SACP Message to the COSATU 14th National Congress, delivered by Solly Mapaila, SACP General Secretary

Together, let’s build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor to roll back the neoliberal macroeconomic framework

We bring you revolutionary greetings from the entire leadership and membership of the Communist Party.

First and foremost, we wish this 14th National Congress of COSATU a resounding success and COSATU to grow from strength to strength in both membership and influence in advancing and defending the interests of workers. 

The political tasks facing COSATU at its 14th National Congress and beyond

One of the critical tasks facing the national democratic revolution is to deepen strategic relevance against waning hope among the masses. There are many reasons the revolution is facing this situation. Key concerns include the betrayal of the Alliance’s revolutionary historical mission, commitment to neoliberalism, and a decline in the influence of the working-class on the strategic content and direction of the transformation process.   

Here are some considerations on the strategic tasks facing the national democratic revolution and COSATU at this National Congress and going forward.

  1. There must be a definite change in the balance of class forces in favour of the working-class both inside and outside of the movement. To achieve this, the COSATU 14th National Congress has to come out with a radical economic, social and political programme anchored in a militant posture on taking up working-class struggles. The erosion of working-class gains will continue if the working-class fails to grasp this moment and to rise to the occasion. We will all become an irrelevant relic, even though we will be proud of our past history.  
  2. A militant programme to reclaim the leadership role of the working-class struggles and mobilisation. This would require, amongst others, supporting the SACP’s mass programme for socialism by building a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor in the here and now. 
  3. Stopping the neoliberal economic trajectory pursued by the government. The National Treasury and the Reserve Bank are the leading institutions in pursuing the neoliberal trajectory. In fact, stopping the neoliberal trajectory must be considered as a precondition for supporting the ANC electorally if this support has to continue. The working-class must not sign a blank cheque.
  4. A clear working-class agenda for accelerated transformation of society, for retention and reconfiguration of political power to drive radical economic and broader social transformation in favour of the working-class and to advance towards socialism. This radical agenda must be placed on the agenda of society. No one will free us except ourselves, let us sharpen the class contradiction towards socialism.
  5. Reconfiguration of the Alliance and driving agreed framework of renewal, including contesting the ANC as a class force to achieve the renewal. The working-class cannot fold its arms while other class forces and even lumpen networks are contesting the ANC. The working-class must contest the ANC to alter the balance of forces both inside and outside the movement in pursuit of revolutionary renewal, working-class interests and the broader programme to complete our liberation and advance universal social emancipation. 

Roll back the stranglehold of neoliberalism and its austerity agenda on our economy and society 

Given the urgency with which we need to build maximum working-class unity to roll back neoliberalism, the SACP proposes the following working-class programme of action.

  1. Overthrow the neoliberal macroeconomic policy regime and its austerity agenda to a truly new people’s economy. This should include rejecting any social compact that excludes the adoption of a new macroeconomic framework. Therefore, monetary, fiscal and international trade policies must all be reviewed to prioritise manufacturing and minerals beneficiation and localisation in pursuit of industrialisation to create employment massively towards the right to work for all. This requires the adoption of a high impact, comprehensive industrial policy to take the lead and for macroeconomic policy to follow and support the industrialisation imperative. Industrialisation and employment impact of existing master plans must, therefore, be re-appraised and strengthened as part of formulating the much-needed coherent industrial policy.
  2. Poverty eradication and radical reduction of inequality as economic and social development policy goals, with clear targets. This must include a decisive advance towards a universal basic income grant. Instead of terminating the SRD Grant at the end of March 2023, the government must maintain and improve it towards a universal basic income grant.
  3. A more progressive tax structure, including wealth and inheritance taxes, and re-examination of the corporate income tax regime to support the ability to meet the needs of the people.
  4. Structural transformation of the financial sector to rollback commercial banking monopoly and make the banks and other financial service providers serve the people. The funds in the hands of the banks and other financial service providers considerably include deposits, savings and premiums from the people. How they deal in these funds cannot be left to the unelected and unaccountable capitalist bosses alone.
  5. The transformation of the financial sector must include building the presence of the state in the sector. Immediate steps must include state takeover of the stake held by the Reserve in African Bank instead of selling that stake to profit-driven interests. However, we are not referring here merely to pursuing one state bank but to building a developmental public banking sector, including sectoral banks, to support building national production and supporting industrialisation. The prevailing regulatory universe must be reviewed to make this possible, among others, by distinguishing state-owned banks at the national, provincial and municipal levels from commercial banks. This review must also foster an enabling environment for worker- and community-controlled co-operative banks and financial institutions, credit union leagues and savings schemes to thrive.
  6. The adoption of a differential interest rate policy to direct credit according to transformation and developmental priorities.
  7.  Amendment of the Reserve Bank mandate to target and account for employment creation.
  8. Reduction in financial services fees to tackle financial exploitation.
  9. A massive public infrastructure rollout and maintenance based on public led programme and not tenderisation madness. 
  10. Clamp down on destruction and looting of public infrastructure, state capture and other forms of corruption, including through a comprehensive response to the report of the Commission of Inequity into State Capture.
  11. Intensification of the struggle to eliminate racialised and gendered inequalities and gender-based violence in the workplace, the economy and society at large.

