The capitalist crisis in South Africa has escalated to the worst levels ever. The student uprisings in universities and colleges across the country are a proof of a society in crisis to its senses. This is the scariest highest level of protest where students everywhere are destroying the infrastructure and heritage of white capital in universities. Globally, this paints the ANC after 1994 as a failure to transform the society from apartheid inequality, racism, poverty, oppression and injustice in to a democratic society where equality, non-racism, prosperity and justice for all is guaranteed.
The crisis is so high and scary that even the lovey-dovey of the United States, the ANC of Nelson Mandela, is starting to scream a “third force”, a plot by the USA to effect a “regime change” in South Africa and the de-politization of universities. They stared accuse the “non-recognized organisations” within the universities to be responsible for the recent spade of violence. The student violence in universities and colleges in South Africa have hit hard on the black professionals leading the universities, the bourgeoisie parliament wishing to march away racism and the business sector that has been doing business with these institutions making millions of profits from the oppressive system set forward to milk black poor students.
But first of all, we must understand the background for this kind of situation in South Africa; students uprisings. Mr. Kholofelo Rachidi, one of the ANC member and former ANC Youth League executive in Limpopo, Sekhukhune region, indicated clearly that “In 1944, the ANC Youth League was born out of necessity to escalate the protest from passive resistance applied by the elders”. Nelson Mandela himself led the ANCYL with anger and agitation that the elders in the ANC are not militant to put pressure on the apartheid regime to address the grievances of the black people in South Africa. He led a militant ANCYL, and thereby let to the formation Umkhonto We Sizwe in 1961. It was through these cell structures that the apartheid was pushed to the corner, by violent measures.
In 1976, the youth escalated the struggle demanding equal opportunities in education in what is called 1976 Soweto uprising. In 1986 the youth then took to the streets rendering the country ungovernable forcing the government to declare the state of emergency. It was the youth, the students, who took the struggle from passive talk-shows to the violent confrontations with the apartheid forces, where scores of the young black fighters were incarcerated, tortured and murdered. Today, many years after these uprisings into democracy the youth are still on streets, fighting for the very same reasons: 1 – To demand equal education and opportunity, 2 – To demand the scrapping of Afrikaans as medium of instruction in local schools. The born-frees saw that there is no solution from their forefathers who have put the ANC in to power to transform the society. They have learned that the history that they have inherited is still a bitter pill to swallow, still learning in the very same Afrikaans that people died in 1976 and 1986 trying to scrap. They have realized that their institutions are still colonialist and they have preserved the colonial symbols; the white supremacy and power over a black race under the ANC.
Sometimes Neo-colonialism appears in the guise of the so-called Nationalist Heritage; museums and statues, of colonial musters over the black race who were murdered and then no justice against those who had their human rights abused during their colonialisation programme. It is a pure injustice advertised in museums as the perpetrators go away with murder on ideology “a black life does not matter”. Sometimes it appears in the guise of those who claim to espouse a class position as opposed to those who claim to espouse a race position.
So the students in universities and colleges are exposed to these lies and guises, as the Vladimir Lenin have addressed the Young Communist League in Russia in 1920. October 5: “Comrades, today I would like to talk on the fundamental tasks of the Young Communist League and , in this connection, on what the youth organisations in a republic should be like… And so, in dealing from this angle with the task confronting the youth, I must say that the task of the youth in general and of the Young Communist Leagues and all other organisations in particular, might be summed up in a single word: Lear.” In this Lenin was teaching us that the task of the youth from the 1994 democratic elections in which the ANC declared a winner we should continued to learn and this we did. We have learned a lot and very well about the development of the transitional period from the apartheid to the democratic South Africa: We have that:
- The land still belongs to the few and the working class, majority being black populace, is still dispossessed and landless. The White Paper on Land Reform Policy in South Africa is a failure; the Willing Seller, Willing buyer. The land still belongs to the minority 13% white people who own 87% of the land today. The black population that is displaced is still evicted in numbers under the current democracy.
