South Africa's newest trade union federation, Saftu, comes at a time of declining political influence by unions, compared to during the struggle against apartheid. They are also seen as elitist.
The name of ANC struggle hero Chris Hani, who was assassinated in 1993, is regularly invoked to win political arguments in South Africa.
Cyril Ramaphosa is in pole position to become president of South Africa's ruling ANC, 20 years after he lost the position by Thabo Mbeki. But, it won't be easy. Neither will rebuilding the party.
The fallout at the meeting of South Africa's governing ANC clearly exposed how the party's factionalism has spilled over into government. This is likely to paralyse governance even further.
South Africa's problem is that its constitution is a perfect brochure of the nation it aspires to be. But the contractors entrusted with its future have an entirely different project in mind.
Defects in political governance, especially President Jacob Zuma’s failure to provide leadership, have induced a crisis of confidence in South Africa's economy.
The Tripartite Alliance in South Africa has previously provided the governing African National Congress with diverse support, securing it victory at the polls. It is now riven with dissension.
South African labour unions have shown themselves to be effective in translating the prescripts of the law into benefits for their members. This is particularly true in the public sector.
The ANC will be judged by its ability to deliver on its promises to provide basic services and good governance, practise sound financial management and combat corruption this election year.
Pundits will closely watch President Jacob Zuma's January 8 statement to see what he and the governing ANC consider to be priorities for the country in 2016.
President Jacob Zuma's era has been characterised by a high turnover, not only of cabinet members, but also senior public officials and executives in state-owned enterprises.
South Africa's left wing trade unions may have found an unlikely ally in their objection to the proposed VAT hike. The OECD says there are other options South Africa could consider to raise revenue.