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

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs