Alliance Political Council statement
25 October 2016
The Alliance Political Council, comprising of the national officials of the ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO, met from 23 to 24 October 2016. The Alliance Political Council used the opportunity to reflect on the message communicated by our core social base in the 3 August local government elections.
Whilst the ANC, with 54% of the vote, still enjoys the support of the overwhelming majority of the people, there has been a significant decline in its electoral support. The Alliance Political Council agreed that this was a message, from the people, that we must do things differently to win back their trust.
There was agreement that the primary focus must be to move the national democratic revolution onto a second radical phase and more concrete programmes to address poverty, create jobs and grow an inclusive, productive economy. The persisting problems of high levels of class, race and gender inequalities, unemployment and poverty, were identified as a major challenge facing our national democratic transformation, and as the cause of many undesirable political tendencies and social consequences facing our society.
The Political Council placed more emphasis on strengthening the Alliance, each component and ensuring principled and programmatic unity of the motive forces of the national democratic revolution. The Political Council directs all structures of our Alliance formations to develop joint programmes aimed at addressing day-to-day challenges confronting our people.
The meeting reaffirmed the shared perspective to develop national production through state-led industrial policy programme interventions, and state-led social and infrastructure programme. It is only through manufacturing expansion, diversification and addressing excessive levels of monopoly concentration that we will be able to to create jobs, reduce poverty and inequality.
The Political Council agreed to explore the establishment of an Alliance Policy Institute to improve structured policy co-ordination, consultation, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of Alliance decisions. The Alliance Secretariat will lead the process to vigorously ensure the implementation of all other Alliance decisions and will report back on its work to the Alliance Political Council and Summits.
A call for revolutionary discipline
The Alliance Political Council called on all cadres of our formations to exercise high levels of discipline, be exemplary in their conduct and respect the outcomes of Alliance processes. Each Alliance component will decisively address all instances of ill-discipline within their ranks.
Clamping down on corruption and factionalism
The Political Council was clear that there must be decisive action against corruption and factionalism without fear, favour or prejudice.
The meeting agreed that all Alliance partners will institute a standing process to have their individual leaders at all levels, starting at the national level, to declare their assets and incomes. The Alliance and its components will also institute regular and random life-style audits. This will contribute towards reasserting the integrity of the Alliance and its components.
The fight against graft will go hand in hand with a firmer implementation of the 1 July 2015 National Alliance Summit declaration on tackling the problem of corporate-capture both within our broader movement and the state. The Alliance will combat the growing social distance between the leadership and the mass base, factionalism, gate-keeping and related tendencies, among others.
Legislation to regulate political party funding
The Alliance Political Council agreed to call on government to introduce legislation to regulate political party funding.
Alliance organisational renewal programme
The meeting committed to initiating a collective process of organisational renewal with the aim of ensuring that the functioning of the Alliance keeps pace with the ever changing times. Each Alliance partner will undertake a similar process to be continuously more responsive in the face of increasing complexities facing their historical missions and our shared struggle to ensure that the national democratic revolution becomes successful.
Supporting the progressive struggle for free education
The Alliance supports the genuine struggle for the accelerated rollout of free education for the poor and the working class who cannot afford to pay fees in institutions of learning. Since 1994, South Africa has achieved massive progress towards this goal and in expanding access to both basic and higher education and training.
The government recently announced that the state will pay fees and fee increases for the poor and working class who qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The government will also pay fee increases for 2017 for students who come from families that have an income of up to R600 000 per annum (the so-called missing middle). The Alliance Political Council welcomed this progressive intervention. Work is already underway to address the demands made by student organisations.
The Alliance Political Council appreciates the contributions made by various sectors of society towards achieving stability in institutions of higher education.
The Political council calls on students to return to class, safeguard their future and ensure a successful completion of the 2016 academic programme. The country needs professionally and technically qualified people to contribute to its social and economic transformation and development.
National minimum wage
The Alliance Political Council noted that the process towards the realisation of a national minimum wage is on track. The meeting are calling on all the social partners involved in this process under the auspices of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to ensure that the process is concluded by the end of the year (2016).
Joint Alliance Activities
The Political Council re-affirmed that all Alliance components must be on the ground leading joint, visible campaigns, including the Financial Sector Campaign against, amongst other things, the wave of unjust home re-possessions by financial institutions.
Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, National Spokesperson, SACP, 25 October 2016