As this month’s edition of Karibu! prepared to go to print, the Constitutional Court ruled that CPS continue paying social grants for another year. This ruling comes as an anti-climax after the unfolding scandal around Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini and her failure to respond effectively to the crisis facing the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), and by extension, the 17 million South Africans who survive on social grants every month.

What has become increasingly clear, as the SASSA debacle has unfolded, are the large divisions within the state, and by extension the ANC, between the Zuma bloc (represented by Dlamini) and the Gordhan bloc (as head of Treasury), and also illustrates the systemically corrupt nature of the ANC.

This has had detrimental consequences for ordinary South Africans who often struggle to put food on the table. Because of the worsening economic situation for working class people, we have seen the upsurge of xenophobic violence against African national immigrants in communities around the country, who present an easy target when times are tough.

But in tough times, there is often also much possibility for solidarity and collective struggles. And we see this in how many  worker, community and civil organisations and campaigns across the world like the Housing Assembly, Gauteng Community Health Care Forum and #OutsourcingMustFall have begun to take up this challenge for a better, more equitable society.

Yours in solidarity,

Searatoa Van Driel

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