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A Paradox of Victory - COSATU and the Democratic Transformation in South Africa

Sakhela Buhlungu

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ISBN 10: 1869141873 / ISBN 13: 9781869141875
Published by University of Kwazulu Natal Press, South Africa, 2010
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Title: A Paradox of Victory - COSATU and the ...

Publisher: University of Kwazulu Natal Press, South Africa

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title


The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) emerged from the anti-apartheid struggle as the largest and most powerful union federation in South Africa. Its member unions were spectacularly successful in organization building, and their power and influence was felt in the workplace, as well as in broader society. As the country's political adversaries began negotiating, COSATU became an important power broker weighing in on the side of democracy and full rights for workers. However, since 1994, COSATU has been losing organizational power as hundreds of leaders left for politics and business, and thousands of shop-floor activists were promoted out of the unions. The vibrancy of the movement has also been sapped by the effects of class formation and global economic restructuring. In this provocative account of union activism, author Sakhela Buhlungu examines the 'paradox of victory' that confronts COSATU today. Based on the author's participation in and research of unions for more than 20 years, this book openly explores COSATU's successes and failures and considers the long-term implications of its increasing political influence and diminishing organizational power.

About the Author:

Sakhela Buhlungu is Professor of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Previously he taught at the University of the Witwatersrand and also worked as a full-time official in PPWAWU, a COSATU affiliate. He has written widely on the changing nature of trade unionism in South Africa.

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