e-News bulletin 31 March 2017

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E-NEWS BULLETIN 31 March 2017
Your weekly round up of alternative news you ought to know


Editorial: Shuffling the deckchairs on a sinking ship

Zuma and his backers and the ANC that he leads have struck decisively to defend their interests with their cabinet reshuffle and to assert control over the much treasured treasury. This is likely to plunge the country into a political crisis with economic consequences. The mainstream and even the left liberal media and commentators have framed the ongoing factional battle of the ANC that led to this point as one pitting the kleptocratic bad guys led by Zuma (claiming to represent disadvantaged black people and fighting to promote radical economic transformation – strangely similar to the EFF’s claims) versus Pravin Gordhan (alleged to represent white monopoly capital) and the ethical ANC veterans as the good guys. This is a false and misleading dichotomy that blurs the class interests at play. Both these ANC factions, which, while differing in their methods, are pro-capitalist and anti-working class. South Africa’s history and their various roles since and before 1994 proves this and is illustrated by the dire socio-economic conditions of South Africa’s working class and poor. The latter must not allow itself to be duped and misled again that there is any light within the ruling party and a progressive faction that will set out to liberate and improve its conditions. Not Mbeki, Not Zuma, Not Ramaphosa, Not Dlamini-Zuma, not Motlanthe, not Mantashe….not the ANC/SACP! The working class needs its own movement and party.

This political crisis is THE historical moment for all poor and working class people to rise up. The moment is now to initiate a genuine mass united front. NUMSA and SAFTU with the support of all those who genuinely seek to liberate our people from poverty, misery and oppression should initiate a programme of action. If there are open forums accessible to them, genuine vanguard working class elements that are committed to mass political action can emerge. The key is ACTION and POLITICAL CLARITY.

Phambile Msebenzi, Phambile! FORWARD TO THE MASS UNITED FRONT!


Zuma goes for broke – Unite and fight for Zuma and his policies to go [AIDC Statement]

At the heart of Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle is a very crude act to get control of the Treasury on behalf of a predatory elite, hiding behind the ANC-provided mask of black economic empowerment. The cabinet reshuffle should be seen in the light of the bare-knuckled fight for control of the patronage systems that come with control of the ANC… aidc.org.za/

SAFTU calls for action against capitalism

Allowing Zuma and his ANC faction to continue what they are doing will leave us with no future, when our country will have been mortgaged to the Guptas, or to the Russian/French/ Chinese or Americans capitalists through things like the nuclear deal. That is what is at stake now… wwmp.org.za

Trainspotter: War

The Zuma presidency has ended. The Zuma dictatorship has begun… dailymaverick.co.za/

Competition Commission: Fresh produce dealers ‘collude’ to up food prices and muscle out emerging black farmers

According to the Competition Commission, the country’s largest fresh produce market agencies were suspected of slashing prices to undercut market entrants, before raising prices when smaller companies run out of stock… dailymaverick.co.za/

Sinking fast: The perilous state of SA’s six big state-owned companies

A high turnover of senior management hobbles their ability to take decisions and massive losses threaten their financial viability…businesslive.co.za/

Scopa to put SABC under microscope with visit

Parliamentary watchdog the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) will closely scrutinise all transactions that have resulted in the irregular expenditure amounting to R5 billion at the SABC… citizen.co.za/

Housing activists occupy state-owned buildings near Cape Town centre

Civil disobedience action follows provincial government’s decision not to build social housing on Tafelberg property in Sea Point… groundup.org.za/

Wild Coast anti-mining activist Nonhle Mbuthuma: ‘They must kill me alone, not with my family’

Gunfire reverberated through the valleys of the Wild Coast as residents paid homage to slain anti-mining activist Sikhosiphi Bazooka Rhadebe, who was assassinated in March 2016. An 18-month moratorium on mining activity and applications in the area has done little to end hostilities… dailymaverick.co.za/

The long shadow of the De Klerk regime

FWdeK De Klerk succeeded in shaping post-apartheid South Africa in deep and fundamental ways. Every policy he spelt out in his 1990 speech has been faithfully followed by successive administrations of the ANC… pambazuka.org/


Silicon Valley tech workers are talking about starting their first union in 2017 to resist Trump

Hundreds of well-paid engineers and product managers at Google, Facebook, and other tech giants in Silicon Valley are talking about unionizing… qz.com/

ITF and unions cheer as Uber pulls out of Denmark

The company claims that the Danish government’s new taxi law – introduced after a vigorous public and lobbying campaign by ITF unions and others – has proved the final straw for the ride-sharing app operator…itfglobal.org/

Poor and on their own, South Korea’s elderly who will ‘work until they die’

In South Korea, almost half of its elderly population over the age of 65 live in poverty, according to a 2016 OECD economic survey. About a quarter live alone. Many grapple with living in isolation and depression…channelnewsasia.com/

By dismantling domestic privacy laws, the US will lose control of the global internet

Obama imposed restrictions on what telecom companies could do with all the user data from browsers and apps. Emboldened by Trump, the Republicans have just allowed these businesses to collect, sell and manipulate such data without user permission… theguardian.com/

The House just voted to wipe away the FCC’s landmark Internet privacy protections

Congress sent proposed legislation to President Trump on Tuesday that wipes away landmark online privacy protections, the first salvo in what is likely to become a significant reworking of the rules governing Internet access in an era of Republican dominance…. washingtonpost.com/


Robots could take over 38% of U.S. jobs within about 15 years, report says

The analysis, by accounting and consulting firm PwC, emphasized that its estimates are based on the anticipated capabilities of robotics and artificial intelligence… latimes.com/

The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death

It does require a fairly dystopian strain of doublethink for a company to celebrate how hard and how constantly its employees must work to make a living, given that these companies are themselves setting the terms. And yet this type of faux-inspirational tale has been appearing more lately, both in corporate advertising and in the news… newyorker.com/


Why the NGOs won’t lead the revolution

FOR MANY who are outraged and want to do something about the human suffering and environmental devastation wrought by capitalism, volunteering or working for a nonprofit or non-governmental organization (NGO) is a natural place to turn… socialistworker.org/

Right Wing Radicalism and a Reactionary Working Class?

Large parts of the western working class now seem to gather around right populists, demagogues and racists. They vote for reactionary and fascist oid political parties. They helped to vote the UK out of the EU, to make Trump president of the world’s superpower.. sacw.net/