ANC needs serious introspection after losses: SACP Eastern Cape

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

In a statement following the South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape's Provincial Working Committee (PWC) meeting over the weekend in Bhisho, the party said it was concerned after its tripartite alliance partner, the African National Congress (ANC) lost the Nelson Mandela Bay and Kouga municipalities to the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the August 3 elections.

"We are of the firm view that such concerning results should be an indication to the movement in the province to do things differently, and appreciate that gone is the time where the struggle credentials would be used as an excuse to cover for many wrong doings," said the SACP Eastern Cape's spokesperson, Siyabonga Mdodi.

On governance

The SACP also said that the newly established municipal councils "should not be used for advancing petty squabbles, purging and settling of narrow political scores". 

"It should rather be used to focus more on improving service delivery to the people. It should be used to advance that which is entailed on the ANC Local Government Election Manifesto," said Mdodi.

"There should be more efforts aimed at ending privatisation and focus more on insourcing and building state capacity to render services.

"The billing system is a serious problem in the municipalities in general and the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in particular with exorbitant rates and tariffs. This is making living to be more difficult than already it is to the workers and the poor.

"We urge the political and administrative leadership of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and other municipalities to urgently attend to the challenges in the billing system."

He said that the SACP in the Eastern Cape reiterated its call for the tabling and action on all the forensic investigation reports in Eastern Cape municipalities.

"As the SACP, we are on record having called for the tabling and action on these reports than letting them gather dust without any action. It is in the deepest interest of the ANC led movement and the people in general that the reports are tabled and action is undertaken," Mdodi said.

"These reports should form basis for the movement to decisively deal with corruption and desist political protection of any corrupt persons."

He said that the PWC also noted that ANC branches and regions "are largely dominated by extreme divisive factional tendencies, characterised by vigorous dissemination of patronage through state resources, gate-keeping used for factional mileage than advancing the national democratic revolution through the people being active participants in the democracy".

"The PWC re-affirms the Central Committee position on the need to convene the ANC National Consultative Conference to deal with the rot in the movement. The consultative conference should be inclusive of all the organs of the broad liberation movement," he said.

"The consultative conference should be used as the basis and platform to unify the movement in which we can all reflect upon and take individual and collective responsibility of the mistakes we have committed."

On the issue of political killings, the SACP PWC said it was aware of politically-motivated killings in the O.R. Tambo Region and other parts of the country and some violence targeting some comrades of the ANC in the province.

"We are particularly concerned that these acts happen when the alliance deals with the deployment for municipal councils in the province. It cannot be that when we deal with deployment, we tear ourselves apart for political expediency and the desire to use these institutions for looting. These are signs of a revolution that faces a serious threat of being derailed," Mdodi said.

"We are calling upon the competent law enforcement authorities to urgently attend these incidents and bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to book. We commit ourselves as the party to expose and isolate all the internal opponents of the National Democratic Revolution, who wishes to use the ANC as the ladders to their selfish greedy interests." 

State parastatals:

The PWC meeting reasserted the call by the SACP Central Committee to actively campaign against the looting of the state resources, whether by some in the leadership and certain business cartels.

"We will be actively campaigning against the capture of our parastatals by the greedy parasitic bourgeoisie," described Mdodi.

"It is in this context that the PWC fully supports the stance of our Central Committee against the harassment of the Minister of Finance, Cde Pravin Gordhan. We may differ with the posture of the National Treasury on many policy related matters, we are however in one in defending the public purse against the vicious looting."

He said that the SACP has noted with great concern the deteriorating state of the Post Office and Telkom, where service to the people is seriously compromised.

"The situation in both parastatals cannot go unattended given the strategic location of these institutions in delivering the service to the people.  There should be more efforts in rescuing the Post Office with sufficient funding and it getting full license towards establishment of the state bank.

"We are deeply concerned with the retrenchments in Telkom and casualization that is taking place at the Post Office as workers are employed as part time bases to deal with staff shortages engulfing the institution," Mdodi explained. 

Closure of schools:

The SACP in the Eastern Cape also said that it is concerned with the closure of many public schools in the province.

"We believe that the situation disadvantages the people in the affected areas and result in drop outs as scholar transport is not provided after closing of the schools.

"It is in this context that the SACP is calling for the moratorium on the closure of schools in the province in favour of people centred planning towards ensuring the people’s education for the people’s power.  We also note with concerned the tensions that are brewing in many communities and commit to take the matters up with the provincial government and within the alliance," Mdodi said.

"The SACP condemns the burning of public schools in Nyandeni and other areas. There is no genuine demand that can justify the destruction of public property. We are calling upon the people to unite and isolate the destructive elements that seeks to ride on the genuine demands of the communities." 

Eastern Cape Customary Initiation Bill:

The SACP also called for the speedy finalisation of the Eastern Cape Customary Initiation Bill for the province to avert more deaths of initiates.

"The Eastern Cape has been registering large number of deaths in the initiation schools. It is therefore important that we work together in putting measures to save lives," said Mdodi.