Workers On Wednesday  17 October
broadcast on SAfm 104-107 and online, Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Call in number 089 110 420
Whatsapp voice note number 061 410 4107

It is well known that South Africa suffers the highest level of inequality in the world with poverty affecting over 50% of the population. In recent months, with the increase in fuel prices, we are likely to see an increase in transport and food costs, which make up a big portion of working class people’s expenses. With the declining strength of trade unions, it also seems that working class organisations are not strong enough to defend themselves from these attacks on their living standards. In today’s show we look at the state of the working class both socio-economically and politically.


  • Dr Ebrahim Harvey – political analyst, writer and author
  • Dr Trevor Ngwane – Senior Reseacher UJ Centre for Social Change
  • Henriette Abrahams – #TotalShutDown activist based in Cape Town

Workers On Wednesday  10 October
broadcast on SAfm 104-107 and online, Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Call in number 089 110 4207

For several decades, collective bargaining arrangements between trade unions and employers have operated on a majoritarian system. This simply means that where a trade union has more than 50% membership of a company’s workforce, it had exclusive organisational rights such as access to company premises to meet with members, stop-order facilities for members’ subscriptions, and the right to represent them in legal processes, as well as collective bargaining. This favour to majority unions was codified in the Labour Relations Act of 1995.

However, in a recent case where a new minority union, SACOSWU (South African Correctional Services Workers Union), secured organisational rights within the Department of Correctional Services. The majority union, POPCRU (Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union) objected and the case went all the way to the Constitutional Court which decided in favour of the minority union.

In today’s show we learn more about the case, the rationale for the Concourt’s decision and its implications for collective bargaining in South Africa.


  • Mabu Tjotji - SACOSWU President
  • Richard Mamabolo - POPCRU National spokesperson [could not be contacted]

Workers On Wednesday  26 September
broadcast on SAfm 104-107 and online, Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Call in number 089 110 4207

Colonialism did not end when European administrators and settlers relinquished political control over their assets and granted them independence. Value continues to be extracted from the developing world, particularly the African continent, in the form of profits that are not declared and value that is hidden and smuggled out to a metropole in the global North. Transfer pricing by Lonmin saw the multinational ship out profits from its platinum mines to postbox management companies in a tax haven while it shirked its social responsibilities in fulfillment of its mining license. In real material ways, the bloody outcome of this theft was the 2012 massacre of mineworkers in Marikana.


  • Zwelinzima Vavi - South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) General Secretary
  • Dick Forslund - Economist, Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC)

Workers On Wednesday  19 September
broadcast on SAfm 104-107 and online, Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Call in number 089 110 4207

Workers on Wednesday will be taking a break from labour issues with special guest Dr Adam Hanieh, a lecturer in Political Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He is in the country to deliver the Abdulhay Ahmed Saloojee memorial lecture in which he will be talking about liberation struggles in the Middle East.

Prior to joining SOAS, Adam taught at Zayed University, United Arab Emirates. From 1997-2003, he worked in the NGO and public sectors in Ramallah, Palestine, where he completed an MA in Regional Studies at Al Quds University. He holds a PhD in Political Science from York University, Canada (2009). His research interests include political economy of the Middle East; labour migration; class and state formation in the Gulf Cooperation Council; Palestine. He is an international advisory board member for the journal Studies in Political Economy.


 Workers On Wednesday  12 September
broadcast on SAfm 104-107 and online, Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Call in number 089 110 4207

Last week the country witnessed two workplace disasters, one in Cape Town and the other in Johannesburg that saw the horrific deaths of eleven workers. Eight workers died in the explosion at the Rheinmetall Denel arms factory in Somerset West and three firefighters lost their lives battling the blaze engulfing the building that housed the Gauteng Department of Health in Johannesburg. In this show, we unpack why this happened, whether it could have been prevented and whether workers’ lives are taken seriously in South Africa.


  • Chief Inspector Tibor Szana – Department of Labour
  • Moleko Phakedi – FAWU Deputy General Secretary
  • Dr Denis George – FEDUSA General Secretary

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