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e-News bulletin 15 May 2020

 

 

SASSA admits it was not prepared for Covid-19 grant

Hunger and a social security agency that is unprepared for the disbursement of the Covid-19 relief grant is what is causing the long queues.

Ex-mineworkers vow to continue fighting despite COVID-19 outbreak

Ex-mineworkers in South Africa and in the region say they will continue fighting for what is due to them amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Ex-mine workers

Workers formerly employed in South Africa's mines are living with occupational diseases acquired from working underground and living in the industry's hostels. While the gold mines have admitted their responsibility for the ill health of their employees, the agreed compensation is a pittance and the coal, platinum and other mines have still to own up to their culpability. A life spent working for the mines invariably leads to an impoverished, sickly and painful end. The Unpaid Benefits Campaign seeks to change that. Elitsha speaks to some former mineworkers and widows of former mineworkers, and members of the UBC.

WWMP Artwork on display at Head Office in Cape Town

(by Donovan Ward and Selvin November)
(by Donovan Ward)
                SOUTH AFRICA

Movement building in the shadow of COVID-19

Strategy and tactics of the COVID19 Working Class Campaign

Organisations making up the Covid-19 Working Class Campaign adopted a political platform that frames the approach of the campaign in the struggle to defend the working class against the effects of Covid-19. The platform concluded that the struggle against Covid19 was fundamentally a political struggle against the social and economic policies of neoliberal austerity.
COVID-19 WORKING CLASS CAMPAIGN

Trade union essential staff can now travel to work and meet at workplaces with individual workers or shop stewards. Union officials can meet with the union’s lawyers, and can attend conciliation, arbitration and court hearings. These must all be done in ways that will not spread the coronavirus.
CWAO

COVID-19 Direction on Health and Safety in the Workplace

Directive by the Minister of Employment and Labour in terms of the regulations issued by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in terms of section 27 (2) of the Disaster Management Act (pdf 463 KB)..
DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR

Government Notice: COVID-19 Direction on Labour Relations, May 2020

Direction by the Minister of Employmenr and Labour in terms of the regulations issued by the Minister of Cooperative Governmance and Traditional Affairs in terms of the Disaster Management Act (pdf 122KB).
DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR

We want a radical new deal that provides three million jobs

We will emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic into a global economic crisis and mass unemployment. South Africa was already in an economic recession before the pandemic. We have had mass unemployment for years. We have had more than 14 million people going to bed hungry. Now, everything is set to get worse. A tragedy of huge proportions is unfolding and only by standing together can complete catastrophe be averted.
CRY OF THE XCLUDED

CCMA faces a deluge of retrenchment applications

The body tasked with resolving labour disputes has been inundated with applications for the retrenchment of workers as the Covid-19 lockdown takes its toll on businesses.
LINDA ENSOR | BUSINESS DAY

Social grants and food aid provide scant relief

State assistance, especially during the Covid-19 crisis, helps people who literally have nothing to eat. But it is too little and its delivery is too patchy to bring real relief.
AMANDA KHOZA, ANNA MAJAVU | NEW FRAME

Villagers run on empty as Covid-19 lockdown drags on

Efforts by activists and non-profit organisations are exposing the deep suffering and poverty in Limpopo communities.
LUCAS LEDWABA | MUKURUKURU MEDIA

Migrants excluded from government food aid

All around South Africa, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have mostly been left out of the government’s official response to the food crisis are going hungry.
JAN BORNMAN | NEW FRAME

Lockdown: Gender-based violence call centre receives 120,000 calls in 3 week

The covid-19 lockdown has escalated the physical, emotional and psychological abuse of abused women, from beatings to extended periods of silent treatment, hurtful remarks and food deprivation. 
RIAAN GROBLER | NEWS24

Covid-19: The lockdown is being torn apart on the rocks of fiscal miserliness

The lockdown is unravelling. Businesses, which (at best) barely fit the Level 4 requirements, are opening, restricted items are being sold, domestic workers are returning to work, and people are moving around beyond essential needs.
GILAD ISAACS | GROUNDUP

Coronavirus: Taxi driver who continued working after positive test faces attempted murder charges

The office of Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata said on Friday that the taxi driver had been caught in Beaufort West.
MURRAY WILLIAMS | NEWS24

Covid-19: Nurses stop work in Eastern Cape town after one tests positive

On Monday, nurses stopped work at the Dutywa Health Centre in the Eastern Cape after a nurse tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.
MBULELO SISULU | GROUNDUP

KZN’s poor starve as food hampers sold, stolen by officials

Councillors in parts of the country are being accused of stealing food hampers which are meant for the poor.
SAKHISENI NXUMALO | IOL

Covid-19: Many domestic workers not covered by relief measures

Domestic worker unions propose amnesty for all employers who have not registered with UIF.
ZOË POSTMAN | GROUNDUP

South Africa has raised social grants: why this shouldn’t be a stop-gap measure

To begin to deal with South Africa’s persistent poverty, high unemployment, and the economic aftermath of the pandemic, grant increases must remain in place after the six month period.
CHRISTOPHER WEBB, NATASHA VALLY | THE CONVERSATION

The problem with Stephen Grootes’ views about online learning

Technology can enhance and enrich pedagogy. But online learning, especially non-contact online learning, loses many of the critical acts and responses of the teacher as mediator of knowledge and understanding: it throttles pedagogical practice.
SARA BLACK | DAILY MAVERICK

The urgency of critique

In this time of crisis in which many hard-won rights have been limited, it is vital that free and open debate be encouraged – including when it is critical of the state.

NEW FRAME

South Africa amends arms export document after inspection row

South Africa has made a subtle change to arms export rules that could unlock more than a billion dollars of weapons sales to countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
REUTERS

           INTERNATIONAL

Striking Bus Drivers Steer The Way To A Better World

All eyes are on essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic, as individuals, companies and even the federal government make a point to thank them for their heroic action: working.
MNDY ISSER | IN THESE TIMES

Prison Labor Replaces Striking Garbage Workers In New Orleans

Despite the use of inmates, garbage workers say that they will continue to strike in New Orleans.
MIKE ELK | PAYDAY REPORT

81 Percent of NYPD Social Distancing Summons Were to Black or Latinx People

Black and Hispanic people appear to be feeling the brunt of the NYPD’s force when it comes to the enforcement of social distancing measures in New York City. Mind your data and set your ad blocker.
JAMES GORDON | DAILY MAIL

Cuomo Announces Partnership With Bill Gates To “Revolutionize” NY Schools In Wake Of Coronavirus

The New York governor did not divulge many details of what his imagined education revolution would look like but did mention virtual education and remote learning.
ALAN MACLEOD | MINT PRESS NEWS

Following Mexico’s Worker Strikes, the US Steps in to Keep Border Factories Open

While the U.S. president tries his best to reopen closed meatpacking plants, in Mexico, he is pushing for mostly U.S.-owned factories to remain open despite Covid-19 deaths.
DAVID BACON | TRUTHOUT

Bolivia: The Open Veins Are Bleeding Six Months After The Coup

On November 10, 2019, a violent coup d’état took place in Bolivia, navigated by the U.S. Hit by the pandemic, the Andean state is in freefall. Excuse the poor translation.
V. ZAPATA | RESUMEN ENGLISH

Sexual and gender-based violence during COVID-19: lessons from Ebola

During epidemics, the measures taken to protect populations and to keep health systems afloat leave women and girls vulnerable to violence.
MONICA ADHIAMBO ONYANGO | THE CONVERSATION

Moratorium on debt for Africa? Be careful of unintended consequences

A blanket solution to Africa's debt burden risks costing African countries dearly in terms of access to international capital markets and the relatively lower cost of borrowing.
RODRIGO OLIVARES-CAMINAL | THE CONVERSATION

The coronavirus slayer! How Kerala's rock star health minister helped save it from Covid-19

KK Shailaja has been hailed as the reason a state of 35 million people has only lost four to the virus. Here’s how the former teacher did it.
LAURA PINNEY | THE GUARDIAN

Live And Let Die: The Data Manipulation Begins

From the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, various entities in the United States were always engaged in the kind of dishonesty we accuse China of to hide the extent of the virus.
SAMANTHA MARCY WHEELER | EMPTY WHEEL
               OPINION

Coronavirus and the Rightful Place of Science

Science is a social practice as well as a knowledge-revealing one. Our challenge is not to proclaim the need to trust scientists, ‘follow the science’ and have faith in the authority of experts. Rather, it is to acknowledge that the rightful place of science is within, not above, society.
JEREMY BASKIN | ARENA

Hunger Gnaws at the Edges of the World: The Twentieth Newsletter (2020)

Hunger is a bitter reality that modern civilisation should have expelled a century ago. It needs to be taken seriously. Half-hearted measures are not going to work. We need a social revolution in the world of food that breaks the grip of capital over the production and distribution of food.
TRICONTINENTAL: INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH

Naomi Klein: Healthcare Industry Sees “Potential Bonanza” of Profits in COVID-19 Crisis

As the top infectious disease expert testifies to the U.S. Senate that needless death and suffering could result from reopening too quickly, author and journalist Naomi Klein says a “pandemic shock doctrine” is beginning to emerge.
NAOMI KLEIN | DEMOCRACY NOW!

COVID-19 Can Trigger Revolution—Here’s How!

COVID-19 is an example of what movement analysts call a “trigger event.” When shocking events of immense scale occur suddenly, they drastically alter life as we know it, and radically shift public sentiment.
DBENROS, WILMOT, WARBURG | INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR NONVIOLENT CONFLICT

For The Workers Of The World, The Pandemic Is Based On Inequality

The virus can infect any breathing person but there are vast differences and inequalities in the ways the pandemic is being fought
.PASQUALINA CURCIO | RESUMEN ENGLISH
Right in front of our eyes, the COVID-19 crisis is dissolving the foundations upon which the traditional division of labor between intellectual and manual labor was based.
MARK BERGFELD, SARAH FARRIS | SPECTRE JOURNAL

Trump is a bony-eared assfish… and other tales from the Covid-19 rogues gallery (Part One)

Even during the best of times, there are always going to be rogues in our midst. However, it is during the worst of times (and we are most definitely in one of those times), when the roguish ranks seem to multiply exponentially and become ever-more emboldened.
DALE MCKINLEY | DAILY MAVERICK

While Pandemic Destroys So Many Lives, The Surveillance State Celebrates

While many of us remain quarantined, the surveillance state is actually stretching its legs, brought out for a run by our friendly neighborhood oligarchs like a young golden retriever let off its leash on a nice day.
LEE CAMP | CONSORTIUM NEWS

The Salafist Roots of the Syrian Uprising

In the mainstream view, the Syrian conflict began in the Spring of 2011 with a period of peaceful, pro-democracy protests, which were then brutally suppressed by the Assad regime. When taking a closer look at events during the first months of the Syrian uprising, however, a very different picture emerges.
VWILLIAM VAN WAGENEN | LIBERTARIAN INSTITUTE
               PALESTINE / ISRAEL

Digital Rights in Palestine Between Emergency and Pandemic

This position paper was prepared by the 7amleh - the Arab Center for Social Media Development as part of 7amleh's advocacy work, focused on defending Palestinian digital rights. It is a part of a series of position papers examining the effects of the policies and practices of governments and companies on Palestinian digital rights.
ISSAM ABDEEN | 7AMLEH

127 British politicians demand UK impose sanctions on Israel in the event of annexation of occupied Palestinian territory

In an unprecedented intervention, politicians including former cabinet members, ministers and senior diplomats, demanded actions not words in opposing any Israeli annexation.
CAABU

100 Years of Shame: Annexation of Palestine Began in San Remo

In San Remo, a sleepy town on the Italian Riviera, a few powerful states sealed the fate of the massive territories confiscated from the Ottoman Empire following its defeat in World War I.
RAMZY BAROUD | COUNTERPUNCH
Agriculture was central to Palestinian society before the creation of the state of Israel - and British colonial powers knew it.
FAREED TAAMALLAH | MIDDLE EAST EYE
               NEW TECHNOLOGIES, NEW FORMS OF LABOUR

Amazon Labor Activism Goes International

A new coalition of Amazon employee activists from Spain, France, German, Poland and America has announced itself with a list of demands for improved pay and safety—and they say that this is just the beginning.
HAMILTON NOLAN | IN THESE TIMES
               HISTORY

Russia 1917 - how a revolution beat back a pandemic

Governments across the world are failing to protect people from coronavirus. But there are better ways to tackle diseases. In Russia after the 1917 revolution, typhus posed a major threat—but revolutionary measures led by ordinary people stopped its spread

CHARLES KIMBER |  SOCIALIST WORKER
 
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DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is intended to serve as a channel of special and alternative news, information and knowledge source for all those interested in issues relevant to promoting political, social and economic equality and the eradication of poverty. The articles contained herein are obtained from various electronic media platforms and do not necessarily reflect the views of WWMP.

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