Tuesday, May 02, 2017

SACP Says Principled Unity Based on a Common Program: May Day Message
1 May 2017

In memory of Chris Hani, pursue the whole truth and push for justice to serve it full course!

Yesterday we concluded the Chris Hani Commemoration Month. As the SACP we strongly believe that the truth has not been fully disclosed. We want to make use of this opportunity to reiterate our call for an official inquest into all the circumstances of his assassination. We remain opposed to parole for Janusz Waluś, the last remaining of Comrade Chris`s two convicted murderers.

On 5 May we will be at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Mangaung in support of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services appeal against parole for the unrepentant murderer. We believe that justice has not served its full course. This is why, as the SACP, we have consistently been in the forefront of the struggle for justice for Hani, his family and the working class and poor! We have never been absent or found wanting on any occasion in seeking a full disclosure of the truth.

Build and reinforce principled unity of common purpose!

We also want to reiterate our view that the current mode of operation of our Alliance is outdated. It does not make sense in revolutionary democratic terms to go all out collectively fighting for democracy, social justice and campaigning for the ANC to win elections only for one Alliance partner or for one leader to make far reaching policy and key deployment decisions alone, or without any meaningful consultation, or without consultation at all. Such a style of work was inexcusable before Polokwane in 2007. It is still inexcusable now and must not be defended in any manner whatsoever. As the SACP we do not accept cover-ups and papering over the cracks.

The executive and legislative prerogatives at all three spheres of government do not privately belong to the individuals we deploy as the movement to positions of responsibility in those branches of the state. They do not belong either to any sections of capital or factions. They belong to our movement and must not be used factionally. As the SACP we remain resolute on the decisions we have made in this regard. We will pursue each one of them to the letter. This includes our shared perspectives with COSATU on the necessity to reconfigure the Alliance and address the crisis of leadership and divisions that our movement is faced with. We must deal both with the symptoms and the root causes.

There is no reason why as Alliance partners we should not work together on the basis of meaningful consultation with one another. There is not reason why we should not follow the principles of collective leadership and individual accountability according to division of work and responsibilities.

There is no reason why as Alliance partners we should not work together to develop common policy perspectives and decide on key deployments to drive implementation. There is no reason why we should not work together to monitor and evaluate policy implementation. The Alliance must be reconfigured to be responsive to these principles effectively and efficiently.

Deepen the struggle to serve the needs of the workers and lift the poor out of poverty!

As President OR Tambo urged us, we must guard against the wedge driver, a divisive element that creeps from one ear to another driving wedges. In order to thrive, the wedge driver seeks to divide organised workers in general and COSATU in particular from the Communist Party. Such can only be an agenda of our class enemy. We must defeat it with outstanding distinction. We must cement principled working class unity based on a common programme to bring an end to economic and political exploitation towards complete liberation and social emancipation.

We must deepen the revolutionary spirit of our bilateral meeting and shared perspectives.The SACP and COSATU held a series of successful bilateral meetings in the recent past, and over the years. We have been consulting each other and exchanging perspectives as the socialist axis of our movement.

These meetings were successful. We paid attention to the conditions of the working class at work, in the community and in the broader struggle. As the SACP, we want to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all the shared programme and campaigns that emerged from our bilateral sessions with COSATU. This includes the following:

A comprehensive social security.

Speedy implementation of the national health insurance, which we must further defend from being captured or distorted by private corporate interests.

A National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) convened second financial sector transformation summit by the end of this year.

A NEDLAC convened national jobs summit by the end of this year to discuss effective job creaction policies to address the persistent crisis of high unemployment.

Our joint national jobs summit in preparation for the NEDLAC convened national jobs summit that we are calling for.

Joint work to continue pushing for the National Development Plan (NDP) to be reviewed in accordance with the genuine concerns raised by the SACP and COSATU regarding its economic and labour policy content. The NDP was not developed as a programme to drive the second radical phase of our democratic transition, including a genuine radical economic transformation.

It is a contradiction to maintain the NDP in its current form without reviewing it in accordance with the Alliance declaration agreed on 1 September 2013, on the one hand while claiming, on the other hand, to be interested in pushing a second radical phase of our democratic transition.

Congratulations, forward to an improved national minimum wage, forward to a living wage!

