Over the past number of years, the cost of living has increased for the majority of people in South Africa. Many struggle to cope with paying for food, housing, travel, school-fees and all other living expenses. In our reality of widespread poverty, many people turn to borrowing money. Little wonder then that a recent World Bank report based on a survey conducted in 2014 ranks South Africans as being the highest money borrowers in the world. They mainly borrow from family and friends (71%) but for many, private informal money-lenders are the easiest and quickest way of obtaining extra cash. However, this causes many workers to be in a permanent debt trap, often ending up with no wages at the end of the week or month. What is being done about and is there a solution?

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Since the mid-1990’s, especially after the ANC government adopted its neo-liberal economic policy, GEAR, public education has become increasingly privatised and commercialised. Worst affected have been working class parents who struggle to pay school and/or university fees for their children in their quest to secure their part of “A Better Life for All” in the post-Apartheid era.

 

Workers' World Media Productions hosted a Mass Eduction Conference from the 23-27 March 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa in collaboration with the Labour Community Media Project and Africa Labour Media Project. Herewith are some of the views expressed by participants.

 

The residents of Buffelsjag who have been living there all their life, falling under the municipality of Gansbaai, were served with court orders on 13 February 2014 to appear in the High Court. On Wednesday 5 March 2014 while people were sleeping and others had already left for work, the law enforcement came to take down their structures. Why is it that our people must relive the trauma of apartheid over and over again?

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