South African Communist Party Augmented Central Committee Statement, November 30 2014
Expose the regime-change agenda! Defend our democratic institutions! Build the unity of the working class!
The annual, end-of-year SACP augmented Central Committee was held in Ekhuruleni over the weekend of November 28-30. At the augmented meeting, the regular CC is joined by a larger representation from the leaderships of our provinces and districts. The objective of the end-of-year augmented CCs is to review the past year and prepare a programme of action for the SACP in the coming year.
The CC noted that in the recent period, following the ANC-led alliance's renewed electoral mandate with an overwhelming 62% majority in the May elections, the anti-majoritarian regime-change agenda emanating from disparate quarters has been intensified.
The broader context for this offensive is the persisting crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequality. This interlinked social crisis persists, despite a major post-apartheid, redistributive effort (including 16 million South Africans on social grants, 7 million new household electricity connections, 3 million subsidised houses and over 400,000 solar panel heaters installed free on the roofs of poor homes.)
However, the SACP rejects the allegation that the "whole of the ANC", or "the whole of the state" is corrupt. But unless corruption and corporate-capture are dealt with
The persistence of the triple crisis in our society is directly linked to a deeply problematic capitalist growth path, and the massive disinvestment out of our country over the past 2 decades by monopoly capital. This disinvestment has involved illegal capital flight, as well as dual listings, transfer pricing, tax avoidance, and financialisation.
The post-2008 stagnation in most developed capitalist economies and the current slow-down in China have now dramatically exposed the vulnerabilities of our own recent modest growth that was largely consumption-driven and dependent upon unbeneficiated commodity exports and the flow of short-term speculative "hot money" investments.
This is the root cause of our persisting socio-economic crises. However, opposition forces (neo-liberals and pseudo-left populists alike), seek to shift all blame on to the ANC-led government. They are abetted in this endeavour precisely by weaknesses and failures on our side. In particular, as a movement we need to implement more decisively key anti-corruption resolutions like those adopted at the ANC's 2012 Mangaung national conference.
This included the resolution that those in our ranks facing criminal charges in the courts of law, should stand down from their party political and government positions. It is costing us publicly as a movement that we are not moving decisively in this regard. There are also widespread indications of money politics at play and even of business people having a direct hand into appointments into key positions within the state.severely and decisively these problems risk becoming systemic and difficult to reverse.
The best weapon against these dangers is two-fold:
1. Decisive state action including criminal prosecution of those allegedly involved in corrupt activities. In this context the SACP welcomes news that the Hawks Anti-Corruption Task Team has arrested and charged with fraud and corruption Thandeka Nene and others associated with two construction companies. We are concerned however that corruption and fraud cases are typically dragged out over many months in our courts. The capacity of the courts to deal effectively and efficiently with this scourge must be enhanced.
2. Anti-corruption state intervention needs to be combined with active communities and a united and mobilised working class.
The anti-majoritarian, anti-working class, regime change agenda has targeted three critical sectors in the present: our hard-won democratic institutions (and notably parliament); the trade union movement (and specifically COSATU); and the youth of our country.
Defend our democratic institutions
The scenes that have played out in Parliament over the past months are cause for concern. They are a grave insult to all those, including many communists, who fought and even died for a non-racial democratic SA based on the principle of one-person one-vote. The SACP has no problem with a multi-party democratic dispensation. We agree that opposition parties have every right to robustly represent the views of those who have elected them. This is how our hard-won democratic legislatures have functioned over the past 20 years. The majority principle and the rights of minorities are not in conflict with each other.
But now there is a new and toxic reality. The EFF, a demagogic, neo-fascist, populist formation has made it clear that it is prepared to erode the legitimacy of hard-won democratic institutions as it advances, hell-bent, its egotistic agenda. This is the conduct of those who have no memory of the downward spiral into a cataclysmic civil war from which SA was rescued by the collective action of a wide array of South Africans in the early 1990s.
The EFF are not the only ones who have forgotten the situation out of which our present democracy emerged. There is now a youngish, largely male white, often racist, brat-pack within the DA that has captured hegemony in its parliamentary caucus. This brat-pack has marginalised more experienced DA parliamentarians, and is twisting the arm of the nominal DA parliamentary leader, Musi Maimane, whose personal inclinations are clearly less recklessly anarchistic. The white DA brat-pack now collaborates actively and brazenly with the EFF.