The SACP wishes to congratulate COSATU on its achievement of the founding of a national minimum wage. Out of a population of approximately 56 million people (55, 900, 000), approximately 30 million people (29, 733, 210) were in 2016 living below the poverty line. This meant that over half (51%) of the people in our country lived on less than R1,036.07 per month in 2016. And, over half of our country`s workers were paid wages below R3, 700 per month. About 4.6 million workers did not even earn R2, 500 per month.

The national minimum wage achieved by COSATU will therefore benefit the millions of workers in all industries who were paid less than R3, 500 per month. Rather than a destination, this minimum wage must be seen as a starting point towards a living wage. The national minimum wage must be progressively improved. At the same time, the struggle for a living wage must be intensified.

This must be seen as part and parcel of our shared struggle to move our national democratic revolution on to a second radical phase. This includes a genuine radical economic transformation as increasingly the main, but by no means the only, defining feature of the second radical phase of our democratic transition.

Let us unite and push the second radical phase of the national democratic revolution!

As the SACP we are calling on the workers and poor of our country to guard against the hijacking of their support by sections of individuals - be they black or white - who are pursuing their selfish interests of amassing wealth on a capitalist private basis. Radial economic transformation is not about replacing one section of exploiters by another. It is about economic emancipation, particularly of the workers and poor who are exploited by the rich who own the means of production and privately appropriate the wealth produced by the workers.

In 1969 the ANC under the sterling Presidency of Comrade OR Tambo warned against a drive of narrow nationalism and chauvinism by elitist groupings from among the oppressed who sought to replace the oppressors in the exploitation of the masses. We must defend this revolutionary democratic legacy of President Tambo against greedy individuals who have developed a vulgarised version of radical economic transformation. What they mean by radical economic transformation is essentially more tenders, more sub-contracting and more ownership for their profit, for the profit of their acquaintances, for the profit of their political and business connections. In summary what they want is radical looting.

President Tambo would have turned 100 years of age this year had he lived. As the SACP we are celebrating the centenary of his birthday. In memory of Comrade OR, let us assert the democratic revolutionary values of our movement. Under President Tambo`s leadership the ANC made it very clear in its first Strategy and Tactics document adopted in 1969 that economic emancipation, the goal for a genuine radical economic transformation, will not happen unless the basic wealth and resources of our country were at the disposal of the people as a whole and were not manipulated by sections of individuals be they black or white.

We do not need to create any more private oligopolies, monopolies, oligarchs and parasites who exploit the masses of our people and manipulate political power, authority and our basic wealth and resources. This is why, as the SACP, we are pushing for principled unity of all democratic revolutionary organisations and people around the following pillars of a common programme.

The second radical phase of our national democratic revolution, including radical economic emancipation, must:

Speed up the pace of land redistribution based on the Freedom Charter!

Eliminate monopoly and oligopoly domination of our economy.

Rollback concentration of wealth in the hands of a few - be they black or white.

Combat the rise of oligarchs, parasites and deal decisively with corruption, rent-seeking and corporate capture.

Systematically reduce, towards eliminating, class, racial and gender inequalities, as well as uneven development between rural and urban areas, and between townships and suburbs.

Decisive policies, including a wealth tax and decent work, to change the patterns of the unjust and inequitable distribution of wealth from production and exchange.

Change the patterns of ownership and control by empowering the masses of the historically oppressed and previously disadvantaged, the direct producers, the workers and poor, as opposed to a few individuals simply because they are black and they often have political and business connections to the powers that be.

Develop collective forms of ownership and democratic control, such as co-operatives and a more effective and efficient state ownership and democratic control in strategic areas. This must be buttressed by decisive efforts to combat corruption, rent-seeking, corporate capture and other forms of manipulation of power, authority, our basic wealth and resources.

Transform the structure of our economy from that which was colonially constructed to rely on exports of raw materials and primary goods and imports of finished products; thus change the terms of our international trade by developing national production through manufacturing expansion and diversification to produce finished goods locally and thereby create productive work and reduce unemployment.

Transform the financial sector to serve the needs of the people, build democratic control of credit by the state and ensure more investment in the productive sector to industrialise our economy and create productive work to bring to an end the problem of unemployment.

Continue to expand education and improve quality and responsiveness towards the needs of our society, and intensify innovation, research and development support and efforts to support radical economic and overall social transformation.

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