A popular new South African book insists racism is primarily to blame for social polarization. But describing South African inequality as “the new apartheid” obscures the central role that class and capitalism play in reproducing hierarchies.
William Shoki is a staff writer for Africa Is a Country. He is based in Johannesburg.
In South Africa, as in so many other capitalist countries, the education system is seen as a means of molding children into future workers. But education should be about building democratic citizens, not producing compliant workers for employers.
In the years after its violent formation, Israel tried to position itself as a member of the rising anti-colonial world. And today, despite its obvious role as an occupier, Israel is trying the same thing: establishing ties to African countries to shield Israel from criticisms that it’s an apartheid state.
The #EndSARS movement has convulsed Nigeria for weeks, demanding an end to police brutality. But the protesters have something else in their crosshairs: the unequal, austerity-ridden status quo and the political class that defends it.
The South African house track “Jerusalema” has rocketed around the world, becoming a viral sensation. But it’s no common pop song — it speaks to a growing desire across Africa to remake and reimagine the world.
Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah was a postcolonial icon who tried to fight the forces of imperialism and capitalism to build a nation, continent, and world based on equality and self-government. That’s why, despite his faults, young people in Ghana today are resurrecting Nkrumah’s vision as a radical alternative to neoliberalism.
South Africa’s apartheid government murdered Steve Biko 43 years ago this month. But they couldn’t snuff out his political influence — the Black Consciousness leader remains a symbol of defiance against injustice and racial oppression.
The COVID-19 crisis has hit South Africa’s poor and working-class majority hard, with the government favoring the rich over the unemployed. Our friends at Africa Is a Country spoke with three South African organizers of the unemployed, who are fighting for decent public services — and a basic income.
In South Africa, the political class is scapegoating immigrants to distract from their failure to root out the country’s massive inequality. But just like everywhere else, immigrants aren’t the problem — economic elites and their political handmaidens are.
Zohran Mamdani is a Uganda-born rapper, counselor, and socialist running to represent Queens in the New York State Assembly. We spoke with him about the housing crisis, being a socialist in America, and his campaign slogan, “roti and roses” — a play on the old labor chant “bread and roses.”
A conspiracy theory rocketing around South African social media claims that the real Nelson Mandela died in 1985. It’s a desperate attempt to make sense of the rampant inequality still gripping the post-apartheid country — but only socialist politics, not conspiracy theories, can diagnose the problem and offer a just solution.