SACP fully supports National Day of Action

Party says together it is possible to build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor

Together, let us build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor

24 August 2022

The SACP fully supports this National Day of Action and expresses its unwavering solidarity with the workers in bargaining processes, across the economy, in the private sector, as well as in the public sector.

We call on workers in the public and private sectors, on unionised workers across federations, on the non-unionised workers and workers in informal work, South Africans and other nationals.

Together, let us build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor, to fight against exploitation in the workplace, at the tills, in the financial sector, and on all fronts.

Let us build unity to advance the common interests of the workers, employed and unemployed, on all fronts.

Let us build maximum unity to eradicate poverty and fight inequality in the distribution of production income, against the oligarchs in the private sector and the bureaucratic bourgeoisie in the public sector.

Let us build working-class power, dear comrades, to complete our liberation and advance, deepen and defend social emancipation, which will be possible for the first time under socialism. Let us strengthen the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist struggles to build capacity for, momentum towards, and the elements of socialism in the here and now.

Let us dismantle the networks of state capture, in all its manifestation, and clamp down on corruption.

Let us build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor to confront the cost-of-living crisis, right in the workplace, through distributive struggles, and on the public policy front, through redistributive struggles and measures to advance and deepen the second phase of the national democratic revolution.

Social security for all

As part of building a comprehensive social security for all, we need a universal basic income grant. This must be an immediate policy intervention, while the government puts in place effective policies to tackle the unemployment crisis.

Today, the SACP calls on the government to not terminate the Social Relief of Distress Grant at the end of March 2023. The government must maintain this grant and gradually improve it to build a foundation for a universal basic income grant.

The government must take decisive action against rising energy and food prices and tackle food insecurity. While pursuing this direction and building a caring social policy for all, the government must implement the right to decent work for all.

To succeed, all these imperatives require us, the working-class and poor, to build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor.

The right to decent work for all

We call on the unemployed youth, in their millions, on mothers stuck at home without childcare facilities, on those recently retrenched, on those in precarious work: Let us together fight for an economy that makes employment creation a national priority.

Together, let us intensify our campaign to change our international trade, monetary and fiscal policies, to industrialise the country to achieve the right to work for all. To succeed, this needs a comprehensive, high impact industrial policy, which must be supported by an enabling macroeconomic framework—monetary and fiscal policies, and international trade policy.

Overhaul transformation of the financial sector

South Africa needs supportive legislation and regulatory framework for worker-and community-controlled co-operative banks and financial institutions, as well as co-operative credit union leagues and savings schemes, to grow and thrive as a critical pillar of a transformed financial sector.

The banking sector in our country continues to be under the monopoly of profit-driven oligopolies, a few profit-driven commercial banks that also undermine the state. To achieve overhaul transformation of the financial sector, together let us intensify the Financial Sector Campaign, including through rolling mass action to the doorstep of the monopoly-finance capital, the banking oligopolies.

When the government established the state guaranteed loan scheme to assist small, micro and medium-sized enterprises in the face of the COVID-19 distress, the profit-driven banking oligopolies only dispensed a fraction of the potential R200 billion state guaranteed loan scheme. They financed mostly to White owned SMEs, using their lending requirements to lock out the many affected Black owned SMEs, and co-operatives. The legacy of colonialism and apartheid oppression in the profit-driven banking sector is persistent.

The banking oligopolies remain intransigent on other transformation fronts as well. A recent report, released by the Financial Sector Transformation Council, shows that the banking sector leaves much to be desired in terms of transformation regarding ownership, management control, skills development, procurement, enterprise and supplier development, affordable access to finance, socio-economic development, and consumer education.  The transformation scorecards of the top six banks to redress historical imbalances at ownership level were a mere 23,01 points in 2018/2019 and a mere 23,57 points in 2019/2020. In terms of management control, their transformation scorecards were a mere 14,16 points in 2018/019 and 14,8 points in 2019/2020, against a meagre target of 25.

The Reserve Bank must serve all the people, the majority of whom is the working-class and poor

Let us intensify the Financial Sector Campaign for the mandate of the Reserve Bank to explicitly target sustainable employment creation and long-term moderate interest rates.

Amid the acute crisis of racialised and gendered unemployment, affecting 12,4 million active and discouraged unemployed work-seekers, the South African Reserve Bank continues to pursue a high interest rate monetary policy regime. This is unfavourable to employment creation, and to those seeking affordable finance to start and run co-operatives, and small and medium-sized enterprises. The overwhelming majority of the unemployed is the Black youth, regardless of gender. However, their majority are women.

The Reserve Bank, in line with the constitution, must exercise its powers, functions and operational independence to secure balanced and sustainable growth—not to serve the profit-driven interests of the banking oligopolies or monopoly-finance capital. South Africa has never had balance and sustainable growth since the adoption of the constitution in 1996. Today, the SACP wants to warn those entrusted with power in our state institutions, including the Reserve Bank, and the National Treasury, to desist from exercising that power to advance neoliberalism and counter-organise the national imperative to achieve the goals of the Freedom Charter.

Environmental justice for all, through a just transition:

To achieve a just transition, we must intensify mass mobilisation for decisive public investment in innovation, research and development in clean coal technologies and new power generation capacity, among others. Clean coal technologies will offer environmental, health and economic benefits. We need to build publicly owned renewable and cleaner energy generation capacity.

We call on the working-class and poor living in polluted townships, communities at the risk of becoming ghost towns due to “unjust energy transition”, environmental activists and progressive faith-based networks. Together, let us fight against unjust energy transition. Let us fight for a just transition that protects workers’ employment security and creates new work for the unemployed, towards the right of all to work.

The approach adopted by the government under the 1996 GEAR class project (see the White Paper on Energy, December 1998) was against self-sustainability and self-reliability in energy production. By going “the private way”, by shifting to increased procurement of energy from the profit-driven interests (the private power producers), the government is still following the same path. We must unite against this!

Issued by Solly Mapaila, General Secretary, SACP, 24 August 2022