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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs