A-PWC meeting notes elections outcome paints a bleak picture confronting the working class
SACP Western Cape Post Augmented Provincial Working Committee Statement
10 December 2021
The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Western Cape held its last virtual Augmented Provincial Working Committee (A-PWC) meeting for this year on 9 December 2021. The A-PWC met shortly after the Central Committee meeting that sat over the past weekend and drew strength from the rich analytical perspectives derived from that organ of our Party.
The A-PWC noted the country is in the midst of the 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children and appeals to men in particular to be on the frontline in the fight against patriarchy and abusive practices. As we enter the festive season, we also appeal to young men to act responsibly to raise awareness against abuse of women instead of perpetuating gender based violence.
Further, the A-PWC expressed concern about the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, which is said to be more prevalent amongst the youth. We wish to urge the youth to exercise extreme caution and continue to practice the non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as they will be enjoying the festivities during the holidays. The risks associated with the spread of the virus and impending fourth wave are too ghastly to contemplate in terms of the health system and the economy. Therefore, we must all be vigilant and be on the frontline in protecting life and livelihoods.
Accordingly, the A-PWC wishes all citizens of the Western Cape province safe travels to their respective destinations for holidays and further a restful festive season.
NUM march against privatisation of Eskom and strengthening of labour inspectorate
The A-PWC had the privilege to engage with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) regarding the essence of the planned march to Eskom and the Department of Employment and Labour. The A-PWC engaged with the NUM on substantive strategic questions regarding just transition in the energy space as well as demands against privatisation of Eskom.
Another strategic imperative of the march is the challenge of inaccessibility of the offices of the Department of Labour and Employment in the rural parts of the province, and the ineffective health and safety inspectorate. Therefore, the SACP fully supports the genuine NUM demands to fight against privatisation of Eskom as well as capacitation and improvement of the inspectorate to protect vulnerable workers. The SACP in the Western Cape commits to march side by side with this giant militant industrial union on Saturday, 11 December 2021 from NUM Offices to Eskom Offices, Bellville.
The SACP approaches the complex concerns about energy on the understanding that energy security is a precondition for accelerated socio-economic development underpinned by prescripts of COP 26 in particular reduction of carbon emissions to mitigate dangers posed by global warming. Therefore, South Africa must safeguard the entity, pursue its energy mix policy and develop an approach suitable to our realities rather than capitulate to private interests or bullying by Western powers.
Decisive action must be taken to rescue the movement
The priority focus of the A-PWC was primarily to conduct an analysis of the aftermath of the local government elections and its implications for the working class in the Western Cape. The elections outcome paints a bleak picture confronting the working class as we have to contend with debilitating service delivery and perpetuation of racialised service delivery patterns.
The A-PWC expressed grave concern at the increasing levels of apathy amongst the youth strata, in particular, as reflected on the voter turn-out. The consequence of low voter turn-out manifests in the emergence of many hung municipalities and therefore minority coalitions. Contrary to opinions of some analysts that claim that minority coalitions represent maturing democratic order, the A-PWC expressed concern about instability of such liberal and unprincipled arrangements-based regime change at all costs which will impact negatively on service delivery. It is a fallacy to believe that minority coalitions pursue the will of the people or that they have a mandate to govern. Instead, minority coalitions constitute palace politics rather than the will of the citizens.
Whilst acknowledging the objective factors that contributed to overall performance, including the covid situation, underperforming economic climate, rising unemployment, Eskom blackouts, and revelations at the state capture commission. The confluence of these challenges undermines the capacity of the movement to improve the lived experiences of the population.
However, there are glaring subjective weaknesses that undermine the capacity of the movement to appeal to the general voting population, including the motive forces of the revolution. These subjective weaknesses relate to factionalism in the form of CR-isation and RET-isation of our movement, corruption, manipulation of candidate selection process, de-campaigning and demobilisation. These practices must be rooted out mercilessly without delay to restore the integrity of the organisation. Neither these factions serve the interest of our revolution, our movement nor our people.
In the context of the Western Cape, the ANC led Alliance performed dismally and more so in the Cape Metro where we secured a mere 18.63 percent. This performance and the broader electoral trends pose a significant threat to the prospects of deepening and advancing the national democratic revolution. Therefore, decisive action needs to be taken to rescue the movement and therefore dithering will further plunge the national democratic revolution into a morass and render the Alliance moribund.
We shall not demobilise the Chris Hani Red Brigades
The A-PWC applauded the Chris Hani Red Brigades for mounting an aggressive campaign during the elections which earned the SACP more respect within the ranks of the Alliance and majority working class communities.
Therefore, the PWC committed to sustain our Chris Hani Red Brigades beyond elections as corps of cadreship to serve as frontline volunteers to serve our people in our communities. Chris Hani Red Brigades shall go back to the communities they visited during elections and continue to work with our people to find solutions on the challenges they face.
Towards SACP Western Cape 9th Provincial and SACP 15th National Congress
The PWC received a comprehensive report on the rebuilding of SACP structures as discussed and adopted at the April 2021 Augmented Provincial Executive Committee. The meeting applauded the work done thus far and congratulated Brian Bunting (Cape Metro) and Che Guevara Districts, respectively, for holding successful congresses to continue the struggle for socialism.
Further, a comprehensive roadmap to congresses of the remaining four districts, i.e., Elizabeth Nana Abrahams (Boland), Lizo Nkonki (Southern Cape), Overberg and Central Karoo was presented, discussed and adopted. Against this background, the A-PWC was satisfied with the report and content that the remaining districts will indeed convene their congresses in the period between January and February 2022. Consequently, these District congresses will culminate in the convening of the 9th Provincial Congress on 11-13 March 2022 and later the 15th National Congress in July 2022. Against this background, the A-PWC resolved to use the congress period as a moment for ideological development with a dedicated attention paid to policy formulation and a political programme capable of strengthening the Party as the vanguard of the working class capable of taking forward the struggle for socialism.
Issued by Benson Ngqentsu, Provincial Secretary, SACP W Cape, 10 December 2021