About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

21 Jul 1990: Skhosana, Mahlmola and Ngcukana, Cunningham

Click here for more information on the Interviewee - Skhosana

Click here for more information on the Interviewee - Ngcukana

Click here for Overview of the year

POM     I'm meeting with NACTU on the 21st of July.

MS     My name is Mahlmola Skhosana. I am the First Assistant General Secretary.

CS     I am Cunningham Ngcukana, General Secretary.

POM     In the last year, many people say a lot of change has taken place in South Africa in the context of De Klerk's speech of the 2nd of February. What is the reaction? First of all, could you spell out for us the difference between COSATU and NACTU and why it's necessary to have two councils of trade unions, so to speak? Let's use that as a starting point.

CS     What we have is a (trade union set-up) that runs its territories in every social institution in South Africa. You can therefore, understand that one, the atmosphere circumstances and, two, there are differences that are acquired.

POM     You have differences?

CS     That are acquired. Now, the circumstances come from the genesis of the two federations. One, there has been a process of bringing the federations, I mean, the unions, together. Independent, then two federations, FOSATU and COSATU, and the process started in 1981 in Cape Town and moved over the years. In 1985, the process had reached a point where a constitution had been agreed upon that supported the validity by the political committee involved in COSATU, CUSA and independent unions like AFCWU, the African Food and Canning Workers Union. The pro-UDF unions were out of the process because - they were expelled because they're a small outgrowth of some other unions. In the 1984 meeting they were expelled because they didn't want to crib their exact membership and then their organising in industries. In 1985, CUSA, together in the Transvaal region of FOSATU, after the May Day celebration, decided that it is necessary to treat everybody outside the physical body, even those who had moved, and they took a decision to set up a meeting and to bring everybody together. That was on the 18th of May in Germiston and it was agreed that the second meeting, which has come from allies of the new federation, would be attended by everybody, at any session of CUSA and Transvaal region of FOSATU.

     Now, there were a number of people who were unhappy with the initiative taken by CUSA, that to include unions like AZACTU(?) and the UDF unions. And some of them said so within the meeting. And I think there was a lot of argument from certain quarters. As a result, that meeting couldn't reach an agreement, and a future meeting was then called by the conveners. Then we felt that he had a big flaw. … which is a formation of CUSA, decided to pull out of CUSA and follow the other unions and because they wanted to pull and push an exclusivist position, felt that they ought to move to push out AZACTU and UDF unions. There was a lot resistance from CUSA that people should take the ... They then decided to leave the federal structure of CUSA and to try and fight CUSA. And CUSA decided that, because some of the leaders would see itself as a federation, decided to get out of the process. And at the same time, there was AZACTU's commitments with … And there was a lot of … following that time.

     Then NUM decided to join the new federation because Cyril Ramaphosa was the chairperson of the political committee. Whether it was out of honesty or out of another reason, it's an internal matter. Then, the UDF unions continued to consult with CUSA and AZACTU and the FOSATU unions, CCAWUSA and NUM, continued and finally called a meeting of the 2nd of August. [The UDF unions went to that and we still have the … of that post and … who's the organiser for the meeting, and their conduct, and they're ...] And the UDF unions would then look into the process. And finally, they decided to hold a workshop and to look at it rather than make it within the process. They decided to go within the process, their consultation, CUSA and AZACTU, on what the organisers were doing, the undemocratic nature of the process. And finally, they were able, because then, what you have to understand, FOSATU … the Federation of Labour, and it had fought a lot of battles with UDF in the Eastern Cape. And even during the … they had very serious problems. But be that as it may, obviously, now, CUSA and AZACTU were left out of the process not of their own choice but by the conduct and the choice of those who went on to form COSATU in November 1985. And it was natural for the two groupings to come together into one unit, and NACTU was born out of that. Now, that is the history between the two federations. And then they … us now because they're acquired.

POM     They're which?

CN     They're acquired.

POM     They're acquired differences?

CN     Those acquired differences are differences acquired out of the formation and the two groupings formed, in terms of their policies. And also, in terms of practice, in implementation of those policies and the changes. With the decision of the UDF leadership within COSATU, it led to them taking a position of alliances with UDF. NACTU was formed on the basis of non-affiliation to political and international organisations. And a critical stand that NACTU had to keep ...

POM     NACTU, sorry?

