South African Communist Party

21 September 2021 Dear comrades, We bring revolutionary greetings from the Central Committee and the entire membership of the SACP, during this year, our 100 years since the SACP was founded. It is indeed a centenary we are proud of—a hundred years of unbroken struggle for national liberation, women’s emancipation, and socialism. We are also proud of the fact that it has been a 100 years of building the progressive trade union movement in South Africa, and no other political party can claim such in our country! In our centenary we say, ‘Put People Before Profit’ as our theme and a call to action for our whole working-class. We say, ‘Socialism is the Future – Build is now’. We also wish to take this opportunity to express our sincere condolences to the families of the public servants in the healthcare, safety, and security sectors, to workers in the agricultural, food retail and other essential goods and services sectors, to mention but a few sectors, who lost their lives because of COVID-19 while serving our people. We express our heartfelt condolences to all the unions that lost their members, leaders, and staff because of COVID-19.       Your Central Committee takes place during one of the most difficult situations facing the national democratic revolution since our April 1994 democratic breakthrough. The jobs bloodbath and the need to drive mass empowerment We are faced with the global COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social impact and consequences. The pandemic has worsened pre-existing high levels of unemployment, poverty, and inequality in our country. Just in one quarter, from April to June 2020, over two million jobs were lost. Capitalist bosses mainly retrenched the affected workers. Their priority, as always, was on protecting profits. The jobs bloodbath however continued beyond the second quarter of 2020. In the face of the crisis, many workers were compelled to take wage cuts in lieu of retrenchments. In the public sector, entities such as the SAA and the SABC retrenched workers. The SAA was first placed under business rescue. In fact, certain quarters wanted it to be liquidated altogether or wholly privatised. We had to confront that agenda, partly motivated by our centenary theme: Put People Before Profit: Socialism is the Future – Build it Now. But also, we defended the SAA and the SABC because we did not want them to become pilots for full or part privatisation. We also did this because as the SACP we strongly believe that workers’ struggles are indivisible, and that we cannot, for instance, elevate job security for workers in some sectors whilst abandoning workers in other sectors. While we succeeded to save the SAA, so far, or for now, we lost a part of it to the so-called strategic equity partners. At SA Express, it seems a fait accompli, that those who wanted to finish off the entity through liquidation appear to have won. At Mango, workers have been battling with receiving their wage payments. We pledge our solidarity with all those workers as their interests and struggles are indivisible! We need to continue and intensify the battle for public ownership not only in the aviation sector, but also in other key and strategic sectors of our economy. However, we need to draw lessons from our own struggles against privatisation and state capture. We went to the ANC Polokwane Conference in 2007 united on the need to fight privatisation and to keep our state-owned enterprises in the hands of the state. Yet we have subsequently discovered that some amongst us wanted those enterprises in the hands of the state so that they…

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SACP Message to the COSATU Central Committee as delivered by the General Secretary, Dr Blade Nzimande