January 8, 2023,  will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Durban Strikes and the emergence of a new wave of independent non-racial trade unions. This was followed by the formation, in 1979, of the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in 1985.

South African History Online (SAHO) is marking this anniversary by:

  • Hosting, together with its partners, a conference of academics and activists to take stock of some of the key issues of the day and provide a platform for a critical re-examination of the role of working-class organisations in shaping the future of democracy and the fight against poverty and inequality in South Africa
  • Initiating a research and archival project, on trade unions and the working-class movement in South Africa
  • Organising a series of photographic and poster exhibitions and performances

SAHO is hosting the conference in partnership with the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Wits History Workshop (WHW), University of Fort Hare (UFH), Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS),  University of Cape Town (UCT) Department of Sociology, University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), the Chris Hani Institute and Workers College based in Durban.

View the list of Abstracts of the 1973 Durban Strikes Conference papers – click here

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