It is pleasing to note, therefore, that in the past week there is an emergent awareness from a range of opposition parties, of the danger posed by the EFF/DA brat-pack axis. As one opposition MP put it in the House last week, they are "playing us" meaning Parliament, but also our country, "for fools". While some of the more arcane customs of parliament require renovation, and while robust parliamentary debate is essential, we call on parliamentary parties to close ranks against anarchy.
This is why the SACP supports and welcomes the decisive action taken in the last few days and sanctions adopted against the hooliganisation of Parliament.
Defend the unity of the working class, build the unity of COSATU!
The SACP re-iterates its support for the ANC-led process to defend and re-build the unity of COSATU. This can only be achieved by not compromising on the founding principles of the Federation, and notably condemning cannibalising, membership poaching that offends the core principle of "one industry, one union".
The NUMSA leadership was given ample opportunity at the last COSATU CEC to indicate a preparedness to work for unity within the Federation. In a lengthy presentation, over two hours and forty-five minutes, it defiantly refused to prioritise principled unity over factional self-interest. The CC calls on all metal-workers to remain within COSATU and not follow a leadership clique within NUMSA that is diverting union resources into its personal agenda of launching a political party while neglecting the shop-floor servicing of workers.
Forward to a successful YCLSA national conference
The CC received a report from the YCL SA on its work and campaigns over the past year and on preparations for their National Congress to be held in two weeks' time. The CC commended the YCLSA for its model, steadying influence and leadership role in an often volatile youth sector. The YCL has played an exemplary role in building the Progressive Youth Alliance, while YCL cadres are at the centre of turning around the NYDA that had been plundered and brought to near ruin in the recent past. The CC wishes YCL well for its national congress and calls on it to once more set an example of militant unity - our country needs you.
We salute the progressive role of the ANC-led government on many fronts
In the midst of a media-led anti-government offensive, the CC notes and salutes the progressive role that the SA government has been playing in the difficult task of repatriating the deceased remains of those killed in the Nigerian church tragedy. The South African government is also playing a leading but unheralded role in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. We also salute the role played by our ANC-led government in the framework of SADC in restoring Lesotho to democracy.
The SACP welcomed the presidential visit to our country of President Mahmoud Abbas - an indication of our government and our country's commitment to the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people against the apartheid-Zionist policies of the Israeli state. These policies have received further momentum with the Knesset decision to declare Israel a Jewish state.
16-Days of Activism for no violence against women and children
This CC met in the midst of the Sixteen Days of Activism for no violence against women and children. The CC strongly associates itself with the campaign and declares as one: "Count us In". We need to build this theme into all of our ongoing campaigns and work. The SACP joins the NUM in welcoming the sentencing of the killer of cde Binky Mosiane who was raped and murdered on duty in an Angloplatinum mine.
Towards the SACP 2015 Programme of Action - Fostering working class unity for a people's economy
Finally, the SACP CC discussed the broad framework of 2015 programme of action. Our key focus will continue to be the struggle to build a People's Economy involving both the radical transformation of the mainstream economy as well as building a non-capitalist, solidarity economy that includes public employment programmes, cooperatives, self-employed and micro-enterprises and a range of community and faith-based initiatives.
The Party's Framework of Action 2015
In the coming year taking forward these objectives will involve three main pillars:
Our ongoing Financial Sector Campaign, in which we will move towards a second national Financial Sector Summit. Our major demands include the diversification of the financial sector; for the Postbank to be properly constituted; and the building of cooperative banks working with the TU movement. More generally the financial sector campaign embraces the social wage struggle.
Local economic development, including support for public employment programmes like the Community Work programme, and cleaning your neighbourhood efforts. The SACP will also actively be supporting government's back to basics municipal initiative. In order to support this initiative, SACP local branches and district structure will be convening people's local summits on Local Economic Development and Development, and basic services.
The third pillar will be the intensification of Party work within the TU movement and broadening SACP recruitment at the work place. We will focus on defending the unity of COSATU, with particular focus on regions and districts in which destabilisation is being focused.
The SACP is alive, organisationally sound, and unified programmatically. We are growing in numbers with a membership now of 209,000. We salute the hundreds of thousands of SACP cadres throughout our country who, in the course of 2014 have continued to set an example of honesty, commitment and exemplary discipline.
We take this opportunity to wish our Party activists and all democratic and peace-loving South Africans well over the festive season.
As adopted by the Augmented Central Committee and presented by the Party's National Officials led by General Secretary Cde Blade Nzimande at a press conference following the meeting.
Issued by the SACP, November 3 2014
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