The working class summit, which brought together about 1000 delegates from 147 trade unions and social movements from all over South Africa, made history over the weekend after developing and developing a common strategy that will take forward the working class struggle.
This comes in the midst of the economic turmoil that has been the bread and butter of Ramaphosa’s new dawn.
Since the beginning of 2018, South Africa’s working class has found itself crippled by an increase in VAT, an increase in petrol prices, an increase in syntaxes, the imposition of sugar tax and the legislation of slave wages among other things.
Speaking to POWER Perspective host JJ Tabane, the general secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Zwelinzima Vavi says that the new dawn is subject to where one stands in the class divide.
He argues that those “standing on the other side of the exploited class…will not even doubt for a second that things have gone even worse in 2018.”
For example the fuel hikes impact the poor working class as an increase in petrol means an increase in most goods and services such as food, says Vavi.
This together with the legislated slave wages results in a working class that is struggling to meet their basic needs, adds the secretary general.
“We live in a capitalist society [where] the measure of success of the capitalist class is the rate of profit. So if the rate of exploitation increases it means the rate of profit is on the rise,” he says.
Therefore in order to begin to deal with the rot that has normalized the exploitation of the marginalized in a society, one needs to begin by dismantling “the structure of the economy we inherited from the colonial apartheid and capitalist era” protests Vavi.