Lucien van der Walt, 26 May 2020, “Critically Assessing Social Programmes to Mitigate COVID-19: Long march to rebuilding bottom-up, working class-led change in South Africa,” #SAFTUWorkersConversations series on “Coronavirus and the Working Class,” South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), online.
In conversation with SAFTU’s Zwelinzima Vavi, Mametlwe Sebei and others, NALSU director, Professor Lucien van der Walt, looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s COVID-19 welfare measures, how they are shaped by the nature of the capitalist state in South Africa, economic crises and the neo-liberal era, and pressure from below. The measures are welcome and significant, but limited, badly run and unable to reduce inequality. It is, then, essential to reactivate union activity and rebuild union-community alliances, always emphasising bottom-up activity, as we return to work. This defends the working class – and in so doing, also steadily lays the basis for deeper changes to benefit poor and working people. The video, including the question and answer session, can be viewed below: