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Bua Komanisi Volume 3 - Issue 1 - July 2003

Contents

February and May meetings of the CC - The 11th Congress Central Committee (CC) held its fourth and fifth plenary sessions in February and May 2003. This Bua Komanisi summarises the decisions of these meetings on the matters as outlined above.

TOWARDS AN SACP AND WORKING CLASS MID-TERM VISION: A DISCUSSION DOCUMENT

The CC located its discussion of the SACP approach to the 2004 general elections within a broader political framework of evaluating the first decade of our freedom, as well as planning ahead for the second decade of our freedom. Government itself is already involved in an extensive process of evaluating the first decade of our freedom, as well as embarking on scenario planning for the second decade of our freedom. We welcome this exercise. Such an approach will also greatly assist us in identifying priorities for the next election and the kinds of political and programmatic outcomes needed during and after the election. In addition it will enable the Party to engage with the government process much more effectively.

First decade of Freedom

The CC noted that we are just under a year before the completion of the first decade of our freedom. We need to start preparing towards a comprehensive evaluation of these first 10 years, as a communist party and from the standpoint of the workers and the poor. We have indeed continuously been evaluating our work increasingly against the background of progress since 1994. Indeed history does not necessarily coincide with major dates, even less so with dates or periods of electoral contests. Class and other struggles in society shape history, and therefore its periodisation does not neatly coincide with electoral contests. However electoral periods are historic in themselves and also give us an important anchor and benchmark around which to evaluate progress in democratic societies, particularly societies in transition.

How should the Party conduct a substantial evaluation of the first ten years of our freedom? This is not work that we will be doing from scratch, but needs to build on the ongoing analysis we have been doing over the period, including reflections done by the three congresses held during this period. Indeed our 11th Congress was building on the work of the two earlier congresses, and from the experiences of implementing our programmes of action over the past 9 years. To this end our 11th Congress provides us with very rich perspectives from which to evaluate the first decade of freedom.

We have participated and engaged in this first decade from the standpoint of our programmatic slogan ?Socialism is the future, build it now?, adopted at our 1995 Congress. A fundamental question we will have to answer is what progress have we made in building elements of, capacity for, and momentum towards, socialism. This programmatic slogan also captured our own ?dual? reality, an independent party of the working class, and at the same time an integral component of the liberation movement led by the ANC. This we sought to translate into building elements and capacity for socialism as both the strategic and tactical path towards defending, advancing and deepening the NDR. We will have to move towards a frank and comprehensive answer as to how far we have progressed in the regard.

Through our 10th Congress programme we had deepened and refined the tasks of the NDR in a period after the democratic breakthrough. The NDR sought to tackle three interrelated contradictions, the class, national and gender contradictions in their interrelationship. However, the awkward reality we have been faced with is that whilst the NDR does not seek to resolve the class contradiction, at the same time the other two contradictions cannot be completely addressed without the fundamental reconstitution of class relations in society. Therefore, how far and in what manner can the current period address or tackle the class contradiction. It has been around this issue, it can be argued, that the related questions of the attitude of the ANC towards socialism in the current period, and the Party?s conception of a transition to socialism have emerged. These questions have come to define and set parameters for some of the bilateral and tripartite engagements, particularly between the ANC and the SACP. In concrete terms beyond interventions in the labour market and aspects of the social wage, the state has been unable to lead a decisive intervention to transform the current accumulation regime. In many ways, GEAR has instead, reinforced some of the elements of this accumulation regime - reinforcing global competitiveness, but without this regime being able to tackle unemployment and job creation. On the gender question, we need to answer the question about what is our assessment of transformation of gender relations so far given the established gender machinery, gender legislative and policy framework. What impact have these developments made on gender relations? What are the persistent problems threatening transforming of gender relations?

We have tried to understand this contradictory reality as one that is an expression of reliance on the same old untransformed white capital to reposition ourselves for global competitiveness, with all the consequences of not being able to therefore simultaneously challenge the accumulation regime underway. We have characterised this as a contradictory unity of political and democratic progress, but economic power still remaining with the same old capitalist class. What are the class, racial and gender consequences of this reality? It is to some of these issues that we will have to return to, as we begin the process of a comprehensive evaluation of our first 10 years of freedom. It is also from a proper grasp of these realities that we should be approaching the 2004 elections.

