Saturday, November 23, 2019

Joint Statement of COSATU and SACP Free State Provincial Executive Committees’ Bilateral Meeting held on 13 November 2019 in Bloemfontein
21 November 2019


The South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Free State held a meeting of the joint Provincial Executive Committees (PECs) on 13 November 2019 in Bloemfontein. The meeting was graced by the attendance and inputs from the SACP 1st Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Solly Mapaila, as well as COSATU 1st Deputy President, Comrade Mike Shingange. The meeting also received discussion papers presented by Provincial Secretaries of the two organisations.

The Joint PECs recognised that the meeting represented a moment of reflecting and celebrating decades of a rich history and comradely alliance between the two orgnaisations. Our joint history of struggle is underpinned by our heroic yet continuing struggle against a capitalist economic system which is based on exploitation of the working class majority and maximisation of private profits for the few. Together, we have defended workers’ jobs and opposed privatisation, retrenchments, casualisation and labour brokerage, amongst others. Together, we have also embarked on societal struggles for gender transformation and fought against underdevelopment.

The international situation

The meeting took place in the context of deepening global economic crisis which, in recent times, was triggered by the 2008 global financial crisis which began in the United States of America (USA). In line with the inherent nature of capitalism, this crisis has created the structural inequalities in the global economy and further sharpened intra-capitalist contestations. Consequently, the crisis has kept the underdeveloped countries underdeveloped, reducing them in the system of division of labour to perpetual producers and exporters of raw materials, under exploitative conditions, without space to build capacity to produce value-added products and compete in the export of manufactured goods and products.

Furthermore, the world is witnessing, on the one hand, an expansion of a protectionist posture by imperialist countries and, on the other hand, a growing economic, trade and technological war. The imperialist driven regime-change agenda sweeping through Latin American countries is part of these. The current relations of production between developed and developing countries continues to feed the problematic core-periphery dichotomy which continues to benefit the developed core economies at the deepening exploitation of developing economies.

In the context of the global capitalist crisis, the accelerated introduction, in the last decade or so, of the digital and technological revolution, enumerated as The Fourth Industrial Revolution, in production, inclusive of product development, should not be seen as a phenomenon in isolation but as a part of global capital’s continuous efforts to overcome inherent barriers of accumulation and resolve its system’s endemic crisis. The two organisations agreed on the need to continue to study and to consciously and cautiously approach the Fourth Industrial Revolution from a point of view that ensures it does not erode the ability of the working class to support their livelihood and that of their families.

The PECs further condemned the imperialist regime-change agenda pursued in Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela as well as the continuing illegal blockade against Cuba. The PECs thus agreed on the need for intensified efforts on international solidarity campaigns.

In the Free State Province, the crisis of capitalism is characterised, amongst others, by the fact that the province has the highest number of people who are able to work but do not have jobs. The economy of the province is growing at a very slow pace and it has lost the status of being a food basket of our country and/or continent.

Capitalism’s contribution to climate change

The other crisis created by capitalism faced by humanity is climate change, the effect of which has been demonstrated by the ongoing devastating drought in recent years and floods in other parts of South Africa. This is as a result of the release of unsustainable levels of green-house gasses into the atmosphere that negatively affect the energy budget of the earth. The long lasting effects of the climate change negatively affects the poor and the working people more; who are the worst vulnerable and without the material and financial means for adaptation and response. Droughts and inclement weather conditions have, over the years, significantly affected the provincial economy and reduced the contribution of the agricultural sector to the provincial GDP.

The Joint PECs agreed on the importance of convening a focused session dedicated to comprehensively discuss and address the problems and opportunities in the provincial economy and related problems of unemployment, poverty and inequality in our province. The Joint PECs further agreed to wage joint campaigns against environmental and ecological degradation, especially in the industrial areas of Northern Free State that are responsible for large scale environmental pollution.

The Alliance

The meeting noted that the Alliance, currently headed by the African National Congress (ANC) is not functioning in the manner it is supposed to since Alliance meetings are usually convened only to manage crises. The Joint PECs agreed that the work of fighting for a functional Alliance in the province must be intensified.

The most critical area on the alliance relations which does not get enough attention is on policy formulation, implementation, oversight and meaningful consultations. It is important that policy formulation undergoes established Alliance structures first and that critical decision with far-reaching implications such as the decisions which ultimately led to loss of support for the ANC during the by-elections in Maluti-A-Phofung are meaningfully discussed by the Alliance. The meeting raised critical concern on the manner in which genuine issues raised by communities during election campaigns are never resolved or followed up.

The meeting agreed to strengthen our own structures and further recognised the responsibility of the SACP and COSATU to build, grow and strengthen the ANC. The need to create social cohesion and the hegemony of the working class in the ANC and all sites of power has never been more relevant than now. In this regard, the task of building various fronts will be energetically taken up by the SACP and COSATU.

The meeting reiterated that without meaningful reconfiguration of the Alliance, it would remain difficult to enhance Alliance cohesion and to build unity in action as an important basis for the advance, deepening and defence of the second, more radical phase of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR).

The State of Local Government

We have noted a total collapse of service delivery and governance at a municipal level across the province. The recent Auditor General’s report on the province gave none of the municipalities in the province a clean audit. Communities are at the receiving end of the mismanagement of the municipalities and workers, particularly leaders of COSATU affiliated unions, are increasingly being victimised by certain leaders and administrators for raising problems of mismanagement and corruption across the province.

As a result, it was agreed that there should be a joint team, comprising of representatives from the two partners (COSATU and SACP), to engage the ANC in the province to address several cases of targeted and unfair harassment and dismissal of workers in the province. This team should tackle the demon of dismissal of workers in all municipalities which continues unabated as demonstrated by the recent dismissal of the workers of Fezile Dabi District Municipalities.

Furthermore, as a result of mismanagement and maladministration, some municipalities in the Free State are among the top defaulting municipalities on water and electricity payments in the country. We understood the importance of paying for municipal services as being key to resource canvassing for purposes of sustainable provision of services. As a result, the PECs agreed to actively encourage people to pay for services provided. At the same time, however, we caution that proper financial management should be in place to curb abuse of public funds.

Fight against corruption

The meeting acknowledged the negative impact corruption and mismanagement has on service delivery to the people. Intensified and visible actions against such evil cancer of corruption across all government institutions have become more necessary than before. The meeting agreed that COSATU has a huge responsibility in this regard and the support of the SACP on anti-corruption campaigns is always guaranteed.

The meeting expressed grave concerns at the illogical promotion of Vusi Tshabalala to the Provincial Legislature. The Joint PECs agreed to call for the removal of Vusi Tshabalala as a Public Representative of the ANC with immediate effect, as part of responding to what communities of Maluti-a-Phofung have been yearning for over a long time.

Programme of Action

The Joint PECs recognise that the strengthening of the relations between the two organisations must not be turned into a boardroom exercise, but must be based on joint programme of action on the ground with our struggling people

In this regard, our organisations agreed to take forward a common programme of action and joint campaigns, intended, in part, to also respond to the issues raised by communities during our interactions with them. Our joint programme and campaigns will pay attention to the following areas:

National Health Insurance Campaign (NHI), geared towards decisive implementation of the NHI, whilst at the same time ensuring that it is not hijacked by private or corrupt interests, or even watered down, especially in light of the findings of the Competitions Commission on private health care. The NHI must deliver universal access health coverage and quality health care particularly to the working class and poor;
A comprehensive social security for the workers and poor (UIF, and many other public investment funds);
Combat corruption and corporate capture, both within the ranks of our movement and the state, and push for insourcing of outsourced, out-contracted or privatised public services or assets;
Fight for improvement of corporate governance in dysfunctional municipalities and department;
Campaign against lack of and poor service delivery and fight for access to basic services such as clean potable water and electricity to the people and end tender-based reliance on water-tankers;
Fixing and turning around our economy, to systematically eliminate inequality, create employment and eradicate poverty;
Defending workers' rights and hard-won achievements, through workplace struggles, and driving the decent work agenda to improve workers' conditions;
Protecting our environment, to slow down and eventually stop the dangerous trend of global warming and the increasing number of 'natural' disasters it is causing;
Joint ideological programmes, including joint political schools and the revival of socialist forums;
Following up on issues that sparked violence and discontent before the May 2019 elections for resolution and taking leadership;
Call for convening of an Economic Summit to deal with economic planning of the province;
Promote initiatives that genuinely build a cooperative movement. Consider options such as the use of pension assets which belong to public sector workers to build a Cooperative Bank. Cooperatives must be afforded a conducive environment to participate in the manufacturing sector. We must promote significant shareholding by workers in the in the SOEs;
A program solely focused on the struggle against Gender Based Violence and the elimination of patriarchy in all forms.
The Joint PECs recognised that the pre-condition to drive a second more radical phase of our transition (NDR) as our direct route to socialism requires the solidifying of the relationship and unity in action between the Left Aaxis and the Alliance as a whole in order to consolidate the deepening, advancement and defence of the NDR.


Bheke Stofile
SACP Free State Provincial Secretary
(071) 600 4899

Monyatso oa Mahlatsi
COSATU Free State Provincial Secretary
(076) 115 9923

SACP’s response to the National Treasury’s ‘... economic Strategy for South Africa’:


Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo
Central Committee Member and Spokesperson


Hlengiwe Nkonyane
Communications Officer: Media Liaison Services, Digital and Social Media Co-ordinator
Mobile: +27 79 384 6550


Office: +2711 339 3621/2
Twitter: SACP1921
Facebook Page: South African Communist Party
Ustream TV Channel:

No comments: