and Social Cohesion Award at a mass gathering of the Hellenic, Italian and Portuguese Communities in Johannesburg on Friday evening.

According to the HIP Alliance Chairman Stavros Nicolaou, Sisulu earned the award given her stance on xenophobic and gender violence, her humanitarian intervention in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, and her promotion of a human rights foreign policy.

"I accept this award on behalf of all the woman of South Africa and Africa," Sisulu said to a crowd of hundreds, which included heads of missions from over 40 countries.

Sisulu also used the opportunity to express solidarity with Caster Semenya following her 800-metre win at the IAAF Diamond League in Doha on Friday.

"We support Caster and will fight for her all the way. This is a human rights issue, and the IAAF is interfering with Semenya's natural right. No court can judge what is given to a human being in terms of their natural abilities. We are going to fight for her because this is unjust and racist, and at the end of the day it is the UN that is the highest arbiter on human rights," Sisulu said.

It was Semenya's 30th consecutive victory on the international stage which came on the heels of the CAS ruling and the impending implementation of the discriminatory IAAF rules. Semenya has bluntly refused to adhere to the ruling by taking medication in order to reduce the testosterone levels in her body, but insists she will run in Doha later this year to defend her title, putting her on a collision course with the IAAF.

It was Sisulu who had recently brought Semenya's discrimination case to the UN Human Rights Council. South Africa tabled a resolution at the Council defending Semenya's right to participate in sport, calling for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls in sport, giving significant weight from a human rights perspective to Semenya's case. Sisulu scored a major victory when the Council adopted the resolution, making it the first time that the human rights system holds the international sports associations to account for their obligations under international human rights law.

"The international community has a duty to protect and defend the rights of Caster Semenya and other female athletes like her across the world, based on the premise that their human rights are being violated. The international campaign to preserve Caster's right to participate in global sports is a struggle for all women in the world against discrimination, sexism, and patriarchy," Sisulu said.

The HIP Alliance which bestowed the Humanity award on Sisulu also praised her unwavering stand against corruption. "Sisulu was one of the first Ministers of Public Administration to put forward an anti-corruption bill in cabinet, which speaks volumes for her principled stance against state capture and corruption, which is a critical element to achieving President Ramaphosa's investment drive," Nicolaou said.

The BRICS Business Council, Business Unity South Africa, and the Black Business Council all openly supported the Minister's anti-corruption drive. Representatives of the three groups expressed their confidence in the Minister for her firm stand against corruption, and pleaded with her to remain firm as they believe this is key in achieving the President's investment drive. Sisulu was characterized as an important member of the future cabinet, especially around clean governance.

"We are determined to recapture the state and put it into the hands of the people, and recreate the country that Mandela bequeathed to us," Sisulu told the audience, "with President Cyril Ramaphosa we have begun the important work of renewal, to rid our organisation and our country of fraud, corruption and malfeasance that threatened to eat into our social fabric in the recent past. We need all of you to strengthen the hand of President Cyril Ramaphosa in this mammoth task of renewal by voting ANC next week so that we don't reverse the process that has already started," Sisulu said.

* Shannon Ebrahim is the Group Foreign Editor

World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
2016 BRICS summit food contractor fined (Продовольственный подрядчик саммита БРИКС 2016 года оштрафован) / India, May, 2019
Keywords: summit, social_issues
Author: Prakash Kamat

The Goa State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC) on Tuesday directed the Goa Director General of Police(DGP) to impose an appropriate penalty on local caterers — M/s Amonkar Classic Caterers — for having provided unhygienic food to the police personnel on duty during the 2016 BRICS Summit, which was hosted in the State.

In its order, the GSHRC has also asked the DGP to ensure that the personnel deployed for any pre-planned event are not overburdened and that sufficient rest is given to them to avoid health problems.

The State government has been further directed to strictly follow the circular issued on July 31 last year pertaining to welfare measures for the police personnel and to comply with the suggestions made by the Chief Secretary on the issue submitted to the High Court last year.