Our evaluation of the first decade of freedom must not only be limited to an assessment of the period 1994-2004. Much more fundamentally we should be using these insights and experience to begin to map out a medium term vision for the SACP. It must be a vision located in our programmatic slogan, but beginning to openly specify the type of South Africa we would like to see by the end of the second decade of our freedom. Such a vision must of course not be a wish list, but must be based on careful analysis of lessons thus far, the balance of forces and most importantly the state of organisation and mobilisation of the working class.

Towards the second decade of freedom

The tone of the second decade of our freedom is already being set by a number of recent and current important developments, including the following:

  • Our very 11th Congress has placed the Party on a particular path ? militant, activist, confident and programme orientated with a much clearer grasp of the political and economic challenges of our revolution, and commitment to develop a growth and development strategy premised on a comprehensive industrial strategy, and placing local governance and economic development as the centre of gravity of our activities in coming years. Our last Central Committee has translated this, amongst other things, into a programme to deliberately seek to expand our presence and qualitative influence in major centres of power in society.
  • The very progressive policy and national conference decisions of the ANC?s 51st Conference, provides us with a platform to accelerate socio-economic change during the second decade of our freedom.
  • The very heightened focus on black economic empowerment, with all its potential and dangers, is one sharp expression that the political and economic terrain for the second decade of our freedom is already being shaped.
  • The forthcoming COSATU Congress in September and the re-establishment of the Young Communist League later in the year are also critical events that will further shape the parameters of struggle for the second decade of our freedom.
  • A critical moment that might as well shape the nature of the struggles and breakthroughs fundamentally in the second decade of our freedom will be the implementation of agreements reached at the Growth and Development Summit, and the extent of working class leadership and direction over the implementation of those agreements. Of course the SACP is fully conscious of the fact that much as the GDS did not emerge with a comprehensive industrial strategy or a growth and development strategy, it has not compromised central working class demands and the evolution of such economic strategies.
  • Indeed the 2004 ANC election manifesto and its implementation strategy will be one of the most important instruments with which to deepen and advance the NDR into the second decade of our freedom. That is why it is important that that manifesto must be informed by all the above considerations and experiences of the first decade of our freedom. At the same time, as the Party of the working class, we must seek to impact on the content and implementation of that election manifesto from the standpoint of our clearly defined vision and objectives for the medium term.
  • The terrain of the second decade of our freedom, including the 2004 elections, is already also being shaped by the emergence of a multiplicity of mass formations and single issue campaigns (many within the fold of our movement, but others hostile to our movement). It is a terrain that requires special attention from our Party and movement. We must also seek to engage with this terrain from the standpoint of our medium term vision and goals.
  • The fluidity in opposition politics is another important factor that needs to be taken into account and will impact, in one way or the other, on the struggles in the second decade

Towards a Mid-Term Vision

We cannot be able to guide, lead and grapple with the current period and all its developments, as well as the second decade of our freedom, unless we consciously development a medium term vision ? a 10 year plan if you like. Neither can we be able to sharpen our tactics without being much clear about what kinds of things will we want to see in our society over the next 10-12 years! Our ability to impact and shape current developments rests primarily on our overall medium term vision. In tackling these realities and evaluating the first decade of freedom, we must also be planning ten years ahead, otherwise other class forces will be planning for us, and we find ourselves caught in a permanent reactive rather than proactive mode.

As pointed out above, our 11th Congress has given us a basis for a medium term vision and plan for the SACP. The fundamental goal of the SACP for the next 10-11 years should be that the working class by then must be having a decisive and qualitative impact on all key sites of power and influence ? particularly political, mass and economic sites of power - such that no significant center of power in society can be able to exercise that power without a significant input from, and centrally taking into account the class interests of, the working class. This question has arisen in a number of ways during the first decade of our freedom. The fundamental question that the party has to pose from now onwards and for the second ten years of our freedom is its relationship to political, economic and mass power in society, and its influence and impact on these.

