SACP 3rd Special National Congress Declaration, 7-11 July 2015, University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus, July 12 2015
We, 789 Communist militants, have met over the past four days as delegates to the SACP’s 3rd Special National Congress in Soweto. We are delegates drawn from all the provinces of our country, from urban and rural branches, from townships, informal settlements and villages, from the ranks of the working class and the unemployed, from a vibrant youth sector and from women active on the ground.
As delegates, we represent some 230,000 SACP members – marking a significant increase of 70,000 members in just two years. The Party’s membership is the largest at any time in its 94 years of unbroken revolutionary struggle. We are the second largest membership political formation in our country.
We have come together at this 3rd Special National Congress of the SACP under the banner: “Communist cadres to the front: Unite the Working Class, our Communities, and our Movement!” We came to this Special National Congress and depart from it fully aware of the revolutionary responsibilities that now rest upon our Party and all its cadres.
The messages of support that we received from our Alliance partners, the ANC, COSATU, and SANCO at this Congress have all affirmed the great hopes they are placing on the SACP as a Party of theory, a Party of activism, a tried and tested Party of revolutionary discipline.
Last week’s Alliance Summit acknowledged that, in our present reality, the SACP is the most stable and ideologically coherent formation within the Alliance. This is a time when the ANC is acknowledging many challenges related to incumbency and the influence of money on internal democracy.
This is a moment in which the unrelenting capitalist offensive against COSATU coincides with serious challenges to its unity and strength. This Special National Congress pledges to work tirelessly for the re-building of a united COSATU based on its founding principles.
While the SACP is not immune to any of these dangers, it is without arrogance that we understand that, more than ever before, we have a major responsibility to unite, as our congress slogan states, the working class, our communities, and our movement.
This unity must be based on a principled strategic basis that also grounds unity in action. We have agreed with the general theses advanced by our discussion documents that the present phase of our ongoing national democratic revolution requires a principled anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly capital and anti-patriarchy struggle.
This is the precondition to advance, deepen and defend our national sovereignty based, in turn, on popular sovereignty. In the words of the Freedom Charter, The People Shall Govern! – not the bullying of imperialism, not monopoly capital, not the Bretton Woods institutions, not the ratings agencies, and not their willing local agents.
We will be carrying these perspectives into our own branches and communities and into our wider alliance where, already, they are receiving a positive reception.
We know that these perspectives must also be grounded in local activism taking up grass-roots struggles and aspirations. An anti-monopoly capital struggle is not an abstract slogan. It is about the struggle against the daily dispossession of homes by the major banks. Inflicted by cartels linking property developers, banking staff and corrupt officials in magistrates courts.
This massive modern wave of dispossession affects hundreds of thousands of families each year in our country. It is a new, financialised version of apartheid-era forced removals. The struggle against monopoly capital is also a struggle against the siphoning of billions of Rands out of social grant payments by financial institutions, retail creditors, and unscrupulous loan sharks. The struggle against monopoly capital is a struggle against illegal garnishee orders.
For all of these reasons, this Special National Congress has resolved, amongst other things, to re-vitalise the SACP financial sector campaign, and to call for a second Financial Sector Summit.
The struggle against monopoly capital is a struggle against collusive behaviour and the plundering of the public purse. It is also a struggle against media monopolies, in particular Naspers. The struggle against monopoly capital is also a struggle against corruption, the entry-point through which it inserts its DNA into our democratic state.
We must continue to build a democratic developmental state including the State Owned Corporations, a state that acts with strategic discipline to drive the struggle for national sovereignty by mobilised popular sovereignty.
An important contribution to advancing national sovereignty is South-South cooperation, and in this respect this Special National Congress saluted the launch of the BRICS bank with a fund of $100bn.
An important feature of our Special National Congress has been to debate and develop concrete proposals on Party renewal. We resolve to build resourced and dynamic Party structures. Without constant organisational development and renewal based on our strategic tasks, we will fail in our revolutionary tasks.
This Special National Congress has resolved that the SACP’s stance towards electoral politics will be evaluated in an ongoing manner and in the context of our wider Medium Term Vision to build working class hegemony in all sites of power. We have resolved that the resolution from our 13th National Congress correctly located the question of electoral participation within the wider context of the need to unite and reconfigure the Alliance.
We noted the important resolutions adopted at last week’s Alliance Summit in this regard, and call for the effective implementation of these resolutions. Finally, we have resolved that, as part of our own organisational renewal, a standing Central Committee Commission on State Power and Electoral options be established to evaluate in a dynamic way the optimal stance of the SACP towards elections in the context of changing realities.
Fraternal delegates from Cuba, Venezuela, China, Finland, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Sudan and the Kurdish Workers’ Party actively engaged with our Congress. They, too, impressed upon us the important responsibilities that, as South African Communists, we have within our region and in the wider internationalist struggles.
Advancing an anti-imperialist struggle means deepening revolutionary international solidarity with the people of the world facing and struggling against imperialist domination, exploitation, and oppression. We have recently hosted the Cuban 5 heroes who were unjustly imprisoned by the United States. We have in this major historical development celebrated their release. This could not have been possible without international solidarity, the determination and resilience of the Cuban people. But the struggle is not over! We are calling on the United States to lift its unilateral economic blockade on Cuba.
As delegates to this 3rd Special National Congress we pledge, therefore, to rise to all these challenges, inspired by the many generations of SACP heroes, the sung and the unsung, who have kept the red flag flying for over nine unbroken decades in this southern tip of the African continent.
We pledge to carry forward our vanguard role in our communities, in our places of work and learning, in the formations of our allied and other progressive organisations, in the public sector and the state, on the terrain of the battle of ideas, and in our internationalist work. We pledge to work with a sense of confidence but also humility in the service of the working class and poor.
As we rise, today, at the conclusion of the critical Special National Congress, we declare once more that:
SOCIALISM IS THE FUTURE!
WE ARE NOT WAITING FOR THAT FUTURE – WE ARE ACTIVELY BUILDING THAT FUTURE, HERE AND NOW!
Which is why we say: Communist cadres – To the Front! To unite the working class, our communities, and our movement!
Issued by the SACP, July 12 2015