CN     NACTU, to keep on, it kept on, but to support the national liberation struggle as a movement. Because it was the sincere belief, and it still is of this federation, that we have formed trade unions not on the basis of political affiliation but on the basis of the day-to-day problems they encounter at their workplace. And that, of course, we can align with the liberation movement on the issues of common concern. Not to choose this or that.

POM     So, you wouldn't choose between, like, the ANC and the PAC?

CN     If the ANC would run us over, that we believe that it furthers the … Because we're a very different organisation, we do not have somebody taking decisions above our head. If they make that decision, it's only to the ANC. If the ANC takes a decision that we believe is in the interest of … we would say no. The same goes for the PAC, AZAPOM, UDF movement.

MS     Communist Party?

CN     And the South African Communist Party.

MS     Same with the South African Communist Party.

POM     So, in a sense, it'd be, say, if the South African Communist Party designed a policy that you agreed with, you could support that. At the same time, if the ANC, say, or the PAC designed another policy and some other variant of workers' rights that you agreed with, you would support them, too. So you wouldn't find yourself exclusively supporting either one or the other. You could form alliances that suited you.

MS     With informal alliance, at that time, at that moment. And we'll break it if necessary.

CN     We are not married to any of them. And this is an understanding they all have, that we cannot agree on a certain programme, but when their … run, and it's over, our relationship stops there.

MS     [The end of the … and they're … a common understanding. Within that committee, we feel that a certain process now is made to … us. We have no … now to say that we stop where we are put … because we see that they are playing tricks.]

POM     Sorry, who's playing tricks?

MS     In that alliance. [… into a campaign, we've... ] Workers can review our situation in terms of our earlier understanding, where we believe that we should withdraw from this, then we withdraw.

POM     But your primary responsibility you see as being to your members, to the workers, and the welfare of the workers on a day-to-day basis, securing of workers' rights?

CN     As well as their interests, political interests in the community. For instance, we do support a programme where we ask for liberation from not only people who have it but from the oppressors. That is our position. And we'll support a programme, that we create conflict amongst the oppressed, and that is the principled position that we have taken over the years; that every programme should serve the interests of our own people. Not at the end of the day that it should become a cancer of our people. So, this is a principled position that we have taken and we have not affiliated with any international organisation, because we believe that our policies should be set by our membership. And we don't affiliate to any government organisation, we do not want some political power broker sitting on top and it would undermine internal democracy through the federation if we were to impose decisions. We believe in from the bottom to the top decisions, not in the top to the bottom.

MS     There is another point, which is very important. It is that one is to take care of our day-to-day members' problems at the shop floor. We also have social responsibility in the communities. That is, we are involved in the communities. So, for example, in their own community I have a meeting to attend with ... That has nothing to do with a trade union, but we have that responsibility. The economic and social problems we have in the country makes it imperative for the unions to get involved in the social problems of our people. Now, we have problems in the townships, we have problems of homelessness in the townships, we have problems of transport, public transport. Now, all these problems, we take up every federation in the community, like all other trade unions. So we have an added responsibility at the moment in our struggle. And this makes it imperative for politicians to consult with us, because where they go to a township and do something that we believe that it is contrary to what we believe, we'll oppose them. Right now we are fighting in various townships that the rents, since 1984, we've been involved in the struggle in the Vaal and all the other townships, that certain of the rent issues in the townships, that the government must wipe off its debts and that they must work out a situation where people are able to pay their rent. So, we are involved in those kinds of struggles.

PK     Do you think that COSATU has a formal affiliation with the ANC?

MS     COSATU has adopted the Freedom Charter, which is an official document of the ANC and they're in the communist alliance. We have not a particular opinion with any organisation. And we believe that the output is that the variegated political structure which our membership comes from and to be able to move forward and that would be closer in the years to come. [We believe our principled position that would leave … and beyond the recent … of apartheid.]

POM     So, in regard to the present process that's going on, the negotiations between the ANC and the Government, where does NACTU stand in relationship to that?

CN     One, we have a position on negotiations and those are separate positions. Firstly, our trade union federation has taken a position that, one, we believe that the negotiations not only involve political issues but social issues. And because we believe that apartheid can go, but it's bigger it seems to me. Now, we believe that through apartheid we have the situation of unemployment, housing, lack of space. We've then taken a principled stand that, one, the conditions for negotiations should be the acceptance by the regime of one person, one vote, meaning that the homelands situation must go. The basis of apartheid and all the legislative barriers must go. And secondly, we must talk of the distribution of resources.

