Malehoko Tshoaedi Co-Writes Journal Article on COSATU's Work in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Malehoko Tshoaedi, co-editor of COSATU’s Contested Legacy: South African trade unions in the second decade of democracy, has co-written a journal article for Rethinking Development and Inequality, along with Sarah Mosoetsa, titled “Cosatu Retreating to the Workplace in Post-Aparthied South Africa: What About Community Struggles?”
Read the abstract and download the full article below:
South Africa’s labour movement, especially COSATU and its predecessor FOSATU played an important role in the attainment of democracy. The history and contribution of COSATU is undisputed. The question that this article explores is what the labour movement has done in post-apartheid South Africa to safeguard the interest of the broader working class, its own members, and thus contributing to the consolidation of democracy in the country. The article draws on a longitudinal COSATU survey on member’s perception on community issues, politics and democracy conducted in 1994, 1998, 2004, and 2008. In-depth qualitative interviews with union members, former union members and unemployed workers are also used. Empirical evidence shows that, COSATU and its affiliate unions have retreated to workplace issues at the expense of community issues such as service delivery. This article gives evidence of what many scholars have been postulating as “the demise of social movement unionism.” The result, the article argues, is a growing representation gap, where those in precarious employment and the unemployed are left without a legitimate voice and representation.
- Complete article (pdf download)