South African Communist Party 15th National Congress Central Committee Second Plenary Statement 

4 December 2022

The South African Communist Party 15th National Congress Central Committee held its Second Plenary from Friday to Sunday, 2–4 December 2022.

The purpose of this Plenary was to review the year ending this month and adopt a plan to implement SACP 15th National Congress resolutions over the next five years, starting with the year 2023.

The Central Committee met a week after the Constitutional Court delivered the disappointing judgement ordering that Janusz Walus, the triggerman who assassinated Chris Hani in cold blood on 10 April 1993, be placed on parole within 10 days.

On the eve of the SACP Central Committee Plenary, the parliamentary appointed Section 89 panel on the “Phala Phala Farm Heist” handed over its report to the Speaker of the National Assembly.

The Central Committee Plenary took place on the eve of the Sixth National Congress of the Party’s youth-wing, the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA).

In two weeks, the ANC will hold its much awaited 55th National Conference.

The year-end SACP Central Committee Plenary officially opened a day after the World Aids Day, 1 December 2022, and at the end of the first week of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. This year’s global theme for the campaign is “Unite! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

Justice for Chris Hani, the victims of apartheid and their families

The Central Committee received a report on the work of the SACP in its displeasure over the parole for Janusz Walus.

Following the Constitutional Court judgment handed down on 21 November 2022, the SACP and its Alliance partners started mass protests as part of our response. This is the beginning of the 135-day programme of action towards the 30th anniversary of the commemoration of Chris Hani’s assassination.

Together with the Hani family, the SACP filed papers at the Constitutional Court to rescind the parole order. In addition, we filed papers with the African Commission in pursuit of justice.

A full inquest into the assassination of Chris Hani towards full disclosure of the truth is among our apex priorities. The SACP will pursue the broader campaign covering other apartheid victims and seeking justice for their families, including but not limited to “The Cradock Four”, namely Fort Calata, Matthew Goniwe, Sicelo Mhlauli, and Sparrow Mkhonto.

The order to place the assassin on parole has also exposed deep-rooted and longstanding divisions affecting the South African society. The extreme right-wing minority elements in our society celebrated parole for the assassin, whom they regard as a hero. To add salt to the wound, the Chris Hani Memorial Site at Thomas Nkobi Cemetery in Boksburg was vandalised on the first weekend of the parole order. This was an act of continuing assassination of Chris Hani in his grave. The Central Committee condemned these acts in the strongest terms.

“Phala Phala Farm Heist”

The SACP notes the Section 89 report submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly by the panel in relation to the reported “Phala Phala Farm Heist”.

The SACP would like to stress the following.

The findings and recommendations of the penal remain legally inconclusive. Using words like “may” shows the degree of uncertainty of the findings. As such, the report may be subjected to judicial review by the President.

The Alliance needs to provide collective leadership in handling the Section 89 report, related processes and the entire situation, without taking away the right of the President to review the report.

The SACP respects the right of the President to take the report on review and this will contribute towards clearing what seems to be glaring flaws in it.

The call for the President to resign is premature.

It is also unfortunate that this matter is now being weaponised for factional manoeuvres within our movement as we approach the ANC 55th National Conference this December. This is a matter that affects the Alliance and, more importantly, the country.

Economic development and energy production

After 28 years of political democracy, the South African economy is still characterised by high levels of racialised and gender unemployment and poverty, which feed a crime crisis and drug abuse in townships and other poor communities.

The failure of our democratic government to adopt macro-economic policy framework to overcome the dominance of the Minerals Energy Complex and finance, through rapid industrialisation, is largely responsible for South Africa’s inability to generate inclusive and developmental economic growth to tackle unemployment, poverty and inequality.

The policy failure includes the macroeconomic framework, not least the interest rate regime of the Reserve Bank and financialisaton, which contributes to the increase in the high cost of living; and makes it difficult to allocate capital towards industrialisation and infrastructure development.

The last 28 years have been dominated by neo-liberal and kleptocratic tendencies that have undermined economic transformation and development through market fundamentalism and looting and redirecting public resources for the benefit of a few.

To reverse this path, the Tripartite Alliance has been engaged in preparations for its Economic and Energy Summit amidst the urgency to produce a unifying strategy, to build a new, inclusive and just economy, and drive broader social development towards the goals of the Freedom Charter.

ANC National Conference and YCLSA National Congress

The SACP Central Committee wished its league, the YCLSA, a vibrant and most successful national congress from 6–9 December 2022.

The SACP also wishes the ANC a successful 55th National Conference to be held in the next two weeks.

The ANC conference provides yet another platform for ANC delegates to adopt decisions that will fundamentally tackle the legacy of colonial apartheid capitalism and 28 years of neo-liberalism and kleptocracy.

Every leader and delegate to the ANC 55th National Conference should be deeply worried that the path of economic policies followed in our democratic dispensation has failed to address the high levels of poverty and inequality.

We need a fundamental shift in macro and micro economic policies to address decisively the high levels of racialised, gendered and youth unemployment, poverty and inequality. This is the message every leader and delegate to the ANC 55th National Conference should take to heart.

A new macroeconomic framework must support the industrialisation of South Africa and address unemployment, poverty, and inequality. This must include fostering domestic minerals beneficiation and agro-processing as part of our national strategy to expand and diversify manufacturing towards industrialisation.

Macro and micro economic policies to develop and grow the economy must adequately support an advance towards a comprehensive social security system and a productive poverty eradication strategy. Therefore, the government must not terminate the Social Relief of Distress Grant at the end of March 2024 but must improve it as a foundation for a universal basic income grant.

Transformation of ownership patterns, including through socialisation, as the transformation of the financial sector and accelerated land redistribution, must be among the apex priorities of the new economic policy that must emerge from the ANC 55th National Conference.

Energy Just Transition

The ongoing load-shedding crisis continues to undermine the economy and employment creation and to disrupt the livelihoods of the workers and poor. The energy just transition presents the opportunity to transform our economy away from the extractive nature of the Mineral Energy Complex towards a low-carbon economy that protects workers and poor communities.

The SACP calls for greater state (ESKOM included), community and worker ownership in renewable projects across different energy generation technologies, with greater financing by state owned development financiers.

The SACP calls for a full consultation on the US$98 billion in financial requirements, starting with the initial US$8,5 billion for the first phase, attributed to South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy. The SACP is concerned that there is very little transparency on any conditionalities accompanying such loans.

The SACP recognises the imperative to transition to low-carbon economic activities and for the imperialist countries, which have been the biggest contributors to carbon emissions, to transfer resources to support both mitigation and adaptation in the Global South. However, this transition must be just in all respects. The SACP is particularly concerned that much of what purports to be funding support is filtered through mechanisms that provide profit-making opportunities to financialised capital dominated by the Global North.

Thus far, only a tiny fraction of the package made available to South Africa is grant finance. Over 90 per cent is made up of concessional and commercial loans. The South African foreign currency borrowing is a small amount in the bigger scheme of South Africa’s gross borrowing requirement.

The SACP cautions against increases in foreign currency denominated borrowing because this poses a number of strategic risks, among others those associated with global inequality, related volatility affecting Global South countries such as South Africa in the dog-eat-dog global financial markets, and exposure of the domestic policy space to imperialist dictates through loan conditionalities.

As is our posture on funding for development generally, including finance for infrastructure and industrialisation, the SACP calls for a rigorous approach to build a truly just transition through pulling all stops in mobilising domestic resources to minimise exposure to the strategic risks that could undermine our democratic national sovereignty, particularly in the policy space.

We propose mechanisms such as purchases by the Reserve Bank of primary government bonds, as well as the bonds issued by public development finance institutions. The mechanisms include the application of prescribed asset requirements for public and private funds and community reinvestment type requirements.

SACP electoral strategy and tactics, and the COSATU National Congress

The Plenary received the first draft document on the SACP’s roadmap to contest elections as directed by the 15th National Congress.

In the first quarter of 2023, the SACP will convene a Special Central Committee Plenary to further discuss the revised document and finalise preparations for the first 15th National Congress Augmented Central Committee Plenary to adopt the way forward.

The Central Committee congratulated COSATU on holding a successful National Congress in September, congratulated the NUM on its 40th anniversary, and wished the SACP Mpumalanga Province a successful Congress.

