South Africa: WASP begins to take shape

Representatives from miners’ strike committees, community groups, trade unions and left organisations met to discuss development new Workers & Socialist Party

On Sunday 27th January, more than 50 representatives from miners’ strike committees, community groups, trade unions and left political organisations met at the invitation of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM, CWI South Africa). The agenda of the meeting was the development of the new Workers & Socialist Party in the build up to its formal launch on 21st March – Sharpeville Day.

Weizmann Hamilton from the DSM outlined how WASP had been born out of a meeting on 15th December 2012 between miners’ strike committees – thrown up by the workers in the course of the unrest in the mining sector last year – and the DSM. Hamilton explained that the Marikana massacre had been a watershed and that the gap between the masses and the ANC government and their allies was now unbridgable. As such, a political alternative for workers, communities and youth across the country is desperately needed. WASP represents the beginning of that process.

The meeting unanimously endorsed this perspective, reaffirmed the launch date for WASP, agreed a target of one million signatures in support of WASP (see campaigns page) by the one year anniversary of Marikana on 16th August, and agreed to form an interim working group made up of delegates from the supporting organisations of WASP to begin developing a manifesto and spreading the idea far-and-wide in the run up to the launch.

The working group will hold its first meeting on Saturday 2nd February in Johannesburg. Please contact WASP for more info.

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January 2013