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SACP END OF YEAR STATEMENT

23 December 2002

The South African Communist Party (SACP) takes this opportunity to send its good wishes to all South Africans and people of the world over the festive season. We also send our good wishes to all for the new year. In particular we would like to send a special message to the working people of our country, millions of whom normally take a well-deserved rest at this time of the year. It is your toil, perseverance and hard work – under very difficult circumstances - that keep the wheels of our economy turning. To the millions of unemployed and rural masses the SACP says, let us organise and work together with government at all levels to mobilise our domestic physical and human resources, including the building of co-operatives and social capital, to struggle for a more job-creating economy and fight against the culture of the narrow pursuit of profit. Let us build an economy which is more responsive to the needs of the overwhelming majority of our people.

The scope and sheer tragedy of the HIV/AIDS pandemic ravaging our country has become more and more apparent to most of us in the course of this year, not just in the burgeoning statistics, but in lived reality itself. Few of us have not been touched more or less directly by the loss of family members, partners, work colleagues, comrades and friends. It is for this reason that the SACP calls on all NEDLAC social partners to move speedily to ensure that the National HIV/AIDS Treatment and Prevention Plan is signed and implemented as a matter of extreme urgency in the new year.

As the SACP we take satisfaction in the progress made on a number of fronts in the year 2002. These include:

The holding of the successful Ekurhuleni Alliance Summit

Apart from being the largest SACP Congress, the 11th Congress reaffirmed the SACP as the leading political force of the South African working class and an indispensable part of progressive forces aligned to take forward the National Democratic Revolution. The 11th Congress unequivocally asserted the need to deepen and consolidate socialist strategy, organisation and consciousness in the context of the ANC-led alliance.

The 51st National Conference of the ANC has once more cemented the basis for unity in action of our alliance. The SACP salutes the delegates who made this possible and wishes the ANC well in its endeavour to implement the resolutions adopted by the Conference.

Increasing commitment and action to a growth and development strategy

There is no doubt that as a country and a people, we face major challenges on the economic front in the year ahead. Our ongoing debates and discussions on issues like industrial policy, restructuring of the financial sector, state-owned enterprises and the building of cooperatives have all been given added urgency by recent developments in currency markets. The SACP calls for an opportunity at the earliest possible moment for the alliance to engage on these pressing matters, and reiterates its call for the agreed on alliance lekgotla to be brought forward.

Despite the above achievements, the ANC-led alliance has encountered serious tensions within the alliance. The ANC-led liberation movement nevertheless continues to enjoy overwhelming majority support in our country. The SACP is confident that by addressing alliance tensions, we can build a stronger Alliance. The SACP is ready and committed as ever to play its part in this regard. We remain convinced that our country needs this Alliance even more in the light of the very numerous and complicated challenges facing our country and its people.

The year 2003 poses many challenges. Some of the key pointers for 2003 include:

The tenth anniversary of the killing of Chris Hani (late SACP General Secretary)

The re-establishment of the Young Communist League

The holding of the Growth and Development Summit

The last year before the 2004 general election

It is for these reasons that the SACP has declared the year 2003 as the year of `Building People’s Power where Live, Work and Study … With and for the Workers and the Poor’.

We should build on our achievements in order to tackle the numerous challenges that face us in the year ahead.

CONTACT

Mazibuko K. Jara (surname Jara) Department of Media, Information and Publicity South African Communist Party Tel - 083 651 0271, Email - mazibuko@sacp.org.za,

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