SACP May 2019 general election message
3 May 2019
Our sixth non-racial, one-person, one-vote general election to be held on 6th – 8th May 2019 is not an ordinary election. It is a key moment in the ongoing struggle to rescue our country from chaos and ruin.
The ANC, with all of its challenges, in alliance with the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco, is the only political formation on the ballot capable of leading this struggle. Formations of the mass democratic movement still have a crucial role to play in propelling this struggle – to complete the national democratic revolution and secure full social emancipation. The ANC and its alliance is also the space inside of which this struggle must be intensified against the wrong-doers, the splitters and sectarians within.
Over the past several years our country was driven to the brink.
Corrupt elements in government, in our movement, in the private sector pushed South Africa to the very edge. Our hard fought-for democratic gains were eroded. Eskom, Transnet and Prasa were plundered.
But now, we have finally begun to turn the corner. In 2018, we started to put a halt to this betrayal of our country. Zuma was forced to step down. The Guptas fled the country. Many others have been exposed.
Under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa action has started to clean up the mess. Ministers have been sacked. But more needs to be done. New boards of parastatals have been put in place. Steps are under way for a massive clean-up of the criminal justice system and of the South African Revenue Services. The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, which the SACP was the first to call for, is shining a bright light on the festering rot that had set in.
But all of this is only a beginning.
The clean-up momentum that has started must now be consolidated and accelerated.
In voting ANC that is the message we must send.
The crooks and traitors must go to jail. The billions of rands that have been stolen, the billions that have been illegally exported to Dubai and elsewhere must be returned!
A significant election victory for the ANC and its alliance partners under the leadership of President Ramaphosa guided by a reconfigured Alliance process is a critical condition to take forward these struggles.
No other political formation in our country is capable of rescuing our country, our democracy, our gains. No other political formation is capable of uniting the broadest front of progressive classes and forces. Not the unpatriotic DA with its hatred of trade unions and of social ownership of key public utilities. Not the infantile and thuggish EFF with its dodgy links to the criminal underworld and its pseudo-leftism. Not the multiplicity of tiny parties and sects.
This is why the SACP calls on all South Africans who wish to see our country re-united on a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist path: VOTE ANC!
NO BLANK CHEQUES!
But a vote for the ANC, a vote for Ramaphosa, must never be a blank cheque.
Through our vote, through our ongoing organisation and mobilisation, through continuing vigilance let us clearly say:
An election victory for the ANC on 6th – 8th May 2019 must be the basis on which the fight against corruption and state capture is intensified inside of the ANC and government itself, and in society at large. Complacency, false unity, unprincipled deal-making will be a betrayal of the hopes that millions of voters will, once more, place in the ANC.
On 6th – 8th May 2019 let us vote ANC in our overwhelming majority in order to reject parties who sow anarchy, who mobilise on the basis of racism, narrow right-wing nationalism and ethnicity.
We call on workers in shops, factories, ware-houses, in mines and on farms. In our overwhelming majority, let us: VOTE ANC!
Let us reject anti-worker, anti-union parties. Let us reject those who work to undermine and divide our unions.
Working class solidarity is the bed-rock on which the future must be built.
The fight against corruption and state capture is not enough. We need to ensure that an ANC election victory lays the basis for a clear advance towards a people’s economy with decent work and comprehensive social security. Let us ensure the full implementation of the ANC’s general election manifesto – in particular:
More jobs, Decent Work and Skills Training
Vote for an ANC-led government that will lead the national effort to create many new jobs, drive the decent work agenda and expand access to apprenticeships, internships, learnerships and other experiential training. The SACP supports the commitments contained in the ANC manifesto, to:
1.1. Create at least an additional 275,000 jobs each year by boosting local demand for goods, investing more in mining, manufacturing and agriculture and expanding export markets
1.2. Massively expand opportunities for access to apprenticeships, internships, learnerships and other structured experiential training programmes for the youth, graduates and work seekers.
1.3. Mobilise investment, ensuring that more and more investment is directed to the productive sector of the economy to radically reduce unemployment by increasingly creating new and more jobs based on decent work.
1.4. Establish an Infrastructure Fund to build roads, rail lines, hospitals, schools, dams and other infrastructure vital for a growing and inclusive economy.
1.5. Enforce the implementation of the national minimum wage to improve the lives of six million workers currently paid less.
As the SACP, we stand for strategic state capacity, expansion of the productive sector of the state and support for social ownership growth to empower the people as opposed to a few individuals. The Party will push social mobilisation of the working class to campaign for a state infrastructure company and adequate support for thriving worker and community controlled co-operatives. Particular attention will have to be paid to the youth and women and all South Africans from historically disadvantaged communities. Working together, we must defend the Infrastructure Fund from corporate capture and the destructive regime of tenderisation.
2. A people-centred and people-driven economy with active leadership of the state
Together, let us take forward the commitments contained in the ANC manifesto to:
2.1. Enable workers to own stakes in the companies they work for and share in the profits and to continue to benefit even after retirement.
2.2. Allocate at least 30% of government’s procurement spend to co-operative and small businesses.
2.3. Reduce the cost of data and extend free Wi-Fi to many more sites across the country
2.4. Transform the financial sector to increase industrial and financing for co-operatives and small businesses.
2.5. Accelerate land reform for sustainable livelihoods and provide greater support for emerging farmers
Let us drive broad-based ownership of the economy as one of the building blocks needed for transformation. In particular the SACP stands for promoting worker ownership to distribute production income and wealth to those who produce it from their labour – that is the working class, the broad masses. Let us advance social ownership, through among others worker controlled and community co-operatives. Let us revitalise, expand and diversify the productive sector of the state.