Together, let us build a powerful, social movement of the workers and poor to drive these and other transformation and development priorities. 

The energy crisis and the environment

The SACP proposes the following on the electricity crisis and the dilapidating nationwide load shedding.

  1. The electricity crisis disrupts production and the provision of public services, including healthcare. Under this situation, all talk of industrialisation and employment creation sound like nothing but hot air. Cuts in water supply in other parts of the country have the same effect and disrupt care and social reproduction in households and communities.
  2. South Africa needs a different, people-centred approach to undo the damage caused by the legacy of successive colonial and apartheid regimes, neoliberalism, and lawlessness. As things stand, as a matter of urgency, measures must be put in place to exclude hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions and activities from load shedding to save life.
  3. In the same vein, as a matter of urgency, we need to go all out to dismantle the entire structure of the neoliberal policy regime and its continuation by the government of the day. Our priorities, we propose, must include campaigning for public investment in new power generation capacity. Both fiscal and monetary policies must play a decisive role in ensuring public investment in new power generation capacity. This must include adequate support for innovation, research and development in clean coal technology.
  4. Related to the point we just made, there can be no just transition through strategies that will lead to retrenchments instead of protecting workers and creating employment for the unemployed. There can be no just transition through strategies that will produce ghost towns. There can be no just transition through strategies that will continue to increase electricity tariffs, making it unaffordable for the workers and poor, as well as for the lower sections of the middle class. As a matter of principle, electricity must be accessible on a developmental basis. This will also support industrialisation and employment creation.

We need to go all out, dear comrades, to build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor to fight the battle.

State-owned enterprises and co-operatives development

The causes of the crisis facing other state-owned enterprises or public entities do not differ any much from the trajectory that has weakened the capacity of Eskom to live up to the energy needs of the people and the economy. There are many similarities in the causes that have resulted in the crisis faced by the SAA, PRASA, the South African Post Office, DENEL, the SABC, PetroSA, Transnet, the list goes on. In no small measure, neoliberal policy choices and failures, state capture and looting have coalesced in weakening or virtually destroying these and other public entities.

The SACP proposes to the 14th National Congress of COSATU that the federation, building wider trade union and working-class unity, working together with the Party, should go all out to intensify the struggle in pursuit of the working-class demand for the government to turn around state-owned enterprises and other public entities. This must be part of the wider working-class demand for the varied public economy characterised, among others, by well-managed and thriving public utilities, state-owned enterprises, and worker and community-controlled co-operatives.

Earlier this week, someone speaking from the ranks of the opposition, possibly displaying what V.I. Lenin, identified as an infantile disorder, opportunism and childishness, accused COSATU and the SACP of privatising public entities.

