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e-News bulletin 22 May 2020

 

 
Dear Comrades and Friends, 

We were recently informed of the sudden termination of the weekly Workers on Wednesday (WOW) labour show by SAFM management. No substantive reasons were given, nor discussed with us - the show’s co-producers, a non-profit NGO, Workers’ World Media Productions (WWMP). This comes as a great surprise to us because the show has been running successfully with great listnership and participation for 15 annual seasons. The show was the product of an agreement between the SABC and the trade union movement during 2004 and was the only dedicated labour show on all the SABC radio and TV channels. Yet business has so many dedicated slots as well as features in current affairs and news broadcasts.

The historical irony is that the WOW show’s cancellation comes at a time of the COVID-19 pandemic when dedicated labour shows are even more necessary. This high-handed action is unacceptable. Moreover, it has caused us to revisit our concerns about the failure of the SABC to meet its public mandate and the exclusion of dedicated labour shows our immediate issue.
 
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Grant applicants still sleep outside SASSA offices

Despite claims by SASSA that it has dealt with the influx of grant applicants at its Khayelitsha office, those seeking help continue to sleep outside the building hoping not to be turned away the next day.

Shop cashiers, cops and guards the most infected says W Cape Head of Health

Clusters of workers in essential services, in supermarkets especially, have tested positive for covid-19.

                SOUTH AFRICA

Appeal to Khosa judgment imminent as family rejects police minister’s deal

An appeal against the Khosa judgment on police brutality seems imminent after Police Minister Bheki Cele tried to do a deal with the family of Collins Khosa, who was killed by police, through their lawyers.
FRANNY RABKIN | M&G

INFOGRAPHICS | Covid-19: The seven hardest-hit districts in SA and why lockdown can’t be lifted yet

Ekurhuleni metro in Gauteng, eThekwini metro and iLembe District in KwaZulu-Natal, Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay metros in the Eastern Cape as well as the Cape Town City metro and the Cape Winelands district in the Western Cape have the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the country.  
KYLE COWAN | NEWS 24

Politicking, pandemics and prestige: What’s really behind the squabbles at South Africa’s high-level COVID-19 committee?

The sphere of the politics of science is intense and complex — the larger the problem, the bigger the payoff to solve it. 
MIA MALAN | BHEKISISA

SA’s right-wing Covid-19 lunacy must be challenged

The right-wing teleology paraded by the Democratic Alliance and its partners of opening the economy to save jobs and businesses instead of lives should be challenged and the right-wing’s propaganda machinery held accountable.
TINYIKO NTINI | M&G

Joint Statement by Teacher Unions on the Media Briefing by the Basic Education Minister on the Re-Opening of Schools and the State of Readiness Against Results of the Unions National Baseline Survey of Principals on School Readiness

The Minister of Basic Education on 19 May 2020 addressed the country on the re-opening of schools and the state of readiness to receive teachers and learners back at school. Teacher unions conducted their own “National Baseline Survey of Principals on School Readiness” 16-18 May 2020.
SADTU, PEU, NAPTOSA, SAOU, NATU

If there is no PPE, we will not return to work - teacher unions tell Motshekga

The teacher trade unions released a joint statement on Wednesday, saying that if PPE was inadequate and schools were not adequately cleansed by Monday, teachers would not return to work. 
TZINT;E MAHLATI | IOL

Mboweni must reverse decision not to increase public servants’ salaries, say unions

The finance minister said he planned to be ready to table the “emergency” budget, which makes provision for the covid-19 coronavirus relief efforts, by June 24.
JUNIOUR KHUMALO | CITY PRESS

'Debt-free' SABC to lose R1.5bn due to Covid-19, parliament hears

The SABC is “conservatively” projecting a budget shortfall of R1.5bn as its advertising revenue drops
THABO MOKONE | TIMES LIVE

Doubts over Compensation Fund’s ability to pay out for Covid-19 claims

Under an amendment to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, workers may be able to claim compensation if they get Covid-19 at their workplaces.
LIEZL HUMAN | GROUNDUP

The Covid-19 realities of frontline staff in SA retail stores and their coffee shops

A growing number of retail stores have been forced to temporarily close after frontline staff tested positive for Covid-19. This has led to questions around these stores' pay policies, access to the UIF TERS salary assistance and the financial and physical wellbeing of employees affected by the outbreak.
SHANI REDDY | DAILY MAVERICK

Blindness: How the Strandfontein camp was set up to fail

If our current socioeconomic system attempts to govern the majority through the discipline of the market, what happens to those who refuse or fail to conform?
JARED SACKS | M&G

Victory! Urgent interim court interdict granted against City of Cape Town for using bylaws to evict Singabalapha residents!

The Informal Settlement of Singabalapha at 414 Main Road, Observatory has recently been continuously harassed by the City's Law Enforcement. The Cape High Court granted us an urgent interim interdict that prevents the City from harassing us and removing our property.
SINGABALALAPHA INFORMAL SETTLEMENT PRESS STATEMENT

Lockdown: One in three adults in SA goes to bed hungry, according to latest research

Market research company, Ask Afrika, has found that food security at a household level is low, and that one in three adults went to bed hungry as they did not have enough food to eat in their homes.
RIAAN GROBLER | NEWS24

           INTERNATIONAL

'Ticking Time Bomb': Corporate Lawyers Openly Discussing Suing Nations Over Profits Lost to Covid-19 Measures

Prominent corporate law firms representing major businesses in the United States, Italy, Spain, and other nations are openly discussing the possibility of companies using a secretive and notorious legal process to sue countries over future profits lost due to government efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
JACK JOHNSON | COMMON DREAMS

