Wednesday, January 25, 2017

SACP Free State Provincial Executive Committee Statement
25 January 2017

Build popular power and contest state power!
Fight corporate capture within the ranks of our movement, in the state and strike a blow to corruption!
Drive the second, more radical phase of our national democratic revolution!

The South African Communist Party (SACP) Free State Province held the 3rd Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) Plenary Session of its 7th Provincial Congress on 22 January 2017 at the Multipurpose Centre in Zamdela, Sasolburg. The meeting received and discussed a political input from the our Party Central Committee, the political and organisational reports. The reports focused mainly on economic challenges facing our communities, particularly the workers, unemployed and poor, and the political and organisational challenges and the strategic tasks facing our Party in the build-up to its 14th National Congress scheduled to take place in July. The PEC further dedicated time to discuss the challenges facing our Alliance as headed by the ANC.

The international context

In the developed world, particularly the U.S. and Europe it has become clear that the establishment and the crisis-ridden system of capitalism is experiencing great problems of legitimacy and sustainability. This is partly signified by several electoral setbacks that went against the preferences of the establishment such as the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president as well as the panic caused by upcoming unpredictable elections in France and Germany.

These developments have opened space for right-wing, populist and conservative nationalism. This includes selective attacks on capitalism, or the so called markets but it destroys workers` organisations and reverses their gains. This is also driven by the personality cult opportunistically scavenging on legitimate concerns of the people offering instant and generally unrealistic solutions. Although the elites of the neo-liberal agenda of Washington consensus is on the back foot, these developments require the unity and vigilance of the working class of the world!

The unity of the Alliance and national democratic revolution

The PEC agreed that the national democratic revolution remains the glue that binds the alliance together. The SACP a leadership duty and role in deepening and defending the revolution. There is a growing and deliberate denial by some leading figures in the ANC, that the movement is losing grip of its leadership within the masses. This spells a danger for the prospects of the national democratic revolution. The PEC committed to taking responsibility for national democratic revolution. The SACP in the Free State Province will accordingly intensify its work to build the strategic and organisational capacity of the SACP as an independent Party of the working class and socialism rooted in our communities through branches and districts.

The PEC further agreed that the unity of the alliance remains sacrosanct. However, beyond the seasonal strength during elections and major events, the alliance in our province lacks a consistent joint programme and joint campaigning that actively respond to the aspirations and common challenges facing our communities. A functional alliance must be consolidated in action, including respect for, and implementation of joint decisions such as the decision calling for the reinstatement of the workers who were dismissed at Metsimaholo Municipality. The PEC embraced the theme of `Unity in Action` to include the unity of the alliance in action.

The Party is interested in a principled programmatic unity of the alliance and not unity with any faction within our broader movement, irrespective of such faction`s dominance. Part of building this unity must include fighting against all factional negative tendencies, isolate and defeat those who embrace factions and sow divisions within our ranks. The alliance must defeat the phenomenon of corporate capture of the state and the movement and sternly fight corruption and the siphoning of public resources and assets to feed private corporate, personal and family interests such as those of the Guptas, their friends and networks of patronage.

The SACP must build popular power and contest state power

The PEC enthusiastically welcomed the ongoing debate on the SACP and State and Popular power as introduced by the SACP discussion paper titled "now more than ever, the SACP has a leadership duty in the NDR" (national democratic revolution). The PEC believes that the SACP as a political party is committed to playing a meaningful role in the struggle and has an interest in state power and how this power is directed. State power must be directed to drive a revolutionary programme in the best interests of the working class and poor, that is our view and this is at the centre of our perspective on state and popular power.

The PEC after assessing, detailing and analysing the set of morbid symptoms which spring out of the current situation in which the liberation movement finds itself, including the lack of appetite to define and implement the content of the second, more radical second phase of our democratic transition, is of the view that the SACP should contest state power and intensify the mobilisation of the principal motive forces of the revolution especially the workers, poor and peasants.

The PEC rejected the unfounded accusations that this debate is informed by anger and emotions. The PEC directs that all structures of the Party must thoroughly discuss Party documents on this important issue. All districts must convene District Councils and also engage various sectors of society to solicit their views prior to the provincial council intended to discuss and finalise the Province`s perspective on the State and Popular Power debate and other discussion documents in the run-up to the SACP National Congress.

The water crisis in the province

The water sector is faced with huge challenges and the province was not spared by the recent droughts. In Qwaqwa, the SACP has been at the forefront, together with communities fighting for the provision of water and sustainable solution to the water crisis in the area. The Party has come to appreciate that there are multiple factors including a lack of infrastructure maintenance. In addition, one of the main problems towards the water crisis in Qwaqwa is as a result of weak political leadership that seems to prefer the "tenderised" unsustainable delivery of water through water tankers. This may be linked to looting.

The PEC calls on the ANC to act in the best interests of our communities and remove the Mayor who seems to be preoccupied with meaningless regular parties and entertainment rather than meaningfully resolving the challenges facing communities. Water tanks are a temporary solution and the people of Qwaqwa deserve a long lasting solution to the water crisis. The Party will not be intimidated and will continue to engage in campaigns that will ultimately ensure our communities receive water and any corrupt activities that may occur in these processes are exposed.

Auditor General`s report

The SACP in the province is extremely alarmed by the audit outcomes of the Auditor General`s report. The outcomes point to a deteriorating state of financial health of the province. It is extremely concerning that none of the audited establishments in the province improved their audit outcomes. This is highly unacceptable. There were eight regressions in audit opinions involving significantly high levels of irregular expenditure.

The SACP expects that all irregular and unauthorised expenditures incurred by our government must be investigated across all departments. There must be consequences.

ANC`s commitment to fight corruption.

Whatever the cause of high levels of irregular expenditure at specific departments, their persistent poor performance in this area remains unpardonable because irregular expenditure points to the disregard mainly of procurement processes and is a precursor to the collapse of financial management systems and corruption.

The PEC is startled by reliance on implementing agents and use of consultants across the departments and urged the provincial government to embrace the spirit of the Auditor General`s report. The report requires our government to focus on the task of improving financial controls instead of resorting to legalities such as running to the courts and further wasting limited funds which are meant to change the lives of our people. Head of Departments as departmental accounting officers must be held accountable for public funds and must have documented evidence that such resources are solely used to improve the lives of our people. The PEC resolved to initiate a detailed enquiry into the functioning, efficiency, impact and financial management of the provincial state owned enterprises as well as the state of public facilities.

The SACP calls on the ANC provincial government to act decisively and give practical meaning to the commitment repeatedly made in the state of the province address to in-source public and other services that have been outsourced to private companies and consultants.

March to Sasol

The SACP in the Free State Province will be leading a protest march on 27 January 2017 to Sasol to deliver a memorandum containing a set of demands. The march is informed by the Party Congress resolution calling for the re-nationalisation of Sasol. This company has recently engaged in a massive disinvestment out of the South African economy, investing about R200 billion in the U.S., a global imperialist power. This shameful investment decision amounts to expatriation of South African jobs and capital to the U.S., especially given the failure of Sasol to carry through their commitment to build a plant in Limpopo in exchange for a windfall tax exemption that was given to the company by the government.

The demands to be submitted to Sasol will include demands relating to the need for Sasol and its neighbouring industries to address the problem of unemployment, end the use of labour brokers and pollution affecting communities and the environment.

Issued by SACP Free State Province


Bheke Stofile- Provincial Secretary
Mobile: (071) 600 4899

Mojalefa Simango- Second deputy provincial secretary
Mobile: (084) 722 9684/(078) 893 8972
Twitter: @SACPFreeState
Facebook page: SACP Free State (Official)

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