New Nation (1990): “South African Working Class Organisation and the Downfall of the Smuts Government”

New Nation, 1990, “South African working class organisation and the downfall of the Smuts government,” 10-16 August, Matric History section of Learning Nation supplement.

A discussion of the struggles of the working class movement from 1920-1924 which examines the role of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) from 1919, the 1920 Bulhoek Massacre, and the 1922 Rand Revolt in the fall of the Jan Smuts government in 1924.

A good account from the old anti-apartheid weekly, but — as always — rather silent on the the role of anarchism and syndicalism — a factor in both ICU and the 1922 revolt.

Get the PDF here

 

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About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m 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 100s of papers conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 4 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and produced five books. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I currently teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m 10th generation South African. Also involved in union education, with a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health & Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I have given 120-plus paper presentations, edited four journal specials, and produced four books, around 40 academic articles and book chapters, 20 reference entries, 130-plus shorter articles, and six research reports. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 ‘International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest’ (Blackwell). I won the 2008 international ‘Labor History’ thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) award for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.