Sign from1997 Workers Solidarity Federation congress, Wits University

A sign from the 1997 Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) congress, held at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in 1997. Notably this congress saw the WSF decide to focus on the trade unions. This meant, for both Durban and Johannesburg WSF sections, an end to most work on university campuses.  Student recruitment had previously been a major focus. “CB” refers to Central Block at Wits.

wsf 1997

About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m 10th generation South African, born and bred. I have long been involved in union education, and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented or published 450+ papers, including conferences and workshops, co-edited 4 journal specials (on global and African labour history, and the left), and produced five books. Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). I won the 2008 international ‘Labor History’ PhD thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) award for best African dissertation, for my thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. I have also done research in Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.