POM     We must talk about redistribution of resources.

CN     That while the political process is going on there must be a discussion on the redistribution of resources and the land. Now, what they have got to accept, this position, we have taken it, taken to co-consent(?). The factors that have led to the regime and to the whole type of negotiation, the international factors, that is, the changes in Eastern Europe and the changes in the political structures of the Soviet Union, which has been because of changes in internal policy, and the policies of the problems between the East and the West. So, that in the collapse of Eastern Europe, the regime itself is also in crisis because of the international pressure, they have seen it's necessary that for the survival of the white minority privileges, they have to settle. Now, the way the regime sees the settlement, it should only be political. Political apartheid can go but they must continue to have economic apartheid.

POM     So, you think that along with the political structure being negotiated, the economic principles by which the country should be run should be also set out?

CN     Yes.

POM     That the mechanisms by which wealth should be redistributed should be set out?

CN     Yes.

MS     Can I talk on this? I think we are jumping the gun here.

POM     Sorry?

MS     I think we are jumping the gun.

POM     OK.

MS     Because the process hasn't started, of negotiations in this country. It's a bit premature. At the moment, ANC officially tells us that it's just a contact with Viljoen, with a view of trying to do away with obstacles, to build negotiations. The process hasn't started. And it is difficult for now to see if the process starts, which direction it is going to take. Because if one thinks and looks at it, we have plenty of experience of negotiations. We don't have political experience of negotiation. But our experience is simply that anybody that goes for negotiations, you want to negotiate at a level where you are strong. You do not want to negotiate at a level where you are weak. And from what Comrade Cunningham has been saying about international changes, it looks as if, which is true, that the regime isn't on the ascendancy, it's strong enough. And that is why it's calling for negotiations because they are in a position of strength. Where the liberation movement is at that level, is another matter. And the process hasn't started, it's still going to start. And the ANC itself, I think, realises that some of the problems, they've already said in public newspapers, as you'll pick them up later, they are not the only organisation, they realise that there are other forces also. And I think this is the reality that they needed to reverse it also, because of looking at the obstacles that they'll be faced with when real negotiations start. But the process hasn't started.

POM     So if real negotiations did start, would you, as a council of trade unions, expect to sit at a negotiation table to ensure that the interests of your members were looked after in whatever structures were being developed?

CN     That will depend upon trade unions, plus it will be complicated, because they've not yet taken a position on how we see the process of negotiations, when it and how it would start to happen, what are the issues it would address. Those are the two principles and preconditions for negotiations which you have cited and the possibility of a Constituent Assembly, which were discussed within the federation. That is perhaps the only way toward the new constitution. Now, on the meetings of the ANC and the government, our confederate federation has been to avoid divisions in our community. And we then had a response by saying that, one, we believe that consensus has to be reached by the whole liberation movement on this issue before anybody can start.

POM     The whole issue of?

CN     Negotiations. Because that is a very important strategy.

POM     That is, what you are negotiating for before you start. Am I getting you right?

CN     Well, the question of removing obstacles, we don't think it's a responsibility of the liberation movement. We are the people who have been oppressed and affected by apartheid and therefore the question of obstacles is a responsibility of the regime. Our view is that the ANC should be able to consult with other organisations before it sits with the government, because we are not only responsible to our membership only as organisations in resolving political issues, we have got a responsibility to the nation and the whole country. And that responsibility should be handled with sensitivity.

PK     But you are not opposed to negotiations?

CN     We're not opposed to negotiations, but we are quite concerned with the process and the way it develops, that other organisations are outside of the process. And rightly or wrongly, the point we are trying to make as a federation is that in the early phase we believe it should have seen it first to say, PAC, AZAPO, and other organisations, let us meet, this is how we see the situation. How do you see the situation? And from then on, perhaps a consensus could be reached.

PK     So are you saying that organisations like the PAC and AZAPO have opposed what the ANC is doing because they weren't consulted?

CN     In our eyes, this sort of situation, so far, there is nobody opposed to negotiations. And they are just defiant to oppose a process.

PK     Sure. They're opposed to the process that is going on, not to the act of negotiating at some point.

CN     Yes. The alternative - turn this off. I just want to bring up something else. [Tape off, then on.]

POM     One, you're saying that the process of negotiation that has developed is a poor one, because it involves talks between the ANC and the government and other elements of the liberation movement have been left out of that process so far. Two, that the ANC should have turned around and talked with AZAPO and PAC and other liberation organisations and that a consensus should have developed among those organisations first, so that even if the ANC was going in to talk to the government, it was, in fact, going in reflecting a position that had been arrived at by consensus by all the various liberation movements.

CN     I think it would work to their advantage.

MS     Their advantage.

CN     The only way an organisation is made for it, it well may have a Constituent Assembly and the constituents have been democratically elected. And there is no way to complete, until that process of a democracy test comes into acceptance.

POM     So just to summarise briefly, that, [Kohn(?)] when he came to you last December, presented a package of reforms and asked what would happen if these were, in fact, implemented, you responded that it would, in fact, divide the liberation movement and months later, in February, De Klerk announces just that package putting the liberation movement - kind of throwing the liberation movement into disarray. The irony of all this is that it is De Klerk who is reaping the political rewards to a certain extent within the black community itself. So that you have the paradox that if the National Party, if there were an election tomorrow morning open to everybody, a proportion of people in the black community could, in fact, vote for the National Party, because they think it's the National Party that's liberating them, not the liberation movement. And that the result of this has been like a schizophrenia, that on the one side you have Nelson Mandela going out saying De Klerk is a man of integrity. And then on the other hand, you have the liberation movement saying, keep the sanctions on; but if, really, if De Klerk were a man of integrity, there would be no need for the sanctions. So those two things are contradictory. And you also have statements coming from the ANC that's a bit contradictory with statements that come from other aspects in their organisation, like Chris Hani saying, "This must be done, or we'll seek power." But all this, you're really saying, is the result of the lack of consultation, lack of consultation of the ANC with every other element of the liberation movement. And that even if they were the ones talking to the government, they should be doing it with a position developed by other people in the liberation movement, not a one third section of those people.

CN     The phrase, 'lack of preparedness' on the liberation movement as a whole, to respond positive.

POM     Well, what do you think is the way? Formal negotiations haven't begun, as you said. What do you think is the way to, what steps must be taken in order to correct this?

MS     It's a series of steps, consultation and discussion are very important.

POM     Who do you see as being the people or groups that the ANC should have consulted with?

MS     They should have consulted the PAC and the Black Consciousness Movement and to be able to consult with the trade union movement.

POM     Sorry, to have consulted with?

MS     The Black Consciousness Movement, the Pan Africanist Congress, and the trade union movement as a whole.

CN     Let me talk about AZAPO.

PK     You mean the whole thing, right.

CN     The history of AZAPO. Now, that's the route they're supposed to go. So, that's the present position. Who will say that that's no good? It's not too late to –

POM     To correct it?

CN     To correct it. But what you have to understand is the reality of the situation.

POM     Sorry, the which?

CN     It's the reality of the situation that on the other hand we have a situation where we're in economic crisis. Now, the economy is growing at 2% and the inflation rate, to be precise, is at 14.9%, overall. The population growth overall is at 2.5%, the African population growth is at 3%. We have unemployment of over four to five million and we have the houses needed at five million. Now, this economic and social condition has an impact directly in the whole process, because the people have expectations. And that is nonetheless contradictory. And that means that when the organisations, they're saying to their people, we'll see, we told you that –

POM     We told you they were?

CN     They are selling out. And that is the problem. That whether the ANC will be able to offer peace to the country is what it's doing, and the likelihood is it is not, because there are a lot of political forces that are at play. And the conditions, the social and economic conditions, can make it possible for other political obstacles, to repeat the whole situation. [Now, while I'm saying the situation is to be repeated or not to be repeated, you must get ...] What you are seeing is people who see themselves as having that responsibility. The first responsibility must be to say, we are not responsible to our members only, but also to the nation and the country. [And that responsibility, we are saying, is ... because a … situation, there are a lot of possibilities. We may have a situation where we might … another constituent their situation, that is possible.] And that possibility is made more by the non-participation of the other parties in the process of exclusion, and another party feels that they were not ready to represent people. [At the end, you are still ...] To avoid that situation, to avoid going into that direction, we have got the preconditions for negotiations. We are prepared to discuss them in organisations. And it is in organisations that you should be prepared to discuss its position as an organisation, too. Because you've got to operate in the same country, you represent the same people, and at the very same time, we need, then, to sort out, to act responsibly.

POM     So, your preconditions are, one, that all aspects of the liberation movement should be consulted beforehand.

CN     No, no, our precondition is the regime must accept one person, one vote in a non-racial unitary context. That means that apartheid must go, that is one. The tribal system must go. The Bantustans must go. The Populations Registration Act, the Group Areas Act, and all other pillars of apartheid.

POM     Do you not think already ...?

CN     That that is the responsibility of the system of the regime. And that is not our responsibility, to dismantle apartheid. We have never created apartheid, apartheid has been created by the system. And we therefore cannot take on responsibility to dismantle apartheid. All we have to do is to fight apartheid, to dismantle it by vote. But you can't negotiate with a system to dismantle apartheid. So we can't see to negotiate how to dismantle what they have created.

POM     So, you wouldn't, you won't, I mean, I want to get this right –

CN     Why should we prepare for negotiations, we have said that is the society that must be established.

POM     OK. So you're saying that before you would sit at the negotiating table, that the government must have already said, "We accept to one man, one vote. We accept to a non-racial democratic society. We will scrap all the apartheid laws on the books, the Group Areas Act, the Population Classification Act, and every other act."

MS     Bantustans must go.

POM     And the Bantustans must go and the homeland leaders have no authority and no mandate.

CN     They have no mandate to repress our people. What De Klerk wants to do is talk a little bit with the ANC and from that –

POM     I'm sorry, the ANC and?

CN     And the homeland leaders. And on top of that, [he's got the elements of the …] that after negotiating with these people, he would take the new constitution to grab votes by white voters. But this is because of what I said earlier, that anybody always wants to negotiate in a position of power. And De Klerk has power. But also if you asked an ANC person that, we're going to share this process, then you must know who will share it. Now, they haven't even worked out, in case of a deadlock, who is going to come as a mediator? Is it Britain? [Britain hasn't entirely left.] We are not going to have a Zimbabwe situation, Rhodesia, where the Brits said in three months time you guys must have a solution. So, all those kinds of things, they have not worked out. But the other important issue about this process that has put us in disarray is that if you look at the violence that is raiding the townships, I want to come to a stop on this issue. And also the conflicts about the liberation aspects. I have to leave our meeting.

POM     Thank you.

PK     Thank you for that.

POM     Yes, we'll set up another follow-up. [Ngcukana leaves]

MS     So, if you look at all that, I'm concerned, my concern, and it's a personal concern, is that I do not think the liberation movement is really the trade unions. We are not to forget that. Now, I said we have pretty good experience of negotiating. I don't think the politicians have much experience of negotiation. And I do not believe, I have to be honest, that the ANC negotiation team has been trained properly. I have not heard about it. I don't know if you know, but if they are really serious and are committed in the process, they should be going and looking for people to train them. You can't have a social perspective, you can't have an economy statement. But those guys who want to negotiate are not ready for the process. And in the process of negotiations, you get out-negotiated an inch. But when they're out-negotiated, there're a number of reasons that come in. Either you've not prepared yourself for the issue or simply, you did not have answers. Now, even political operatives, like ANC has, where ANC gets out-negotiated, now the political operatives of ANC, are not going to say, hey, we've been out-negotiated. They are going to say ANC was sold out.

     Now, if you look at the economic imbalance and the social problems that we have, it is that political democracy in this country will not necessarily lead to economic democracy. You will need a programme of reconstruction, honest efforts to revamp our education. Our education has been more lined in the process of academic study, in cultural extremes, than in the western world, in Western Europe. A lot of our people have been going there but what is their study? Economics, sociology, psychology, among them. Which is OK but for the future of the country it is not. We need people with skills. We can't be dependent that something will happen in Europe, that people are going to come here. We need to develop our own people. And this is where Africa has failed, because a critical aspect of our education has never been addressed. And we are looking at people at the top education now in South Africa, we need to re-categorise our education that's based on technical education. It's more important to us than me going to study sociology in the United States. I don't have to go to Britain and study what Marx said in the 19th century. Don't tell me. But, for instance, if we look at land distribution, what do you want different land for? Because we want people to live on subsistence farming. Because we don't have money to build houses, the kind of houses that Cunningham was talking about. We don't have jobs either. It is important to distribute land, keep people on the land, so then they can live on subsistence farming. All that takes the problem of reconstruction. But how do people make the land viable? It means people must have knowledge about how to use the land correctly. So you don't just give the land to a person for the sake of giving them the land.

