Author: Chris Webb

Chris Webb is a writer and activist based in Toronto. He is a member of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly and a columnist for Canadian Dimension magazine.

  • What is the ANC and Where is the Left in South Africa?

    About a month ago I stood with some 200 striking farm workers in South Africa’s Hex River Valley, a rich agricultural region that produces table grapes for export. The workers were on strike against severe pay cuts and outsourcing, which came about when a major fruit export company took over the farm from its previous … Keep reading »

  • Echoes of the Past: Marikana, Cheap Labour and the 1946 Miners Strike

    On August 4, 1946 over one thousand miners assembled in Market Square in Johannesburg, South Africa. No hall in the town was big enough to hold them, and no one would have rented one to them anyway. The miners were members of the African Mine Worker’s Union (AMWU), a non-European union which was formed five … Keep reading »

  • Cheap Labour, Cheap Lives

    Contextualizing Farm Worker Deaths in South Africa and Canada There is a passage from Olive Schreiner’s 1883 novel The Story of An African Farm where she describes the isolated existence of the rural Karoo, with its “weird and almost oppressive beauty…the stone walled sheep kraals and kaffer huts.” This cursory and derogatory description of farm worker’s … Keep reading »

  • Selling South Africa: Poverty, Politics and the 2010 FIFA World Cup

    Why is it that governments can find billions of dollars for global sporting events and little to deal with the grinding poverty that affects impoverished populations? Canada applauded itself for the $135-million in aid and disaster relief it sent to an earthquake ravaged Haiti while spending nearly $6-billion on the two-week long Vancouver Olympics. A … Keep reading »