Flying the CWI flag, South Africa February 2013, photo DSM

Flying the CWI flag, South Africa February 2013, photo DSM   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Workers’ and Socialist Party

The Workers’ and Socialist Party (WASP) hails the resolution of the five-month-long strike in the South African platinum sector as a victory not only for the mineworkers and their union Amcu, but for all workers and poor people.

The increases for the lowest paid workers of R1,000 in the first and second year and R950 in the third represent unprecedented gains and a significant step forward in the struggle for a living wage for all.

The settlement which has now been accepted by workers is evidence that determined and united struggle pays. The significant concessions that have been forced out of the mining companies expose as lies their claims of unaffordability.


The determination that has enabled workers to endure five months of hardship is an inspiration to workers and fighting communities and youth across South Africa and beyond.

The strike has clarified who stands on which side of the class battle lines. WASP has made our support of the workers clear throughout the strike.

Political parties such as the ruling African National Congress and the South African Communist Party have left beyond doubt that they side with the bosses. Strike-breaking trade unions such as the NUM, Solidarity and WAU have also imprinted their betrayals in the minds of hundreds of thousands of workers.

This strike, inspired by the martyrs of Marikana has been the most important since the 2012 mineworkers’ strikes.

It has posed the fundamental contradictions of the capitalist economic system – the need for the mining industry to be nationalised so that the massive mineral resources can be used both to end poverty wages and create jobs and also to develop mining communities and society as a whole.

This step forward should serve as a platform from which the labour movement takes the lead given by Amcu to continue the fight to these ends.

That mineworkers must prepare to resist the likely attempts by the mining bosses to claw back tomorrow what they conceded today. Retrenchments cannot be accepted – the mineral wealth of this land if enough to provide jobs for many more!

Confidence boost

The platinum workers’ victory will certainly boost the confidence of workers in the metal and engineering industry and in the public sector, who face looming strike action and tough wage negotiations.

WASP will continue to stand firmly on the frontline of these struggles and work to maximise their level of organisation, unity and clarity.

What is WASP?

The Workers’ and Socialist Party (WASP) was established by the Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI South Africa) and others in 2012. Its launch followed the events of 16 August 2012 when 34 striking miners at the Lonmin mine in Marikana (themselves fighting for a living wage) were killed by police.

The massacre and aftermath exposed to many workers how far to the right the ruling ANC has moved since it was seen to lead the struggle against apartheid and that there was an urgent need for a new political party to represent the working class.

WASP has since gained support from thousands of workers by leading struggle and putting a socialist programme.


The Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) is the socialist international organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated.

The CWI is organised in 45 countries and works to unite the working class and oppressed peoples against global capitalism and to fight for a socialist world.