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Declaration of the SACP-Convened National Imbizo

19 - 20 May 2017, Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg

In the context of deepening, society wide concern about challenges of leadership, moral decay and multiple social and economic crises, the SACP convened a National Imbizo. The Imbizo was attended by more than 230 participants drawn from 33 organisations including the SACP, ANC, COSATU, SANCO, ANC stalwarts and veterans, YCL SA, JHB Against Injustice, Business Leadership South Africa, Save South Africa, various components of the community constituency in NEDLAC and grass-roots activists. The Imbizo also received an important presentation from the South African Council of Churches` (SACC`s) unburdening panel and shared their concerns on state capture.

Notwithstanding the diversity of the participants present, we all broadly agreed about the nature of the challenges facing our country and the imperative of developing a common minimum platform. The important gains we made collectively as South Africans from the mid 1990`s in terms of building a unifying sense of nationhood, a vibrant non-racial democracy and a progressive constitution are now under threat. Despite many advances, we have not effectively responded to the persisting social and economic crises in which the majority of South Africans find themselves. The ability to fundamentally transform society is now being corroded by systemic corruption in both the public and private sectors.

The National Imbizo adopted a minimum platform of action that is anchored on the following demands:

  1. The urgent appointment of an independent judicial commission of enquiry into state capture which was the key remedial action required by the Public Protector
  2. Urgent attention to ensuring good corporate governance and adherence to developmental mandates and public interest priorities in state owned entities. In particular we call for the dissolution of the Eskom Board and the reversal of the irregular reappointment of the Eskom CEO.
  3. An immediate end to the abuse and factionalising of the criminal justice system notably the Hawks, the NPA, and the intelligence services. Important attention also needs to be paid to rebuilding public trust in SAPS and SARS. This trust is being eroded by a perception that those responsible for arresting, prosecuting and convicting those implicated in corrupt activities are either selective or are lax in executing their duties.
  4. Strengthen the oversight role of parliament.
  5. Support and call for immediate implementation of the alliance`s own decision for lifestyle audits of public representatives.
  6. Halting the roll out of the Nuclear New Build programme pending the conclusion of consultations on the IRP 16.

We commit to campaign to promote the constitutional values of non-racialism, to fight against xhenophobia and tribalism. We further commit to fight against the epidemic of gender based violence. We accept that we all have the responsibility to self introspect, to reflect on our own shortcomings and to deal decisively with internal weaknesses.

Those of us from mass formations and grassroots organsiations undertake to mobilise at a popular level and to make the connection between the diversion of public resources through state capture and weaknesses in addressing the challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

We commit to raising this minimum programme and these perspectives in our own constituencies and to promote the initiatives we undertook this weekend. We will maintain a broad network of those gathered here and work to include others committed to the defence of our constitutional democracy.

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