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Volume 12, No. 27, 26 July 2013

In this Issue:


Red Alert

Speech by the SACP General Secretary to the 2nd YCLSA National Council

SACP General Secretary Cde Blade Nzimande

Cde National Secretary of the YCL
The National Chairperson
The entire leadership of the YCL
The 2nd Deputy General Secretary of the SACP and the entire SACP delegation
The leadership of the ANC
The President of COSATU
Delegates to the 2nd National Council

It is indeed a pleasure for me, on behalf of the SACP Central Committee and the entire 170 000 members of the SACP, to address the 2ndNational Council of uFasimba, our youth wing.

Since the relaunch of the YCL since 2003 we have witnessed extreme growth of the YCL and we wish to commend. We are also pleased with how the current generation of members and leadership has been able to overcome the challenges that confronted the YCL when it went to its 3rd National Congress. At the time of that congress in 2010, the new tendency was at its peak of contesting our organisations in order to capture them for their own narrow selfish accumulation regime.

May I also take this opportunity to request this 2nd National Council, to rise and observe a moment of silence in honour of Cde Nkosiphendule Kolisile who served in the YCL SA steering committee and its first National Committee.

Comrade Chairperson and Delegates,

Your National Council takes place at a very critical phase of our revolution. It is exactly a year since our groundbreaking 13th National Congress that adopted a thoroughgoing updated political programme (SARS) with an overarching strategic theme for the period to 2017 being "Advance and Deepen Working Class Power and Hegemony in All Key Sites of Power and Influence". This theme indeed is a dialectical progression of the first theme advanced in the MTV of "Building Working Class Power and Hegemony in Society". It is not just enough to build but we must use the period leading up to 2017 and beyond to start making qualitative advances.

The 13th Congress further elaborated the sites of power and other areas of influence.

Your National Council will have to respond to this clarion call made by our 13th National Congress by articulating clearly what are the organisational and ideological tasks for the youth in respect of Advancing and Deepening working class power and hegemony in the State, in the Economy, in the workplace, in our communities, on the international front, on the ideological sphere and on the battle of ideas and on the environment.

We hope that your council will approach this task with the seriousness it deserves. We will come back to the issue in a moment.

Secondly your National Council takes places six months after the conclusion of the watershed 53rd National Conference of the ANC in Mangaung. The conference adopted a political programme of the ANC underpinned by a call for advancing a radical 2nd phase of our transition. We hope your national council will interact with the discussions and help us enrich further what exactly that radical phase must be. This we must do informed by our materialist approach that not all that sounds radical is indeed radical and not all that is radical in theory is indeed applicable to prevailing conditions. You would be required therefore to carry out a critical review of the global and national balance of forces and then come to a determination of what is doable in the prevailing circumstances.

Of course comrades we should be quick to warn against those who wish to engage in endless analysis and not act to better the lives of our people. Such opportunism could have undesirable consequences for the revolutionary programme we undertaking. Similarly, we must be strong as the SACP and the YCL against those who are making the loudest noise for action without reading the terrain properly.

Comrades, we have many today amongst us who offer the most revolutionary sounding phrases but in essence they are gambling with our hard won revolutionary victories.

Cde Chairperson,

The theme of your national council speaks to the challenges facing our youth today: The challenge of unemployment, access to education and better healthcare.

Let us situate our understanding of this issues by an ongoing analysis of the global capitalist crisis that begun in 2008. In the early days of the capitalist crisis neo-liberal apologists wanted us to believe that this was just a minor problem of bad apples amongst the financial sector and they will be identified and rooted out. What we were also told was that there was a problem of bad regulation by government and governments worldwide where urged to tighten the regulatory framework and the global capitalist profitability would be restored.

Of course this was a wrong reading of what was happening. The world's economists could not predict the crisis besides those who wore the Marxist/Leninist outlook as it is scientific. But because of the growing influence and truimphalism of neo-liberalism those who rang warning bells where dismissed. At their peak, the neo-liberal apologist even wanted to convince us that capitalism had finally overcome its tendency to have booms and busts. It was upwards ever, backwards never, we were led to believe. Growth, growth and growth was preached to us even here at home by the GEAR disciples.

But the obsession with growth figures meant that countries where duped not to analyse what constituted that growth and what drove it. Unsustainable consumption levels which necessitated movement of investment away from productive sectors of the economy to where we see the domination today of the financial sector drove that growth. New methods where found for people to make money without investing in producing tangible goods. Speculation was the order of the day. New platforms where created for the middle class to consume more and more luxury goods and those constituted this growth. The poor got more and more marginalized and ultimately the bubble burst. Sadly it is the poor worldwide who are being made to pay for the fishing expeditions of the filthy rich – that's how inhumane and criminal the system of capitalism is.

