OVER ONE million striking South African workers are threatening to bring the government of President Jacob Zuma to its knees. Initial demands for an 8.6 per cent public sector pay rise have grown into the most militant display of working class solidarity since the battle to end apartheid.
Massive secondary strikes in support of the public sector workers are planned. Cosatu, the South African trade union federation, has pledged a general strike on September 2 that will shut down South Africa, while the National Union of Mineworkers promised that, “every mining operation, every construction site and every energy worker [will] join…the strike.”
Zuma’s government is staring down the barrel of a working class uprising threatening to take on the insurrectionary qualities of the anti-apartheid movement of two decades ago. One unionist, itching to join the fight, encapsulated the mood of South Africa’s workers, “Enough is enough. The battle lines are drawn.”
Read more: A million strike in South Africa