POM     Would you see, therefore, that at the time that, whenever negotiations are going on, that issues such as how land should be redistributed and how much land should be redistributed should be set out and negotiated beforehand, not afterwards, right?

MS     Those things must be programmed. The problem of economic programme is, how are we going to empower people economically? And to empower people economically, I don't believe that the state must provide all the time. The state fails to provide most of the time. Now the only thing you can do to make people to respect and assist people to help themselves is to equip people with skills. Therefore I see education, technical education, land redistribution, must be given priority. But that land must be, the land that's going to given to be used, to utilised, to produce, so that people can live on that land for a period of time. Now, those things, they have to prepare themselves. There are lots of poor people who've got land links, people have been given it through the 1913 Land Act.

     Now, if I were part of the negotiating team, I would say, let's set a committee to work on this, to present a piece to De Klerk, that we have a claim on land. And our (law) states that from 1910 or 1912. And these are the areas where we are claiming land. We would present this to them. You see? So, we'll present a case consistent with that. For instance, if you say, what do you look at in terms of skills? You look at the mines. We have a lot of mines here in this country. We have a lot of products in this country. But one of the problems in this country, we don't put will on our products. We just shoot them in the eye. Now, we must bring about manufacturing and put will all along the line of production. For us to do this, it means we need skills to do this and that's still not here. Because you have to think in terms of 15 or 20 years from now. You can take Zimbabwe, for example. You have political democracy there, but what about economic democracy?

POM     So, would you think it's essential that the mines, for example, would have to be nationalised in certain key sectors of the economy?

MS     I would say, really, nationalised, because in South Africa the mining houses own everything in this country. The mining houses, they own the media. The mining houses own breweries. The mining houses own fancy shops, they own everything. Now, once you start to say to the state, let us think nationalisation, where is it going to stop? You see? If you can talk free press, and yet, you can tell the state that you can only disallow the mine, what about the media that is owned by the mine? What about the other commerce owned by the mine? So where is it going to end? Now, I think, firstly, if the state wants to control production, they can simply buy shares. But that is our money going to trade you see, because evidently in the last 10 to 15 years, not only in … but all these mining houses, they've been shipping a lot of our money out of this country. They're buying mines outside South Africa. And it means this economy of this country is unavailable to a mixed economy some are talking about which will give problems. Now, because of the skewed ladder of apartheid, we do not even have the people to run those mines. So, now, when you mention that, certainly we'll not give this country to the Russians or Eastern Europeans, so they've got problems there.

     So I think what is happening here now is a question of politicians speaking off the cuff, and the media picking that up. For instance, ANC has been talking about the mixed economy for some time. And when Mandela spoke, that's my personal opinion, I think that when Mandela made that comment about nationalisation, he spoke off the cuff. But the media just picked it up and made it an issue. You see? And those are some of the issues that, in that negotiating, how are we going to run a programme which needs a period of reconstruction, of empowering people? What are some of the problems that must be raised. Political democracy, to me, it's not even –

POM     Sure. I was going to say, if tomorrow morning you had a different government, what difference would it make to the way the average family in a township lives?

MS     Nothing. The quality of the old and other people will not be changed by Mandela being the President. You need to empower people, you need to create employment in this country. And the unfortunate thing is that over the last ten to fifteen years, employment in Africa and in other countries has been shrinking because of technology. Even investors who come to invest in Africa or elsewhere, they're not creating labour intensive investment. It's more difficult in terms of investment. In this country, you cannot even look at agriculture as a labour intensive investment because it's highly mechanised. You see? So that few people are working in the farms. Now, to get labour intensive employment, you need a lot of money to put, for instance, in a housing project, that as you start building housing units, you'll get employment. After ten years or something like that, or even five years, it will decline. Now, you need to continue to give people skills. Like, I'm saying that we look at it, in the trade union point of view, NACTU, that it's high time that we must make the economy productive. Because that will assist us. Now, we have to have a long-term view. How are we to democratise society? And in most democratic societies, you have a vast … of poor, and the rich, it doesn't matter who they are, but the plight of the men and women, ordinary people on the ground, has to change their life.

POM     Could we make another appointment to come back and talk to you some more in August?

MS     No problem.

POM     OK, that's good. Could we, maybe, do you want to set the time now?

MS     I think it's better to set the time now.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.