Some of our comrades have correctly posed this question, including at the 11th Congress, but exclusively focus on the question of whether the Party contest elections or not in the future in its own right. This, to us, should not the fundamental question. The issue of elections merely expresses a form and only a part of a fundamental question we need to pose. The fundamental question is building working class power and its impact in society; the form that this takes will be determined by specific conjunctural conditions.

Amongst other things, the objective of decisive impact and influence of the working class in key sites of power during the second decade of our freedom should be characterized by the following concrete outcomes:

  • Changing and transforming the current accumulation regime ? ostensibly and consistently in favour of the capitalist classes ? into one that is oriented towards the workers and the poor. This should be our guide and approach to the post-GDS process.
  • Building a conscious cadre able to impact on state institutions and policy, economic institutions and mass formations in favour of the workers and the poor.
  • The harnessing of the multiplicity of mass formations and campaigns into a progressive, working class led social movement for transformation and socialism, including a working-class led civic movement and a large co-operative movement ? what we characterised at the 11th Congress as a momentum for socio-economic transformation.
  • Building a progressive women?s movement led by working class women and based on a working class programme whilst also unifying the majority of South African women behind a progressive agenda
  • Using the political and organisational muscle of the working class and other mass formations to regulate and direct significant resources in the private sector towards our developmental objectives
  • Fewer but large trade union cartels and a decisive advance towards a single trade union federation in our country. Our Party has a decisive role to play in this and we have not fully discussed this matter. This must include the consolidation of the organisational, political and ideological capacity of the progressive trade union movement.
  • A substantially larger SACP, with significant presence and influence and impact in key sites of power this has important implications for he SACP including fundraising and financial sustainability, and the political, organisational and ideological capacity of all our structures.
  • The development of a vast network and solidarity activities of socialist, communist and workers? organisations, formations, NGOs and movements in Southern Africa, and towards the African continent as a whole.

These objectives and outcomes are not in contradiction or parallel to the NDR. Instead they are absolute preconditions for decisive advances and significant qualitative breakthroughs in the NDR in favour of the workers and the poor. They are also a necessary dimension towards building an even stronger ANC rooted in the mass of the workers and the poor of our country. Such a vision should concretely aim to assert the working class as the main motive force of the revolution, and bringing to bear its organized weight on the direction and trajectory of the NDR. This also should provide a clearer answer as to the role of the SACP in the current period, and its role in strengthening the liberation movement, both inside and outside government.

This vision should be premised on, and guided by, the following propositions and realities:

  • In the same way that the locomotive and bedrock of the struggle against apartheid was the organized power of the working class, any further qualitative advances in the NDR is dependent on the power and political consciousness of that working class
  • Much as the goals of the national struggle (which still remains the dominant contradiction of our revolution), but their achievement principally rest on the organized muscle of the working class and its concrete leadership of the national democratic revolution. In other words, the goals of the national (and gender) struggle cannot be realized without the locomotive of the class struggle. This is one important lesson throughout our whole liberation struggle, which has also been underlined by our experiences of the first decade of freedom
  • The capitalist class is currently waging a fierce class struggle against the workers and the poor, albeit under vastly different conditions than during the apartheid period, but with the same objective: the sustenance and reproduction of an accumulation regime favourable to their class interests. One manifestation of this struggle waged by private capital is the job-loss bloodbath underway in our country, the decline share of income by the working class, and the gobbling up of profits arising from rising productivity of the working class in our country.
  • The interrelationship between the class, national and gender struggles has not disappeared with the democratic breakthrough of 1994. Instead that very democratic breakthrough and its challenges, makes most obvious the deep interconnectedness between these basic contradictions of our NDR. It is not just blacks who are at the bottom of the ladder of our economy and society, true as this is (the national question). But it is the black workers and the poor (the class contradiction). It is also not just the workers and the poor who bear most of the brunt of capitalism and the apartheid legacy, but black, African working class and rural women in particular (the gender contradiction of our revolution).

