[DEBATE] : CCS reminder: Political brainstorm at 5pm on skype today
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Thu Dec 20 08:29:26 GMT 2007
WITH ZUMA IN THE ANC PRESIDENCY, WHO WILL RULE SOUTH AFRICA?
WHAT DO INDEPENDENT ACTIVISTS DO NOW?
A DISCUSSION WITH SA, AFRICA AND INTERNATIONAL ALLIES, BROADCAST AT 5pm
SA TIME ON SKYPE
(To join us from anywhere in the world give a call to patricksouthafrica
Seminar: CCS Roundtable on Polokwane
Date: Thursday, 20 December
Time: 17:00-who knows
Venue: CCS Boardroom, MTB F208, Howard College Campus
South Africa faces uncertain prospects of political leadership in the
period ahead, as the African National Congress conference in Polokwane
has chosen Jacob Zuma to lead the party, while Thabo Mbeki remains
president of South Africa.
As the ANC conference ends, independent progressives wonder what might
happen under Zuma as national president (assuming he avoids jail on
* Is there an opening for the centre-left (and even the left), given
that trade unionists and leading communists provided crucial backing for
* Or will a president Zuma clamp down hard, given his and supporters'
traditions of militarism, nationalism, patriarchy, ethnicism and
* Or are Zuma's many weaknesses to be welcomed by independent leftists,
as the basis for a ridiculous, weak presidency?
* What will Mbeki do over the next year and a half, until the 2009
* Will the internecine battle within the ANC continue to degenerate into
a full-fledged conflagration that splits the ruling party?
* Or will the ANC 'big tent' once again open some flaps on the left and
right, and draw dissidents back in?
* What structural power shifts might this contest signify, given both
the profound paranoia expressed by the neoliberal bloc and the ANC's
paralysed socio-economic imagination?
* Is the corruption-ridden ruling party capable of being reformed, or is
a new people's/worker's party inevitable, once trade union and communist
hearts are broken?
* Should most independent activity aimed at social change continue to
eschew electoral politics?
As the ANC leave Polokwane, the Centre for Civil Society will attempt a
skype-broadcast seminar on 20 December at 5pm Durban time to consider
these and other queries.
Regardless, the status quo is unacceptable by all accounts, save those
ANC leaders ('Nothing will change' Zuma has promised international
financiers who have panelbeat SA's pro-business economic policy, while
Mbeki repeatedly and dishonestly claims that the economy and society are
improving under his rule.)
Expressing a variety of policy/delivery grievances, independent
activists have ratcheted up protest activity to unprecedented levels,
with more than 20 000 separate demonstrations recorded over 24 months in
2005-07 and an increase in the rate this year. (SA is still the world's
leader in per capita social protests.)
If anyone wants to tap into this session, please contact me urgently so
can try out the connection. We intend to do both audio and video
broadcasting, and will accommodate as many in a 'conference call' format
as the technology and bandwidth permit. (You can download skype at
http://www.skype.com for free to gain access to this seminar.)
Those definitely taking part in the broadcast include Ashwin Desai,
Trevor Ngwane, Orlean Naidoo, Sufian Bukurura and Annsilla Nyar, with
others in the Durban area joining us.
pbond at mail.ngo.za and skype account: patricksouthafrica)
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