27 September 2022
The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Free State Province (FS) held a Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting virtually on 25 September 2022. The PEC received detailed political input, organisational and financial reports. The PEC considered the state of the national democratic revolution, the Alliance and the renewal project in the province and further evaluated and consolidated the programmatic area arising from both the Provincial and National Congresses of the Party.
Confront ills and weaknesses in our movement, build a powerful, socialist movement to defend our democratic gains and advance a socialist oriented NDR
In order to work out a common point of departure, the new PEC undertook a detailed and frank analysis of the state of the Alliance, the NDR and the role of democratic government in the province in improving the lives of people. The PEC’s assessment is that the organisational capacity and cohesion of the progressive forces and the functioning of the Alliance in the province has weakened. It was admitted that the strength and presence of the Party itself on the ground is uneven; the ANC has interim structures which are now fixated on conferences, putting together non-active rudimentary branches and generally faltering on the tasks of genuinely uniting and renewing the movement. The lack of joint Alliance programmes, involving COSATU and uniting SANCO are also a cause for concern.
The general state of governance and functionality of the provincial and local government is in terminal decline, with the prospects, capacity and momentum required to drive a second more radical phase of the NDR having stalled. Instead of the leader of the Alliance focusing and leading an inclusive process of addressing these fundamental subjective weaknesses, the PEC’s observation is that the ANC has neglected its leadership of the NDR and the Alliance in pursuit of self-serving upwards leadership mobility through polarising processes of regional and provincial conferences. These continue to erode the standing of the movement, alienate the class forces and tilt the balance of forces unfavourably for the movement, making the prospects of losing the provincial elections in 2024 more and more probable.
The PEC agreed on the need to strengthen and enhance ties and unity with the Alliance. This will include nurturing the unity efforts the SACP PEC has initiated between the parallel structures within SANCO. The SACP will lobby for a programmatic approach as a basis for uniting the Alliance and all progressive forces, managing all contradictions consistently in the interest of advancing, deepening and defending a socialist oriented national democratic struggle. The Party must continue to advocate for an Alliance-led intervention mechanism, with full mandating and intervening powers to provide political management of governance in the province.
The Party pointed out serious lack of leadership by the ANC on the situation in Mangaung Metro Municipality. The Party believes the ANC is paralysed and conflicted to intervene objectively and has urged an Alliance-led process of intervention on Mangaung Metro. Part of the immediate tasks include saving the municipality from the clearly orchestrated intentions to collapse it or hand it over to a coalition of current opposition parties, restoration of good governance and service delivery, holding anyone in the wrong legally responsible. The SACP believes that without confronting directly and openly the political basis behind the chaos in Mangaung through an Alliance platform, the situation will not abate.
Building a campaigning Party and socialist movement of the workers and poor
The PEC discussed and adopted a programme of action, guided by the SACP Free State 8th Provincial Congress, SACP 15th National Congress and the SACP Red October Campaign for 2022 to 20223. The programme is geared towards entrenching a campaigning and relatively independent Party with strong ties with both organised and unorganised working class and steeped in community struggles.
The PEC also finalised a Provincial Working Committee and deployments to Commissions and Districts and appointment of a spokesperson. These are intended to assist in building a campaigning Party rooted amongst the masses. At the core of the Party programme will be the fight against poverty, unemployment and inequality. The fight against high cost of living, environmental pollution and degradation and the neo-liberal onslaught against the working class and poor.
Jagersfontein Development Mine’s Tailing Dam Burst
The PEC reiterated its solidarity and message of condolences to the families of the dead, the injured and all those affected by the sludge dam burst tragedy at JD Diamonds Mine in Jagersfontein and thanked the continuing efforts of Party structures in assisting those affected. The PEC believes that capitalist greed, that favours pursuit of profits at the neglect of people’s lives, properties and livelihood is responsible for dereliction of duty on safety, health and environmental requirements by mine bosses. For over 100 years, capitalists have exploited and appropriated the diamonds, including the world-renowned largest diamonds at the time named the Excelsior and Jubilee diamonds, from the Jagersfontein mine. Capitalist disinvestment from the mine through the so-called change of ownership over the years has effectively transferred liabilities, environmental externalities and underdevelopment to the poor communities of Kopanong Local Municipality.
The government and all stakeholders must ensure that mine owners are traced and held responsible and accountable for all damages caused by the dam burst and ensure that economic activities are restored in the area. The SACP supports the class lawsuit initiated by and for the community of Jagersfontein. The SACP urges anyone to make clean donations to help those affected into the following banking details:
Account Holder: Albert Nzula District
Account Number: 63020625381
Branch Code: 231332
Contact Person: Richard Raad (SACP District Secretary), 072 054 8320
The PEC reaffirmed the Party position on the unfolding military operation in Ukraine and all ongoing covert and overt imperialist wars in various parts of the world. The PEC expressed concern at what appears to be a coordinated drive to turn the conflict in Ukraine into a long-drawn proxy war, with NATO and US involvement through continued supply of ammunition and sophisticated weapons to Ukraine. The impact of this conflict, together with associated knee-jerk reactions mainly from the EU and US, has plunged the world into crisis and has disrupted global supply chains leading to high food, energy and commodity prices which painfully continue to batter the already overburdened working people and poor across the world. The PEC reiterated the call for a speedier and peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and other parts of the world engulfed by the raging imperialist wars.
The PEC also resolved to reinitiate links with the Communist Party in Lesotho and hold bilateral engagements to obtain detailed insight into the concrete situation in Lesotho and to study the situation and conditions of Basotho nationals in South Africa with the intention to work out joint solidarity campaigns.
ISSUED BY THE SACP FREE STATE PROVINCE
Bheke Stofile – SACP Free State Provincial Secretary
Mobile: 071 600 4899
Phillip Kganyago – SACP Free State Provincial Spokesperson
Mobile: 071 896 0157
ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP
EST. 1921 AS THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA | CPSA
1921–2022: 101 YEARS OF UNBROKEN STRUGGLE
TOGETHER LET’S BUILD A POWERFUL, SOCIALIST MOVEMENT OF THE WORKERS AND POOR: SOCIALISM IS THE FUTURE—BUILD IT NOW!
Solly Mapaila, the SACP General Secretary
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Source: South African Communist Party