MODULE 1: The political context: from liberation to accommodation?

READINGS: 

  1. Barry Gills, Joel Rocamora and Richard Wilson (1993), ‘Low Intensity Democracy’, in Low Intensity Democracy: Political Power in the New World Order. London: Pluto Press
  2. Dale T. McKinley (1997), ‘Returning Home: The Strategy and Practice of Accommodation’  and Conclusion in The ANC and the Liberation Struggle: A Critical Political Biography (London: Pluto Press)
  3. Lesley Catchpole & Christine Cooper (2003), ‘Neoliberal Corporatism: Origins and Implications for South Africa’, in Rethinking the Labour Movement in the New South Africa, edited by Tom Bramble and Franco Barchiesi (Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate Publishers)
  4. Roger Etkind & Suzanna Harvey (1993), ‘The workers cease fire’, South African Labour Bulletin, Vol.17, No.5 (September-October)

KEY QUESTIONS:

  1. Did South Africa adopt a ‘low intensity democracy’ framework in 1994? Explain your answer by giving concrete examples.
  1. Was any other outcome, other than the kind of negotiated settlement that happened, possible in the early 1990s?
  1. Is a corporatist ‘social contract’ between labour, state and capital (for example, as in Germany, Sweden) beneficial or detrimental to working class interests?
  1. Did the leadership of the Alliance (the ANC/SACP/COSATU) hijack the process of drawing up the RDP and if so, how?

 

 

MODULE 2: The economic context: engaged realism or conscious retreat?

READINGS:

  1. Department of Finance, Republic of South Africa (1996), Growth, Employment and Redistribution: A Macroeconomic Strategy [main text – 22 pages, not appendices]
  2. Congress of South African Trade Unions (1996), ‘Introduction’ in Social Equity and Job Creation: A key to a Stable Future, Proposals from the South African Labour Movement
  3. Ben Fine (1995), ‘Privatisation and the RDP: A Critical Assessment’, Transformation, No.27
  4. Dale T. McKinley (1997), ‘Sounding the retreat: the left and the macro-economic battle in South Africa’, LINKS, No. 8 (July-October)

KEY QUESTIONS:

  1. What are the key fundamentals (policy components) of GEAR and why are they problematic for the workers and poor?
  1. What does COSATU argue should be the main pillars in the struggle for social equity? Based on those pillars, what in your opinion is the biggest socio-economic problem in South Africa?
  1. Why do you think the ANC embraced/accepted privatisation as one of its most crucial policy tools from the mid-1990s onwards?
  1. Why do you think left/progressive forces in South Africa (for example, unions and the SACP) were unable to stop the ANC/ government from pursuing neoliberal economic policies in the 1990s?

MODULE 3: Corporatizing state and society: theory, practice, consequence

READINGS:

  1. David A McDonald (2002), ‘The Theory and Practice of Cost Recovery in South Africa’ in Cost Recovery and the Crisis of Service Delivery in South Africa, edited by David A. McDonald and John Pape (Cape Town: HSRC Press)
  2. Dale T. McKinley (2009), ‘The “other” working class’, Paper presented at ‘Comprehending Class’ Conference, Johannesburg, 23-26 June
  3. Michelle Taal, Saliem Patel, Trenton Elsley (2012), ‘A Mineworker’s Wage: The only argument against the R12 500 is greed’, Report by Labour Research Service (28 August)
  4. Stephen Greenberg (2003), ‘Redistribution and access in a market-driven economy”, in Land Reform in South Africa, Development Update, Vol. 4, No. 2 (July)

 

KEY QUESTIONS:

  1. The Municipal Systems Act allows local authorities to ‘seize property’ for non-payment for services. How has this been implemented?
  1. How has the composition of the ‘working class’ changed in South Africa over the last 20 years and who/what constitutes the ‘other working class’?
  1. What did the struggle of workers at Marikana tell us about wage inequality in South Africa and the attitudes of the rich/bosses?
  1. What do you think are the main reasons for there being so little redistribution of land despite minority ownership of land being at the centre of the apartheid system?

MODULE 4: The politics of class formation

READINGS:

  1. Heribert Adam, Frederick van Zyl Slabbert and Kogila Moodley (1997), ‘Where is the struggle now?’ in Comrades in Business: Post-Liberation Politics in South Africa (Cape Town: Tafelberg)
  2. Thabo Mbeki (1999), ‘Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the SA-USA Business and Finance Forum’, Roosevelt Hotel, New York, 23 September
  3. Dale T. McKinley (2001), ‘A South African ‘Third Way’ for Labour? Illusions and Realities’, South African Labour Bulletin (April)
  4. Dale T. McKinley (2011), ‘Capitalism with a Black Face: BEE and the ANC’, Presentation to ILRIG Conference on: South Africa Today – How do we characterise the Social Formation? Cape Town (29 April)

KEY QUESTIONS:

  1. Who are your moral/ethical role models in South Africa today? Explain your choices.
  1. How should a country like South Africa go about creating jobs (and what kind of jobs) that do not rely on capitalists?
  1. Do you think a consensus can and should be reached between labour (workers) and capital (the bosses) on the way forward for South Africa? Explain your answer.

4.    Do you feel as though class is a more significant issue than race in present-day  South Africa? Make an argument either way.

MODULE 5: The ANC-Alliance and the ‘management’ of South Africa’s transitional contradictions: a crisis of democracy and development?

READINGS:

  1. Thabo Mbeki (2003), ‘Letter from the President: Bold Steps to end the “two nations” divide’, ANC Today, Vol. 3, No. 33 (22-28 August)
  2. Zwelinzima Vavi (2006), ‘The role of Government in Creating an Environment for Economic Growth and Private Sector Development’, Address to the Annual General Meeting of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry South Africa (11 May)
  3. Dale T. McKinley (2006), ‘South Africa’s Third Local Government Elections and the Institutionalisation of “Low-Intensity” Neo-Liberal Democracy”, in Jeanette Minnie (ed.), Outside the Ballot Box: Preconditions for Elections in Southern Africa 2005/6 (Johannesburg: Media Institute of Southern Africa)
  4. Raymond Suttner (2006), ‘African National Congress (ANC) as dominant organisation: impact of the attainment of power and phases of post liberation development and crisis’, Draft Paper
  5. Dale T. McKinley (2003), ‘The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the Tripartite Alliance since 1994’ in Tom Bramble and Franco Barchiesi (eds.), Rethinking the Labour Movement in the ‘New’ South Africa (Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate Publishers)

 

KEY QUESTIONS:  

  1. Do you agree or disagree with Mbeki’s arguments about how to address what he calls South Africa’s ‘two-nations’ divide? Present arguments for your position.
  1. In your opinion, why have an increasingly large number of citizens chosen not to participate in elections and what does this say about the ‘democratic mandate’ of the ANC?
  1. What does Zuma’s rape trial tell us about the man himself as well as the state of gender politics in within the ANC Alliance?
  1. Do you think that COSATU’s alliance with the ANC has been beneficial for the unionised working class? Explain your answer.

MODULE 6: The state, social movements and resistance from below

READINGS:

  1. Social Movements Indaba (2002), ‘Historic United Social Movements Mass March to WSSD Sends Clear Message – The People Will Be heard’, Press Release (1 September)
  2. Salim Vally (2003), ‘The Political Economy of State Repression’, in Right to Dissent: Freedom of Expression, Assembly and Demonstration in South Africa (Johannesburg: Freedom of Expression Institute)
  3. Dale T. McKinley (2012), ‘A Brief History of the Anti-Privatisation Forum’ in op cit., Transition’s Child: The Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) (Johannesburg: South African History Archives)
  4. Ahmed Veriava and Dale T. McKinley (2005), ‘Arresting Dissent’, in Arresting Dissent: State Repression and Post-Apartheid Social Movements (Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation)

KEY QUESTIONS:

  1. Why was there a rupture within progressive South African civil society in the early 2000s and what did this mean for the broader working class and poor?
  1. Do you think the political nature of the South Africa state change in any fundamental way after 1994? Explain your answer.
  1. What can present-day community organisations and social movements learn from the internal problems and challenges that led to the demise of the APF?
  1. In your opinion and from your own experience as an activist, why do you think the ANC-run state continues to engage in wide-scale repression and marginalisation of community organisations and their struggles?

 

MODULE 7: Capital, labour and socio-political relations in conditions of crisis

READINGS:

  1. Eugene Cairncross (2011), ‘Post-Apartheid South African Economy: The Triumph of Capital?’ in South Africa Today: How do we characterise the social formation? Papers from the 2011 ILRIG April Conference (Cape Town: ILRIG)
  2. Gentle, L. (2010), ‘South Africa and the New World Order’, South African Civil Society Information Service (February)
  3. Dale T. McKinley (2008), ‘Xenophobia and Nationalism: Exposing the South African State for what it is’, Khanya, No. 19 (Special Edition, July)
  4. Angela Conway (2011), ‘The Changing Face of Rural Workers’ in South Africa Today: How do we characterise the social formation? Papers from the 2011 ILRIG April Conference (Cape Town: ILRIG)
  5. Dale T. McKinley (2010), ‘South Africa’s social conservatism: a real and present danger’, South African Civil Society Information Service (March)

KEY QUESTIONS:

  1. In what specific ways can we say that the current economic system in South Africa is ‘post-apartheid’, or not?
  2. What does ‘financialisation’ of an economy mean and how has this benefited South Africa’s capitalists?
  3. Why do you think xenophobia has continued to be a major problem in South Africa?
  4. How has the increased commodification of land in South Africa impacted on social and economic conditions of rural workers/families
  5. Do you agree that a majority of South Africans are opposed to most of the socially progressive clauses in the constitution’s Bill of Rights (for example, the right to equality based on sexual orientation)? Explain your answer.

MODULE 8: Zuma, the rule of the ANC and the possibilities of change

READINGS:

  1. Pallo Jordan (2012), Speech at the 20th anniversary of the Bisho Massacre (7 September)
  2. Ngoako Ramatlhodi (2011), ‘ANC’s fatal concessions’, The Times, 1 September
  3. Sibusiso Ngalwa (2011), ‘God is on the ANC’s side, Zuma tells crowd’, Sunday Times, 5 February
  4. Jane Duncan (2012), ‘Voice, Political Mobilisation and Repression under Jacob Zuma’ in Marcelle C. Dawson and Luke Sinwell (eds.), Contesting Transformation: Popular Resistance in Twenty-First-Century South Africa (London: Pluto Press)
  5. Dale T. McKinley (2014),‘Secrecy and Power in South Africa’ in New South African Review 4: A Fragile Democracy – Twenty Years On, edited by Gilbert M Khadiagala, et al. (Johannesburg: Wits University Press)
  6. Neville Alexander (2010), ‘South Africa: An unfinished revolution?’ Pambazuka, Issue No. 482 (20 May)

KEY QUESTIONS:

  1. Do you think that South African society under the political rule of the ANC has changed much (since apartheid) in relation to violence, inequality and racial division?
  2. How do you respond to the argument that the general lack of transformation since 1994 cannot be blamed on the ANC but rather largely on apartheid and those outside of the ANC/liberation movement?
  3. Zuma regularly makes use of religious rhetoric to try and convince people into supporting and/or voting for, the ANC. Do you think this approach is appropriate or valid?
  4. To what extent is the militarisation of the police and the securitisation of the state linked to the ways in which the ANC government has responded to protest/dissent under the Zuma government?
  5. What do you think needs to happen for South Africa to ‘finish’ the revolution that was started by the workers and poor as part of the earlier liberation struggle?