The wave of violent strikes that has engulfed South Africa is a clear indication of the deep class discontent felt by the working masses.
These strikes are the result of the crisis of the ever-troubled global capitalist system and the lack of political will by the ANC-led government to drive radical economic programmes that seek to transform the lives of the people, blacks in particular.
The ordinary masses continue to endure the brunt of the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality – a crisis that ravages our society while the political elite and Cosatu's trade-union aristocrats take advantage of workers' systemic plight in pursuance of their political ambitions.
Workers have gradually become disillusioned by this kind of political phantom, which uses the plight of the poor to fight political battles in the ANC. This is why many recent strikes have been led by the ordinary workers themselves, instead of by the unions.
The current ANC government has failed workers on many fronts, including the failure to ban the exploitative practices of labour brokers and to stop the unabated corruption of politicians and their pals. These issues caused workers to resort to violent means to achieve their demands – which is the worrying factor.
Vladimir Lenin said that under capitalism the state is an instrument of class oppression. In South Africa today, the government is hellbent on using state organs such as the police and the courts to crack down on striking workers – even if it means killing them under the guise of economic stability. Such acts are in the interest of the ruling class, not workers.
The current truck drivers' strike follows the recent Marikana strike and symbolises a class disgruntlement on the part of the workers. Strikes of this sort will take place unless the government enacts drastic economic programmes in the strategic sectors of the economy, such as mining, to address the triple crisis our people face. – Mabake wa-Masweneng, ordinary worker, Benoni