Introduction to South African Statements

Against the Current, No. 51, July/August 1994

David Finkel, for The Editors

WE PRESENT HERE, for the information of our readers, two important statements reflecting the thinking of much of the South African working-class movement and left following the electoral victory of the African National Congress (ANC). This speech by Moses Mayekiso—a major union leader saved from possible execution during the 1980s by a massive international solidarity campaign—and the following article on Left Unity by Langa Zita, document the left’s attempts to give long-term progressive strategic content to the ANC’s “Reconstruction and Development Program” (RDP).

In ATC 50, Patrick Bond placed the RDP in the context of South Africa’s stressed and rightward-drifting political scene. President Mandela’s Cabinet appointments to economic policy positions, including the reappointment of the old regime’s Finance Minister Derek Keys and Reserve Bank Governor Chris Stals (whose policies our correspondent Bond describes as “sado-.monetarism”), and his promises to reduce the budget deficit, starkly confirm that radical reform will not come from the top. The left’s response is the focus of the two contributions presented here, and we look forward to further coverage and additional perspectives.

July-August 1994, ATC 51