That person was showered with media coverage for spreading the claptrap. By the look of things, that person is a new arrival in the entire history of our well-known gallant struggle against privatisation. Going forward, and as part of the reconfiguration of the Alliance, no one must be allowed to attack the SACP and COSATU in parliament without a response in parliament or elsewhere.  

Workplace restructuring and defence of collective bargaining

Capital has restructured the workplace to maximise profit. This has taken place hand in hand with creating oligarchs. It is the context in which the Sibanye-Stillwater paid its CEO Neal Froneman an astronomical R300 million in 2021.

Similarly, MTN, which together with Vodacom, makes up a duopoly in the mobile information and telecommunications technology network sector, paid its CEO Ralph Mupita R84,2 million in 2021. FirstRand paid its CEO Alan Pullinger R48,29 million, including the value of long-term incentives awarded in 2020 and 2021. Within the same group, FNB paid its CEO Jacques Celliers R41,61 million. There is one thing in common that the oligarchs at these and other companies are driving. They are curtailing the peanut wages that they pay the downtrodden, saying they are unaffordable. This is capitalist barbarity.  

Hand in hand with strengthening capacity to tackle workplace restructuring, including engaging on matters relating to the introduction of new production technology, the progressive trade union movement has to unite workers regardless of affiliation and federation to intensify the distributive struggle in the workplace and on a sectoral or industrial basis.

Technological change and work restructuring require trade unions to invest in research and development and continuous training of shop stewards and appointed officials as part of building the capacity to engage on these matters. Workplace restructuring by the capitalist bosses to maximise profits has produced a situation where retrenchments and unemployment overwhelm employment creation.      

The SACP pledges its unwavering solidarity with the workers and trade unions currently in collective bargaining processes, both in the private and public sectors.   

Strengthening the socialist axis of the Alliance and building wider worker unity.

We need to jealously guard the relationship between COSATU as a progressive trade union movement and the Communist Party. We must not allow wedge drivers from inside or outside our movement and country to drive a wedge between our organisations. Our organisations, despite their own weaknesses, remain the central organs of the workers and working-class interests.

In the same vein, we need to work together to organise the unorganised into progressive trade unions and politically into a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor. We need to pay more attention to building stronger COSATU presence in the industrial sectors of the economy, as it is the case in the public sector. Working together, we must grow the federation from strength to strength in all sectors of the economy. We are saying this, dear comrades, welcoming the progress that the federation has registered as detailed in the reports to the congress.

Besides strengthening our own organisation, including through joint membership and leadership capacity building programmes, we need to foster fraternal relations with other worker and working-class formations. The National Union of Mineworkers, for example, has forged a collaboration with other unions in the mining and energy sectors based on the common demands of the workers. The recent National Day of Action involving a joint effort by COSATU, and SAFTU joined by the SACP, and other organisations is another important example. We need to build on these efforts to forge popular left fronts. To build on this work, the SACP proposes the convening of a joint trade union consultative conference to develop a sustained programme of action based on the common demands of the workers in pursuit of their objective interests as a class.

Reconfiguration of the Alliance, a popular left front and a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor

Equally important, we need to work together to realise the reconfiguration of the Alliance. The SACP 15th National Congress resolved that the Central Committee should finalise the important issue of Alliance reconfiguration at its next Augmented Plenary. Related to this, the SACP welcomes the proposal in the composite resolutions and reports to this congress for COSATU to convene a Special National Congress or central committee in the coming year to review progress on the reconfiguration of the Alliance, to decide the next cause of action.

We propose that the SACP and COSATU as working-class organisations should march together in one step, reaching out to other worker and working-class organisations to forge popular left fronts and build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor. While we must contest the space to secure a favourable outcome on the reconfiguration of the Alliance and renewal and unity of our movement, we must avoid investing all our hopes in a positive outcome on both fronts.

Building an independent voice and the capacity of the working-class on all fronts of the struggle is critical not only for the reconfiguration of the Alliance but also for future state power considerations in the event of a negative outcome on the reconfiguration of the Alliance and the renewal of the movement.