Five years down the line the situation has only worsened.

The global capitalist crisis is now in its second post-2012 phase characterized mainly by stagnation in the EU and a beginning of a faltering US recovery partly based on re-industrialisation, and exploitation of shale gas. Portfolio investors are starting to move back away from the so-called safe havens back to the United States. China's growth has declined from double digits and China itself has started to undertake structural changes in its economy moving up value chains, lower end manufacturing going to "flying geese", domestic market driven growth – all of this less mineral product intensive.

All of this resulted in mineral resources price boom passing its peak in 2012 and prices of many products start falling. This has had disastrous impact on our mining sector as growth declines and this impacts on GDP growth (SA not unique Brazil, Chile, Colombia among others similarly affected). As a result of these mining tax revenue have declined resulting in squeezing budgets and having a negative impact on profits. Consequently, mining companies have responded by cutting production (to raise prices) and downsizing. This is the context within which the ongoing labour unrests in mining sector need to be seen. The capitalist offensive has been particularly focused on the mining sector and on the National Union of Mineworkers – the largest affiliate of COSATU.

Of course when times were good, the mining bosses never shared with the working class, but now that times are bad it is the working class that is expected to pay the price, through retrenchments.

The sum total of this has been an exit of short-term capital from our country which exposes underlying deficit on current account of balance of payments and the currency devalues but not in an orderly fashion, rather in a more volatile way and by now overshooting. The classical economists in the like of the DA and the Governor of the Reserve Bank have mainly sought to explain this by laying blame on the government and particularly President Jacob Zuma.

We should therefore reject the narrative advanced by opposition parties and business commentators that our present challenges are primarily the result of policy decisions by the South African government or actions of the trade union movement. Our challenges today are challenges in the main of the system of capitalism.

Cde Chairperson,

The one social category that has been the single biggest casualty of neo-liberal capitalism has been the youth. Youth has been casualised, retrenched, labour brokered and thrown into the highest levels of youth unemployment since the Great Depression of the early 1930s. However, the sheer scale and intensity of youth unemployment, inactivity and under-employment globally is at a scale not seen since the industrial revolution.

The ILO in its 2013 report place youth unemployment rate globally at 12.6%. This means over 70 million young people are unemployed. Youth unemployment has reached its crisis proportions in Europe with close to 16 % of the population aged 18-24 neither in employment nor in education.

According to the Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2013, here at home, the following is worth singling out:

  1. The highest unemployment rate (32,1%) is observed among those who did not complete secondary education, while those with tertiary education have the lowest unemployment rate (9,8%)

  2. Approximately 3,5 million (33,5%) of the 10,4 million of the youth aged 15–24 years were not in employment, education or training in Q1: 2013, which indicates the vulnerability of this group.

  3. Job losses were concentrated in Trade (66 000), Construction (41 000), Finance and other business services (23 000), and Transport (3 000) industries. The largest increase in employment for Q1: 2013 was observed in Agriculture (54 000), followed by Community and social services (44 000), and Private households (29 000).

  4. Employment increased in seven of the nine provinces, with Limpopo (57 000), Mpumalanga (57 000) and Gauteng (44 000) being the biggest contributors.

  5. The only decline in employment was in the Western Cape (37 000).

We are pulling these statistics just to make few points:

Firstly to amplify the point we made earlier about how the youth have been the most hard-hit by the crisis of capitalism here at home and globally. The generations of youth of Nelson Mandela and subsequent generations of the youth did not fight for this. Their dream has been badly betrayed by the barbaric system of capitalism.

Secondly, without playing into the neo-liberal paradigm of human capital theory, but to draw from our Marxist teachings on the issue of development of productive forces, to draw a link between the issue of access to education and the issue of work. If we allow ourselves to be dictated to by the human capital theory we will continue on a paradigm that spends billions of rands on short courses and call center agents courses training people who will never be able to add value to society. Ours is a radical education programme that first and foremost must liberate the human being but also build our productive capacity to meet the ever changing and growing needs of humanity. In line with SARS, that education must teach our people to produce taking into consideration the environmental conditions.

Whilst we have correctly pointed out the economic side of the capitalist crisis and the world has focused on that, humanity today faces a crisis of its long-term survival. The common source of both these crisis has its roots in the process of capital accumulation. The solution is only one – go beyond the regime of capitalism.

Similarly the crisis of youth unemployment is not a simple crisis of "Youth Wage Subsidy" or not as the DA and the analysts would want us to believe. The genesis of the crisis is in the system of capitalism itself and would require us to undertake systemic overhaul of the system.