It is from the above realities that the SACP argues that we cannot now be able to make any significant qualitative breakthrough in the NDR without qualitative breakthroughs in the economy, in favour of the workers and the poor.

It is within these realities that the challenges and absolute need of a medium term vision for our second decade of freedom should be located.

The question of the medium term vision of our Party and the working class as a whole should immediately be placed before all our structures for debate and discussion, as part of our preparations for, and to inform our participation in, the 2004 elections. Further than that these perspectives should be taken forward to our Special National Congress to be held sometime in 2005 for enrichment, further elaboration and adoption.

Building units as a critical organisational task

Below is an extensive summary of how the CC envisages to implement aspects of the discussion document through the building of sectoral units, workplace structures and Party Discussion Forums in all provincial legislatures, local and district municipalities throughout the country.

SACP WORKPLACE STRUCTURES: A RECAP

?Units of the SACP, consisting of no less than six members can be formed in circumstances where a branch cannot be formed (units may be either residential or industrial). This unit should be represented by one person on the nearest BEC. All the members of such a unit shall have all the responsibilities and duties of SACP members but do not have voting rights at a Branch AGM or District or Provincial Congresses. Such units shall be allowed to exist and function for no more than (six months) without launching as a full branch unless otherwise authorised by the DEC.?, Clause 21 of the SACP Constitution.

The idea of workplace-based structures (units and/or branches) of the SACP goes back to the 10th Congress of the SACP (held in July 1998) and 6th Congress of COSATU in (held in 1997). Practical work to start building these workplace structures began after the 1999 SACP Strategy Conference.

Conceptually, the SACP has emphasised that the building of workplace structures must strengthen the links of the Communist Party with the labour movement given the centrality of the labour movement as a central foundation upon which to build a strong communist party. Furthermore, the

Party underlines the interdependence between the labour movement and the struggle for socialism. Both COSATU and the SACP also agree that the relationship between socialism and the labour movement is a crucial lever and basis for deepening the National Democratic Revolution (NDR). It was on this basis that the SACP sought to emphasise that the workplace units must target and focus on industrial workers as a key challenge in rooting the SACP firmly within the organised labour movement as part of our goal of providing political leadership to the working class as a whole. The SACP also recognised that other social strata, in particular the urban poor and the landless rural masses, remain an important social base for the Party. However, a Communist Party without a strong social base amongst organised workers is unlikely to make any substantial headway in mobilising any other strata of South African society. In general, this overall perspective and approach remain correct.

The experience of building these SACP workplace structures has not been even. On the positive side, over the last few years the SACP has based its programme on identified programmes, activities and campaigns, including focus days, weeks or months to galvanise our Party and its activists into action. However, this has not been consolidated into SACP organisational growth in particular through workplace structures.

The key weakness has been the absence of a consolidated strategy and programme of action to build these workplace structures on a common and shared Party building strategy and programmes relevant to workers? struggles and issues. The 1999 Red October Campaign was an attempt to systematise such a strategy and programme. Subsequent Red October Campaigns have not systematically built on this.

The CC recognised that in addition to addressing weakness in our work to build SACP workplace units and branches, the SACP also needs to take into account how it builds its capacity through engagements with, and influencing key sites of power, transformation struggles and influence in society in a manner, perhaps, not adequately covered by our perspective and approach on workplace/industrial units and branches so far. This relates to how the SACP strategically and actively inter-acts with SACP members (actual and potential) who are currently in government, public institutions, parastatals, trade unions, the private sector, the religious sector, NGOs, community organisations and civil society in general.

The CC resolved that for the SACP to consolidate its approach on the building of workplace structures it must address the following challenges:

  • The character and role of workplace structures
  • The distinction and relationship between Party workplace structures and trade union structures
  • A practical measurable programme and strategy to build Party workplace structures

These are elaborated in the sections below.

CHARACTER AND ROLE OF SACP WORKPLACE STRUCTURES

It is important to reassert and clearly spell out the character and role of Party workplace structures, particularly in relation to trade union structures.