For there can be no unity with thieves if they prevail. Similarly, there can be no principled and programmatic unity with the leaders who are not prepared to give practical effect to the reconfiguration of the Alliance and the achievement of a successful renewal of the entire movement.

To be sure, renewal must embrace a renouncement of neoliberalism in favour of elaborating national democratic revolutionary policy to advance towards the aims of the Freedom Charter decisively. Therefore, not only COSATU but also the SACP may have to convene a Special National Congress as part of ensuring that we march together as one in every step we take, while forging wider working-class unity and building inviolable and unbreakable programmatic ties with the masses on the ground.

There is one issue that we need to state as a matter of record.

Someone was saying the SACP is not ready to contest elections. Please allow us to respond to that in one sentence: “The SACP is ready to contest elections: FULL STOP.” Do not ever say the SACP is not ready. What is necessary, however, are engagements with the broader working-class population, with worker organisations and, yes, with our allies. Principled and programmatic unity remains essential. We ourselves as the working-class will need it more going forward. Especially, the process of democratic engagement is important to ensure that, as the Party of the working-class, we move together with and for the workers and poor in every step we take.

The international situation

The world is characterised by a deepening threat to the emergence of a multi-polar world based on co-operation for peace and human development equality. The threat is driven by the insecurities of declining influence by the US, backed by its imperialist allies.

The bipolar axis of the imperialist US and Europe seeks to impose its worldview, using the institutions they control, such as the IMF, and their military alliance, NATO, to force other states to follow their neoliberal policy prescriptions and expansion in Eastern Europe. Expansion by the US-dominated NATO in Eastern Europe aimed at encircling the Russian Federation, with China as another target. This is the context in which the US has been provoking China in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.

We live in an era of war and indeed shall only know peace once war is permanently abolished. But as V.I. Lenin observed: “War cannot be abolished unless classes are abolished, and socialism is created”.

The provocations against Russia and China by the United States directly or through NATO saw the people of Russia and China responding firmly in defence of their national independence and sovereignty.

We express our solidarity with the people of Cuba against imperialist aggression, including economic blockade and occupation of the Cuban territory on Guantanamo Bay by the United States.

We pledge our solidarity with the progressive forces in Latin America, with the people of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, to mention but a few, for a leftwards advance, and against the United States-led imperialist aggression.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Western Sahara against the occupation of their country by Morocco.

The SACP supports the people of Swaziland struggling for democracy, and against the autocratic regime of the absolute monarch. 

We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine against occupation by the US-backed apartheid regime of Israel.

In the same vein, we stand in solidarity with the people of Syria and the Kurds in the Middle East. We support the Freedom of Abdullah Öcalan Movement.

Once more, we wish the COSATU 14th National Congress a resounding success.

In sharing our message to this congress, we will supply a resource pack that gives background details to some of the key proposals we have made in this main text of the message.

Thank you.


Background on the proposals for a policy change to roll back the stranglehold of neoliberalism and its austerity agenda on our economy and society

Instead of rolling back the neoliberal policy prescriptions that the apartheid regime started domesticating and imposing in the 1970s, post-1994 the democratically elected government widened state conformity to the neoliberal policy prescriptions globally pushed by imperialist states and institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. This, notably, started with the government imposing the policy called Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) in 1996. The 1996 GEAR class project imposed on international trade, monetary and fiscal policy fronts measures that, together with the legacy of apartheid and global capitalist system crises, underpin the post-1994 perpetual policy failure. The global capitalist system crises include the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is in this context that the COSATU 14th National Congress takes place amid an unemployment crisis affecting approximately 12,3 million active and discouraged work-seekers. The lowest unemployment rate in our democratic dispensation was 16,5 per cent in 1995. Post-1994, the unemployment crisis that started in the early 1980s intensified after the government imposed GEAR in 1996. Unemployment rose in 1996 to crisis-high rates fluctuating and worsening above 20 per cent. This is the context in which the unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2022 was 44,1 per cent.

In terms of race, the overwhelming majority of those affected are black active and discouraged work-seekers. Their majority are women in terms of gender and youth in terms of age. The racialised and gendered unemployment realities, as is also the case in terms of ongoing high levels of mass poverty, reflect the lasting legacy of colonialism of a special type inclusive of apartheid in the economy.

While the profile of management control has changed in the public sector because of progress in employment equity implementation, the change that has occurred in industry is comparatively negligible as successive Employment Equity Commission reports indicate. This appears to be going hand in hand with capitalist inequality and untransformed ownership patterns. Supervisory positions and management control in industry continue to reflect the history of white privilege and job reservation, with males in terms of gender the most dominant the higher you go and in well-paying occupations compared to occupations with peanut wages. The black bottom, related subordination and gendered income inequality in industry continue to characterise the pyramid structure of the workplace. 

In the same way, wealth inequality remains racialised. It is higher than income inequality. In fact, wealth inequality in South Africa approximates absolute inequality in the sea of mass poverty and racialised and gendered social reproduction crisis. In this context, the rising cost of living is also racialised and gendered in its impact.

The neoliberal policy regime has failed to roll back de-industrialisation, which started in the 1980s. In this context, interest rate increases by the Reserve Bank in an already high interest rate regime make the cost of borrowing more exorbitant for industrial development, credit related operational costs and expansion of productive capacity. This acts against employment creation.   

In the community, every time the Reserve Bank increases interest rates, it also raises the levels of household debt. For example, those who have bought a house through a home loan have to cough up more in repayments—in a world of the exorbitant compound interest regime. In the end, those who have bought a house repay their home loan for the one house as if they have bought two houses. The mortgage payment for cars is quicker than for houses, which is madness.

Together with unemployment, the exploitation of workers in low wage employment, the failure of provincial human settlement departments to spend their allocated budgets for low-cost houses, to mention but a few realities, the high interest rate regime has multiplied squatter camps in our country.

By increasing credit related operational costs and acting against industrial development, expansion of productive capacity and employment creation, the neoliberal monetary policy also suffocates the ability to reduce poverty radically and it contributes to the rising cost of living. It is this paradigm that the Reserve Bank actively strengthens when it raises interest rates. For example, in July, the Reserve Bank increased the repurchase rate by 75 basis points. It raised the repo rate by another 75 basis points last week, taking it to a whopping 6,25 per cent and the lowest lending rate by the banks, called the prime rate, to a massive 9,75 per cent.

The Reserve Bank has produced no scientific evidence that raising interest rate will go to the source of the current global wave of inflation, rapidly turn the tide against stagnation and produce balanced and sustainable growth as the constitution requires and increase employment. In particular, the current wave of inflation is driven not by the millions of the unemployed and working poor but by factors with external origin. The factors include disruptions of globalised production networks by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially at its height, the NATO-provoked war in Ukraine, the sanctions weaponised by imperialist states such as the United States and its NATO allies against other countries, like the oil-rich countries such as Venezuela, and increases in the price of the oil available in the market, to name but a few. By impacting on food production, climate change is another factor.

As the cost of living rises, since April, the new regulatory approach to which the government has shifted has curtailed the number of people who were eligible for the Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD Grant). Long before that, there has been a neoliberal attack on workers through restructuring and retrenchments, curtailing the share of labour income in the economy. The government followed suit by reneging on compliance with the salary increases for public service workers, withdrawing from, and attacking, public service collective bargaining Resolution 1 of 2018.

Because of the neoliberal macroeconomic policy, there is no notable progress towards establishing a comprehensive social security system, contrary to what we have committed ourselves to as the Alliance in the 2019 general election manifesto. As if that were not enough, big business is engaging in all manner of manoeuvres to stop an advance towards a universal basic income grant. Big business has been lobbying for reductions in corporate income tax, blocking a wealth tax and is now propagating another increase in VAT.

