Friday, March 04, 2016

SACP Thirteenth National Congress Central Committee: Fifteenth Plenary Session Statement
28 February 2016, Johannesburg

The SACP Central Committee met in Johannesburg over the weekend of 26th to 28th February.

There was extensive discussion of the political report which focused on the current challenges facing our country and our movement. Over the past five years, the SACP has consistently warned that the multi-faceted global capitalist crisis, with its destructive impact on jobs, human security and environmental sustainability, is far from over. This global capitalist crisis has impacted upon the already problematic structure and vulnerabilities of South Africa`s political economy.

In this context the key task of the present is to ensure a unified South African response that defends our democratic transformational mandate and our national sovereignty against both internal and external destabilising forces. In particular, as the SACP we call on calm heads to prevail within government and across our movement. The reckless role of shadowy forces to subvert sensitive, strategic public institutions for entirely unpatriotic ends, while our economy stands on the brink, must be immediately halted.

For the SACP, monopoly capital with its ties to imperialism remains the major strategic adversary in the struggle for national democratic transformation. However, it is impossible to address monopoly capital`s massive and ongoing expropriation of our national resources through super-exploitation of workers, through tax base erosion, capital flight, transfer pricing and much more, if sensitive and strategic public institutions like the capacity within the South African Revenue Service to deal effectively with high-income individuals and corporations are attacked and undermined for entirely parasitic ends. While our liberation movement should certainly be vigilant about the role of external forces, and while we should learn lessons from imperialist projection of ``soft power`` in many parts of the world to undermine national sovereignty through so-called ``Colour Revolutions`` and the like - we should always remember that the entry-point for this destabilisation is inevitably corruption, parasitism and bureaucratic complacency.

Against the background of insufficient collective leadership and consultation resulting in the December shuffling and re-shuffling of finance ministers, and in the further context of a threat of a junk status downgrading, the door has been opened for a renewed neo-liberal offensive, calling for aggressive shock therapy austerity measures, whole-sale privatisation, and the rolling back of hard-won labour gains.

This is the context in which the CC expressed its support for the broad direction of the budget delivered in Parliament on Wednesday by cde Pravin Gordhan. Tabled in an exceptionally difficult situation, the budget succeeded in providing for tax changes that are mildly redistributive, an increase on VAT was avoided and, while lower income earners were provided relief from fiscal drag, higher earners received no such relief. The budget wisely confirmed a postponement of proposed reforms to worker provident funds in the face of widespread trade union and worker concerns. The question of safeguarding retirement funds must be discussed within the broader context of a more comprehensive social security policy and social wage interventions.

While there was a reduction in real spending, the budget correctly committed to sustaining our state-led infrastructure build program, active industrial program interventions, and support for small and medium productive enterprises.

The SACP further supports in principle the review of public entities and particularly a consolidation of multiple, often poorly managed, development finance institutions, notably those in provinces. While the proposal to consider co-financing of state-owned companies should not be rejected out of hand, great caution needs to be exercised to ensure that this does not become the entry-point through which the private profit motive overwhelms the developmental, public interest mandate that should be the bed-rock of our state owned companies.

In addressing public sector spending, while there is a reduction in real spending, the budget`s main emphasis correctly focused not on slashing economic and social programs, but rather on wasteful and corrupt expenditure, and on tightening supply chain processes to guard against parasitism and corporate capture, through, amongst other things, strengthening the Chief Procurement Office.

University students and campus workers have the right to protest to articulate their concerns and grievances. The SACP supports in particular legitimate students and workers struggles both in principle and practice. However, both students and workers have a duty to articulate their concerns peacefully in a manner that respects the rights of others. The past week`s disruptions at the University of Free State, the University of Pretoria, North West University and the University of Cape Town, and elsewhere, clearly indicate that there are minority, fringe elements seeking to destabilise our institutions. They have no interest in actually achieving their demands, they are simply intent on disruption, shifting from one to another demand. These minority elements seek to impose their political agenda on the overwhelming majority through intimidation and violence. They seek to exploit every problem to hijack legitimate student and worker concerns. It is notable that the issues are often not common across campuses, the one common factor is a tiny minority of the same fringe forces.

University managements need to take decisive action against elements bent on turning higher education campuses into sites of violence and vandalism. We cannot tolerate destruction of property and threat to lives and we call on the South African Police Services to protect the lives of students, staff and workers. Criminal actions must have consequences.

The struggle against racism including short-sighted anti-white chauvinism must be intensified. The transformation of the racist and colonial legacy of universities is a critical task, but when this degenerates into anti-white chauvinism it simply helps to organize right-wing white racism. In this context SACP cadres on campuses, the YCLSA and Progressive Youth Alliance, and NEHAWU have particular responsibilities to play a leadership role in isolating fringe elements, in condemning violence and anarchy, and in consolidating a determined struggle for the democratic transformation of higher learning.

As part of strengthening and deepening the Financial Sector Campaign the Central Committee invited the Minister of Justice, cde Michael Masuthu, and comrades from Housing Class Action working under iLungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation, and progressive lawyers active in anti-eviction struggles. South Africa is the global leader in home evictions, with evictions now running at around 20,000 to 30,000 households a year. South Africa`s repossession laws are among the most backward in the world allowing for all manner of abuses. Abuses are frequent in the processing of court eviction orders and in the auctioning of repossessed homes, with those affected often left in the dark.

International practice for auctioning of repossessed homes typically forbids initial sales at less than 95% of the market value. In South Africa repossessed homes are frequently sold off at less than 20% of their value. We are even  aware of cases of repossessed homes being sold off at R10. These practices are being led by corrupt estate agents and property developers with the connivance of officials. Criminal syndicates, often linked to drug trafficking, are behind the barbaric evictions of flat dwellers in central Johannesburg and elsewhere, with the Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act simply ignored by authorities.

The SACP will be actively taking up these concerns in the course of the Financial Sector Campaign towards the NEDLAC-convened Financial Sector Summit in the second quarter of this year. We have also agreed with COSATU to ensure that we intensify campaigning around the many other financial sector issues that are causing unbearable stress on a wide array of South Africans - the unsustainable household debt crisis, the abuse of garnishee orders, the abuse of social grant recipients, and mashonisas small and big.

The SACP CC took note of the Constitutional Court ruling in the IEC matter. The SACP fully supports all attempts to ensure free and fair elections. But if the ruling is that voter lists must have regular residential addresses, then it will result in the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands if not millions of South Africans living in informal settlements and rural villages, including some members of our own Central Committee. Other ways need to be found to guard against electoral abuses.

We believe that these challenges require the effective revitalisation of the modus operandi of national Alliance leadership structures, and the ability to act together on the ground in addressing factionalism. In some cases ANC provincial structures have simply blocked national alliance decisions to hold joint interventions to stabilise areas of conflict.

The CC reaffirmed its support for our alliance partner the ANC in the forthcoming local government elections. However, on the ground in many localities the SACP will not be able to support ANC candidates imposed on communities in flagrant disregard of the ANC`s clear rules against branch-membership gate-keeping, against slate politics, against the use of money to pervert candidate selection. We call on the ANC leadership to deal decisively with these abuses so that we ensure an overwhelming ANC-led alliance electoral victory.

The SACP expresses its deep sympathies with the families and fellow-workers of the three trapped workers at the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga.

Issued by SACP Central Committee

For General Enquiries on SACP Statements


Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo: National Spokesperson, Head of Communications

Skype: Mashiloam
Mobile: 082 9200 308
Office: 011 339 3621/2
Twitter: Sacp1921
Facebook Page: South African Communist Party
SACP Ustream TV Channel:

No comments: