Thursday, May 30, 2024

MAILBOX: Amandla mag might be dreary to RW, but why don’t you have another look? 

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“It was immediately clear to me that you hadn’t seen Amandla magazine recently when you labelled it “dreary” in a recent article. So here is a link to the latest issue. I thought that, in the spirit of the best of our constitutional values, you might want to post it on your website so that your readers can make up their own minds about its informative content. I wouldn’t expect that my interview with Moeletsi Mbeki on the “middle-class election”, or the article from our Indian correspondent Sushovan Dhar on the Indian election,  would fail to evoke some interest. And surely no magazine with a comic strip on its inside back cover called ‘The Reluctant President’ could properly be called “dreary”.

I wouldn’t expect you to agree with much of the content, as I don’t agree with much of yours, but some respect for a product of the same industry as yours would be gratifying.” – Roger Etkind: Amandla Magazine Editor

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By Roger Etkind

Inevitably, the feature of this issue focuses on the election – but with a difference. We are more interested in placing the election in the broader context of building the Left and popular organisations than in pondering the details of which party will get how many votes. The basics of macro-economic policy are unlikely to change, given the much-lamented absence of any party representing the interests of the working class and the poor.

The Editorial reflects on the absence of the Left in this election. Niall Reddy continues in the same vein, setting out his thoughts on what we of the Left must do to be ready to fight future elections. Gunnett Kaaf looks at how the ANC is disintegrating and how that process may be exacerbated by the need to go into coalition after the election. Patrick Bond reminds us about the existence of the National Development Plan and how none of its projections have been fulfilled – fortunately in some cases. And Moeletsi Mbeki explains that it is only the middle class that is represented in this election, and tantalisingly looks forward to an unusual possible toenadering of those unrepresented by the current parties – sections of the working class and the poor, with capital.

Aside from the election, Andile Zulu looks at the fundamental flaws of the recently published revision of the Integrated Resource Plan. Heidi Swart tells the story of successful resistance to the attempt by the State Security Agency to introduce widespread vetting, especially of NGOs and faith-based organisations. She warns us that further such attempts are likely.

Read more: RW Johnson: Amandla – meet Zuma’s Russian-funded media business

We are sad to have to publish two obituaries in this issue. Ayanda Kota has been a key figure in community struggles in the Eastern Cape for many years, until his untimely death. Brian Ashley tells of his political work and attitudes and expresses the widespread sense of loss at his premature passing. And we publish Dinga Sikwebu’s tribute to Eddie Webster, long-time activist in the labour movement and major theorist of its achievements and challenges.

On the economy, Aliya Chikte explores the arguments around the urgent need for a Basic Income Grant. And, as Amandla!, we comment on the ongoing attack on the working class and the poor through Enoch Godongwana’s latest austerity budget.

In the international section, Will Shoki unravels the upheavals in Haiti. Sean Clinton’s article on how the South African diamond industry,  partly owned by the Public Investment Corporation, is helping to fund Israel’s genocide in Gaza, throws down a challenge to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and BDS. Sean Whitaker and Harry Boesak remind us of another genocide from 120 years ago, still unresolved or properly recognised in Namibia. Sushovan Dhar writes on the Indian election and the growing threat to democracy represented by the BJP. Nigeria is experiencing its own #FeesMustFall movement, as a result of a sudden and massive escalation of fees, and Oyelumade Oluwakemi explains how this new movement has largely replaced the moribund  National Association of Nigerian Students.

And finally, we have a book review, unusually written by one of the book’s authors, Eddie Webster, and submitted to Amandla! shortly before his death.

And of course the latest episode of our comic strip, ‘The Reluctant President’, in which Cyril Ramaphosa tears out what little hair he has in response to the irrepressible but very unstrategic Fikile Mbalula…and longs for the time when he can leave the political arena and focus on his super-expensive cows.

Read also:

  • Eskom report says SA’s rooftop solar generation doubled in two years
  • Campaign for Home Rule: Advocating for provincial autonomy in SA – Woode-Smith
  • How poor governance has caused SA’s unemployment crisis: Ann Bernstein

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