Roles of Party Workplace Structures

The CC reaffirmed that the principal roles of Party workplace structures are:

  • Targeted and systematic recruitment of workers into the Party, particularly shop stewards and women workers
  • Systematic ideological and political work amongst workers in order to broaden and deepen workers? political outlook and consciousness through political classes, socialist forums, distribution and discussion of Party literature, encouraging workers to reflect and write about their own experiences and struggles, etc.
  • Active Party support for workplace struggles and connect these to the democratic transformation of the workplace, the NDR and the struggle for socialism.
  • Enhancing the understanding of workers of the role and programme of the Party and its socialist objectives.
  • To undertake any other tasks assigned to such units by the relevant Party structures
  • Taking forward the SACP debit order campaign amongst workers

These workplace structures are also an important platform for the Party to reach out to other sections of organised workers who are outside COSATU. This would be an important step for the Party and broader working class unity.

Party Workplace Structures and Trade Unions

The CC reaffirmed that Party workplace structures are essentially accountable to the constitution, policies, programmes and structures of the SACP. Party workplace structures must be linked to, and under the leadership of, the district and provincial structures of the Party.

Party workplace structures must not substitute trade union structures which must remain trade union organs representing workers in their dealings with management and other trade union structures and activities.

Under no circumstances should SACP workplace structures be used as a basis to interfere in internal trade union issues. For example it would be completely unacceptable for Party workplace structures to be used to campaign for positions or undertake factionalist activity inside trade union structures. This would definitely destroy the image and standing of the Party among workers.

Members of the SACP who are shop stewards or occupying other positions in the union must remain loyal to the mandate of union structures. Instead the SACP should seek to influence union debates, discussion and strategy through exemplary behaviour, political persuasion and its direct links with the trade union movement.

The CC underlined that Party workplace structures must not operate in an elitist fashion, but should first and foremost articulate the economic and political aspirations of workers and the working class as a whole.

The Next Practical Steps

The first and most important step is for Party structures at district and provincial levels to hold preparatory discussions with the relevant union structures before embarking on recruitment drive in identified workplaces. Key tasks in this regard will be:

  • Establishment of structures to build Party workplace structures at the district and branch levels ? each District is required to launch and sustain at least 1 industrial unit for the year 2003
  • Establishment of joint structures with COSATU at district level
  • Party building work including targeting COSATU and affiliate locals and other non-COSATU unions, defined industrial areas and workplaces; recruitment strategy and package, induction, launch and developing programmes of launched workplace units
  • Launch of the POA starting with a focus on the 2003 May Day ? each District is required to launch and sustain at least 1 industrial unit for the year 2003

General guidelines

At every workplace where there are at least six existing or potential Party members, they can constitute themselves, with the approval of the PEC, into a Party unit. Such a unit must elect a convenor and shall perform all the functions of a Party branch and work towards the establishment of a fully-fledged Party branch.

Where it is not feasible to have enough members to form a branch, such units can continue to function under the guidance of the PEC and be represented in higher party structures in a manner that will be determined by the PEC.

Party workplace units should meet on a fortnightly basis, and where branches have been established these shall meet as per the constitution of the SACP.

There should be flexibility around the formation of Party workplace structures. In some instances such workplace structures can be formed by comrades from different workplaces in a particular local or industrial area or within each workplace depending on the conditions prevailing in a particular locality.

SECTORAL UNITS

Our approach thus far has focused mainly on the organised working class. However the complex terrain of struggle also points to the need for the SACP to strategically and actively inter-act with SACP members (actual and potential) who are located in key sites of power and influence in society ? these may comrades in government, public institutions, parastatals, trade unions, the private sector, the religious sector, NGOs, community organisations and civil society in general. In this regard, the CC resolved that the Party must now work to carefully build and nurture sectoral units in order to organise communists wherever they are located. This could ensure that our Party over the next few years can enhance its capacity, influence and impact on various sites of transformation struggles and centres of power and influence in society.

For example we need to bring together communists in the arts and entertainment industry, the NGOs, etc, into Party units throughout the country. The main objectives of such units would be to provide a platform for communists located in these areas to come together to plan and evaluate their work from the standpoint of the Party?s programme and perspectives. This innovation will also go a long way in assisting the Party to build its policy capacity in the various areas of transformation in society.

