South Africa Today: Confronting Neo-Liberalism

Host/Sponsor: 
Socialist Action
Room: 
Timeslot: 
Abstract: 
The living standards of the overwhelmingly Black South African working class have actually gone down since the fall of apartheid. In response to a tightening World Bank austerity plan, enacted by the ruling African National Congress (ANC), contemporary South Africa has become, “the protest capital of the world.” In 2012, 34 striking platinum Lonmin mine workers were killed by ANC cops and company goons, but no one was punished. Moreover, charges of massive corruption, which included President Jacob Zuma, have shaken the country. A powerful new force, spearheaded by the large metal workers’ union (NUMSA), the largest union in the country, says it is time to break with the status quo and capitalism. Meanwhile, a massive student struggle to democratize and de-racialize education has swept the country. Discussing these developments and more will be three prominent South African activists appearing via Skype, along with Glen Ford, editor of the Black Agenda Report. Please join us for a unique look at South Africa today!
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker First Name: 
Christine
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Last Name: 
Marie
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Affiliation: 
Socialist Action
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator First Name: 
Patrick
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Last Name: 
Bond
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Affiliation: 
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Biography: 
Patrick Bond is author or editor of more than a dozen books on uneven development and imperialism in Africa, particularly about South Africa and Zimbabwe. His books examine the anti-apartheid struggle, the African National Congress’ early turn to neoliberalism and today’s emerging resistance movements. They include: "Looting Africa," "Elite Transition," "South Africa, the Present as History" (co-authored with John Saul), “Uneven Zimbabwe," "Talk Left, Walk Right," and others. He was formerly associated with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he directed the Center for Civil Society from 2004-2016. Today, he is professor of political economy at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator First Name: 
Glen
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Last Name: 
Ford
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Affiliation: 
Black Agenda Report
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Biography: 
Glen Ford is a Ford is a veteran of more than 40 years in broadcast, print and Internet journalism. He is the co-founder of the BlackAgendaReport.com (BAR) in 2006. He is currently executive editor of BAR, a weekly magazine of “news, commentary and analysis from the Black left.”
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator First Name: 
Leigh-Ann
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Last Name: 
Naidoo
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Biography: 
Leigh-Ann Naidoo is a South African activist in the Palestine, student, women's rights and gay movements. In 2016, Naidoo participated in a Women’s Boat to occupied Palestine, which was seized by Israel in open waters. Naidoo is currently a PHD student in the Wits School of Education. She is active in the Wits chapter of the Fees Must Fall student movement. Her masters focused on the formation of the black consciousness movement and its relation to education. She is a co-convener of the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (www.jwtc.org.za) and was previously an Olympic beach volleyball player. She has written for International Viewpoint magazine.
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator First Name: 
Marty
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator Last Name: 
Goodman
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator Affiliation: 
Socialist Action
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator Biography: 
Former Executive Board member of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 (1997-2006), the NYC subway and bus workers. Goodman participated in the 2005 transit strike. He has been an activist in the Haiti solidarity movement since the late '70's. Goodman was on the Board of the Haitian Refugee Center of Miami (1980's) and an official election observer in the 1990 election in Haiti. He traveled to North Dakota last October to help establish Labor for Standing Rock.
Speaker 5/Sixth Facilitator First Name: 
Trevor
Speaker 5/Sixth Facilitator Last Name: 
Ngwane
Speaker 5/Sixth Facilitator Affiliation: 
Democratic Left Front
Speaker 5/Sixth Facilitator Biography: 
Trevor Ngwane is a South African anti-apartheid activist and a long-standing socialist activist, researcher and writer. He has worked as a sociology lecturer at Wits University where he helped found the Wits Workers' School for teaching literacy to campus cleaners and gardeners. In 1995, he was elected Ward Councillor on an African National Congress ticket. In 1999, he was expelled by the ANC for opposing the City of Johannesberg Metropolitan Municipality’s privatization of municipal services. In 2001, he helped found the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee against privatization and the Anti-Privatization Forum in 2002. He is the national secretary of the Democratic Left Front.
Panel/Workshop Organizer First Name: 
Marty
Panel/Workshop Organizer Last Name: 
Goodman
Panel/Workshop Organizer Affiliation: 
Socialist Action
 

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