South African Communist Party
SACP Moses Mabhida PEC Statement, 25 November 2021
The South African Communist Party (SACP) in Moses Mabhida Province (KwaZulu-Natal) held its ordinary Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting, which was extended to office bearers in the districts, on 20-21 November 2021, virtually. The PEC was also attended by Central Committee Members as deployees to the province.
The PEC received its ordinary reports, which were the Political, Organisational and Financial reports and a presentation on the developments around the COVID-19 pandemic. The PEC meeting took place immediately after the Local Government Elections (LGE), held on the 1 November 2021, to which considerable time was dedicated in the report and analysis on the outcome of the LGE. The PEC met amid ongoing negotiations to form coalitions in municipalities where the African National Congress could not get a majority to govern. The PEC also noted the weaknesses in the manner in which coalition negotiations were handled.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS
The PEC expressed its deepest disappointment on the outcome of the Local Government Elections which indicated a massive decline for the support of the ANC, from 57% in 2016 to 47% in 2021. There was a strong view which indicated it should not have been a surprise, in light of the state of our municipalities and poor service delivery. Amongst factors believed to have impacted on the lower voter turn-out and decline in ANC support, has been seen mainly amongst others as follows:
- The failure to meet the minimum service delivery demands, bordering on neglect. EG: basic needs of a faltering water supply, unreliable electricity supply, inconsistent waste collections, lengthy unattended sewage spillage.
- Social distance between the communities and public representatives.
- Political infightings which have moved from political organisations to impact service delivery negatively.
- Corruption which has been centred in narrow self-enrichment of the corrupt few.
- Deteriorating socio-economic conditions of our communities by massive social ills.
- The failure to resolve worker and employer disputes where some municipalities have fired droves of workers without just cause.
The PEC took place before the inaugural municipal seatings and expressed its disappointment of the election outcomes, which produced an increased percentage of hung municipalities in the history of our democratic dispensation. This dire situation does not augur well for the service delivery to the people and the biggest losers will be our communities.
The petty politicking between the IFP and the ANC was a sight for concern, in which the SACP calls for both organisations to respect each other’s organisational independence and prioritise the interest of the people, particularly, the working class and poor.
The PEC collectively agreed that the whole world looks paralysed in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to critically question what we are informed about the pandemic. Although it is taken as a health problem, the pandemic is a serious class issue. There is a strong belief that it is used by the ruling class to lock society into a horror channel, legitimise repression and wide range of anti-democratic measures and to widely make society obediently accept the severe consequences of the economic crisis. As a class issue, the most affected by the pandemic are the working people. Millions of our people lack basic healthcare services and it is quite noteworthy that while the rulers claim they are raging a war against COVID-19, providing free, extensive, and high-quality healthcare to the public has not been an immediate priority.
They are keen on fuelling panic, but do not take serious steps to solve the problems of the lack of medical staff and equipment. Making matters worse is the lack of information and censorship, which leaves communities disempowered from taking informed decisions. The SACP PEC resolved to urgently organise an “Empowerment Workshop”, together with other organs of civil society. The PEC resolved to debate the issue extensively with the aim of seeking the truth on this ongoing debate and rally society to understand the whole political economy of COVID-19.
The SACP PEC also noted the Annual International Conference on the climate crisis, which ended on 30 October in Glasgow (Scotland), where there was a contentious debate over the final document which revealed a fundamental difference on key issues. The COP26 Summit is a talking session due to its inability to make decisions necessary in order to mitigate and reverse the process of environmental degradation. Developments over the last several years have been devastating for the peoples of the global south and indeed, throughout the world. Flooding, severe storms and drought have plagued people internationally and these environmental problems have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, making the distribution more difficult for medicines, including vaccines, to population groups which are not easily accessible by modern transportation.
The COP26 Summit was exclusionary. Whilst wealthy nations have pushed developing nations to sign agreements on curtailing the use of coal, ironically, they build their economies through massive pollution at the expense of the poor and the working class.
The developments in Umngeni Water are a serious cause for concern. The recent announcement to residents on a water supply shutdown for the next five weeks, is completely unacceptable. We hope that this current posture has nothing to do with the reinstatement of the board. However, there are footprints pointing towards an Umngeni Water degenerating into another Eskom. The signs of factional battles playing themselves in this public entity and many reported allegations of corruption and a government ‘missing in action’ to take the appropriate action to address them. We do not know what happened with the SIU Report and many other forensic investigations, which have been carried out on this entity. It is high time these investigations are made public, including implementation of Consequence Management. The PEC resolved to take this matter forward by meeting with the Minister responsible for this portfolio.
SUPPORT FOR SACCAWU AND SATAWU
The PEC in Moses Mabhida reaffirms its unwavering support for the ongoing strike at MASSMART stores (Game, Makro, Builders, Rhino, Cambridge, etc.). We call upon the working class to boycott these stores so that the employer will be forced to go back to the negotiating table with the unions to ensure that an amicable solution is reached. It is unjustifiably sad that whilst the employers have benefited immensely from the jobs fund, when there are constraints and challenges, workers must be the first to face the brunt of short-time and potential retrenchments. Workers are bleeding by unilateral decisions of employers who see workers as first casualties in pursuit of profit maximisation.
ON ORGANISATIONAL ISSUES
In light of these unpalatable developments, the SACP Moses Mabhida resolved to prepare a strategic session in early January 2022, to formulate a programme of action and political framework in line with the Party’s centenary clarion call “Put People Before Profit”.
The organisation will be going through its district congresses to renew its mandate which will culminate in the Provincial Congress early next year. This process will be used to promote discussions in line with the position papers for the 15th National Congress of the Party to be held in July next year.
Statement issued by SACP Moses Mabhida Province, 25 November 2021