On October 14, 2016, Advocate Aires Rodrigues in his complaint to the GSHRC,said that the contract for a whopping ₹51, 60,000 was given to the caterers without a proper tender for supply of food to police personnel posted on duty for the BRICS summit and that the contract was sub-let to a roadside contractor who cooked substandard food in most unhygienic condition.

Adv. Rodrigues also stated that despite the GSHRC having more than once reminded the government that police personnel are human beings and should so be treated, the authorities had failed to make any proper arrangements including food, water and toilet facilities for them and had neglected to cater to the basic fundamental and human rights.

Pointing out that Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides that every individual has a right to life which includes the right to live with decency and human dignity, the GSHRC in its order has observed that on account of unhygienic food supplied to the police personnel during the 2016 BRICS summit, there was a clear infringement of Article 21 thus violating the basic human rights of the police personnel to live with decency and human dignity.

The GHRC on October 18, 2016 had directed that no payments should be released to the caterer.

From the BRICS countries to the townships: racial and social segregation continues (От стран БРИКС до поселков: расовая и социальная сегрегация продолжается) / South Africa, April, 2019
Keywords: expert_opinion, social_issues
South Africa
Author: Éric Toussaint

Over 25 years ago now the people of South Africa won the struggle to end the Apartheid regime. [1] Nevertheless, even though it is now against the law, de facto racial segregation is still apparent. Moreover the capitalist assault on the majority of the population is blatant. The class struggle is all the more clearly perceptible as the main social progress has been the rise to capitalist status of a small minority of Blacks. While there are white and black capitalists, the majority of the non white population are still living in serious to extreme hardship. The South African population has reached about 58 million, about whom, to use the old Apartheid categories, 80% are « black », 9% are « white », 9% are « coloured » (mixed race) and 2.6% are « Asian » (descendants of Indian, Ceylonese, Indonesian, Malay and other groups from Asia). [2] South Africa is one of the places in the world where inequality is the most flagrant. The unemployment rate is around 27%. After playing a fundamental role in the struggle against Apartheid, the ANC (African National Congress) has been in power, in coalition with the South African Communist Party, for 25 years. The ANC-SAPC government has implemented neo-liberal policies with a dash of social policy. The harsh reality of such politics was tragically illustrated in Marikana in 2012, when the authorities sent in the security forces to break up a miners' strike, killing 34 workers. Several present-day leaders of the ANC, including the capitalist Cyril Ramaphosa, [3] who has been president since 2018, were involved in the repression and had a vested interest in the private company that owns the mine in Marikana. All this is a far cry from the ANC's glorious past. In a very difficult context, many resistance struggles are waged in the poor neighbourhoods in both town and country. Many working-class households are highly indebted because salaries and other forms of income are too low to survive on. Of the 34 miners killed in Marikana in 2012, 22 had considerable amounts deducted from their wages to repay debts incurred precisely because their wages were totally inadequate. Then of course, there is also the rising public debt and the social spending cuts that come with debt repayment.

Report on CADTM International's mission to South Africa from 31 March to 12 April 2019

On the occasion of a BRICS summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), several organisations, including CADTM International, got together to organize an alternative meeting that they called 'BRICS from below'. BRICS organized the annual meeting of its newly established Development Bank. The counter-summit, which began on Sunday 31 March, was organized by various organizations such as the AIDC (the Centre for Alternative Information and Development) with which the CADTM has collaborated for over 20 years. [4]

Attending the conference were delegates from Brazil (Dialogo dos Povos, Telesur), from China (China Labour movement), from India, South Africa and Russia as well as grassroots movements of South Africa. Sushovan Dhar (from the CADTM in India) and myself represented CADTM International. I presented the doctrine of odious debt, showing how it could be used to deal with debt generated by megaprojects supported with loans from the BRICS Bank. Most of the projects that were granted these loans have a negative impact on the environment and living conditions of the populations of the territories concerned.

