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RED ALERT
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Umsebenzi Online

Volume 7, No. 18, 15 October 2008

In this Issue:

 

Red Alert

Build Street Committees, Build People’s Power: Defend the unity of the ANC, defend the unity of the Alliance

Our 2009 Red October Campaign

Last week in KZN we launched our 2008 Red October Campaign in Umlazi, eThekwini. Our Red October Campaign will focus on two main areas: the building of street committees and ensuring mass mobilization for our communities to actively participate in local governance.

For instance, the Municipal System and Structures Acts, require that communities must be consulted before any major decisions are taken including alienation of municipal land and outsourcing. Yet this is not happening, and it is for this reason that the SACP will seek to educate our communities about these laws, and mobilize them to actively shape progressive governance at local level.

We will use the Red October Campaign to build street/block and village committees as organs of people’s power in defense of the revolution. This we will use by deepening the Know Your Neighborhood Campaign.

Indeed our Red October campaign will also be a platform to campaign for an overwhelming ANC electoral victory in the 2009 elections. The SACP will participate in these elections in support of the ANC within the context of a reconfigured alliance where matters relating to joint development of the election manifesto, deployments and other related issues will have to be dealt with completely differently than from the past.

Defeat the reactionary splinter from the ANC

It is also important for the trade union movement to properly understand the current moves by some to splinter from the ANC. Again no progressive trade union, aligned to the ANC, and part of the Congress tradition, can stand aside from the task of defending the unity of the ANC and our alliance on the grounds that trade unions must stand aside from political battles.

In line with what is contained in the Communist Manifesto, what we are actually seeing happening with this splinter group must be properly understood from a class perspective and in its historical context.

The SACP, since about 2006, had characterized the problems in the ANC as a manifestation of the simultaneous rise and subsequent crisis of a particular class project in the movement and the state, which we correctly referred to as the 1996 class project. This project we said is a class alliance between sections of global and domestic capital a certain cadre in the state, together with the emergent sections of the black sections of the bourgeoisie. This has been a project highly dependent, for its success, on the control of the ANC and the state in order to achieve its objectives.

Polokwane marked the severe dislodging, albeit not total defeat, of this class project inside the ANC. Therefore this splinter group is nothing else other than the continuation of the objectives of the 1996 class project by other means, now that it has been severely weakened inside the ANC. The splinter is an elite class project highly dependent on:

  • Control of the levers of the state
  • Control and transformation of the ANC into an electoralist party, using the masses only to vote in order to ascend to state power
  • The marginalization of the allies, including the ANC itself from key policy decisions in the state
  • Shifting of real power away from the Alliance into the state
  • Backing by powerful capitalist interests, especially in the financial sector.

The 1996 class project is also compradorial in character, as it seeks to consolidate its hold over government through a parasitic relationship between capital and the state, with sections of the BEE types as the main conduit through which this parasitic relationship is cemented. Therefore it is not an accident that BEE has been narrow and benefitting only a small elite.

It is therefore only this agenda that can be pursued by the splinter group, to find new outlets to pursue a class agenda. For these reasons it is also a reactionary agenda that will only be interested in using the mass of the people for narrow class agendas.

It also needs to be said that this project goes back to 1994, if not earlier. It is the same project that was guided by the strange document that appeared in our movement in August 1994 titled, ‘Umandated reflections’ , undemocratically imposed GEAR on our country, sought to massively privatise state owned enterprises, sought to drive the SACP and COSATU out of the Alliance through the infamous ‘2002 Briefing notes’ and sought to continue controlling the ANC at Polokwane.

Interestingly elements of this splinter, who are today crying foul of lack of democracy in the ANC, presided over what will go down as one of the most undemocratic practices inside our movement.

The political manifestation of this project post-Polokwane:

Again it is also important to understand how this project manifests itself politically since Polokwane:

  • Its attacks and venom are solely directed at the ANC, and its attempts to try and derail the ANC’s election campaign, and clearly seeking to forge a relationship with some opposition elements on the right of the political spectrum in South Africa. This is not surprising given the class orientation of this splinter, as it has more in common with the class interests of elements within the opposition than the resolutions adopted at Polokwane
  • Its anti-worker and anti-communist streak is coming out much more forcefully as it is joining the opposition in making the slanderous claim that the ANC is now controlled by the communists, and complaining about the ANC Secretary General also being the national chairperson of the SACP.
  • It is intensifying its attacks and smear campaigns against the SACP, COSATU and their leaderships
  • It’s political outlook and motto is that “Either we continue to control (and transform) the ANC or we destroy it”
  • Its attempt at the continued hold over the levers of the state and other public institutions including the SABC and long-term appointments to boards since Polokwane
  • In trying to justify its existence it is trying to steal the Freedom Charter from the ANC and our people
  • Recruitment of renegades from the SACP and COSATU, elements with a proven record wanting to divide and destroy working class formations and who also tried to use these for their personal accumulation
  • All the above reflected in lack of any policy content in their pronouncements

It is for these reasons that this splinter has sought to defy internal democratic processes, by planning to leave the ANC because they failed to control it. One lesson for all of us in this is that we must never allow leaders who are removed from leadership position to turn around and want to sink with those organizations. LEADERSHIP IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT, BUT IT IS EARNED, NOT ONLY ONCE, BUT MUST BE EARNED DAILY THROUGH ONE’S BEHAVIOUR AND SELFLESS DEDICATION.

Therefore the working class as a whole must defend the unity of the ANC and our alliance from this renewed offensive of the 1996 class project. An attack on the unity of the ANC and the alliance is an attack on the working class. These splinter forces must therefore feel the full might of the organized working class.

Tasks of the working class

It is therefore important for us to understand the tasks of the working class at the moment and going forward:

  • Deepen mass work amongst the workers and the poor in order not to be derailed but focus on the priorities as, amongst others, identified by our Alliance Summit
  • Ensure that our members properly understand the form that the class struggle is taking and to expose the class character of the splinter as a renewed attempt at a right wing offensive against a radical national democratic revolution
  • Continue our struggle against the rising cost of living for the workers and the poor
  • Building a strong and progressive working class formations, prioritizing workplace issues, but involved as combatants in the broader working class and political struggles
  • Deepen the relationship between all working class formations including the progressive trade union movement and the SACP

Asikhulume!!

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