Iran – Powerful And Determined

are sailing right next to the Iranian territorial waters. One mistake, one false move, and war could erupt, engulfing the entire region in flames. Iran is a proud nation, and it takes its independence extremely seriously. Right now, the country is facing one of the most unjust embargos in human history and US battleships on its doorstep.
ANDRE VITCHEK | JOURNAL-NEO

Iran Vows ‘Decisive Response’ To US Threats

Tehran has issued a formal warning to Washington over threats to five of its tankers currently en route to Venezuela. On Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister summoned the Swiss ambassador representing US interests in Tehran, vowing that any hostile action would be met with a "quick and decisive response.”
LUCAS KOERNA | VENEZUELA ANALYSIS

Hundreds Of Apple Workers On Strike In Washington

Last week the COVID-related strike in Washington state’s Yakima Valley quadrupled in size, as workers walked out at three more apple packinghouses. At the center of the stoppages are two main demands for those who decide to continue working during the pandemic: safer working conditions and an extra $2 an hour in hazard pay.
DAVID BACON | LABOR NOTES

As Hospitals Lose Revenue, More Than A Million Health Care Workers Lose Jobs

Some nurses have traveled across the country to hot spots like New York City to find work, unsure if they'll have a job when they return home. But even there, hospitals that were once swamped are finally coming up for air and administrators are now reckoning with the financial impact of the pandemic.
FADEL, ANDERSON, STONE, BENINCASA | NPR

"They Don't Care for Our Lives": McDonald's Workers Strike Across US to Demand Better Protections From Covid-19

Demanding McDonald's prioritize public health and worker safety over profits, hundreds of employees at the fast food chain went on strike Wednesday, a day before the company was set to hold its annual shareholders' meeting.
JULIA CONLEY | COMMON DREAMS

The US Response To Covid-19 Has Lavished Wealth On The Rich

According to a recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies, America’s billionaires saw their wealth shoot up by $282 billion in just 23 days as the country was sheltering in lockdown. Overall, U.S. billionaire wealth grew by nearly 10% at the same time over 20 million people filed for unemployment.
MILES KAMPF-LASSIN | IN THESE TIMES

A Healthcare Worker Answers Governor Cuomo’s ‘Conundrum’

Recent data out of New York City shows a large number of people with COVID-19 have largely been staying home. Governor Andrew Cuomo called this a “surprise.” But capitalism is forcing working-class people to spread the virus.
MIKE PAPPAS | LEFT VOICE

From clapping for essential workers to revaluing them

A new hero has emerged in the wake of measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus: the essential worker. A global crisis like the one we are facing now raises our awareness about how essential care and food are for human flourishing. The underlying logic is very simple: essential workers are life-making rather than product- or profit-making.
KARIN ASTRID SIEGMANN | GLOBAL LABOUR UNIVERSITY

Venezuela’s Central Bank has launched legal action to force the Bank of England to release more than $1 billion in gold held in its coffers to battle the Covid-19 outbreak - stories of El Dorado still ply the Orinoco.
RT

But continent will have fewer deaths than Europe and US because of its younger population and other lifestyle factors.
KAREN McVEIGH | THE GUARDIAN

Regional leaders to meet over threat posed by insurgency in Mozambique

South African officials believe Tuesday’s summit is evidence that the Mozambique government is, at last, acknowledging the seriousness of the threat the insurgency poses not only to Mozambique, but to other countries in the region.
PETER FABRICIUS | DAILY MAVERICK
               OPINION

Connecting The Dots Between Environmental Injustice And The Coronavirus

No U.S. community has been hit harder than low-income minorities. Places like Detroit, Chicago, and St. James Parish in Louisiana, plagued by decades of economic inequality and pollution in impoverished neighborhoods, have experienced some of the country’s highest mortality rates from the virus.
KATHERINE BAGLEY | YALE ENVIRONMENT 360
Our government is going to great lengths to convince us that the economy suffering is as bad as people dying from the virus, that it’s bad for us and not them and the interests they’re working to protect.
SHABBIR LAKHA | COUNTERFIRE

As Corporations Adapt To A COVID-19 Economy, The Working-Class Prepares For A Paradigm Shift

As social distancing measures persist across the country, corporations are setting in a “new normal” where most people are safely squirreled away in their homes, with paradigm-shifting implications for the working classes.
RAUL DIEGO | MINTPRESS NEWS

Alternatives To Killing People For The Economy

Rather than sacrificing people for the economy, we need to rethink what we mean by “the economy.” No one needs to be killed for us to have a healthy economy. We live in a world where there is enough of everything we need for us all to live well and to do so within the ecological limits of the planet.
CYNTHIA KAUFMANN | POPULAR RESISTANCE

The Answer to the Media Industry's Woes? Publicly Owned Newspapers.

Newspapers must be for the people. It’s worth investing our tax dollars in them.
VICTOR PICKARD | WASHINGTON POST

The Answer to the Media Industry's Woes? Publicly Owned Newspapers.

Newspapers must be for the people. It’s worth investing our tax dollars in them.
VICTOR PICKARD | WASHINGTON POST
               PALESTINE: NAKBA DAY

Nakba Day: Oppose The Israeli Annexation Of West Bank Settlements 

At this critical moment, where Israel has announced its intention to annex Israeli settlements on the West Bank with the support of the Trump administration, we must speak out and resist this blatant violation of international law and the right of Palestinians to self-government.
HOWIE HAWKINS | POPULAR RESISTANCE

Nakba Rally 2020

The SA BDS Coalition commemorated Nakba Day, 15 May, by participating in a global, online rally on Zoom, together with Palestine solidarity activists the world over.
BDS SA COALITION

NAKBA DAY: SAJFP joins in commemorating the Palestinian expulsion

This poem was written by Allan Kolski Horwitz, from South African Jews for Peace, in commemoration of Ghassan Kanafani and of the Nakba.
SAJFP
 
 
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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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