The Roman Democracy became a dictatorship because of the force of unions. The Plebeians would stop working and strike until their demands were met. To appease them the office of Tribune was constituted, the very office which would one day become that of emperor. Unions can be a great force for good if they look after worker rights, and interests while not destroying the employers of these workers financially, or the very economy of the country.
However, when unions begin to make unreasonable demands and to use murder and violence to achieve these, they have ceased to be unions, and have become an other.
For years major unions have used intimidation to force workers to turn on their employers and strike. Streets would be filled with garbage, motor vehicles burnt, people would be beaten to death, children would be harmed and dragged out of school classrooms... but with the AMCU NUM war which started with murder and continues Today, and following that the Marikana clash between police and AMCU members, something has changed.
Something has become more violent. Reports from Rustenburg have the miners wanting to return to work but absolutely terrified to do so for fear of being killed by AMCU enforcers, by people who did not fear to cut police officers and security guards into little pieces with machetes, and who ran at a police line armed, and unto death.
We cannot say for certain that the deaths of people who get in the way of AMCU are done with official sanction, but the union certainly benefits from each death and seems uninterested in opposing the violence done in their interests. Now, NUMSA (or their affiliated or unaffiliated enforcers) have taken a similar approach. Non-striking workers' houses have been bombed, and their cars burnt, in ten attacks against workers not participating in the NUMSA strike.
When a group commits bombings against people who do not obey it, is it not terrorism? When a group attacks people to inspire terror, is it not terrorism? When unions are used to blackmail employers: that those in charge must be obeyed or their staff will be terrified away from work, is that the intention of the law or is that closer to organised crime and blackmail under the guise of the law?
Perhaps it is time that the government stops pandering to such forces, which seek to kill, terrorise, ruin the very workers they claim to support...
Perhaps it is time the government finally heard the voices of business and world economists and change the laws relating to labour: to make it easier to rely on contracts with workers, to hire and fire... globally such freedom has caused other nations to spew out employment for the masses. Perhaps it is time government started treating South Africans as an asset to corporations rather than as a burden that companies must bare. Perhaps then foreign investment would not be so terrified as to avoid so much as touching South African deployment of funding.