Background to the proposals to address the energy crisis and load shedding  

We cannot hope to overcome the problem of load shedding without looking at how it has come about, historically, and what we need to do both now and going forward to solve it and avoid what has led to it from being repeated.

Successive colonial and apartheid regimes excluded the oppressed majority from household electrification for hundred years, from 1894 to 1994. The oppressors viewed the electric power generation capacity that they built, mainly through Eskom, as sufficient for the beneficiaries of their regimes.

After April 1994, the new government impressively expanded household electrification to cover the formerly excluded. However, because of neoliberalism, among others prescribed by imperialist dominated institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the government chose to not pursue self-sufficiency commensurate with the impressive massive rollout of electrification and ever-increasing electric energy needs.

In December 1998, under the influence of the GEAR class project, the government adopted the “White Paper on the Energy Policy of the Republic of South Africa”. In the White Paper, the government claimed shifts in both the domestic and international situation made it no longer necessary to achieve energy security through policies that will build self-sufficiency. Instead of ramping up public investment, the government prioritised liberalising and leaving new power generation capacity to the private sector. Related to this policy decision was the idea to unbundle Eskom to procure power increasingly from private power producers called the “Independent Power Producers”.

The neoliberal policy shift towards not pursuing public investment, prioritising converting new power generation capacity into a field of profit-making competition by private sector participants, ignored a warning from data on energy use and generation capacity from Eskom. Recorded in the same White Paper, the warning was that electricity demand was projected to exceed generation capacity by approximately the year 2007, within 10 years from when the government adopted the White Paper.

In the same line as the warning that the government ignored in the White Paper under the influence of the GEAR class project was a correct way forward. Long capacity-expansion lead times required strategies to be in place. This was necessary to avoid the projected situation where the amount of power required to meet the energy needs of the people and the economy will outstrip generation capacity. The direction chosen to not build new public power generation capacity in favour of liberalising the space to insinuate private sector competition meant that no public investment strategy could be put in place when, in fact, it was required immediately.

Meanwhile, the profit-driven interests considered power in South Africa to be cheap to drive profitability. The developmental (“cheap”) access to power had to be ended through a cost recovery mechanism to pave the way for private capital accumulation in the space.

The SACP’s strong opposition to and campaigning against the entire 1996 GEAR class project led to serious tensions within the Alliance. These tensions played themselves out sharply in speeches defending GEAR delivered by top government and ANC leaders to the SACP 10th National Congress held in July 1998, six months before the government adopted the neoliberal White Paper on energy.   

By the time the Medupi and Kusile power generation projects were conceived and their construction began, it was too late. In addition, the two projects were badly designed. New units were affected by poor work. This led to successive failures to meet completion deadlines and to breakdowns, some very dangerous, like a massive explosion. The two projects are yet to be completed and offer 100 per cent power generation performance and reliability. The bad designs, failure to meet completion deadlines and poor work led to a cost escalation crisis. Eskom was forced into a rising debt crisis. Corporatisation and associated neoliberal fiscal and monetary policies led to financialisation of energy production by Eskom and contributed to its debt crisis and rising tariffs, making electricity exorbitant and unaffordable for the workers and poor, as well as for the lower sections of the middle class.

Meanwhile, old power stations were, inevitably, aging, frequently breaking down and demanding more in maintenance budgets, increasing Eskom’s operational costs. Like the legacy of successive colonial and apartheid regimes and neoliberalism state capture, unabated destruction and looting of public infrastructure in what appears to a stateless capitalist society have ensured that there is no sufficient power generation capacity available for the people and the economy to depend on. To be sure, this is the historical context in which we find ourselves in the middle of the ongoing electricity crisis.

Instead of taking responsibility for their actions and the unpleasant consequences we face today, some of those who imposed the destructive neoliberal policy regime and defended it intransigently are shamelessly and boldly blaming others. While this is interesting, we cannot allow the new generations of our people to be misled. Hence, we found it necessary to dwell on the origins and development of the dilapidating load shedding.