The SACP stands for the achievement of the aim of the Freedom Charter for the doors of learning to be opened. Progress has been made since 1994. However there is still more work to be done. Let us supports the commitments for the ANC-led government to:
3.1. Make preparations for two years of early childhood development compulsory for all children.
3.2. Move early childhood development from the department responsible for social development to the department responsible for education.
3.3. Appoint qualified teachers, teacher professional development and enforcement of accountability.
3.4. Replace unsafe and inadequate school buildings with safe and adequate school buildings and sanitation facilities.
3.5. Extend free education in public universities and colleges for students from poor, working class and “missing middle” households.
4. Universal quality healthcare through National Health Insurance for all
South Africa’s healthcare sector is fragmented between the public healthcare sector, which serves an overwhelming majority, and the private healthcare sector, which serves a few. The private healthcare sector charges exorbitant fees and claims the greater proportion of our country’s total health spending. The elimination of the disparities in the healthcare sector will contribute meaningfully towards improving the state of public hospitals and clinics. Accordingly, the SACP called for, and supports the introduction of the National Health Insurance to eliminate the inequalities and ensure quality healthcare for all. The SACP supports the commitment in the ANC election manifesto to achieve this goal by 2025. The manifesto correctly commits the ANC-led government to:
4.1. Implement a National Health Insurance to provide quality health care free.
4.2. Fill critical vacant posts in public clinics and hospitals.
4.3. Significantly expand training of doctors and nurses.
4.4. Absorb over 50,000 community healthcare workers into the public health system and double this number over the next five years.
4.5. Screen an additional two million people for TB and ensure that at least 90% of HIV positive people are on treatment by next year.
5. Comprehensive social security, well located housing for the poor, safe and affordable public transport
The SACP campaigned for, and supports efforts to bring about a comprehensive social security system, build houses close to where people work, provide affordable basic services and develop a safe, reliable and integrated public transport system. Furthermore, the SACP supports the following commitments for the ANC-led government.
5.1. Expansion of access to social security benefits and an in increase in unemployment insurance – that is UIF – coverage.
5.2. Release of land to the people to build their own homes.
5.3. Development of several major projects that bring together economic nodal areas, housing, smart technologies and public transportation.
5.4. Investment in safe, reliable and integrated public transport systems.
5.5. Prioritisation of the provision of clean water and decent, safe sanitation.
The SACP wants uneven development between rural and urban areas, and within urban areas between suburbs and townships, to be eliminated. The Party will continue the social mobilisation of the working class to abolish this social injustice. This includes strengthening the campaign for the formalisation and development of informal settlements as well as continuing the just fight against unscrupulous housing evictions and fundamentally transforming the apartheid spatial economy.
6. Public safety and security
The SACP supports the imperative for the ANC-led government to strengthen policing to rid our communities of all forms of crime, drugs, gangsterism and gender-based violence as well as violence in general. Let us support the ANC-led government to solve the crisis of social reproduction, by which we mean the crisis-level problems created by the sustenance of class, race and gender inequalities, impacting households and communities. This includes the following measures.
6.1. Ensuring that the police are better trained to investigate and conclude cases and serve the people selflessly.
6.2. Increasing the numbers and visibility of police officers in communities.
6.3. Implementing a national plan of action that addresses the causes of gender-based violence, and violence in general.
6.4. Equipping police and courts to support survivors of gender-based violence.
6.5. Targeting drug syndicates through the new anti-gang units.
The SACP Red October Campaign 2018–2019 places emphasis on social mobilisation to overcome the challenges of local government and combat the scourge of violence in general and gender-based violence in particular. Together we need to strengthen and intensify this campaign to support the success of the above-mentioned objectives.
7. Fighting corruption and building the capacity of the state
The SACP is the first political organisation in our country to expose the corruption of corporate state capture. Working together with other social formations, we succeeded to ensure that the state establishes the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. In addition the ANC-led government, with ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa as the President of our country, established more commissions of inquiry and instituted other investigations, as well as reviews of the work of state organs. There is visible progress under way. As South Africans we still need to remain vigilant and work together to dismantle state capture networks and other forms of corruption not only in our state but also in our economy as a whole and society at large. The SACP supports the following national imperatives for the ANC-led government to implement.
7.1. Decisive action against state capture and corruption in public institutions and state owned enterprises, as well as in our economy and society at large.
7.2. Lifestyle audits of public officials and prevention of public servants from doing business with the state.
7.3. Strengthening law enforcement agencies like the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, as well as the Special Investigating Unit and National Prosecuting Authority
7.4. Strengthening the oversight role of Parliament and provincial legislatures.
7.5. Support for local councils to improve financial management, service provision and infrastructure building and maintenance.
8. Nation building
As a people, we still have a lot of work to do to eliminate the legacy of racial and gender discrimination and economic inequalities. As the working class in particular we need to strengthen our struggle against class exploitation, because for so long as there is class exploitation there will be class inequalities and societal divisions. Nevertheless the SACP supports the following progressive measures as immediate imperatives for the ANC-led government.
8.1. Implementation of indigenous language programmes in the education system and other places of public importance.
8.2. Introduction of laws to combat hate crimes against people based on their race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, albinism and other ground of arbitrary discrimination.
8.3. Promotion of media freedom and diversity.
8.4. Inclusion of the needs of people with disability in all state programmes.
8.5. Promotion of an enabling environment for all people to celebrate their cultures.
In addition, we all need to encourage the development of a progressive South African culture from our diversity. The working class has a crucial role to play in forging this progressive cultural commonality.
On May 8th 2019 in our overwhelming numbers let us: VOTE ANC!
Beyond 8th May 2019 let us remain organised, mobilised and vigilant. An ANC victory must be turned into a people’s victory for an advance towards a people’s economy with decent work and comprehensive social security.
Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, National Spokesperson, SACP, 3 May 2019