News / Africa

    South African Unions Call Mandela Model to End ‘Economic Apartheid’

    Flowers, posters, and messages left by mourners lie in front of Nelson Mandela's old house in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
    Flowers, posters, and messages left by mourners lie in front of Nelson Mandela's old house in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
    Peter Clottey
    The spokesman for Congress of South African Trade Unions says Nelson Mandela’s legacy of poverty alleviation is a guiding principle for the group to demand better working conditions for South African workers.

    Patrick Craven expressed hope the ruling African National Congress will implement a policy the party adopted last year to improve the living conditions for the country’s workers.

    “By far the best way to honor the memory of Nelson Mandela is to try as far as possible to emulate what he did in the next stage of struggle,” said Craven.  “We still have a long way to go in ending what we call economic apartheid.  We still live in an extremely unequal society and have a huge job ahead of us, to bring about similar changes on the economic front.”

    Development specialists say since the end of apartheid, the government has built two million homes for the poor, and vastly extended access to electricity and potable water.  However, they say the economic gulf separating whites and blacks has grown larger over the past 12 years, with white-led households earning almost double the amount earned by blacks.

    Craven's comments come as South Africa prepares for the arrival of world leaders for Mandela’s funeral as crowds of mourners converge on sites around the country to pay tribute to the global anti-apartheid icon and Nobel laureate.

    “COSATU members are attending all the incredible number of events across the country,” said Craven.  “We will obviously be thinking of some more permanent way of expressing our appreciation for the absolutely unique role, which Comrade Nelson Mandela has played in our democratic revolution.”

    COSATU is a Trade Union Federation formed in 1985, a part of the Tri-partite Alliance with the ANC and the South African Communist Party.

    Craven says COSATU is working with the ruling ANC to improve workers conditions as part of an effort to bridge the economic divide between the “haves and the have nots.”

    He says Mandela’s legacy of fighting for equal economic opportunity for all South Africans will be a guiding principle for COSATU to negotiate a better deal with the government in Pretoria.

    “They [ANC] passed a resolution last year, which is spelling out exactly what we are saying needs to be done.  What they have called the second phase of the transition, which basically means a fundamental restructuring of our economy to make it into one which is more equal, more efficient and distributes the wealth of the country in a much more equitable way, by creating jobs and improving the lives of the very poor,” said Craven.

    “We need higher wages, better social benefits, more incentives to small businesses, and this will not only improve the lives of millions of people, but it also will promote economic growth, and lead ultimately to a more wealth to be distributed, which will be done to improve the lives of all the people permanently,” said Craven.

    He says Mandela’s pro-poverty alleviation policies could help COSATU in its drive to have a better economic environment for all workers.

    “It will be an enormous assistance if there are people who oppose those policies we can point to the fact that we are following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela,” said Craven. “[It] will give us the moral high ground if we are continuing the struggle which he began and played a crucial role in and take to its conclusion.”
    Clottey interview with Patrick Craven, COSATU Spokesman
    Clottey interview with Patrick Craven, COSATU Spokesman i
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Darrel from: Johannesburg,South Africa
    December 10, 2013 12:58 PM
    Life hasn't improved one iota here. Most of us still struggle to survive everyday. The promise of social justice, socialism and communism has failed us all.... We need to reverse course and implement a free market. At least it will have a chance to work... Government micro-managing the economy has never worked and it isn't working here.
    In Response

    by: Logic Reason from: WP
    December 11, 2013 3:02 PM
    Graven states "However, they say the economic gulf separating whites and blacks has grown larger over the past 12 years, with white-led households earning almost double the amount earned by blacks." Has anyone that come up with this statistics, also calculated the amount of blacks vs whites? Of coarse you will always get the same result, no matter who is more valuable for the economy.

    by: Gadema Quoquoi from: New York City, USA
    December 09, 2013 10:48 AM
    Mr. Nelson Mandela was a World Leader who stood for Freedom, Justice, as well as Economic Equality. To Carry on Nelson Mandela's Legacy, African Nations, now must used their Natural Resources to improved the Economics or Living conditions of their People.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora