Rashida Ntotela – Cii News | 12 Safar 1437/25 November 2015

The world thought racism had come to an end when South Africa held its first democratic elections in 1994 ending the cruel rein of Apartheid, but starkingly, 20 years post apartheid, racism woven with our capitalist system remains the order of the day.

Norma Craven, Head of National Union of Metalworkers South Africa, movement for socialism (Numsa), characterised racism in the context of South Africa as:

“The exercise of economic power of one group over the other.’’

Craven, writer of the thought provoking article titled ‘Beat racism by attacking capitalism’ featured in The Starnewspaper, communicated her responsiveness on Cii radio over this disaccord.

“Prejudice is part of racism but it is something you can take on,” she aired.

“You can like or dislike people for a number of reasons, and you are entitled to do so, but colour should not be it”.

“It is irrational,” she said.

“Racism is part and parcel of our colonial past and our capitalist present, and in order to break that, one has to break the economic control of the small white monopoly and moneyed class, which controls the economy.”

Craven, who is of a socialist ethos, exhibited the concept by illustrating the staggering disparities between different social classes.

Economic power is becoming a norm. Craven irately said.

The power of white monopoly capital to dispossess, oppress and exploit black people cannot be overstated, she enunciated.

In a bid to epitomize Norma Craven’s discord, it would result that the abolition of exploitation would be the ideal manifestation of socialism.

Capitalism on the contrary is a social system based on individual rights.

Land, natural resources and industries built by the hands of workers, belong to private owners or companies. Each owner producing not for the public good, but for his private profit.

“The mind begins to accept that this property owning democracy is the only and is the best way in which to organise your society”.

Norma contends that this eventuality is due to a colonialism of the mind.

Further adding that notwithstanding the fact that multi millionaires are willing to accept this concept, it will not assist the vast majority, she denotes.


Apartheid transformed Black Africans into foreigners on their own land.

For as long as Black South Africans continue to be foreigners to their own economy, living outside the borders of affluent neighbourhoods, violence will continue to tear at the very fabric of the so-called Rainbow Nation.

“Now is the time to mobilize, organise and demand your rights!” Craven voiced.

Craven envisions a great potential for a united front that will strengthen and solidify the masses whatever their plight.

People are taking to the streets to demand their rights, and it is an opportunity for their own socialist movement to say enough is enough, she continued.

In the end, the solution for the working class and marginalized inhabitants of South Africa lies in the most advanced political activists from the likes of ANC, SACP and COSATU coming together in a revolutionary party for the rights of the working class, she asserted.

“Socialism has to be the first step towards transformation.”

The struggle was to take control of our economy, Craven intimated.

Capitalism is the very beast responsible for the vacancy of free education, National Health Service, improper infrastructure in rural areas, starvation, death and misery in a country with so much natural wealth and such an undeveloped pool of labour.


“We are the most unequal society in the world!” Norma turbulently vented, revealing that a glaring 50 % of working population in this country earn under R 3 300 a month.

“A minimum wage is not a living wage, a minimum wage is basically what you need to keep yourself breathing”, she said in distaste.

We have a situation where the typical employee owns a significant portion of the means of production, as well as assets such as a house, car, a bank account and some savings.

However, this has not materialised for a large number of the general public, adding that it will not happen insofar as we have a capitalist country with low wages at its basis.

Craven implored for the levelling of playing fields, in a collective stance towards reformation.