“Alex La Guma has come home.” With those words, a visibly emotional Blanche La Guma last weekend received the first book, “hot off the presses” containing three of her late husband’s best-known novels, all of them banned in the apartheid era. The occasion was the initial launch of Alex La Guma - a colossus revisited at the literary festival in the small Western Cape resort town of Montagu.
On 28 May 2015 the Traditional Healers Organisation laid criminal charges against mining company Aquila Steel SA (Pty) Ltd and three of its directors for illegally causing extensive damage to one of South Africa’s most sacred cultural sites.
Between 1,500 and 2,000 miners a year still apply for compensation for silicosis and TB contracted on the gold mines - yet the mining industry is doing very little to share the burden of these deadly diseases, writes Pete Lewis.
Phakisa, from the Sesotho word meaning "hurry up", has been touted by government as the silver bullet that would “fast track the implementation of solutions on critical development issues.”
On 23 June the Pretoria High Court struck from the roll an application by Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) that tried to put an urgent end to Operation Fiela. Lara Wallis explains why this is deeply concerning.
Earlier this week, the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance formally released the long-sought Environmental Master Plan for the Vanderbijlpark Steel Works owned by international steel giant ArcelorMittal (AMSA). AMSA only handed over this Master Plan, a series of expert reports on the environmental and health impacts of the steel works compiled in 2003, in December 2014, after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Trade unions — as democratic organisations of the sellers of labour — are probably more relevant now than they have ever been. Especially for anyone who feels that democracy is an important concept. Unfortunately, however, most of the unions remain narrowly focussed in a manner better suited to fighting the battles of an earlier era.
We're a generation of clicktivists, incessantly raising awareness for a wide assortment of causes and social justice issues. But we rarely follow through with any tangible action or put our money where our ‘shares’ are. So, logically, we should be lauding those attempting to deliver actual change by attempting to physically address societal problems.
Are we on a slippery slope to authoritarianism? It’s a valid question to ask since both the Cosatu and the national constitutions have been undermined. And they were both, in their own way, flag bearers of the democratic promise of the new South Africa.
On Friday, R2K Gauteng is planning a protest at the gates of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD). We did this after many years of frustration -- from R2K activists and other civic structures in Gauteng -- at how JMPD officers have undermined the right to protest.