NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Towards the sacp’s 13th national congress

13 August 2012, Posted in NUMSA News

The South African Communist Party (SACP) is proceeding to a very important 13th national congress armed with a thesis called The South African Road to Socialism.

No self-respecting communist or socialist can stand aloof from such an important and momentous gathering, where the international balance of power, global capitalist crises, the South African National Democratic Revolution (NDR) and the struggle for socialism shall feature prominently.

In our country, today, it is a known fact that we are confronted with a triple crisis of deepening levels of poverty, rising unemployment and inequality. South Africa has the most unequal society in world, having overtaken Brazil.

In the ninth Numsa national congress the ANC president, Jacob Zuma, suggested that the NDR is at the crossroads given the triple crisis.

The Numsa congress took this conceptual framework of the ANC president further by resolving that the NDR is off track.

This was because the colonial character of the South African economy remains intact and white monopoly capital continues to be the economic beneficiary of our democracy and freedom.

The SACP is, of course, correct when it says it is not an NGO but a working-class party interested in political power.

In this regard the 13th national congress will have to deal properly deal with the ANC’s policy discussion document on the so-called second transition, from the standpoint of the party’s historic radical redistributive and transformative agenda, to ensure that we lift the working class and the poor out of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Since the ground-breaking tactics and strategy document of the ANC that emerge from the Morogoro ANC conference in 1969, the Alliance has come to accept there is an inextricable link between apartheid and capitalism and therefore agrees that political liberation in South Africa is bound up with economic emancipation.

The Morogoro document said: “It is inconceivable for liberation to have meaning without a return of the wealth of the land to the people.” Every ANC conference since then, including those of other Alliance formations, has confirmed this perspective.

In the development of its strategic perspectives, over time, the SACP has understood that “in our conditions in which national oppression and economic exploitation are inextricably linked, there can, at the end of the day, be no fundamental liberation without full economic emancipation”. (Path to Power 1989).

Numsa's inth national congress emphasised the centrality of the Freedom Charter and agreed that whereas the 1994 democratic breakthrough brought dignity to our people and delivered some social needs to the black majority, the two decades of our political freedom did not alter the South African economy, which remains in the hands of white monopoly capital.
The party’s 1962 document, Road to South African Freedom, says this about what a new democratic order should do: The main aims and lines of the South African democratic revolution have been defined in the Freedom Charter, which has been endorsed by the African National Congress and the other partners in the national liberation alliance.

The Freedom Charter is not a programme for socialism. It is a common programme for a free, democratic South Africa, agreed on by socialists and non-socialists.

At the same time, in order to guarantee the abolition of racial oppression and White minority domination, the Freedom Charter necessarily and realistically calls for profound economic changes: drastic agrarian reform to restore the land to the people; widespread nationalisation of key industries to break the grip of White monopoly capital on the main centres of the country’s economy; radical improvements in the conditions and standards of living for the working people.

The Communist Party pledges its unqualified support for the Freedom Charter. It considers that the achievement of its aims will answer the pressing and immediate needs of the people and lay the indispensable basis for the advance of our country along non-capitalist lines to a communist and socialist future.

To win these aims is the immediate task of all the oppressed and democratic people of South Africa, headed by the working class and its party, the Communist Party”

It is common cause that in 1913 land was taken from our people without compensation. In 2013 it will be a hundred years since our people were forcibly made landless.

The question of land in our revolution must be seen as central if we are to overcome the legacy of colonialism and restore the dignity of the oppressed and exploited masses.

The strategic slogan of the SACP: Socialism is the future – build it now! requires a forward-looking analysis by the party’s 13th national congress, given the failure of post-1994 capitalist South Africa to fundamentally address the “return of the wealth to the people as a whole”.

What we need now, more than ever, is concrete class answers buttressed by a concrete working-class struggle and less sloganeering. This must be the central task of the SACP’s 13th national congress in July 2012.


Numsa News