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Workers have felt the pinch of the Jacob Zuma presidency. Perhaps the pinch is all the more painful because of the huge promise labour associated with his rise pre-2007, gleaned from his uncanny political ability to lure supporters even in the absence of any concrete commitment to their cause. Marikana, electronic tolling, labour brokers, sluggish economic growth, rising unemployment and disdain for the economy have turned labour against their once would-be hero. On Monday, Workers’ Day, the message was the same: Zuma’s time is up. He and his backers were heckled and booed across the country: Zuma in the Free State, Jessie Duarte in Limpopo and Baleka Mbete and Sihle Zikalala in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2017, workers in SA are facing an unprecedented onslaught: the left is heavily invested in the palace politics of the governing alliance, the governing elite are invested in self-enrichment and the right is on the rise.Unemployment under Zuma’s administration hit a 12-year high in the first...

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