Let us be clear about one-thing comrades, it is not the youth that the DA actually cares about and seems to be making noise about. It is the subsidy to capital that they are marching for. We must come out of this National Council with a clear articulation of the comprehensive strategy to address youth unemployment with has been called for in the youth accord. The accord correctly asserts that the strategy must be based on structural changes in the economy, addressing the issue of poor skills, weak infrastructure, monopolies and cartels. These are inhibitors that must be addressed and not right wing mobilization for a Youth Wage Subsidy. We must forge ahead and press for implementation of the six commitment areas in the youth accord.

Thirdly, we lifted up the figures from the QLFS to drive the point home about the significance of the infrastructure programme of our government. Clearly where we have witnessed growth in employment figures, Limpopo in particular, is attributable to the ongoing construction work at Medupi. It is therefore sacrosanct and we must act with outmost strategic finesse, that we drive the 18 Strategic Integrated Projects led by government to alleviate the question of youth unemployment and work exposure for youth.

It is worth noting that the private sector has now developed some interest in the SIPs – they now want to eat like they did with the 2010 World Cup and various other construction tenders. No thank you!! Keep on salivating but we have a commitment to our young people not to your bulgy stomachs!

Of course comrades we must make the point that capitalism and democracy have always had a difficult relationship. Capitalism generates severe inequality and democracy is predicated upon political equality. Political equality is undermined by economic inequality.

We should never forget that capitalism only emerged from the last great global crisis (1929 – early 1930s), by plunging the world into war. Faced with recession in the early 1930s, many leading capitalist countries chose national re-armament, military expansionism, and fascist barbarism as their "stimulus packages". It was only out of the ruins of the ensuing Second World War, that a crisis-ridden global capitalism was finally able to embark upon its golden era of sustained growth (1945 -1973).

Today, faced with another crisis, capitalism has resorted to removing democratically elected leaders and replacing them with their preferred technocrats to run countries. Whatever his alleged contraventions they have killed Gaddafi and continue to sponsor the rebels in Syria.

In our own country, given that they find it impossible to finance a civil war, the imperialists have created puppets, political platforms and a vigilante trade union group that was established through the help of BHP Billiton. Today that group is killing our people and wants to wipe out the NUM by the bullet. We will defend the NUM with all that we have. Interestingly, we need to ask the question as to why these disruptions in the main are concentrated in the Platinum belt.

Comrade delegates, people have established pseudo political parties with just one intention, these political parties have not any other objective to serve our people, but just one intention – to overthrow the ANC. Comrades, we must not give space to counter-revolution to thrive in the name of democracy, this is not democracy but this is handing over our country to the highest bidder.

Let us go out and mobilise our people to see the DA, its black surrogates and pseudo political parties for what they are. We have always said from the beginning that some of these people who posed as political analysts were not analysts but political agitators for a regime change.

Allow me chairperson to turn to the issue of education

In 2009 President Zuma decided to separate the then department of education and establish two departments, the department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education and Training. Much investment has been made so far but we have seen a situation where we have not reaped the maximum benefits with our outcomes in so far as our schooling system is concerned. We have to mobilise our structures and communities to be a leading agent in this front as opposed to the current mentality of court challenges.

We are working hard to reverse the neo-liberal project that undermined the provision of post schooling education anywhere else but in Universities. Government managed to reverse the decision to do away with the NATED courses offered at our FET Colleges. This year work will begin on the two universities in Mpumalanga and here in the Northern Cape.

The NSFAS funding for FET Colleges has increased from R318 million in 2010 to R2 billion for students' bursaries in 2013. NSFAS bursaries for university education have increased from R2.2 billion in 2012 to R3.693 billion in 2013.

Much more needs to be done, however, to attend to the question of making sure that our universities are truly transformed and are indeed centre of excellence.

But we do need to talk about the organisation and mobilization of a coherent working class agenda in our institutions of Higher learning. YCL has an important role to play in this regard. We need to be a coordinating aisle of a proper alliance between students and workers on our institutions of higher learning.

The Battle of Ideas!

Comrade Chairperson and delegates

We heard commentators speak much about the forthcoming general elections and refer to the question of the so called born free. We are made to believe that there is a generation of our society that will vote not on the basis of owing allegiance to the heroic and revolutionary role played by the ANC to secure their voting rights. There is an idea planted in society to distance those born at a particular point in time from their history.

We have also witnessed an erosion of our revolutionary ethics and morality brought upon by new challenges of access to power. This erosion has potential to draw a wedge between our movement and its people. The ideas of selfness and sacrifice have been replaced by crass materialism.

Societal challenges and ills like crime especially against women are on the rise. Drug use amongst young people is on the rise.

All these phenomena, amplified on a daily basis by our bourgeois press will overtime erode our gains. It is against this background that our congress has elevated this issue of the Battle of ideas. We must struggle and work hard to expose the fallacy of the idea of the supremacy of the markets. We must explain to our youth and to our people, daily, in newspapers, in cinema, in artistic expression, in pamphlets and in song the importance of the revolutionary movement, its programme, its values and the egalitarian society we seek to build. Unless we do so a wrong idea will become dominant in society and will plant the seeds for counter-revolution.

