SACP EC PROVINCIAL SECRETARY SPEECH ON THE LAUNCH

The Communist Manifesto states that ‘’The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties. The communists have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole’’.
‘’Communist in the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole’.
Therefore, as we approach 2024 elections the strategic question for the SACP is what is in the overall interest of the working class, whether the class is conscious of its class position and task or not, whether it is organized or not, the Party has a responsibility of always putting the interest of the whole first and act in a manner that defends and advance the interest of the whole.
As such it in the deepest interest of the working class to consolidate this broad front of forces which continuously agitate for social and economic transformation and change and opposed to reversal of the democratic change or mobilization on a backward card of race or ethnicity. Such vehicle which the Party has contributed to its building is the ANC and it follows that it in the interest of the class to rally behind the ANC headed alliance.
The 2024 elections are highly contested as part of the fiercely contested direction of our democratic dispensation and if we do not stand up as class and fight exist a possibility our revolution may be aborted by reactionary forces.
The red brigade we are launching are of significance for the class to take responsibility of its future. Volunteers launched today have a daunting task on their shoulders as they must knock on every door and deliver a decisive electoral victory. In addition, they are named after a great revolutionary that changed the course of South African history for the better and therefore, we cannot fail Cde Mandla Makhuphula.
Our revolutionary Alliance and formations of the Mass Democratic Movement must rise to the occasion to defend the South African National Democratic Revolution. This includes defending our hard-won sovereignty and other democratic gains, which have been benefiting millions of our people since our April 1994 democratic breakthrough. The immediate task that we face is to spare no capacity and capability to campaign for a decisive electoral victory for the ANC.

It does not take rocket science to see that South Africa is a better country to live in following our April 1994 democratic breakthrough, compared to the colonial era, including apartheid. The human rights enshrined in our constitution and the associated massive social advances in education, employment equity, healthcare, social infrastructure, tarred roads, household electrification and expansion of access to water, among others, cannot be reduced to the “nothing” that opposition parties, including apartheid beneficiaries, claim has happened since 1994.

Here in the Eastern Cape the provincial experience has been such that unemployment has been decreasing as evidenced by the decline from 45.8 % in the third quarter of 2020 to 38.8 % in the third quarter of 2023. Between 2019 and 2024, the province has seen just a creation of 246,000 permanent jobs for our people. In addition, government created more than 400,000 work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme.

The Eastern Cape ANC-led government attracted investments to inject a combined R173 billion into our provincial economy. This bears testament of investor confidence in our province.

The provincial commercial agriculture sector has grown significantly under the stewardship of the ANC Government. Between 2007 and 2017, the sector grew from R5.6 Billion to R27 in value.
The ANC-led government remains committed to ensure that farmers are supported with animals that improve livestock quality and production. This year, more than 800 farmers will benefit through support of livestock. Each cow, heifer, sheep, and goat that we hand over to farmers is an investment on economic freedom and empowerment.
The ANC-led government believes in continuous improvement of road infrastructure and is well on course towards implementing this commitment. Currently, a network of 45 roads and related infrastructure are under construction across the province. Government is opening the gateways of cooperation within the province and with other provinces at large.

We need to build on these achievements to make more progress towards the South Africa envisioned in the Freedom Charter. We still face a massive transformation and development work to do despite the commendable advances we have implemented since 1994 and this why must marshal all progressive forces to ensure that the ANC government is delivered back on the driving seat of hard earned democracy.
The May 2024 election manifesto, unveiled by the ANC last month, opens opportunities for us to reposition our National Democratic Revolution. The SACP, along with other Alliance components, took part in the manifesto consultative process. This was in line with the principle of consensus-seeking Alliance consultation.

It is one of our principles to reconfigure the Alliance to move with the times, enhance unity of revolutionary purpose, and optimise the positive impact of the Alliance and its leadership to serve the people well. However, we still need to advance the struggle to achieve comprehensive Alliance reconfiguration. We will evaluate progress at our Sixteenth National Congress and make new considerations if necessary.

While continuing with the struggle to reconfigure the Alliance we must, and as part of the process, push for the full implementation of the entire progressive thrust of the manifesto. This will benefit millions of our people. To summarise some important tenets:

1) The manifesto attaches great importance to industrialisation, a source of large-scale employment creation. To this, the manifesto calls for a developmental macroeconomic framework. This means industrialisation and large-scale employment must rank high as macroeconomic policy goals. Therefore, both monetary and fiscal policies, inclusive of interest and exchange rates policies, tax framework and other revenue generation policies, and, equally important, budget allocations, must all support industrialisation and maximum sustainable employment.

2) By manufacturing localisation, the manifesto embraces beneficiation, processing of minerals and primary agricultural and forestry products, as well as marine and other natural resources, into finished products. Building, expanding and diversifying domestic beneficiation value chains is crucial for employment creation to tackle unemployment, especially through decent work. This is also crucial to confront poverty.

3) Industrialisation and employment creation commitments in the manifesto include the imperative to rebuild and expand domestic oil refinery capacity to produce oil byproducts like petrol and diesel locally.

4) Transformation of the financial sector is a priority in the manifesto. Included in this is a commitment that will take us closer to the goals of the Freedom Charter in terms of ownership in the banking sector. This is the commitment to go beyond a concern with establishing a lone state bank, to build a state banking sector, including sector specific development banks (guided by industrial policy) and a public retail banking system. A transformed financial

sector will include a thriving co-operatives banking sector, independent of commercial banks.

5) The manifesto includes a commitment to eliminate barriers that affect co- operatives from rising and thriving. As part of a developmental macroeconomic framework, the manifesto calls for adequate support for co-operatives and small, medium and micro enterprises to flourish. This is crucial for employment creation. In particular, adequate support for co-operatives to prosper will emancipate work from the exploitative job relation for the beneficiaries.

6) It is important to emphasise the manifesto commitment to tackle the cost-of- living crisis, which is a global capitalist system reality.

7) The manifesto commitment to extend and improve the Social Relief of Distress Grant and transform it into a foundation for a basic income guarantee for the unemployed is a potential step towards the universal basic income grant we have been calling for. This is important as part of the wider effort to move towards a comprehensive social security system.

8) The manifesto elevates the imperatives to advance a skills revolution and continue expanding access to education at all levels from the foundation phase up to college and university qualifications.

9) Implementation of the National Health Insurance towards quality healthcare for all is crucial among the manifesto commitments: we are looking forward to President Cyril Ramaphosa signing the NHI Bill into law.

10) The manifesto attaches great importance to building safer communities by strengthening the fight against crime, including drug dealing, violence and gender-based violence, theft and other forms of crime.

To implement these and other commitments that make up the progressive thrust of the manifesto through the government, starting with translating the text of the manifesto into the next Medium-Term Strategic Framework, we must achieve decisive victory in the 29 May 2024 elections.

In addition, we must not retreat after voting. While elections are important in the battle for democracy, they are not an end in themselves. They are a means to an end. Therefore, we need to continue building working-class and popular power and exercising it to achieve all the goals of the Freedom Charter.

Let us go all out to secure decisive electoral victory for the ANC within the framework of our ANC-led Alliance’s shared electoral platform. Our Red Brigades must intensify the Know and Act in Your Neighbourhood Campaign, Door-to-Door and industrial area campaigning, the task is clear we must working with our red brigades deliver a decisive victory to the ANC headed alliance.

Thank You.

VoteANC2024

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