Address by Cde Blade Nzimande, General Secretary
Statement on the occasion of the 106th anniversary rally of the ANC
13 January 2018
This week the 8th January marked the 106th anniversary of the founding of the ANC. The SACP celebrates this important milestone by our continent`s oldest national liberation political formation. This year also marks the 90th anniversary of the adoption of the resolution that effectively established our Alliance, and the long standing relationship between the Communist Party, the ANC and our country`s progressive trade union movement.
The `Resolution on the South African Question`, also known as the `Native Republic Thesis`, was first adopted in 1928 by the Communist International, to which our Party affiliated immediately after its founding in 1921. The adoption of the resolution was preceded by a visit to the Soviet Union by a leading member of our Party, James La Guma, accompanied by ANC President Josiah Gumede. The Communist Party in South Africa ratified the resolution immediately in 1929. This became the first policy in our liberation struggle to call for South Africa to be transformed into a republic with equal rights for people of all races based on a democratic majority rule.
Together, our primary political formations pioneered working class and national movements on the African continent. The ANC`s existence goes back to 1912 while the Communist Party, whose prehistory dates back to 1914 from opposition to imperialist war, exploitation and oppression, was founded in 1921. As our Party said in 1977 at the first Congress of the People`s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), our two streams of revolutionary consciousness and organisation reflect the interplay of class and national factors in our struggle for liberation and social emancipation.
Reconfiguration of the Alliance!
The SACP remains committed to our Alliance, whose strategic importance cannot be overemphasised. This is why the Alliance, as it is with all its independent partners, must undergo continuous organisational renewal to keep pace with the times by adapting to changing conditions. The Alliance`s relevance must continuously be proven both in theory and practice. This is why, as the SACP, we want to make use of this important occasion to emphasise the crucial importance of reconfiguring the Alliance.
In particular, the functioning of the Alliance must reflect the principle of democratic consensus-seeking consultation and accountability on all major aspects of our shared programme, the national democratic revolution. This is very important particularly in regard to our attitude to and the exercise of state power, a new pillar of our liberation struggle following our 1994 historic breakthrough. The success of the revolution depends on many factors, but all of them require collective leadership and maximum unity. Unilateralism and divisions within and between Alliance partners will only serve to either postpone the success of the revolution or dislodge it from government. We must discard the era of these tendencies and leave them behind.
Our Alliance was not founded on the basis of abstract unity proven by nothing in practice. Equally, both covert and overt manoeuvres disrupting unity are counterproductive regardless of accompanying outcries for unity by the disruptors of unity. In struggle as in everyday life, we must distinguish between what individuals say and who they really are and do in practice. There must be consistency and revolutionary unity between what we say on the one hand, and on the other hand who we really are and what we do in practice as Alliance leaders and Alliance partners.
The Alliance Political Council was scheduled to meet by the end of November 2017 to reflect on the important matter of the reconfiguration of the Alliance. This subject was not addressed due to a variety of intervening factors despite the meeting sitting. The reconvening of the Alliance Political Council as a matter of urgency therefore cannot be overemphasised.
Selflessly serve the people exceptionally!
Our national liberation movement was not formed for the sake only of its members and Alliance partners. Together we formed the movement to lead our struggle for liberation and selflessly serve the people exceptionally towards complete social emancipation. The collective interests of the people are therefore superior and second to none!
This is why we must build an inviolable contact with the masses of our people and not limit direct interaction with the people to elections periods. This is also why we must work together to deal a decisive blow to corruption, including its widespread manifestation of corporate state capture. The commission of inquiry announced this week, though long overdue, must therefore move swiftly and perform its work without any further delay. The commission must complete the task within 180 days as prescribed by the remedial action that directed its establishment.
Solve the problems of the people!
The SACP is looking forward to working together with the newly elected ANC leadership, and the entire Alliance. We must attend to the immediate needs of our people, the majority of whom is the working class and poor. We must, at the same time, take care of their future. The majority of our people live under conditions of high levels of class, race and gender inequality, unemployment, poverty and social insecurity. These problems, which must come to an end, are a direct result of dispossession and economic exploitation. They are also a direct result of the exploitation of our basic national wealth, including land and other natural and public resources for the political-economic benefit of a few.
The systemic problems of persisting inequality, unemployment, poverty and social insecurity have reached a point where they undermine the many progressive achievements we have made since 1994. We need an urgent Alliance summit to reflect on policy measures to remedy the situation. THIS REQUIRES A DECISIVE PURSUIT OF OUR SHARED PERSPECTIVE TO PUSH A SECOND RADICAL PHASE OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION!