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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

South African Communists call for prioritizing the interests of workers, no alliance with DA or MKP

The South African Communist Party (SACP) Political Bureau held a special meeting on Wednesday, June 5 2024, in Johannesburg to analyze the election results in the country and determine where the party stands on the path going forward.

In the election the African National Congress (ANC), while getting the most votes failed to secure a majority. The SACP supported the ANC and campaigned with it.

As the SACP notes the "votes received by the ANC maintain it as the largest party by electoral support in our country and reaffirm its outright majority in five provinces: Limpopo with 73.3 per cent, Eastern Cape with 62.16 per cent, North West with 57.73 per cent, Free State with 51.87 per cent and Mpumalanga 51.15 per cent. This is the will of the people. The SACP will defend it in advancing working-class interests across the board and considering the way forward nationally and in provinces where the ANC, although remaining the largest party by electoral support, did not secure the 50 per cent plus one required to form a majority government."

This means that the ANC needs to work with other parties to have a majority and pass legislation.

In its analysis the SACP is strongly opposing any coalition with the right-wing Democratic Alliance (DA) or the MKP [uMkhonto weSizwe Party]. It is also calling for prioritizing the interests of the working class, rolling back austerity measures, continued support for the Palestinians and continuing the progressive thrust of South Africa’s international relations regarding issues like BRICS and Cuba.

Matters of principle, guided by the interests of the working class, maintaining strategic consistency

We have campaigned against the anti-worker neo-liberal and corrupt state capture networks.

To maintain strategic consistency, the SACP is against seeking a coalition arrangement with the right-wing, DA-led anti-ANC neo-liberal forces. The core of the DA-led neo-liberal forces, highly supported by dominant sections of capital, mainly the white bourgeoisie whose roots can be traced to the era of colonial and apartheid oppression of the black majority, organised itself into the so-called multi-party charter. This grouping also received support from western foundations.

In the same vein, the SACP is against seeking a coalition arrangement with the MKP, whose origins can be traced back to factionalism, the corruption of state capture and resistance to accountability, as outlined in the report of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and related Constitutional Court judgments.

Neo-liberal economic restructuring, which includes retrenchments – those announced during the May 2024 election campaign period in the mining and other sectors included, opposition to the national minimum wage, attacks on our collective bargaining framework and resistance to National Health Insurance, among others, has severely impacted the workers and impoverished populations of our country. These forces remain arrogant and anti-working class as evidenced in the DA’s reckless utterances.

The industrial-scale looting under state capture crippled many of our state-owned enterprises, public entities and financial resources, negatively impacting the capacity of our state to serve the people. The factional conduct and ethnic nationalism of those driving the MKP have negatively impacted our own, ANC-led movement, and the ANC’s electoral performance.

The votes and number of seats from the May 2024 national and provincial government elections offer coalition permutations, with the features of a developmental and transformation purpose-driven ANC-led Government of National Unity, excluding both the DA and the MKP. The SACP will actively pursue this to become the outcome of the ANC-headed Alliance coalition engagement process – both within the Alliance and publicly through campaigning and mobilisation of the working class. This strategic task, outlined in our programme adopted during the July 2022 Fifteenth National Congress of our Party, is crucial in defending and advancing the interests of the working class against its strategic adversaries.

The strategic adversaries of the working class include the neo-liberal and “looting” class networks, as well as fugitives from justice who have profited from state capture and fled South Africa to evade accountability. Intensifying efforts to track down and hold accountable those who were involved in and benefitted from the proceeds of state capture corruption and fraud must be a central component of the programmatic basis of the coalition arrangements that our movement should pursue.

In pursuing the ideal scenario under the circumstances and in the interests of the working class, the SACP will prioritise governance stability over the instability often associated with local government coalitions.

The coalition associated instability in local government has hindered effective governance and delivery of public goods and services and must be avoided, through clear guarantees. We will also insist on accountability and the interests of the people, especially the majority – the working class.

The interests of the working class encompass priorities such as large-scale employment creation to resolve the unemployment crisis through industrialisation and structural economic transformation, poverty eradication, the implementation of a developmental and transformative macroeconomic policy to achieve these goals alongside other working-class interests.

A more caring social policy, including a decisive advance towards a universal basic income grant and the rollout of the National Health Insurance to ensure quality healthcare for all, form part of crucial working-class interests.

The protection of workers’ rights and other achievements, along with addressing challenges impacting the delivery of public goods and services, including infrastructure development and maintenance in municipalities, should be integral components of the programmatic basis of the coalition arrangements that our movement should seek.

Rolling back austerity measures and other neo-liberal policy prescriptions will be crucial for achieving an economic turnaround and ensuring the provision of essential social services, such as quality healthcare. This must be included in the programmatic basis of coalition arrangements.

Internationally, we remain firm in our unwavering support for the people of Palestine against the genocide on them and expropriation by the apartheid Israeli settler state.

Maintaining the entire progressive thrust of South Africa’s international relations and co-operation policy, including deepening alignment with the BRICS Plus community of states and solidarity support for Cuba against imperialist aggression, should be upheld as part of the programmatic basis of the coalition arrangements that our movement should advocate for.


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