Delivered by Dr Blade Nzimande, Party General Secretary
POLOKWANE, 8 JANUARY 2022
PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AND MEMBERS OF THE NEC
PRESIDENT OF COSATU AND LEADERSHIP OF THE ALLIANCE
Members of the diplomatic corps and the media
On behalf of the Central Committee of the SACP and membership of the Party, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the ANC on the milestone of its 110th founding anniversary. The history of our democratic victory against colonial and apartheid oppression, and that of the development and revolutionary role of the ANC, are inextricably interwoven. To understand how our liberation struggle achieved the democratic breakthrough of 1994, one needs to appreciate the outstanding leadership role played by the ANC.
Learning from experience and the tasks ahead
At the forefront of the South African liberation movement was the Tripartite Alliance, supported by formations of the mass democratic movement and the progressive trade union movement.
One of the greatest achievements of the ANC from the onset was its ability to unite the African majority, and black people generally against colonial and apartheid oppression. The ANC managed to roll back backward and regressive tendencies like tribalism, narrow provincialism and ethnically based mobilisation. As the SACP we expect the ANC to continue playing this role of uniting Africans in particular and black people generally as the foundation upon which to build a non-racial society.
- Economic transformation – The main priority facing the ANC and our country is that of transforming the economy to create jobs and sustainable livelihoods, including supporting small business and co-operatives, as part of building a better life for all. The key challenge for our economy is youth unemployment. Let us make 2022 to be the year we begin to see drastic improvements in our economy and the jobs situation. The SACP remains firmly of the view that neither state capture nor neo-liberalism will address the socio-economic challenges facing our country. State capture enriches those who steal from the state, and neo-liberalism redistributes wealth away from the workers and poor to those already wealthy!
- As the first organisation to expose the phenomenon of state capture in our country, calling it as such, and to call for the establishment of a judicial commission to investigate the decay, we welcome the release of the first part of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture report. Of course, we would have liked the release of the entire report all at once. We commend the President for his decision to have the report publicly released immediately after receiving it. Our detractors will seek to use this report to attack the ANC, our Alliance and our government. Let us, as the Alliance and the government, use this report to deal a decisive blow to state capture and the theft of public resources.
Private corporations, including the multinational corporations and other private companies that aided or benefitted from state capture must be held to account, including through prosecution.
The fight against corruption must not only punish public and SoE officials but must also punish the corrupt elements in the private sector as well. However, in order to effectively tackle state capture, we need to clean whatever rot has crept into the state security cluster. Importantly, this necessitates that we also ask the question, again, as to what kind of ANC cadre do we need, both in the ANC and in the state, including the ideological and revolutionary moral outlook of such a cadre!
- Factionalism is another scourge we must fight and completely uproot within our own movement. This is an important part of the renewal of the ANC. But it is also clear, to the SACP, that the scourge of factionalism is now mainly based on control over resources and deployments. You often have a grouping of people controlling regional structures of our movement, who capture municipal budgets and distribute patronage to their factional groupings through giving out jobs and tenders. In other words, factionalism and corruption are deeply intertwined. We therefore cannot be able to defeat factionalism unless we fight it together with corruption, both inside and outside our own ranks.
- Defeating counter-revolution, parts of which is also emerging from within our own ranks, is another priority facing our movement. Much as we must give law enforcement agencies the chance to fully investigate the fire in parliament and the seeming vandalising of the Constitutional Court, the SACP strongly suspects that there is a connection between the July 2021 destruction and the latest events. There seems to be an attempt to create a picture that our government is weak and cannot defend our institutions of democracy. The ANC must therefore lead in uniting all progressive forces and true democrats to defend the gains we have made since 1994.
- We must also learn the right lessons from the 2021 local government elections – The message of tough love sent by our own voters, by choosing not to go and vote, must send a message that our structures must take to heart. There is anger and disappointment from some of our own voters. We better listen to this voice and change the way we do things, including admitting to, and seeking to correct, the mistakes we have made.
- We must unite our Alliance, and let all those who think the ANC and the Alliance can move forward in different directions to know that this is a dangerous path. Going our separate ways is what our enemies have long wanted to achieve, and let us not give them that, as we will all be defeated.
- Let us use our three national conference/congresses this year to unite ourselves and come up with concrete programmes to address all these key challenges. Let our national conference/congresses be platforms to rebuild and renew our movement and defeat factionalists and detractors.
In all these tasks the ANC will find a dependable ally in the SACP!
ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP
EST. 1921 AS THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA | CPSA
1921–2021: 100 YEARS OF UNBROKEN STRUGGLE
PUT PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT
SOCIALISM IS THE FUTURE—BUILD IT NOW!
Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo
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