World Aids Day, 1 December 2022

South Africa needs to strengthen mobilisation and pull all the stops to tackle HIV/AIDS. To achieve success, we need to strengthen our efforts beyond World Aids Day.

Except in 2015, the number of AIDS-related deaths declined annually from 2006 until 2019. Mass education and the decisive rollout of HIV treatment played a key role in the reduction of AIDS-related deaths, also turning the tide against falling life expectancy.

Something happened from 2019 when AIDS-related deaths increased. The urgency of responding to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic appeared to cause a shift in attention in other healthcare areas starting in the household. In 2021, the number of AIDSrelated deaths reached 88,000. This declined slightly to 85,000 in 2022, thus far.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

The Central Committee reaffirmed our commitment to stand firm against gender-based violence, and to ensure that activism against gender-based violence, violence against LGBTIQ+ and discrimination against people living with disabilities, is a year-long programme. The prevention and eradication of gender-based violence requires society to address the socio-economic ills that put people under such stress, impact on mental health and erode the values enshrined in the Freedom Charter and our Constitution.

The fight against gender-based violence is an integral part of our struggle for complete social emancipation, for employment, for water and sanitation, for a National Health Insurance, and for other public health services. The Party will continue to work with other organisations and communities in the fight against crime and violence and exploring new ways to make our communities safer for women and children. The fight against crime and violence is a priority campaign.

The anti-imperialist struggle and international solidarity

The SACP reiterates its support to the people of Swaziland struggling for democracy, calls for the strengthening of peace efforts in Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and on Morocco to end its occupation of Western Sahara. We express our solidarity with the people of Western Sahara against the occupation by Morocco.

The Central Committee strongly condemns the decision by the imperialist regime of the United States to include Cuba in its list of “state sponsored terrorism”. As a matter of urgency, the United States must remove Cuba from the list, lift its blockade of Cuba and end its occupation of the Cuban territory of Guantanamo Bay unconditionally, with immediate effect.

We express our solidarity with the people and government of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia.

Once again, the SACP congratulates Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Workers Party of Brazil on winning the Brazilian Presidential election in 2022.

The SACP condemns the continued apartheid Israeli destabilisation of the Middle East and its occupation of Palestinian territories, attacks and raids in Palestine. We reaffirm our solidarity with the Palestinian people and support the struggle for their fundamental right to self-determination.

The Central Committee strongly condemned Turkish attacks on Kurdish territories and its continued incarceration of the renowned Kurdish leader, Abdullah Öcalan. We call for the release of Öcalan unconditionally, with immediate effect.

We also denounce the United States occupation of Syrian territories and its plundering of oil in the region.

The SACP strongly condemns the escalation of the war in Ukraine and provocations of China by NATO and the United States. We are calling for an end to all imperialist war and NATO’s expansionist tendencies.

The Central Committee expressed the SACP’s message of sincere condolences to the Communist Party of China, the government and people of China and to the family of Jiang Zemin, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and President of China.

Jiang Zemin became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in 1989 and played a key role in deepening the ties between our parties when the SACP and the ANC were unbanned.

Working together with our President Nelson Mandela, as China’s President Jiang Zemin played a key role in establishing diplomatic ties between China and South Africa in the context of our transition from apartheid to our current democratic dispensation.

Tributes to our fallen heroes

While in Plenary, the Central Committee received the sad news of the passing away of Mildred “Ausi Milly” Mahlare, a hard-working Party Head Office staff member. The SACP expresses its message of heartfelt condolences to the Lamon and Mahlare families, as well as the SACP staff members and structures of the Party across the country for the sore loss encountered.

The Central Committee paid its tribute to Rashaka Frank Ratshitanga, a stalwart of our struggle for liberation and social emancipation. Rathitanga passed away and his funeral was held in Limpopo Province on the second day of the Plenary, Saturday 3 December 2022.

The SACP expresses its condolences to the families of the founding General Secretary of SAMWU John Ernstzen, who passed away on 22 November 2022, and six leaders of the NUM, Bonginkosi Bongz Mrasi, Zukile Maskot, Lulama Madyosi, Thantaswa Sikani, and Retshidisitswe Mbirha, who all passed away in a horrific car crash on 27 November 2022.



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Source: South African Communist Party