Sunday September 18, 2016
YCLSA 4th National Congress 6th Plenary Session Statement
The Young Communist League of South Africa [uFasimba] convened the 6th plenary session of the 4th National Congress National Committee meeting from Friday, 16th September toSunday, 18th September 2016.
The YCLSA would firstly like to congratulate the South African athletes who performed well at both the Rio Olympics and the Paralympics. We are elated by our medal haul but however believe that we can do better with better sporting facilities and coaching.
We would also like to wish Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela a merry 80th birthday. Indeed, as the YCLSA we continue to draw inspiration on the role she played during our struggle for freedom against the apartheid regime. As the YCLSA we wish her good health and prosperity.
The meeting was convened just over a month after the 2016 Local Government Elections. These elections like the 2016 #FessMustFall movement proved that the youth of South Africa is not apolitical and is concerned about their future and that of their country. This was proved by the large number of young people that went to cast their votes.
The meeting analyzed the results of the elections and came to the conclusion that the ANC is on negative downward trajectory and that urgent interventions are needed to avoid further losses in electoral support. The results should prompt the movement to conduct a thorough introspection and probe what led to the decline of the number of people who voted for the African National Congress. The people of South Africa have delivered a clear message to the ANC; "Don't take us for granted. Don't assume your struggle credentials will forever act as an excuse for arrogance and predatory behaviour. Don't impose unpopular and discredited candidates on us based on factional calculations."
The meeting received and discussed a political report which analysed both national and international issues. The meeting also received and discussed an organizational overview that looked at the health of the organization and where we are in building a vibrant Young Communist League. A financial report was also received to analyze the financial health of the YCLSA.
The meeting was addressed by the General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, Cde Blade Nzimande and was convened just two months before our 3rd National Council. The National Council is convened in between National Congresses and its purpose is to monitor and evaluate the work done by the organization since the last congress.
This National Council will evaluate work that has been done by the current leadership that was elected at the 4th National Congress at the University of the Western Cape in December 2014. The National Council will be held at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus, from December 8 to December 11, 2016.
The meeting which was characterized by robust debates deliberated and resolved on the following issues:
On Higher Education and Education in General
The call by some sections in society for the state to implement free higher education for all is highly opportunistic and regressive. In the context of a capitalist society characterized by high levels of income inequality it becomes necessary to prioritize the needs of the poor. As the YCLSA we say no to zero fee increments for all and yes to zero fee increments for the poor. It is the sons and daughters of the poor and missing middle who bear the brunt of fee increments and not the rich.
We must therefore prioritize free, quality and compulsory higher education for the poor. We must remind the ANCYL that the resolution of the ANC is the provision of free higher education for the poor. The ANC NGC that took place last year at Gallagher estate affirmed that the target group for the provision of free higher education by the state shall be the poor and not any other target group. The President as the head of government is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the policy resolutions of the ANC.
We are confident that the ANC collective in government led by President Jacob Zuma will implement free higher education for the poor. As the YCLSA we will soon be making our submission to the Presidential Commission on Higher Education on the feasibility of providing free higher education of the poor.
The current ANC collective deployed in government has made numerous strides in transforming the higher education landscape. In 2009, only 9.1 % of youth over the age of 20 had acquired an undergraduate qualification. This increased to 14% in the last year representing a significant increase in the number of youth who now have tertiary qualifications.
We are however still concerned that a large number of graduates continue to be unemployed and as a result the YCLSA will be intensifying its Youth Manifesto that calls for Youth Employment Tax and the Right to Work for Youth.
The TVET College has radically expanded with TVET College intake almost doubling in numbers from 345 566 in 2010 to 710 535 in 2015. The current administration has also established three new universities in the University of Mpumalanga, Sol Plaatjie Univeristy and the Sefako Makgatho Univeristy. These are indeed noteworthy achievements in higher education.
These significant gains made in higher education should not be overshadowed by the current calls for free higher education for all to be immediately implemented by the government of President Jacob Zuma. The preoccupation with access to higher education has led to a lack of attention on equally important issues in higher education such as curriculum development and transformation and University throughput rates.
Access to higher education must go hand in hand with success in higher education. Those calling for zero fee increments for all must equally call for success from all and a greater transformation of the curriculum content in higher education.
As the YCLSA we say no to the privatization of education. We are deeply concerned about the role of American companies such as Pearson PLC in shaping the content of education in the country. Education is a public good and should not be allowed to be systematically privatized. Provincial education government departments should not be allowed to promote the active participation of American private education companies or any private sectors interests in the public education system.
As the YCLSA we will be intensifying our Joe Slovo Right to Learn Campaign to ensure that the right to education remains an apex priority of government and that fundamentally it remains a public good to be provided for by the state.
The National Treasury does not belong to the Guptas
The current persecution of Comrade Pravin Gordhan by the Hawks is a blatant abuse of state machinery to advance political objectives. The current attacks on Comrade Gordhan as Minister of Finance must be analyzed in terms of the timing, players, facts and consistency associated with the actions of the Hawks.
The vigorous pursuit of the Minister of Finance and the nonchalant pursuit of the SARS Second - in - command, Jonas Makwakwa, points to various inconsistencies that add more credence to a political agenda against the current Minister of Finance. The banking regulators had issued numerous warnings to the National Commissioner of SARS, Mr. Tom Moyane, of suspicious activity with respect to the finances of Jonas Makwakwa and criminal complaints against Makwakwa were laid in May of this year.
Yet the SARS Commissioner chose not to act on a report citing alleged corruption against his second - in - command but instead chose to prioritize assisting the Hawks with information of alleged spying leveled against Finance Minister Pravin Ghordhan. The inconsistency smells of a political smear campaign being waged by the top echelons of SARS which threatens to further undermine the credibility of an embattled tax collecting agency of the State.