We call on the YCL SA to take leaf from UJC and how it mobilised the youth of Cuba in defense of the sovereignty of their country and for Socialism. We need young communists to write, to play sport, to be involved in revolutionary graffiti, to use the social media spaces that have opened up to agitate and propagate for revolutionary ideas.

Build a strong PYA!

Comrade Chairperson and delegates,

Youth activism and youth leadership had taken a new meaning in the recent past, a meaning that is foreign to the traditions of our movement. Leadership of youth was synonymous with tender chasing and insulting our leaders. The ANC NEC has assisted us and we now have a breadth of fresh air in the movement. In relation to the disbandment of the ANC YL the challenge now rests with young communists to be in the forefront to build a strong campaigning ANC YL that is true to the congress traditions and takes up the issues of young people, majority of whom are from a working class background and poor.

As part of building a strong and vibrant PYA we expect your national council to emerge with a clear programmatic goal on what will be the role of the YCL with respect to young workers and the youth desks of COSATU affiliates that have established them.

Comrades we need to dedicate much work toward building a strong SASCO and a strong COSAS.  As Che Guevera put it, "The basic clay of our work is the youth. We place our hope in them and prepare them to take the banner from our hands."

We dare not allow our youth and their organisations to be hijacked.

With these few words, I wish you a successful National Council


Speech Delivered by COSATU President at the Young Communist League National Council

The National Secretary of the Young Communist League
The National Chairperson of the Young Communist league

As COSATU we are pleased to have been invited to address the National Council of the YCL

This day the 26th of July 1953 is a sacred day marking exactly 60 years since the insurrection against Fulgencio Batista.  On this day Fidel Castro, along with his brother Raúl, who is now the President of CUBA led an attack on a remote outpost, the Moncada Barracks, in Oriente province, the easternmost province of Cuba.

It is here that a small group of Cuban revolutionaries launched an armed attack on the Moncada Barracks in the city of Santiago. The attack was intended to start a revolution against the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, and was led by a young man named Fidel Castro, who had been an activist student at the University of Havana. I wish the council to note that Fidel Castro was an activist student from University and not a failed fugitive tenderpreneur, who is on the run from SARS. 

Like all other revolutionary initiatives, you do not succeed at first, so were the brave actions of the forces led by Fidel Castro who could not succeed on the 26th July 1953. This  attack, despite having had many of the brave revolutionaries killed , and some imprisoned including Fidel Castro  it made both a  quantitative and qualitative contribution in that it inspired the massed into action and created a platform for mass mobilisation around a common demand for the release of the people's political prisoners . It is these struggles which led to the amnesty of Castro and other remaining prisoners.

These actions by the masses marked the continuity of the bravery demonstrated by that group of Cuban revolutionaries who led from the front on the 26th July 1953 and thus marked the coming into life of the 26th of July Movement, which became the central organizing force of the Cuban Revolution.

The seeds sown on July 26, 1952, germinated on January 1, 1959, as the victorious July 26th movement marched into Havana marking the defeat of Batista regime and the beginning of the actual takeover of the state and the assumption of political power by the revolutionary forces.  

This National Council and the YCL as a whole must derive inspiration from the July 26 movement that with mass power, resilience and patience revolutionary possibilities can be translated into revolutionary reality.

As we mark 40 years since the arrest of the leadership core of our movement at the Lilliesleaf Farm in 1963, we should also know that they were inspired by a similar value system which was driving the revolutionaries under the leadership of the young Fidel Castro. Similarly for us the Lilliesleaf arrest marked a great set back in the history of our revolution and yet like the July 26 Movement which rose at the back of the set back of the 1952 and 1953 experiences, the arrests in Liliesleaf remains a reminder that our movement has the capacity to learn from its setbacks, use the very sets backs to rise and seize the strategic initiative to the advantage of the revolutionary forces. 

We are who are gathered here today are an offspring of Mandela, Sisulu , Govan Mbeki, Kathrada who taught us that  a revolution does not take a day and have its action and results announced on television or discussed and analysed on twitter or face-book.

So common in the experiences of the July 26 movement and the comrades arrested in Liliesleaf is an understanding that war is not fought by big words but by consistent planning and though patience.

It is this understanding which caused comrades Mandela to write in May 1963 which when he was dealing with the mistakes of recklessness and adventurism in the liberation struggle.   

Among other important and striking things said in that leaflet is that "the struggle that will free us is a long, hard job. He continued and said "do not be deceived by men who talk big with no thought for tomorrow. Freedom is not just a matter of strong words. Neither is it simply brave men and heroic deeds. Impatience, which makes men lose their heads, will not bring freedom. ....we are all impatient, thirsty for freedom. But impatience alone leads to recklessness, and recklessness can lose us the battle." 

If we read the documents of the movement carefully you will see that this understanding about the need for well thought out process gets carried through in our strategy and tactics which is based on the Marxist- Leninist principles.

Because this year marks 44 years since the ANC adopted its strategy and tactics in 1969 at the Morogoro consultative conference, an approach to our struggle which has always kept our movement on a superior combat position and a step ahead of the enemy.

Among the things said by the 1969 strategy and tactics in line with the principles articulated by comrade Mandela in the 1963 leaflet was that "The art of revolutionary leadership consists in providing leadership to the masses and not just to its most advanced elements; it consists of setting a pace which accords with objective conditions and the real possibilities at hand. The revolutionary-sounding phrase does not always reflect revolutionary policy, and revolutionary-sounding policy is not always the spring-board for revolutionary advance. Indeed what appears to be "militant" and "revolutionary" can often be counter-revolutionary.

Comrades I thought it was going to be important to reflect on these because of the period we are currently going through where the easiest thing to do and the most heroic thing to do is to be reckless and to be impatient to a point of thinking that a new organisation other than the ANC or the SACP or the Alliance as a whole can produce qualitative advances simply because it is new. 

Secondly I thought it will be important to start by reflecting on this because I know that I am talking to the youth and if I were to borrow from the ANC's Kwabe Conference which described the characteristics of youth thus:

It is that section of society which is avidly searching for a rational understanding of the surrounding world and therefore displays curiosity, rebelliousness, impassioned and uncontrolled enthusiasms and quickly forms judgements as it abandons others.  

We know that due to their inexperience and illusions bred of their psychological make-up, young people can easily become prey to demagogic tendencies and can easily be swayed into positions that are counter to their interests. Thus a young worker could seek false comfort by abstaining from class battles or even by joining the exploiter's state machinery. Seldom, young people are enticed en masse to adopt social and cultural value systems alien to their interests.

History has taught us that all societies in general and classes in particular, pay special attention to the youth. For any people or class to shirk this responsibility is to do great harm to itself. This applies particularly to peoples struggling to break the shackles of oppression and exploitation. No revolution can be victorious without the effective education, organisation and mobilisation of the youth into political action. It is none other than the youth (especially the working youth) who form the core of the 'political' and 'military' armies of the revolution.

Their youthful energy enables them to perform great feats in the theatre of battle; their vigour enables them to be the most active transmitters of ideas and skills; their zeal spreads into their surroundings like wild-fire1.

We fortunate because you are not just youth in general but you are youth organised as communists. It is better when a youth grounded on communist ideology  becomes impatient than when a youth whose pre – occupation is making more money becomes impatient.

The result may be destructive because everything is defined around pursuit for money and this is done by all means and all costs. Once the pre-occupation becomes the making of money what is expected to be a disciplined political action becomes gangsterism where there are no leaders but "ring leaders".

Every action is executed to prove a point that you belong to the gangster, promotion into position of leadership is not on the bases of political clarity but the ability to hurl insults and abuse everyone who may be a threat to your position.  

These are the features we have seen to some of the newly formed organisations who promise economic freedom without a class perspective.

The fact of the matter if is that if we are to proceed from an understanding that politics is a concentrated  expression of economics and economics a concentrated expression of politics it will be easier to see through a lie being promised in economic freedom.  There shall be no economic freedom achieved outside the class struggle under the leadership of a Marxist – Leninist Party. It is the task and duty of the YCL to expose this lie by the so called economic freedom fighters!

As the discussions at the Kwabe Conference said that because of "their inexperience and illusions bred of their psychological make-up, young people can easily become prey to demagogic tendencies and can easily be swayed into positions that are counter to their interests".

The YCL must found where young people are located in society but the YCL members must not pretend to be adults , you must be free to express your impatience but such impatience must be guided by Marxism – Leninism and lessons derived from revolutionary practice.

You must remain guided by what Morogoro said that "The art of revolutionary leadership consists in providing leadership to the masses and not just to its most advanced elements; it consists of setting a pace which accords with objective conditions and the real possibilities at hand. The revolutionary-sounding phrase does not always reflect revolutionary policy, and revolutionary-sounding policy is not always the spring-board for revolutionary advance. Indeed what appears to be "militant" and "revolutionary" can often be counter-revolutionary.

Your task comrades is to occupy the front ranks , firstly to expose the ideological hollowness of these newly formed political formations with the same vigour you did when you dealt with COPE. Never take your opponent for granted instead learn from his ways and shape your strategy based both on his weaknesses and strength. 

Secondly it is to ensure visibility of your own campaigns and tell society about what the YCL has to offer as alternatives to current challenges facing society today.  You must not hesitate to come out and tell us in the movement that there it is wrong to pursue economic policy which remains based on Trade liberalization, Financial liberalization, Labour market deregulation which promotes outsourcing, the allowance of casual labour, the use of labour brokers and illegal immigrant labour, pursues the interest of the capitalist class in a bid to restore profitability.

As we speak the ANC has retracted from totally banning labour brokers after and opted for a 3 month compromise to which our people will be subjected to slavery.  Yet in Namibia they have been able to regulate Labour Brokers without giving three months grace and the Namibian government has won the case against labour brokers. Tell our government to use this international precedence to regulate labour brokers out of existence

You must come out and say it loudly that it is wrong to adopt policies which limit the role of the state from productive activity in critical areas which results to the country giving. You must say it loudly that the Private Sector can never correct historical injustice  , no matter how much how much the Free Market foundation is given airtime by the media to bash labour.

We expect you the YCL to challenge economic policies which are based on tight monetary policies which elevates inflation targeting above the development objectives such as job creation and heavily relies on financial market forces, which are dominated by a few large banks, to transmit monetary policy actions to the real sector. 

We want to hear you coming to the open saying that it is wrong for our country to have policies which promotes independence of the Reserve Bank from so called government interference which robbed the population of an important institution through which it can allocate resources to advance its democratic aspirations. This made it easy for conglomerate elites to co-ordinate their private interests .

We want the YCL to come and say it loudly that at the centre of problems in our economic policies is the fact that we are hesitant to use our political power to qualitatively address ownership as a central feature of Apartheid and Colonialism of a Special type. For as long as ownership is not addressed our government cannot be decisive in implementing policies of redistribution because every time government has to act , the real owners of the economy raise their heads and points a shivering finger through something called "disinvestment".

You must come up and say our ANC government must stop only addressing the fears and concerns of investors, what about the fears and concerns of   the working class.

Thirdly in that context it is to challenge us in COSATU, in the ANC and SANCO and everywhere about the mistakes we may be committing unaware but do so as disciplined communists and as responsible cadres of the movement.

Comrades it must be clear to all of you that given the current challenges in the ANCYL and in the ANC in general you must swell the ranks of the ANC and the ANCYL and be part of the ANC to play a role of continuously reminding all of us about the character of the ANC, which character is important to determine how the ANC as a leader of our revolution conducts and leads such a revolution.

You must continuously remind all of us that the ANC is a revolutionary, mass-based, national liberation movement, currently operating within a terrain of electoral politics.

The ANC is revolutionary not because we say so but because it recognises the inter-relationship between class, race and gender contradictions that are at the base of Colonialism of a Special Type and that these must be simultaneously tackled, acknowledges the leadership role of the working class in the NDR and seeks to build a revolutionary-democratic state through which a society constructed on the basis of the Freedom Charter can emerge. 

You must remind us that the ANC is mass-based not because we wish it to be so but because it derives its perspectives from the masses, "because of its commitment to a mass approach line, based on the belief that the people are their own liberators and that the tasks that confront us require the active involvement of popular forces"2. This also defines the ANC as a movement, because it draws to its ranks people with a view to engage in active struggles and through those struggles, raise their political consciousness to the level of revolutionary consciousness.

The ANC is a national liberation movement because it seeks to destroy colonialism and white minority domination in all sectors of our society", but also because it seeks to destroy imperialist domination of our country and contribute to the anti-imperialist struggles around the world.

You must continuously remind all of that the perspectives of our movement are based on anti-imperialism, anti-neo-colonialism, and internationalism. For years the ANC actively participated and sometimes led international forums and structures that were a critical part of the struggle for world peace, democracy and justice. In addition it was the decisive contribution of the global progressive movement, at the forehead of which was the anti- imperialist movement that provided consistent and solid support for the struggle against apartheid.

Whilst it is not a socialist movement, the ANC's perspectives are a product of Marxist-Leninist tools of analysis. In its perspectives the ANC has never been ambiguous about "the aims of people's power and the role of the primary social forces, both inside and outside our movement, which will underwrite these aims, and to gain increasing mass understanding for the idea that, in contrast to many old-style nationalist movements in Africa, we believe that there can be no true national liberation without social emancipation... To postpone advocacy of this perspective until the first stage of democratic power has been achieved is to risk dominance within our revolution by purely nationalist forces which may see themselves as replacing the white exploiters at the time of the people's victory"3.

You must repeat it until we hear you that in terms of the line up of social forces that is required to ensure an uninterrupted advance towards a revolutionary-democratic social order, the ANC has always maintained the importance of "an understanding that the aims of our national-democratic revolution will only be fully realized with the construction of a social order in which all the historic consequences of national oppression and its foundation, economic exploitation, will be liquidated, ensuring the achievement of real national liberation and social emancipation. An uninterrupted advance towards this ultimate goal will only be assured if within the alignment of revolutionary forces struggling to win the aims of our national-democratic revolution, the dominant role is played by the oppressed working people"4

You must inspire confidence even to those who are beginning to doubt that the centrality and the leading role of the working class remains  at the heart of our revolutionary perspective because the working class has the enduring organisational power, occupies a strategic location within the productive force, suffers the most from both exploitation and domination, and has made the most sacrifices to advance the revolution.

If you don't do this, then don't go around complaining about what the ANC as a contested broad church is saying and doing.

Let me repeat that it is your responsibility to ventilate your anger and militant views where you see that things are moving out of track but as you do so, even when you are angry please leave us impressed with well thought out and educative arguments and not insults, please let everyone who listens to the YCL speaking or in action say I would like to be associated with that organisation.

I want to re-emphasise that there is nothing heroic about criticising the organisation your serve in public as if you have made it your responsibility to appease the enemy camp. If raising issues is about getting results why are comrades not raising issues as critical as they can inside the organisation rather than going public to continue with a practice which we all have learnt over time that instead of producing the results it simply makes comrades to close ranks? So why should we continue with an activity which does not produce the results we expect. 

I have been reading one of the Friday News Paper which always claims to be a paragon of investigative journalism but in reading this news paper this Friday I  realised that actually what they call investigative journalism is nothing else by systematic leaks intended to serve the agenda of specific factions. Things which are being raised in that News Paper are intended to induce a counter response. I must say that indeed, it is tempting because at some stage society will have t know the truth and get to know all sides of the story.

The discipline of our organisation has taught us that we must not communicate with membership through commercial media but rely on our own internal processes. This is what we will do. We will not pay journalists and give them brown envelopes so that they can publish skewed views in our favour. We know that there is both an open and overt attempt to discredit COSATU's internal process which was being facilitates by independent people. We will not allow that process to be discredited unless there is a decision by a constitutional structure to abandon the process. Even when the process is no longer there we will continue to raise issues inside the organisation. We will do so not because we cannot go black and articulate our views but we remain restricted by the discipline of the organisation. But what we know is that one day the truth will come out 

Comrades all I know is that the tasks expressed above can only be taken up by activist who has developed to a level of being cadres produced by the Young Communist League.

Comrade our revolution currently requires that we work hard to prepare and produce cadres which comrade Che Guevara described  as  individuals of ideological and administrative discipline, who knows and practices democratic centralism and who knows how to evaluate the existing contradictions in this method and to utilise fully its many facets; who knows how to practice the principle of collective discussion and to make decisions on his own and take responsibility in production; whose loyalty is tested, and whose physical and moral courage has developed along with his ideological development in such a way that he is always willing to confront any conflict and to give his life for the good of the revolution.

Also, he is an individual capable of self-analysis, which enables him to make the necessary decisions and to exercise creative initiative in such a manner that it won't conflict with discipline.

Our movement today needs creative people  , leaders of high standing, a technician with a good political level, who by reasoning dialectically can advance his sector of production, or develop the masses from his position of political leadership.

This movement requires cadres with political clarity.. not unthinking support to the postulates of the revolution, but a reasoned support; ..with a great capacity for sacrifice and a capacity for dialectical analysis which will enhance the making of continuous contributions on all levels to the rich theory and practice of the revolution.  

Comrade Che Guevara said "the cadre is the major part of the ideological motor which is the United Party of the Revolution. It is something that we could call the dynamic screw of this motor; a screw that in regard to the functional part will assure its correct functioning; dynamic to the extent that the cadre is not simply an upward or downward transmitter of slogans or demands, but a creator which will aid in the development of the masses and in the information of the leaders, serving as a point of contact with them. The cadre has the important mission of seeing to it that the great spirit of the revolution is not dissipated, that it will not become dormant nor let up its rhythm. It is a sensitive position; it transmits what comes from the masses and infuses in the masses the orientation of the party".5

These are the immediate inevitable tasks of the YCL and I know you are equal to all of them



  1. Discussion document adopted at the 1985 ANC Kabwe Conference on the Role and Place of the Youth in Society, the ANC and the Struggle
  2. ANC 1997 Strategy and Tactics.
  3. Green Book, 1979.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Cadres for the New Party, by Ernesto Che Guevara, September 1962

A revolution will remain incomplete without the resolution of the fundamental question of land ownership

By Phatse Justice Piitso

Next week the people of Zimbabwe will have an opportunity to exercise their democratic right to elect the government of their choice when they will be going to the polls.

This will be the most historic elections paving way for the end of the power sharing unity government between the ZANU -PF under President Robert Mugabe and the MDC under Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

This complex transitional arrangement is unfolding under the auspices of the watchful eye of the international community. The recent past elections were marred by allegations of state sponsored violence and intimidation of voters that made it difficult for a conducive environment of a free and fair elections.

It will therefore be in the best interest of the people of Zimbabwe that the forthcoming elections take place within the enabling framework of a free and fair environment. The people of Zimbabwe, Southern African region, the continent and the world need peace and stability.

The elections are taking place against the background of protracted forms of struggles between the government of Zimbabwe and the former colonial power Britain, over the historic land ownership question.

The political tensions escalated when the government under the leadership of ZANU-PF, embarked on a programme of seizure of land from the hands of the few white into the hands of the vast majority of the black people of Zimbabwe.

The state led radical programme for seizure of land from the white Zimbabwean community, sparked a fierce reaction that prompted the international community to impose sanctions against the government under the leadership of President Mugabe.

The imposition of the economic sanctions by the international community was a confirmation that colonial societies are ordered by imperialism. The reason why we say the Zimbabwean revolution fiddled with the nervous system of the forces of imperialism and colonialism.

It is from this context that revolutionaries openly debate on the important question of the complexities of the post colonial transitional periods, and how they affect the struggles of our people in the former colonies and semi colonies.

Equally we need to appreciate this as a metamorphosis of how the post colonial contradictions manifest themselves in the arena of the struggles of our people, against imperialism and neo colonial domination.

In the year 1980 Zimbabwe was declared an independent state after decades of protracted forms of struggles for national liberation against British colonial domination and the racist South African apartheid regime.

The declaration of the independence of the former colonial state of Rhodesia, was a historic breakthrough in the struggles of our people for the liberation of the Southern African region.

The declaration of the independence of the former colonial state of Rhodesia was a product of a negotiated transitional political arrangement.  The transitional negotiations culminated into the former colonial master Britain and the liberation movement of Zimbabwe signing the historic Lancaster Agreement.

At the heart of the watershed agreement was the unwavering commitment by the British colonial government to assist in ensuring equitable transfer of land back to the overwhelming majority of the people of Zimbabwe. It was agreed that the process should be completed within the first decade of the transitional period.

Historical records prove that the British colonial government rescinded by not expediting the process of the transfer of land as agreed at the Lancaster house. This is the fundamental problem that has aggravated the present socio economic crisis.

The Zimbabwean land ownership question is a living testimony of how complex post colonial transitional period can be in the context of the history of the struggles of our people in the former colonies and semi colonies. It also relates to the nature and the character of the struggles, between the oppressor and the oppressed nations, post colonial transitional period.

At the core of these struggles is the fundamental question of how do we involve the oppressed people in the former colonies and semi colonies into the mainstreams of our economy. The primary issue remains to be how do we resolve the fundamental question of the ownership of the economy.

The scientific historical realities have proven that the question of the ownership of the economy is the nerve centre of the struggles of our people. The basic reason why it has become the most contentious issue after every war of the independence of our people.

The pertinent question is how do we understand the interrelationship between the primary and secondary contradictions. The mistakes we must avoid is to elevate secondary contradictions at the expense of primary contradictions.

Imperialism is trying to confuse our people by elevating the superficial issues of human rights at the expense of the fundamental question of the ownership patterns of the economy.

We must therefore refuse the attempts by imperialism to reduce the role of the people in the former colonies and semi colonies into being praise singers of national anthems and hoisting of National flags.

The most fundamental question is how do we take forward the common struggles of our people to create a new world social order. Our immediate task is to implore our collective responsibility to resolve the contradictions of poverty, disease and underdevelopment inflicting the poor people of the world.

We therefore have to ask ourselves the most important question as to what are the lessons and experiences we have learned out of the contradictions of the Zimbabwean post colonial transition.

We have to ask ourselves the most important question as what is the role and influence of the phenomenon of imperialism and colonialism during the transitional period of the post colonial nation states.

The essence of any revolutionary phase is about generations of mankind making sacrifices. The people of Zimbabwe have made sacrifices during the struggles for liberation against British colonial rule, and they are still making sacrifices today as they continue with the struggles for the socio economic transformation of their country.

The struggles of the people of Zimbabwe are still consistence with the values, culture and traditions of the progressive movement of the world. Its posture is still anti colonial in form and content.

The only task confronting the collective leadership of the ZANU-PF is how to polish their understanding of the scientific revolutionary concept of the role of an individual in the making of history.

The collective leadership of the ZANU-PF will go into the annals of history, having been the first generations of the people of the former colonies and semi colonies to have fiddled with the nervous system of the forces of imperialism and colonialism.

Phatse Justice Piitso is the former Ambassador to the republic of Cuba and the former provincial secretary of the SACP writing this article on his personal capacity.