Article Review: Labor and dem

In a recent article in Dollars & Sense called "Labor and democracy in South Africa:Where to now?" Franco Barchiesi and Thad Williamson explore the current economic position of South Africa.The article takes a close look at the life of working class black Africans and how the existing political climate is affecting these people's lives.The article looks at the problems that these black Africans face in the light of a new democratic & capitalist government."The problem of social decay will be measured by diminishing productivity, declining stability, and the erosion of public morality" (The Africans, 1986)
Barchiesie and Williamson discuss how the democracy that signaled the end of Apartheid in South Africa has had a different affect on the greater population than one would expect.With the word "democracy" one imagines freedom and a better life.In South Africa this is not what democracy brought.Trade unions were formed to protect the working class, as was the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).These trade unions were often seen as an extended family with big brother looking out for the unskilled worker, making sure he received a fair wage, good healthcare, and safe working conditions. The article also refers to the fact that COATSU has representatives in Parliament, however this entity does not have enough power to win the battle it is fighting.
On a different, but related note, the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's ruling government, came into power by the public rallying the different socioeconomic classes around it.The themes used for this campaign were the elimination of racism, national liberation, and equal treatment for all South Africans.Unfortunately these were just campaign ideals and few campaign promises have been realized.The freedoms that the working class supporters of the ANC were working toward was not only denied them, but some …

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