The YCLSA calls on President Jacob Zuma to enhance the financial investigating capacity of SARS by ensuring a stronger, more capable special investigating unit is established with immediate effect. The YCLSA further calls on President Jacob Zuma to probe the suitability of Tom Moyane to hold the office of Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services. Mr. Moyane has failed dismally in the execution of his duties and the credibility of SARS continues to wane under his leadership.
The National Treasury must be defended from corporate capture by the Gupta family who want to continue with illicit money flows to their offshore companies. The Gupta family is hell-bent on ensuring the arrest of Comrade Pravin Gordhan in order to take control of the R1.8 trillion worth of investment capacity that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has at its disposal.
The aim of the Gupta family is to redirect this massive amount of state pension into investments that will benefit their own entities. The Gupta family further wants to capture SARS in order to protect the illicit flow of their ill - gotten profits. This is the basis of a politically motivated war against Comrade Pravin Gordhan who stands in the way of Gupta capture of the National Treasury. The YCLSA stands firmly behind Comrade Gordhan and the defense of our National Treasury.
The Paralysis of the State and State - Owned Enterprises
The paralysis of state entities such as SABC, Eskom, SAA and Denel is deeply concerning and requiring immediate attention. The parasitic bourgeois continues to focus on the rampant looting of state - owned entities. State owned entities such as the SABC, SAA and Denel have been plunged into crisis as a result of poor leadership and a preoccupation with large scale looting. The recent expose on the rampant looting at Transnet must be investigated and all parties found guilty of any crime must face the full might of the law.
The YCLSA is concerned that the golden boy of the Guptas, Brain Molefe, is not being investigated for deals undertaken at Transnet. Brian Molefe was the CEO of Transnet at the time that approximately R150 million worth of contracts were awarded to a company linked to the Gupta family. The YCLSA calls on the newly appointed public protector to investigate Brain Molefe for the awarding of almost R150 million worth of contracts to the Trillian Group while serving as the CEO of Transnet.
The Trillian Group is a company linked to the Gupta family and Mr. Molefe signed off on the contracts despite the fact that supply chain policies were not followed. The first task of the new public protector must be to investigate the looting of Transnet by Brian Molefe and the Guptas.
The YCLSA further calls on President Jacob Zuma to remove the current Minister of Mineral Resources, Msebenzi Zwane, for his constant utterances in contradiction of government positions. Zwane has also failed to deal with the issue of the Lily mine in the Mpumalanga province but is preoccupied with all other issues that benefit the Gupta family.
On the State of COSATU
As the YCLSA, we are deeply saddened by the decision of FAWU to leave the Trade Union Federation of COSATU. We have now lost two significant Unions of the mighty Trade Union Federation. FAWU was a union created and led by the likes of Ray Alexander Simons and Les Mafokeng to name but a few. The current state of COSATU is deeply concerning and its strategic capacity is waning. As the YCLSA we have a revolutionary responsibility to mobilize, organize, unite and conscientize young workers.
A strong and united COSATU is necessary for deepening and advancing popular people's power. We will therefore work tirelessly to ensure that young workers play a revolutionary role in strengthening and uniting COSATU for the advancement of the working class struggle. The YCLSA will be formulating a strategy for youth mobilization in the workplace that will assist to organize and conscientize young workers in COSATU.
The SACP must contest the National Elections in 2019
At the 2nd National Congress of the YCLSA in 2006, we took a resolution that the SACP must contest State Power by contesting both national and local government elections. This resolution was reaffirmed at both the 3rd National Congress in 2010 and the 4th National Congress of the YCLSA in 2014. We have always maintained that the only way to address the systemic challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment is to fundamentally transform the economic base of the country.
In order to transform the relations of production and to further develop the productive forces of the economy it therefore becomes necessary that the vanguard party of the working class, that is the South African Communist Party (SACP), take control of the state apparatus and fundamentally transform the current capitalist development path.
The YCLSA remains of the view that the SACP is a party of power and must therefore contest state power starting with the national elections in 2019. The SACP has a revolutionary responsibility to play a vanguard role in defense of the working class and the advancement of the class struggle for Socialism in our Lifetime. The YCLSA will be tabling a special resolution at the 14th Congress of the SACP in July next year that the SACP should register as an independent political party in the 2019 National Government Elections.
The National Committee of the YCLSA resolved to take forward a long standing resolution to contest state power and for the SACP to play its strategic role in society as a vanguard party of the working class. The SACP must not go it alone. It must do so as a broad people's front mobilized under the leadership of the SACP that has reconnected and galvanized the motive forces behind a new popular front.
On the International Front
The YCLSA is disturbed that Swaziland’s King Mswati is the current head of SADC. ANC deployees in Government, in particular those in DIRCO, have again let us down by not respecting and advancing resolutions of the ANC and the Alliance. Our Government should have been at the forefront of protesting against Mswati being part of, let alone the head of, SADC. Instead we are seen "dabbing” with the King of Swaziland. With Government letting the people down, the YCLSA will undertake to escalate our solidarity efforts with the people of Swaziland. The YCLSA remains committed to a free Swaziland and an end to the Monarchy
In line with our support of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign, the YCLSA fully backs the call for FIFA to expel the Israeli settlement teams and we will be monitoring the upcoming FIFA Congress in Zurich between 13th and 14th of October.
We look forward to upcoming deliberations at the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) taking place in October in Durban and send our revolutionary greetings to visiting trade union activists.
Finally, the YCLSA will be rolling out a nationwide awareness raising programme on communist and socialist movements in Latin America. We will be dedicating this month to screening the film on Venezuelan socialist leader, Hugh Chavez titled “The Revolution will not be Televised”.
Issued by YCLSA Media on behalf of the YCLSA National Committee, 18 September 2016