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Address by Gauteng Premier Makhura to the SACP 14th National Congress

11 July 2017, Birchwood Conference Centre

SACP General Secretary, Comrade Blade Nzimande, National, Office Bearers and Members of the Central Committee;
ANC Deputy Secretary General, Cde Jessie Duarte, and Members of the NEC;
COSATU President and Members of the CEC;
Members of the NEC of SANCO;
Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic community;
Veterans and stalwarts of the liberation struggle;
Representatives of the mass democratic organisations and civil society;
International guests from fraternal parties;
Comrade Delegates:

On behalf of the People and the Provincial Government of Gauteng, I welcome you all to the 14th National Congress of the SACP. Our province is honoured to host this Congress here in the City of Ekurhuleni, the manufacturing and aviation hub of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The nation at large and the people of our province await the outcome of this Congress with bated anticipation. I hope the delegates understand fully the challenges of this moment and the expectations from ordinary citizens that this Congress will address with their plight and concerns about the state of our economy and governance.

Why should we have high expectations from this Congress?

For almost a century, South African communists have been at the centre of the struggle for national liberation and social emancipation in our country. Communists worked with other leaders of the liberation movement and trade unions as foremost theoreticians and fearless volunteers for action in every phase and pillar of our struggle.

For their clarity of thought and fearless actions; stoical discipline and hard work; steadfastness of principle and truthfulness; selfless service and readiness to pay the supreme sacrifice for the cause of the people, communists have earned respect and admiration across the length and breadth of our motherland. These attributes are required today as we confront the daunting challenges of our time.

This important National Congress takes place at a time when South African communists are once more called upon to rise to the occasion in dealing with major issues troubling our country and the globe today.

Internationally, there is a deepening mutative crisis of global capitalism and its tendency to increase inequalities by concentrating wealth in few elites has given birth to the rise of populism and increasing terrorism.

For progressive forces of the left of which the ANC is part, as long as capitalism is synonymous with greater inequality and concentration of wealth among the few elites while the majority perish in poverty in the midst of plenty, the question of a post-capitalist civilization will remain on the agenda and anti-capitalist struggles will continue.

As long as we have a system that promotes unequal and unfair distribution of national resources to the few - whether it is on the basis of race, class, gender - mobilization, organization and education against such a system will and must continue. As long as we live in a world where the global economy is dominated by few powerful countries that marginalize the majority who are located in the developing countries, slogans such as "another world is possible" will continue to be heard around the world. The SACP must lead these efforts to build a post-capitalist human civilization in our country and accumulate motive forces that are opposed to world in which wealth and national resources are manipulated or controlled by the few. This is a struggle at a global level that we progressive forces must be part of.

At a national and domestic level, our revolution faces serious challenges that must be confronted with the same clarity of thought, stoical discipline and steadfastness of principle that led to the triumph of the struggle against apartheid and colonialism.

We face the real danger that our revolution can degenerate and fail to deliver the dream and promise of a truly non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic and prosperous society.

There are two immediate and major dangers that face our revolution.

One immediate and major danger is the persistent and stubborn legacy of colonialism of a special type which remains in tact socially and economically. White domination of the economy continues, while millions of Black people remain outside the realm of the economy, culture and the arena of ideas.

There is no way we should allow the concentration and monopolization of our country's national resources, be they White or Black. We need effective interventions grow the economy in a transformative, inclusive and sustainable way. We hope this Congress will speak to this important issue of turning around the SA economy. There are legitimate expectations that you will address the matter of the state of the economy. You must not disappoint us by keeping quiet on the state of the economy and what we need to do improve the prospects of our economy.

We need to everything to explore a combination various measures to broaden participation of all our people in the economy, including supporting cooperatives, township and village enterprises and development of black industrialists. We must also deploy infrastructure development to reshape the space and structure of our economy. We need to improve the efficacy of the state and its state-owned companies to drive transformative socioeconomic development and radical socioeconomic transformation.

The second danger, which can undermine our ability to bring about radical socioeconomic transformation, is the immediate threat that corruption and state capture will derail our revolution. If allow the developmental state to be captured and corruption to thrive, we will not be able to achieve the kind of transformation that eliminates apartheid and colonialism of a special type in all their manifestations.

To your credit as the SACP, you have been very outspoken against corporate of the state and corruption. You have given the necessary leadership and mobilizing other progressive forces and citizens in defending the integrity of the national democratic state and the Constitution upon which our new republic is founded.

I hope and expect the Congress will set the right tone and attitude of communists to corruption and state capture. The SACP to send a very strong and unequivocal stance against state capture and corruption. Particularly because the SACP is debating whether to contest state power or not, you need to understand the corruptive impact or influence of state power.

One of our major weaknesses which led to the loss of moral authority is that we are too tolerant of crooks. We need to learn from parties such as the Communist Party of China on how to deal with corruption in the ranks and in society.

Those of us who are taking a stance against state capture and corruption must understand that the forces driving state capture and corruption will put a big fight in defense of their ongoing loot of public resources. We must be prepared to endure insults, intimidation and all kinds of threats that will be directed at us. If we are to restore the moral integrity of the movement, we must be ready for a long ideological struggle and be steadfast and resilient in the fight against corruption.

Both the SACP, together with ANC, mobilise other social forces that are truly opposed to corruption such as the churches, the students, the academics. This include making sure that the ANC succeeds in the fight against state capture and corruption in order to restore its organisational and ideological integrity.

All of us, every patriotic and every citizen must ensure that we win the war against corruption and state capture. Without a credible, capable developmental state, we can't transform our society.

Let us demonstrate to our people that we do have moral and political capacity to tackle state capture and corruption so that the state can focus fighting inequality, poverty and unemployment instead of focusing on enriching a politically connected elite. Our national agenda is about the well-being of the majority, not the few, be they Black or White.

Let us renew our movement and the Alliance.

These are some of the issues that the masses out there expect this Congress to answer convincingly.

I therefore wish you a pleasant stay and the Congress tremendous success as we await its outcomes!

Thank you!