South Africa's schools and hospitals were transformed into battlegrounds yesterday as a nationwide strike escalated into a sometimes violent test of strength between the government and unions.
Public-sector unions have launched an indefinite strike demanding an 8.6 per cent pay rise, which the government has insisted the debt-stricken country cannot afford. The struggle could be critical to the future of President Jacob Zuma as well as damaging for sub-Saharan Africa's largest economy.
From the ending of the apartheid era here, the promises the ANC has made to the people of South Africa have never, ever come close to reality for people here, and they are understandably angry.
The corruption, and the yawning gap between the haves and have nots here is getting worse by the day, and may very well end in a complete revolt against the government.
If Zuma feels that the only thing left for him to do now is stamp down on his people with further oppression, and is successful in this effort, we may well see the situation here devolve to the kind of governmental disfunction you see with Zimbabwe.