SACP - South African Communist Party

06/15/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/16/2024 03:26

SACP welcomes the President's re-election, marking the ANC's democratic return as the leader of our government

Saturday, 15 June 2024: The South African Communist Party (SACP) welcomes the democratic return of the African National Congress (ANC) as the leader of our government, with President Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected on Friday night, 14 June 2024, and Thoko Didiza elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly. The balance of political forces under which this happened, measured by the distribution of seats and conduct of a number of political parties prior to the first sitting of and in the National Assembly following the May 2024 elections, was characterised by precarity.

While following the elections the ANC remains the largest political party by electoral support, for the first time since our April 1994 democratic breakthrough it fell short of the required minimum of 50 per cent plus one to form an outright-majority government.

There were engagements within the Alliance and each Alliance partner expressed itself publicly on the preferred options regarding what the way forward had to be under the circumstances towards the first sitting of the National Assembly on Friday.

The SACP expressed its strong opposition to a coalition with the DA and the MKP, reaffirming its strategic consistency against neo-liberalism, state capture and attempts at counter-revolutionary destabilisation. We put forward our option for an ANC-led minority government with the features of a tight government of national unity, while the ANC preferred a wider government of national unity with the features of the below 50 per cent plus one minority situation.

However, each of the two options hinged on a majority-constituting support from other parties, inclusive of the ANC's seats, to elect the President. The possible lineup of political parties that could have participated in supporting an ANC-led minority government with the features of a government of national unity included those who made untenable demands, without guarantees. They were more hell-bent on seeking to destroy the ANC than anything else. There is nothing progressive about this and by extension a rejection of a more leftward shift and orientation in the government.

The balance between the support that the ANC eventually received on the one hand and was denied on the other, and other factors that require detailed examination and exposition, contributed to the outcomes that prevailed.

Nevertheless, even within the new situation the ANC-led government must advance the immediate resolution of the crisis-high unemployment, poverty eradication and a radical reduction of income, wealth, spatial, racial and gender inequalities. This top priority requires an expansion of public employment programmes, an advance towards a comprehensive social security system, including a universal basic income grant, investment in public infrastructure development, maintenance and security, and structural transformation of the economy.

The adoption of a high impact industrial policy must be a critical pillar of this government programme as a top priority. For such an industrial policy to succeed, it needs an alignment of and adequate operating environmental support and resourcing from an aligned macroeconomic policy as an imperative.

Dismantling the networks of corruption and clamping down on crime and interpersonal and gender-based violence must form part of the immediate top priorities of the government.

However, none of this is possible without working-class unity, power, education, organisation and deep-going mobilisation given the unfavourable shift that has occurred in the balance and configuration of forces. Intensifying efforts to avoid a counter-revolutionary defeat and achieve a turnaround in this situation is fundamental.

Our immediate task is therefore to strengthen those efforts to secure the widest possible working-class unity, to ensure that no key centre of power - in this case, the parliament as well as the government - exercises that power without the input and impact of a consistently mobilised working class. This unity is crucial to advance working-class demands, deepen the struggle against economic exploitation and political domination by capital, hold both the legislature and the government accountable, and successfully confront neo-liberal and other reformist agendas, as well as rightward shifts and restructuring of the state - including public entities - and the economy.

Public entities, not least state-owned enterprises, must be turned around to thrive and grow as a sector to contribute to national development, transformation and skills training.

Continuing and deepening our efforts to build a popular Left front and a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor is crucial to achieve the immediate aims and secure the future of the working class as a movement in all fronts of the struggle and key centres of power. This will, going forward, play a key role in the changing configuration and shifting balance of forces, including with regard to the question of alliances.

Before the end of June 2024, the SACP will hold Political Bureau and Central Committee plenaries. Among other tasks, this will deepen the process of comprehensive evaluation of the May 2024 elections, including the state of the Alliance and the broader democratic movement. This will culminate, by the end of this year, in

the SACP holding a Special National Congress to conduct a mid-term review for the period from July 2022 to July 2027 from the perspective of the entire 30 years of our democratic dispensation. From this perspective, following the May 2024 elections the SACP is already focused on charting the way forward regarding immediate, short-term, medium-term and long-term strategic tasks and tactics that it, as a party of the working class, and the working class itself, must execute to defend, advance and deepen the national democratic revolution and achieve a transition to a socialist society.

Issued by the South African Communist Party,
Founded in 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa.

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Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, Central Committee Member
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