- The economy is still under the white capitalists with few black people absorbed into the upper white capitalist class layer. The SA macro-economic policy, GEAR policy implemented in 1998 failed dismally. The BEE introduced in 2003 failed as well, until it was changed to BBBEE in 2013 after a huge criticism. This policy still continues to fail poor black majority.
- The Pan South African Language Board established in terms of the Pan South Africa Language Act 59 of 1995, to promote and create conditions of the development and use of official languages of indigenous people of South Africa including the Khoe, San and sign languages. It fails dismally as we continue to read and write exams in English and Afrikaans in universities, 21 years into democracy.
- The education system is still corporatized, commercialized and exclusionist. The contracting of the businesses and the appointment of external “experts” to decide on the functioning of the universities and colleges makes the universities breading grounds for greedy public servants. The public servants including ministers are doing business with the universities which in turn cost a lot from the students to pay for the services outsourced. The corporatisation of education system is most expensive and it is not sustainable. NASFAS is never enough, and those who fail to access bursaries cannot study at these universities and mostly are blacks as they belong to the lowest level of the income earners. It is exclusionist.
- The attempt by the ANC to try and silence the workers in COSATU leading to a total division and split of the unions from the federation. The total defiant of the NUMSA to abbey ANC meddling with workers affairs let to the NUMSA being fired from the labour federation. A blow to the COSATU and a failure of the ANC to control the workers and drag them into the hole.
Vladimir Lenin, who we should take lessons from the revolution he let in 1917, addressed the youth in the Young Communist League in 1920, October 5, that: It was the task of the older generation to overthrow the bourgeoisie. The main task then was to criticize the bourgeoisie, arouse hatred of the bourgeoisie among the masses, and foster class-consciousness and the ability to unite their forces. The new generation is confronted with a far more complex task. Your duty does not lie only in assembling your forces so as to uphold the workers’ and peasants’ revolution against an invasion instigated by the capitalists. Of course, you must do that; that is something you clearly realise, and is distinctly seen by the Communist. However, that is not enough. You have to build up a communist society”.
The capitalist programme in South Africa has arrived at its crisis point, just like Europe arrived at the permanent capitalist crisis. In all these sections of the world we see huge unemployment amongst the youth, high crime rate including violence, intolerable inequality where the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer and huge economic decline as a result of falling global markets. In South Africa, the crisis in made even worse by the falling recent spade of violence and state apparatus falling significantly.
So I do not think we need the “Black Industrialization programme” hailed in every corner by the bourgeoisie class that would be robbing the poor in their industries. While we need industries, the South Africa economy is still foreign owned and racially controlled even if the ANC can denied this with strong English words. Black industrialization would only bring a crisis even worse because the current system makes it easy to exploit the workers. The current system still makes it easy to cheat the system such as those white people who front black people in the BBBEE deals. The current system is a dog-eat-dog system, and only the politically connected and those connected with foreign capital would be the ones ripping the benefits such as in Russia where Vladimir Putin had to intervene personally and ordered the arrest of the managers who were leading such industries; millions were being banked outside the country.
If in South Africa we still have the problem with the Zupta system, then we are going to have the very same Zupta system in the black industries. The treasury and SARS are reporting that tens of billions of rands are being shipped abroad to foreign banks covertly by local firms and how are we going to prevent this even during black industrialization? We have heard that the South Africa economy is strong and can over-come any challenges if “we” work together. How can the poor people, 51% living below the poverty line, work together with Cyril Ramaphosa who owns billions of rands from the sweat of the 99%? It is contradictions.
We do not need capitalist programmes to solve capitalist crisis. You cannot put out the fire by putting in the fire. You cannot taste a poison by swallowing it by trying to check if it kills. You need a reaction to the problems you have to solve and that’s to look for alternatives. We can only solve this capitalist crisis by reversing them with something new, something that would get rid of the crisis and that’s to look for permanent alternatives – democratic socialist programme.