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History in the headlines

'Right to Organise'
History of Labour Struggles & Organization in South Africa

On 1 May 2011 South Africa will enjoy Worker's Day (effectively a May Day holiday). Worker's Day celebrates the role played by Trade Unions, the Communist Party and other labour movements.

The history of working people, and particularly Black workers, to organise is inextricably tied to the struggle against racism and national liberation. The roots of Trade Unionism and Socialism can be traced back to the vast influx of majority White workers who came to Southern Africa from across the globe in the search of fortunes and work in the wake of the discovery of diamonds and later gold.

The story of labour is also the story of forced labour. A vast number of people were forced through intimidation, taxes, colonial and capitalist expansion to become wage labourers in White owned mines, industries and agriculture. It is also the story of the descendents of slaves, indentured labourers from Asia and the poor and prosecuted minorities of Europe, arriving in Southern Africa and joining Black working people in the fight for the right to a decent wage, equality, fraternity and freedom ... read on

The One Hundred Year Struggle for Freedom

Call for Papers

The 100th anniversary of the African National Congress in 2012 is, without question, a momentous event in South African and indeed African history. At many levels, it will also be the occasion for nationwide celebrations, extensive reflection and debate. Histories of the liberation struggle have now become inextricably bound to the questions of on


Matthew Goniwe: (1947 - 1985) Teacher, community leader, political activist and member of the UDF.

Sparrow Mkhonto: (1951 - 1985) Trade union, community and political activist, member of CRADORA.

Sicelo Mhlauli: (1949 - 1985) Headmaster, Member of Oudtshoorn Youth Organisation, Saamstaan activist.

Fort Calata: (1956 - 1985) Teacher, community leader, political activist and member of the UDF.

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