SACP concerned about the South African economy falling into recession, its adverse impact on the workers and poor, the worst to be affected
9 June 2017
The South African Communist Party has noted with concern the second consecutive decline of the total value of goods and services produced in our economy in the first quarter of 2017, following a decline in the last quarter of 2016. The two consecutive gross domestic product or GDP contractions mean that the South African economy has slipped into a recession, technically. While it is the rich and wealthy, the capitalist bosses who command ownership of means of production, appropriate and accumulate wealth from economic production and exchange converted into money and capital, a recession has an adverse impact on the workers and the poor who become worst affected by capitalist crises in general. These facts highlight the urgent necessity to move our national democratic transformation on to a second, more radical phase, underpinned by decisive policies that will radically reduce class inequality, including its racial, gender and spatial articulations, unemployment and poverty.
The investment strike by capitalist bosses who appropriated multi-billions of rands from (unpaid) workers’ labour must be tackled decisively. The importance of advancing the national imperative to transform the financial sector and adopt policies that will direct and continuously increase investment in the productive sector of the economy to grow employment cannot be overemphasised. In the same vein, the importance of the national imperative to transform the base structure of our economy and systematically eliminate its colonial features by means of advancing and deepening national production through manufacturing development and diversification cannot be overemphasised. South Africa has a massive wealth in the form of mineral resources. That is presently appropriated in the form of profit by the capitalist bosses who control the mining sector. These resources must instead be leveraged as a source of strategic advantage for the manufacturing of finished products in our economy instead of being exported for the profit of the bosses.
The recent disinvestment strike by General Motors is likely to reduce the share of automotive manufacturing industry’s contribution to our economy and add to de-industrialisation in proportion with that reduction. This is the time for workers to unite across the spectrum of trade union and political organisation in response to such strikes by capitalist bosses and their system’s crises including the recession, but more importantly in pursuit of the common, immediate interests and long-term aims of the working class movement as a whole.
South Africa has a better future, but this requires maximum unity behind a common programme of national democratic revolutionary transformation. We need to forge the broadest possible front to tackle our economic and political challenges, including state capture, corruption and rent-seeking.
ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP
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