These sectoral units should not supercede the Party?s constitutional structures. However, they provide an important mechanism to implement our programmes. In this way we can be able to impact on, and build policy capacity, in a range of areas.

Roles and Tasks of Sectoral Units

The CC identified the following principal roles and tasks for sectoral units:

  • Empowerment of SACP members with an understanding of the SACP Political Programme, its relevance to, and implementation in the various sectors
  • Provision of a Forum for SACP members in key sites/centres/sectors of influence and power in society to engage with the SACP on various issues, to come together to plan and evaluate their work from the standpoint of the Party?s programme and perspectives
  • Facilitate SACP inter-action with policy development, governance and strategic issues in the various sectors
  • Advise the SACP on issues, concrete programmatic action, progress on implementation and interventions to be undertaken with/in specific sectors
  • Receive and discuss relevant Party documents and offer whatever responses/feedback required and/or necessary
  • Identify policies, initiatives or opportunities in the relevant sectors that can be engaged/used to advance Party programmes and policies, and advise SACP leadership structures accordingly
  • Identify policies and other measures that are obstacles to advancing the Party?s programme and advise accordingly
  • Seek to maximize the impact of Party perspectives on policy development and implementation in the relevant sector(s), in a constructive and non-sectarian manner
  • Advise/assist the Party in responding and engaging with new policy and legislative measures
  • Monitor and evaluate the implementation of policies that are central in advancing the Party?s programme and perspectives
  • Reading, collective discussion and dissemination of Party literature in all centers of influence and power in the relevant sector
  • Targeted recruitment of new members into the Party, focusing particularly on those with the potential to become disciplined and active party members and who are strategically located in the relevant sector
  • Actively and proactively contribute towards the development of Party policy/ positions and perspectives to effectively engage with relevant policy developments in the relevant sector(s)
  • Encourage and actively solicit articles/position papers by members of the unit around pertinent and current issues in the relevant sector for publication in our Party publications (i.e. The African Communist, Umsebenzi and Umsebenzi On-line)
  • Actively position and advise the Party on how to influence public opinion on relevant issues emanating from the relevant sector in line with the Party?s programme and perspectives
  • Undertake any task assigned to the unit by the relevant Party structures

Guidelines

The CC resolved that the sectoral units must account to the Party Secretariat at a national, provincial and district levels.

The areas in which the sectoral units can be built need to be carefully considered in terms of existing Party programmes and structures. For example, it may make sense that at a national level, sectoral units can be clustered around State Transformation, Economic Transformation, Social Development and Security clusters and may just need to be based in the major cities.

At provincial and district levels, these sectoral units may draw in comrades who are located in provincial governments, public institutions, parastatals, NGOs,

A sectoral unit can be formed by any four to six members of the Party from the same sector as defined in consultation with the national and provincial structures of the Party.

All units must be authorised by the Central Committee and, between its meetings, the Politbureau and/or the National Secretariat. This shall not be a permanent arrangement, but in the initial stages it is important that the CC closely monitors this process until such time that the Party structures at all levels have built enough experience to be able to approve and supervise their functioning.

Each unit must elect a convenor who shall be the main contact point with the relevant Party structures and be responsible for convening and chairing all the meetings of the unit. The convenor shall also be responsible for compiling reports and keeping minutes of the unit.

Each sectoral unit will be required to meet at least once every month. Sectoral units must report to the Party secretary at the national and provincial level who shall in turn give regular reports to the Party collective.

Residential Branches remain the Core of the SACP

Notwithstanding the above, the CC reaffirmed that residential branches constitute the core of the SACP organisational structure. Residential branches potentially provide localised communist presence and activism in local communities.

However, on their own, residential branches are not adequate to meet challenges facing the SACP. As our recent campaigns have shown, due to a variety of legitimate reasons a significant number of SACP (actual and potential) members are not able to take part in residential branches. Therefore the need to bring them closer to the SACP and to integrate their work in the important and different sites of influence into the work of the SACP, and to for them to integrate SACP perspectives in the work they are doing.

