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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More