The countries maintaining research ties with Russia despite Ukraine

Many Western nations are severing scientific links — but it’s a different story in China, India and South Africa.

Smriti Mallapaty , T. V. Padma , Emiliano Rodríguez Mega , Richard Van Noorden & Ehsan Masood

A research reactor at Russia’s Konstantinov Institute of Nuclear Physics near St Petersburg.Credit: Peter Kovalev/ITAR-TASS/Alamy

Is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine redrawing the map of international scientific cooperation? Whereas Europe and the United States are swiftly moving to cut long-standing ties, the governments of China, India, South Africa are maintaining links.

They are members of the BRICS, a group of five countries — including Brazil and Russia — that work together to promote trade and economic development, and have an active programme of scientific cooperation. Last year, researchers from the 5 nations organized some 100 meetings under the BRICS umbrella in a spectrum of fields including astronomy, climate and energy, health and medicine.

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South African Communist Party condemns racism and discrimination against Africans in Ukraine

In Defense of Communism | March 02, 2022

In a statement, the South African Communist Party (SACP) condemns the disrespectful attitudes unleashed recently against African people by state actors and others in Ukraine

The statement also slams NATO aggressive expansion eastwards and calls all parties involved to work towards a peaceful resolution in the situation.  

More specifically, the statement of the SACP reads: 

“The South African Communist Party (SACP) strongly condemns the racism and racial prejudice and disrespectful attitudes unleashed against Africans by state actors and others in Ukraine and its borders with some countries. The reality of racism and racial discrimination meted against Africans in favour of whites being prioritised in the evacuation from the situation in Ukraine involves Africans being maltreated, viewed with distain, approached as if they are criminals and rightless, pushed back, among others, is sickening, to say the least. This should be considered as the tip of the iceberg after pretentions broke loose, exposing the Nazi and white supremacist tendencies that prevail in Ukraine and the countries bordering it in which Africans experienced the contemptuous, racist discrimination and maltreatment. The SACP expresses its solidarity with the affected African people and their families and calls on the African Union and African governments to take active steps within the framework of international law to secure the safety of the African people and ensure that they arrive home alive. The United Nations must not be silent about the racist conduct but must investigate and deal with it in pursuit of its “Fight Racism” programme towards eliminating racism and its material basis.

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Historic General Strike in South Africa Sees Workers Raise Issues of Corruption, Job Loss

Pavan Kulkarni

People’s Dispatch | October 08, 2020

Credit : Twitter

Demonstrations and pickets were held in numerous cities and towns across South Africa on Wednesday, October 7, as part of a historic general strike. Across the country, workers marched to government offices, provincial legislatures, municipalities and police stations to submit memorandums.

Corruption, job losses, failure to provide safe transportation during the pandemic and the government’s refusal to honor the wage agreement it had signed with public servants are among the specific issues workers raised.

The strike action was called by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), a traditional ally of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). With a membership of 1.8 million, it is the largest trade union confederation in the country.Read More »


South African Unions Prepare for Historic Strike on October 7

Pavan Kulkarni

People’s Dispatch | October 07, 2020

The 1.8 million-strong member COSATU will also be joined by other trade unions confederations such as SAFTU and FEDUSA. Photo: Times Live

South Africa is bracing for one of the decade’s most significant general strikes on Wednesday, October 7. Unions are protesting rampant corruption and looting of COVID-19 funds, and the government’s failure to honor a 2018 wage agreement in the public sector.

Unions from across sectors are mobilizing for the strike, called for by the 1.8 million-strong Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). It is the largest trade union confederation in the country.

COSATU has traditionally been an ally of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which, it now believes, has openly betrayed the country’s working class. This shift in COSATU’s position raises questions about the future of this alliance. It may also open up possibilities for greater unity in the trade union movement, which has faced divisions over the question of the ANC.Read More »


South African Movement Adopts Climate Justice Charter

Climate and Capitalism | September 02, 2020

“As Africans, we live together on a vast and beautiful continent where the human story began. All of us are linked to the first human who walked upright, dreamed, thought and co-existed with plants, animals, rivers, oceans and forests. Today this common humanity and its future is in serious danger. South Africa cannot ignore this challenge. The continued use of oil, gas and coal to power our economy and society is making our world unlivable for all life.”

That paragraph opens the new Climate Justice Charter, adopted on August 28 by an mass online assembly of activists in South Africa. They describe the document as “a signpost; a trumpet call, to move all of us in the direction of system change now and for a Climate Justice Deal that ends the suffering of the most vulnerable and oppressed.”Read More »

‘Our epidemic could exceed a million cases’ — South Africa’s top coronavirus adviser

by Linda Nordling

Nature | July 24, 2020

Salim Abdool Karim posing for a portrait in an office
Salim Abdool Karim: “The best protection we have from this virus is ubuntu — a South African word that means ‘I am because you are’. I am safe because you are safe.”Credit: Dean Demos

From the coronavirus pandemic’s first months, the World Health Organization warned that Africa’s health systems would struggle to cope if the virus began to spread on the continent. That prediction is starting to be realized, as Nature has reported from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. But more than half of the continent’s 780,000 reported cases are in South Africa.

Initially, a hard five-week lockdown from 27 March helped to keep numbers low, but that became economically ruinous as 3 million South Africans lost their jobs. The official death toll stands at 6,000, but as with other countries, this is likely to be an undercount, according to the South African Medical Research Council.

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3,000 workers in South Africa’s mining and smelting sector may lose their jobs

by Pavan Kulkarni

People’s Dispatch | January 26, 2020

Samancor is one of the world’s largest suppliers of chrome alloys, including ferrochrome and chromite ore

Over 3,000 workers in South Africa may be retrenched by Samancor Chrome Limited, a company involved in mining and smelting chrome ore. Samancor, with a capacity to produce 1.2 million tons, is one of the world’s largest suppliers of chrome alloys, including ferrochrome and chromite ore, which are used to give stainless steel its resistance to corrosion. South Africa supplies 30% of the global demand for ferrochrome.

Workers organized by the National Metalworkers Union of South Africa (NUMSA) are preparing to resist the retrenchments.Read More »

Towards a working-class environmentalism for South Africa

by Carilee Osborne & Bruce Baigrie

Africa Is A Country | October 28, 2019

On September 21st, thousands of protestors led by high school activists, marched in Cape Town in support of the international climate strike. The strike was part of an international movement led primarily by young people to call on world leaders to take radical action to halt the climate crisis.Read More »

Lamola’s decision: Is South Africa promoting the rule of law or pleasing the Greeks and Trojans at the same time?

by Fredson Guilengue

Pambazuka News | August 07, 2019

To halt the decision to extradite Mozambique’s former Finance minister, Manuel Chang, could be a test case for President Ramaphosa’s long-term ability to bring about real change in South Africa’s regional relations by potentially making it a good example for the fight against corruption.

The decision by South Africa’s newly appointed minister of Justice and Correctional Services, David Lamola, to halt his predecessor’s decision made in May this year to extradite Mozambique’s former Finance minister, Manuel Chang, to Mozambique rather than to the United States of America is open to various interpretations. This volte face by South African authorities, which may have significant regional political implications, can be interpreted as part of President Ramaphosa’s domestic and regional effort to strengthen the rule of law and therefore a major effort for regional stability by the newly elected administration.

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