Monday, June 13, 2011

SACP Tells ANC Don't Take South African Voters For Granted

Don't take voters for granted, Blade tells ANC


The tripartite alliance was "functional", the South African Communist Party (SACP) said on Sunday.

"There are some provinces in which there are still problems in the alliance," general secretary Blade Nzimande told reporters in Johannesburg after the organisation's central committee meeting.

The African National Congress (ANC) is in an alliance with the SACP and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

He said the SACP was confident the ANC would emerge stronger and united after its conference in Mangaung next year.

He declined to comment on a Cosatu report tabled for discussion at the union federation's central committee meeting later this month.

In the report prepared for the federation's central committee meeting on June 27, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said relations in the tripartite alliance had been "bad" last September, the Sunday Times reported.

Vavi said comments by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe -- shortly before the ANC national general council meeting in Durban -- seemed designed to provoke a walkout.

"The manner of presentation; the anger combined with arrogance, positional postures, insults and rough language appeared designed to provoke a walkout by Cosatu," Vavi reportedly wrote in the report prepared for the gathering in June.

The report confirmed that Cosatu believed the ANC Youth League was mounting a campaign to remove Mantashe and Zuma, the paper reported.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven would not comment.

"In accordance with its long-standing practice, Cosatu will not comment on a report based on leaked documents."


Nzimande said the ANC alliance should take the warning from the recent local government elections seriously. The decline in ANC voter turnout was in part an indication of frustration with corruption and ineffective party performance in some municipalities.

"The SACP calls on all ANC councillors not to take the electorate for granted and to ensure that with our support we rise to the expectation expressed in the election campaign."

The ANC had registered an "overwhelming victory" under challenging circumstances following the global economic crisis.

"The ANC alliance sustained performance and continued overwhelming majority support from our core constituencies."

He said some of the "exceptional" voter turnout was due to the Democratic Alliance's ability to turn out a very high level of support in so-called "minority", and particularly white, areas.

"But the high turnout was also a popular response from our mass base in provinces and municipalities, where the working class and poor sensed that their organisations and their struggle were under threat from an axis of anti-majoritarian forces that included the major media houses, right-wing NGOs like Afriforum, and the DA."

His party welcomed the "innovative" ANC community participation candidate selection process.

"Amongst other things, this approach to candidate selection sought to bring popular power to bear in the struggle against organisational gate-keeping, tenderpreneurship, and money-politics."

Where protests had taken place against leaders chosen through this new approach, regional gate-keepers and "money politics" had "hijacked" the community participation process, he said.

He said the SACP also supported the overall thrust of the Municipal Systems Amendment Bill that was currently awaiting presidential proclamation.

"Amongst other things, we support the measure that office bearers [not members] of political parties should occupy senior administrative posts in local government, and the need for a more clearly defined separation between the roles of elected councillors and administrators." - Sapa

Source: Mail & Guardian Online
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