SACP Eastern Cape welcomes ANC decision for introspection after election loss

OCTOBER 10, 2016

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape, following its ordinary Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting held over the weekend at the Calgary Conference Centre, in East London, welcomed the decision taken by the African National Congress (ANC) to engage in a process of self-introspection following the poor performance in the 2016 local government elections.

The PEC meeting was attended by the SACP Central Committee member and Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, and Eastern Cape MEC for Education, Mandla Makupula.

SACP and the state power:

According to SACP Eastern Cape Provincial spokesperson, Siyabonga Mdodi, the meeting had an extensive discussion on the SACP and the state power in preparation of the coming provincial council and ultimately the SACP 14th National Congress.

"This is an important discussion in the party as it deals with the advancement of the path towards a socialist and ultimately the communist society," he said.

"To this end, the meeting resolved to prepare a comprehensive discussion document towards the provincial council to enable the party to have a frank discussion on the matter to advance and deepen the struggle for socialism.

"The discussion will be anchored on the understanding that the SACP is not some NGO but a political party of power and influence for the working class, and therefore ought to look all political options available to it as it relates to the state as the high concentration of political power. The discussion on modalities of contesting the state power will be anchored on asserting the independent profile of the party and in the interest of the working class."

ANC introspection process:

"We welcome the decision taken by the African National Congress (ANC) to engage in a process of self-introspection following the poor performance in the 2016 local government elections. We are of the firm view that the process should be in a form of inclusive meetings with representation from all progressive formations of the people and all sectors, as against the inward looking approach of only listening to ANC structures," Mdodi said. As we claim to lead society, it is important to listen to all voices even those who

"As we claim to lead society, it is important to listen to all voices even those who criticise us, that will require no prescription of where people must talk about their movement .It is in this context that we think an inclusive consultative national conference to deal with the challenges the ANC is facing, would be a step towards establishing bases for a solution of challenges we facing and arrest the decline of the movement and the electoral support of the ANC." 

On Education:

Mdodi said that the SACP is the firm view that there ought to be a progressive form of dealing with matric results.

"In the current conjuncture, the model of dealing with matric outcomes is a bit off rail as we only focus on those, who have written matric," he said.

"We should have more focus on the total account of the particular cohort of leaners as some get lost in the system. We should focus on education as a whole starting from the early childhood development. We should be less excited about charismatic competition of numbers and percentages.

"We reiterate our call for the Eastern Government to put a moratorium on the closure of schools and implement the resolutions of the ANC Mangaung conference, as the current provisioning policy disadvantage the children of the working class. The closure of schools in the province contributes to the high level of drop outs as there is no properly planned provision of the scholar transport for affected learners. We are calling for a people centred planning on the schooling system in enhancing the people’s education for the people’s power."

 He said that the SACP in the Eastern Cape fully support the call for free quality higher education and training for the working class. The education system should be

"The education system should be decomodified in both the cost and content.  The universities remain ivory towers that are inaccessible to the majority in particular the working class and with the content that is not of service to society broadly," Mdodi explained.

"We support the announcement by the Minister of Higher Education that there will be no fee increment for the children of the parents who earn less than R600 000 per annum. We view that as an important step as the presidential commission has not concluded its work, it is in this context that we call on the commission to expedite the process." 

He, however, said that the party "condemn with the strongest contempt possible the vandalisation and burning of universities and the violent actions during the protests".

"We also urge the police and security forces to refrain from using excessive force when dealing with protestors. It is our considered view that such actions can only serve to delegitimize the genuine demands the students are raising. We cannot allow the destruction of the future of South Africa as current and next generations must access these institutions of higher learning and training," he said.

Local State:

"The meeting again emphasised the strategic location of the local state in servicing the people and driving the transformation agenda of the ANC led movement. It is therefore in the best interest of the movement and the people at large to keep the local government stable and capable of executing its core mandate meticulously," said Mdodi.

"The meeting expressed its deep concerns on the untenable political situation in the Mnquma Local Municipality. Since the establishment of Mnquma council after the 2016 Local Government Elections there has been no efforts on delivering services to the people, rather an intense infighting.

"We are calling upon the ANC leadership to work with the alliance leadership in quelling the situation. We should all work towards focusing more on the delivery of services than some money driven factional fighting. 

"We also condemn the political victimisation of Cde Andile Fani in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM). It is so disappointing that an ANC led institution would politically pursue a person without even observing the laws of natural justice and the labour laws of this country. The ANC and its allies has fought for the progressive labour laws in our country, we have fought for that which is justice and procedural fairness."

Mdodi said that the situation in both Mnquma and Buffalo City shows that as leaders of the movement "we have not learned a thing out of the 2016 local government elections".

"There is a climate of extreme recklessness in some sections of the ANC leadership. The actions and inactions of some greedy and corrupt factional leaders of the ANC are tantamount to spitting in the face of the people. It is in this context that we are calling for an immediate implementation of the provincial alliance summit in resolving the challenges in the identified hotspots," he described.  

"We reiterate our call for the Public Protector to release the reports on the Nelson Mandela memorial fraud scandal and the Siyenza toilet scandal before vacating the office. It is important that the reports are released and decisive action is taken against all the wrong doing and squandering of public resources. It is in these basis that we can regain the confidence of our people by acting decisively on corruption, the perpetual talk has to stop now. The SACP in the province will engage with the Office of the Public Protector in this regard."