Labour Wrap: Calling for job creation ideas



Labour Wrap: A Fin24 user, Doug Harris, is suggesting we prioritise job creation and has called for job creation ideas, which Terry Bell is calling for in this week's Labour Wrap.


The question of colonialism has come to the fore again, courtesy of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) and its vehement objection to the introduction of the Chinese Mandarin dialect to local schools.

The Chinese government, keen to unify its disparate territories, refers to this major dialect as Chinese; basic education minister Angie Motshega calls it the “language of Confucius”, which merely adds to the confusion.

Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke labelled the introduction of Chinese as “colonialism”. And he warned that it will be resisted by the union “with everything that we have”.

This presents a change of political tack for Sadtu since the union has traditionally been one of the most vocally loyal of government supporters. Many of the union’s leading members, who are members of the SA Communist Party (SACP), have also been highly supportive of China and its ruling Communist Party (CCP).

However, supporters of the move have pointed out that since China is South Africa’s major trading partner, “Mandarin” should be on offer, an optional subject in the same way as are the languages of other trading partners, such as French, Italian and Spanish.

READ: Peter Wilhelm: Learn Mandarin in school - Zuma bolsters ties with China

Language is, therefore, one issue, colonialism another. Especially since, historically, language followed gunboats and the physical conquest of territories.

The irony is, China is governed by the CCP and is regarded by unions such as Sadtu, as well as the SACP, as “socialist”.  Therefore it could not, in their eyes, be a colonial power.  

But such problems of reality contradicting ideology can be glossed over by a suitable coat of polemical rhetoric. That was what happened when Josef Stalin’s Comintern decreed in 1928, against all the available evidence, that South Africa was a colony.

It created problems since South Africa was clearly no colony in any accepted sense. So reality was bent to the needs of ideology and after the SACP was founded in 1953, it decreed that what existed in South Africa was “colonialism of a special type” or CST.

So Sadtu should not resist, because the answer is clear: if a colonial situation arises regarding China, perhaps the union should simply accept it as a beneficial CCST or Colonial Communism of a Special Type.

* Add your voice to this and / or the big labour debate and send Terry your job creation ideas.

* Terry Bell is a political, economic and labour analyst. Views expressed are his own. Follow him on twitter @telbelsa.

ZAR/USD
16.99
(+0.29)
ZAR/GBP
21.21
(+0.15)
ZAR/EUR
19.18
(-0.11)
ZAR/AUD
11.83
(-0.00)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.30)
Gold
1775.92
(+0.04)
Silver
18.08
(+0.42)
Platinum
819.00
(+1.29)
Brent Crude
42.87
(0.00)
Palladium
1923.00
(+0.65)
All Share
55126.81
(+1.11)
Top 40
50732.49
(+1.10)
Financial 15
10326.72
(+1.74)
Industrial 25
76867.13
(+0.41)
Resource 10
51038.72
(+1.80)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1621 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2128 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3190 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2315 votes
Vote