See the invitation leaflet for this international meeting which the CADTM was party to :On 1st April social movements of South Africa organized a protest picket in front of the Convention Centre where the official meeting of the BRICS Bank was being held.

The CADTM delegation's programme from 1st April to 12 April 2019

Monday 1 April 2019: We visited the Muslim Quarter, Bo Kaap, situated in the historical heart of Cape Town accompanied by Dominic Brown (AIDC) and Muhamad, a community activist who is an ardent defender of the Muslim community living in the neighbourhood. It is a working-class district where the residents try to reduce to a minimum the ongoing process of 'gentrification'. Community life in the Quarter is highly active. It was particularly useful to begin the programme with this visit as we were able to travel back in time, starting with the beginning of European colonization. In the 17th century, Holland (then called the United Provinces) threw itself eagerly into conquering the world in the footsteps of Portugal, Spain, England and France. Protestantism reigned in the United Provinces and big commerce played a fundamental role in what we call primitive accumulation, gradually leading to Capitalist society. The biggest Dutch merchants, supported by the State, founded a capitalist company called the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie,- in English, it is known as the Dutch East India Company). The VOC took control of the Cape in the middle of the 17th century to establish a colony there, to facilitate the exploitation of Indonesia and other Asian territories conquered by the United Provinces.

The Cape of Good Hope was about half-way between the United Provinces and Indonesia, an unavoidable stage of the voyage for ships that after sailing down the Atlantic coast of Africa turned eastwards towards Asia. It is the meeting-point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The VOC left Dutch colonizers there to settle and imported slaves from the conquered populations of Indonesia, Malaysia and Ceylan. These people were mainly Muslims. It was Indonesian, Malay and Ceylonese slaves who left their stamp on the Bo-Kaap Quarter and gave it its originality. Graves going back several centuries can be found in a Muslim cemetery, a place which preserves the memory of the slaves' struggles for emancipation. Community leaders in Bo-Kaap are in favour of a broad-minded, cosmopolitan Islam. They refuse the subsidies offered them by the Saudi Arabian government because their aim is to impose an extremely conservative version of Islam. According to community activist Muhamad, the mosques are not only places of prayer, but also of reflexion on the need for solidarity between peoples. We visited the oldest mosque of the district. Solidarity with the Palestinian people is especially vibrant, as is solidarity with the populations of neighbouring Mozambique and Zimbabwe, badly affected by the cyclone Idai which hit the region on 14 March 2019. [5]

Neighbourhood associations are managing quite well to hold off the greedy private estate agents that, with the support of Cape Town's metropolitan municipality, try to buy up working-class houses (i.e. small houses generally dating back two or three centuries) to turn them into luxury accommodation.

Tuesday 2 April 2019: Madoda Cuphe of AIDC accompanied us on a visit to three of the townships in the Cape Town suburbs: Langa, Gugulethu, and Khayelitsha, where over a million people live in precarious conditions varying from extreme hardship (just a few sheets of corrugated iron or planks of wood on the ground for a home) to minimal comfort (small houses with indoor sanitation). A township is a poor urban area with inadequate facilities reserved for non whites. These urban areas are mainly occupied by black and mixed-race people. The townships were built throughout the 20th century by the white ruling class to house the black and coloured work-force, keeping them concentrated in one place and under control, in sub-human living conditions. Houses were cramped, often with no toilets or drinking-water, inadequate sewers or even none at all, insufficient access to drinking-water and electricity, no trees, no parks. The white ruling class was thus able to have a supply of workers at their disposal and a pool of unemployed ready to work for very meagre wages. For decades, in each township, alongside the tiny family houses there were hostels with dormitories for workers who were not allowed to live with their families. When Apartheid was legally instigated from 1948 on, the townships made it easy to completely separate the black and coloured populations from the whites. In those days, black township residents were obliged to carry a pass known as the Dompas if they wished to leave their township. This was the official document that proved their identity and where they could live or work. If you were found in the streets without a valid Dompas, you would be fined or arrested. On 2 April 2019, we began our visit with the Museum of the Dompas in the centre of Langa township where you see the history of racial segregation as illustrated in people's lives in the area. You can also see evidence of the struggles against that segregation. The Museum building is the one formerly occupied by the white authorities who regimented township life. It contains the former courthouse and police cells.