PARTY DISCUSSION FORUMS

During the 1994-1999 parliament, the SACP reached an agreement with the ANC that SACP members who were ANC MPs in the National Assembly must be allowed to take part in a Party Discussion Forum (PDF). This PDF continues to exist and function. It plays the role of empowering communists in parliament with developments from the CC and in the implementation of the Party programme.

 

The CC decided to extend this PDF experiment to all provincial legislatures, local and district municipalities throughout the country.

Structure, Functioning and Guidelines

The PDFs will be made up of all communists who are public representatives at provincial legislatures, local and district municipalities. Each PDF must elect a convenor and record keeper.

PDFs must meet at least once every month. PDFs in provincial legislatures and municipalities must report to PECs and DECs respectively, via the Provincial and District Secretaries.

Tasks

The CC identified the following tasks for the PDFs:

  • Discussion and analysis of Premiers? and Mayoral opening addresses and government budgets, and identify key and strategic issues that are important in these for advancing and implementing the Party?s programme ? and advise the Party structures accordingly
  • Monitor and track legislative and policy measures that are critical in advancing the Party?s programme e.g. Co-ops, transformation of the financial sector, local economic development, integrated industrial strategy, building a strong and accountable public sector, job creation and poverty eradication.
  • Proactively advise and engage Party structures on how best to respond and/or engage legislative and policy measures central to advancing the Party programme
  • Distribute Party literature in these institutions
  • Targeted recruitment of those with potential to become disciplined and active Party members
  • Undertake any other task assigned to these by the relevant Party structure(s)

These PDFs should not act as SACP sub-caucuses inside of ANC caucuses, but as a means for effective interaction between Party structures and the legislative processes and programmes of these entities. For instance from our experiences, relying on alliance processes alone to engage with provincial legislatures and municipal councils has proven to be ineffective and time-consuming. Such structures will ensure that Party structures are timeously informed on developments within legislatures and councils. But much more importantly, to ensure that the knowledge and experiences gained by communist cadres deployed in these structures filter back to the Party. In this way, the Party will be able to enhance its policy capacity quite significantly. At the same time, we will be able to bring to bear Party perspectives onto these structures, without replacing the ANC as the leader of these legislatures and municipalities.

CHALLENGES POSED BY SECTORAL UNITS & PARTY DISCUSSION FORUMS

The CC recognised that the building of sectoral units and PDFs will potentially take our Party to a higher level and represents a formidable and complex challenge to our Party. Building such a sophisticated organisational structure will be a completely new experience for our Party.

The building of sectoral units and PDFs, whilst within the ambit of the constitution, will require some flexibility and clearer lines of accountability. In itself this will require sophisticated Party building and accountability processes. Similarly, the implementation of our resolutions and programme should aim to build such organisational capacity if we are to make some significant qualitative steps forward.

In building PDFs we will need to engage the ANC at all levels, neither seeking permission in a narrow sense nor going it alone without a buy-in from the ANC structures.

In carrying out these tasks, all Party cadres must feel free to critically engage and proactively seek to enrich the Party?s programme and its creative implementation. In the process we expect all Party cadres to be loyal to the Party, but at the same time actively promote inner-Party debate in a free, open and democratic manner. Whilst expecting all Party cadres to unreservedly defend and advance the Party?s programme and

perspectives, this should by no means curtail internal democratic debate and open expression of views within the context of implementing the Party?s programme.

REVIVING THE DEBIT ORDER CAMPAIGN AND FUNDRAISING

The CC overwhelmingly reaffirmed that the Debit Order Campaign is the main tool for the Party to ensure its financial self-sustainability. The CC noted that the Debit Order Campaign has somewhat subsided in the last 2 years. In order to revive and improve the Campaign, the CC set realistic targets for each Party structure and decided on a mobilisation plan.

Monthly Targets

The CC approved the following targets:

  • Branches and units? 5 new debit orders or R100 every month per branch
  • Districts ? 20 new debit orders or R2 000 every month per district
  • Provinces ? 50 new debit orders or R5 000 every month (each PEC member must raise 2 to 3 debit orders a month)
  • CC members ? 60 new debit orders or R6 000 every month (each CC member must raise at least 2 new debit orders per month)
  • Staff members (provincial and national) ? 40 new debit orders or R400 per month

In terms of the above targets, each CC, PEC and staff member must raise at least 2 new debit orders per month.

Mobilisation Plan

In order to kick-start the Campaign, the CC approved a programme which will target 3 clusters of provinces as follows:

  • Cluster One during August and September ? Eastern Cape, Free State and KwaZulu Natal
  • Cluster Two during September and October ? Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape
  • Cluster Three during October and November ? Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga

This programme is the first phase in the revival of the campaign. In its quarterly meetings, the CC will review progress and plan for future phases.

The CC will also give due recognition and rewards to those structures which are able to double the targets set out above.

Provinces, districts and provinces are required to work out programmes in line with the above targets. The SACP Head Office will work closely with these structures to develop programmes and detailed implementation plans.

Fundraising Targets

The CC also identified the following targets for fundraising work by branches, districts, provinces and CC members:

  • Branches ? R200 per month in cash or in kind
  • Districts ? R1 000 per month in cash or in kind
  • Provinces ? R5 000 per month in cash or in kind
  • CC ? R10 000 per month in cash or in kind

The SACP Head Office will start to monitor these monthly fundraising targets from August 2003. These targets can be met through the following activities:

  • parties and bazaars by local branches
  • banquets and dinners by districts and provinces
  • social clubs (venues for drinks, games, food, reading, poetry, etc) by districts and branches
  • sales of party material
  • donations from individuals in local areas

NEW MEMBERSHIP SYSTEM

The CC approved the new system for SACP membership fees which requires that all SACP members pay a membership fee on a pro-rata basis based on salaries earned by each SACP member.

The CC decided that the new membership fee structure must be introduced gradually and carefully with the implementation date for the new system being 1 September 2003.

The CC will circulate a detailed circular in due course which will provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on the new membership system and payment structure, how the new system will work, how it will affect membership forms, etc.

Payment Structure

In summary the payment structure is as follows:

  • It has identified 13 ranges (brackets) for salaries with a set figure for a membership levy for each salary bracket. For example, those earning between R0 and R1000 will not pay any membership levy.
  • Those SACP members falling under each salary bracket will be required to pay the membership levy set for that bracket.
  • The percentage range of the levy in relation to the salary brackets is between 1% and 5% of the salary.

KEY DATES FOR THE NEXT 5 MONTHS

  • District Councils: 2-3 August, 6-7 September, 4-5 October
  • Pec Meetings: 28-29 June, 26-27 July, 30-31 August, 27-28 September, 25-26 Octobr, 22-23 November
  • Provincial Councils: 23-24 August, 29-30 November
  • Central Committee: 15-17 August, 14-16 November
  • YCL National Consultative Conference -
  • ANC NEC Meetings: 18-20 July, 12-14 September, 28-30 November
  • COSATU: Regional Congresses (19-20 July, 26-27 July), 8th Congress (15-18 September), CEC (18-20 November)

Special District Councils to discuss the SACP?s Mid-Term Vision

During August and September, the SACP Head Office will liase closely with provinces and districts in order to facilitate deployment and participation of CC members in District Councils particularly to lead discussion and allow feedback to the CC on the Discussion Documents (Towards an SACP and Working Class Mid-Term Vision). These discussions must then lead to discussions in PEC meetings, Provincial Councils and the November meeting of the Central Committee.

In consultation with Provinces, the SACP Head office will prioritise the dates listed above for the District Councils, Provincial Councils and PEC meetings for CC deployments.

CONTACT

Mazibuko Kanyiso Jara

Department of Media, Information and Publicity South African Communist Party

Tel ? 011 339 3621
Fax ? 011 339 4244
Cell ? 083 651 0271

P.O. Box 1027,
Johannesburg, 2000

Email ? mazibuko@sacp.org.za
Website ? www.sacp.org.za

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