Editorial Comment

by Sep 19, 2012All Articles

VICTORY for Marikana – Lonmin workers 22% = R11 000!

Now for the struggle for Justice

A heroic struggle has tasted its first victory. The reported wage settlement with Lonmin of R11 000 is a massive victory, nothing less than the murder and sacrifice of so many workers dictated.


With an unholy alliance of Lonmin bosses, the bosses of the entire platinum sector, the army police, government and even the leadership of the SACP and NUM reigned against them Lonmin workers can turn from their wage struggle to the struggle for justice with enormous pride and their dignity restored. This struggle has already rewritten the history of the international labour movement. In the eyes of the world Marikana is not a place but an expression that workers struggle – class struggle is not yesterday’s language and ideology but lives in the struggles of the exploited and oppressed from below who continue to fight the good fight.

Lonmin workers faced an unholy alliance because their struggle simultaneously struck, like a pick through ice at the elite social contract constructed around monopoly capital, parasitic BEE deals and bureaucratised labour elites – a social contract that has seen SA become the most unequal country in the world.

This massive victory for a living wage must not be paid by more use of sub contracting or reduction of the labour force. It should be paid by reduction in the grotesque remuneration of top management and by lowering the dividends to shareholders.

Let this victory mark the first step to stop the ruthless super exploitation of South African workers.

One blow will not unfreeze the stunted politics of elite-pacting. Others now have to pick up the batons of the Marikana – Lonmin workers even as their struggle for justice and accountability continues. Solidarity must be mobilised so that all those complicit in Post – Apartheid’ brutal massacre are brought to justice.

A new path for South Africa will only result from the combined efforts of many grassroots militant struggles. The Marikana – Lonmin workers have shown what is possible. Many community struggles are equally heroic if not as dramatic as the Marikana struggle. They need to flow together in an unstoppable torrent that can wash away the muck of inequality and injustice that still prevails almost two decades after the end of Apartheid!

Long live the Marikana Lonmin workers – Long live!

An injury to one is an injury to all!

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