A dompass

Burning one's pass-book (interior passport that every black person over the age of 16 was obliged to carry), was a classic gesture of defiance against the Apartheid regime. Amongst other things, the document shows any authorizations permitting the carrier to be in named white areas outside working hours. Here we see Nelson Mandela burning his pass-book in 1960.

Nelson Mandela burns his Dompass in 1960

What is really striking when moving towards or around the townships is that, 25 years after the end of Apartheid, racial segregation is still very much alive. According to official census figures, more than 98% of the population living in these areas are black and less than one resident in a thousand is white. Living conditions remain wholly unacceptable. Housing and transport conditions are totally unfit for normal life.

In some areas the ANC government has had small houses built that were given to thousands of families, but these houses are totally inappropriate. The floor space is on average 25 to 35 m2, at most 40 m2. The toilets are out of doors. Yet despite these obvious failings, the majority of those who have « benefited » from one of these houses are firm pillars of support for keeping the ANC in government. The families who were given such accommodation have gone from utmost poverty to a minimum of comfort.

According to Sushovan, who lives in Calcutta and has worked in Mumbai and thus knows the 'slums' of these two megalopoles very well (which I myself have visited several times), some of the Indian slums are worse than the townships that we visited, but living conditions are fundamentally very similar, as they are in other capital cities like Nairobi, Lagos, Kinshasa, Bamako or Dakar. Yet South Africa has long been the most developed economy of Sub-Saharan Africa and it has been governed for 25 years by Nelson Mandela's ANC and the South African Communist Party. I naïvely thought, before visiting the townships and other areas of Cape Town, that I was going to see positive social transformations. Certainly I expected to see that some blacks had become very rich, especially when linked to the government, but I still expected to see the progressive effects of a certain social redistribution. In fact, I did not see the richest blacks because they are few and far between, and I did not frequent their haunts during this two-week stay. What I did see was that the racist capitalist social system is still thriving. Poverty and hardship are structural, massive and highly visible. Racial separation remains the norm.

As I mentioned earlier, Sushovan and I were accompanied on this visit by Madoda Cuphe who was born in Langa township, which he knows like the back of his hand, in 1964. He lived through the humiliating Dompas system, took part in the struggle to end Apartheid in the 1980s. Today he still lives in Langa but has managed to get a house of about 60 m2 or more where he lives with his family in the conditions of salaried workers with security, thanks to a stable, qualified job. 300 metres from his house is the poorest part of Langa, where thousands of families live in make-shift shelters of iron sheeting or wood.

Here, the unemployment rate reaches 50% or higher.

As we moved on to the township of Khayelitsha, where we visited one of the houses donated by the government, we also noticed that at the entry to one of the areas of the township, there were about a dozen plastic-structure toilets, like the portable toilets they use in festivals or on building-sites.

End of part 1.

Translated by Vicki Briault and Christine Pagnoulle for "CADTM".


[1] Apartheid was officially abolished in 1991. The first black president was elected in 1994. Nelson Mandela was president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

[2] The Apartheid regime divided the population into 4 broad categories: White, Black, « Coloured » (mixed-race) and Indian.

[3] See C. Ramaphosa's bio on Wikipedia. See also Patrick Bond's article "South Africa Suffers Capitalist Crisis Déjà Vu".

[4] Here is the complete list of organizations that joined forces for this event: AIDC (Centre for Alternative Information and Developpment), the African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE), the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM), the International Labour Research and Information Group, the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee, Earthlife, the South Durban Community Alliance, professors from the University of the Western Cape, the University of Witwatersrand and the Wits School of Governance where Patrick Bond holds a chair. His articles are regularly published on the CADTM website.

[5] BBC News 20 March 2019 "Cyclone Idai: 'Massive disaster' in Mozambique and Zimbabwe".

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