Background to the pronouncement on the NATO-provoked war in Ukraine

Recently, the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, addressing the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in Russia, called for more unity of the Asian countries. In the same forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin highlighted how technological sovereignty has become critical given the sanctions and other prohibitive measures weaponised against Russia and other countries.

Related to the statement by Putin, as we all know, the US imposed sanctions against Huawei and its advances in 5G technology. This was because the “Democrats” and the “Republicans” alike in the US do not want others to advance and overtake the US technologically. They are united in one thing, pursuing US imperialism on all fronts, including technology and its use. The US uses the so-called national security as the euphemism for its imperialism. 

There is a growing intent by imperialist forces to maintain the old order oppressive system. As the balance of forces changes, the imperialist force changes to the rules by brute force to keep the oppressive old order and blame others for the wars that they start. This is akin to the style used by Adolf Hitler Clement Metternich of Austria.

John Bolton, the former White House national security advisor to Donald Trump between 2018 and 2019, recently admitted in an interview with CNN that he had “helped plan coups d’etat in other countries. This is confirmed by documents exposed by the Intercept through Freedom of Information Act. The papers report that the US has used a secretive authority called “127e programs” to launch at least two dozen proxy wars since 2017, confirming that 14 “127e Programs” were active in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions as recently as 2020. Apparently, this is one of the virtually unknown authorisations granted to the US Defence Department by its congress almost two decades ago. The modus operandi allows US commandos to conduct the so-called counter-terrorism operations in other countries. According to the Intercept, they do not even share this information with congress or state department.

Imposing neoliberal economic policies on other countries, causing serious problems, locking them into imperialist exploitation and perpetual underdevelopment.

Now the imperialist forces have sanctioned SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is a member-owned co-operative by the way. The sanctions prohibit financial transactions through the SWIFT platform. The sanctions apply to countries such as Venezuela, Iran and Russia and selected Chinese entities.

In late July, addressing the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, the UK’s Security Advisor Stephen Lovegrove apparently said “the West risks nuclear conflict with Russia and China because of breakdown in communication—during the Cold War, we benefitted from a series of negotiations and dialogues that improved our understanding of Soviet doctrine and capabilities, and vice versa. This gave us both a higher level of confidence that we would not miscalculate our way into a nuclear war. Today, we do not have the same foundations with others who may threaten us in the future—particularly with China”.

Indeed, the West is risking plunging the world into a nuclear war with Russia and China and closing available platforms and space for engagements except constant provocation.

The EU leaders, through their Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, asserted Ukraine must be supported with anything it wants. What is also worrying is the reckless behaviour of Ukrainian comedian Zelensky and his NATO proxy war machine. As reported by Amnesty International before they were forced to nuance the wording by their offended European funders that “accuses Ukrainian military of violating international law and risking civilian safety by placing troops and military vehicles in residential areas, including turning hospitals into de facto military bases”. Basically, the comedian uses civilians as human shields in the war. This is an act of scoundrels and barbarians. No rules and regulations are followed when the NATO imperialist forces advance the interests of their stooges everywhere.

We have seen almost the whole of Europe and the US fully engaging in proxy war with Russia through full-scale military and financial support of Ukraine. Their strategy seems to be aimed at exhausting and weakening Russia before actively waging a direct military offensive to finish it off. This will more likely escalate the tensions to nuclear war.

These are economic wars to rescue and entrench a faltering capitalist system.

Richard Black, former head of the US Army’s criminal law division at the Pentagon and former Virginia State Senator said: “The USA and UK combined have about 900 military bases overseas whilst Russia and China have 35 combined with China only having five and that the US spends 11 times more on military spending than the most 11 military spending countries in the world. That the USA’s support for Ukraine is more than the Russian Defence budget? This is encouraged and is meant to serve the industrial war complex in the USA and the world as an economy rather than the real threat out there.” Black was addressing the May 26 Schiller Institute Conference on the so-called Illusions of Russian and Chinese Aggression Around the World.


Solly Mapaila, the SACP General Secretary

Hlengiwe Nkonyane
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Source: South African Communist Party