Western Cape Alliance Ten-aside Statement
20 November 2019
The Revolutionary Alliance comprising of the African National Congress (ANC), South African Communist Party (SACP) Congress of South African Communist (Cosatu) and the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in the Western Cape Province met on 17 November 2019, at Community House, Salt River, Cape Town. The Alliance meeting was attended by ten delegates from each of the components to share perspectives and develop common programmes to respond to escalating challenges confronting the poor majority in the province.
The Alliance Ten-Aside, which laid the foundation for convening of the Alliance Political Council and Summit to be held in the first quarter of 2020, reaffirms its commitment to the unity of the Alliance within the context of our shared National Democratic Revolution. Further, the Ten-Aside fully endorses the general thrust of the Reconfiguration of the Alliance as articulated by the recently held Alliance Political Council at a national level. The Alliance agreed on the primacy of rebuilding the Alliance through uniting the working class in the Western Cape based on advancing the struggles for socio-economic justice.
Thus, the Alliance agreed to develop a programme that will drive struggles of the working-class in all corners of our province. Among the issues is to fight against racial segregation in the Western Cape, the continued forced removal of people through gentrification, and confronting the inability of the Western Cape government to resolve the persistent housing crisis. Further, the Alliance commits to act in unison to fight and roll-back the ills of the crisis of social reproduction including crime and the rising scourge of gender-based violence in the province.
Defend jobs, fight private profit interest
The Alliance agreed to unite against the bleeding jobs by our economy and working towards the ending of inequality, unemployment and poverty. Accordingly, the Alliance has committed to ensuring that the 2018 elections manifesto is implemented fully. Central to that is the creation of jobs. It is against this backdrop that the Alliance fully supports the call made by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, in reaction to the Arcelo Mittal decision to shut down the Saldanha plant. Therefore, the Alliance agreed to join the people of the West Coast on 28 of November and march to Arcelo Mittal to submit a memorandum against the shot sighted profit-driven decision to impoverish the community of Saldanha.
Regrettably, we have observed a trend by most companies in South Africa to embark on tactical liquidation as a temporary relief and later re-emerge in different forms. This is a ploy to bypass the legislative labour relations instruments that we tirelessly fought for.
The Alliance noted the recent report released by StatsSA indicating that the distribution of proceeds of our economy (i.e. income earnings) remains heavily racialised and genderised, with women earning approximately 30 percent on average less than men.
Crime and Gender-based Violence
Given the ever-escalating crime and gender-based violence statistics in the Western Cape and the passive behaviour of the provincial government towards these crimes, the Alliance agreed to focus on the building of organs of peoples' power. This will be by ensuring that in all working-class communities we have street committees and community policing forums (CPF), as well as ensuring the accountability of these forums to their communities. The Alliance welcomed the short term intervention of bringing soldiers to the Western Cape and further accepted that the people of Western Cape must, in addition to the formal crime-prevention methods, organise themselves to fight against all forms of crime and reclaim their streets from the criminals. Thus, a need to revive the “Bambanani Neighbourhood” is vital for the fight against crime. The Alliance calls for the speedy appointment of the Commissioner of police to stabilise the police leadership in the province. The Alliance needs to ensure that the CPF and Neighbourhood Watch is not made a private army of the DA, and it conforms to national regulations.
The Alliance further welcomes the sentencing of murderer, Luyanda Botha, by the Cape High Court after he murdered the young UyineneMrwetyana. The sentence sends a clear message to those who are bent to victimise women in our province.
Access to Public Transport
The Alliance agreed to intensify the campaign for safer, reliable, affordable and accessible public transport. Therefore, the Alliance appreciates all efforts to bring back Prasa to its normality by the Minister of Transport through the war room.
However, there is a need to diversify the public transport system in the Western Cape to end the racially skewed method of implementing the rapid transit transport system through myCity Bus. Secondly, we call on the authorities and those who are involved in public transport, in particular taxis operators, to obey the law. Further, we reject any attempt to bully and mistreat the taxi industry by giving them exorbitant fines. The government of the Western Cape has the responsibility to build infrastructure that would ease traffic congestion by creating a dedicated public transport lane both from and to various industrial arrears. The Alliance supports Cosatu`s call for a strike in February 2020 against Prasa, Metrorail, the City of Cape Town, the Provincial Government and National Government.
Housing and overpopulation in the Western Cape
The Alliance noted that in the Western Cape, housing is a crisis and the government of the DA is incapable to resolve the current backlog. The increase of informal settlements surpass the development of social houses. However, the government of the province releases land to private developers. This leaves the majority of the working class people being prey to seasonal disasters; hence in winter they are subjected to floods and in summer to shack fires. Only a responsible and working-class orientated government can intervene when the people are in such dire need. Additionally, the slow rate of development has resulted in many communities being overpopulated. This overpopulation has resulted in the poor provision of services to our communities and over the overburdening of infrastructure, which is thus unable to handle the pressure. The Alliance calls for a moratorium on farm evictions in the province.
State of Health and NHI
The Alliance is deeply concerned with the state of health in the province, in particular the overcrowding of health care facilities. The closing and demolition of GF Jooste Hospital remains an issue that will never be resolved until a new hospital is built. The Alliance calls on the Western Cape government to rebuild a new hospital to cater for all.
Furthermore, the Alliance will participate in the ongoing National Health Insurance (NHI) public hearings. Equally, the Alliance will continue with the ongoing campaign in line with the 2016 local government manifesto that all public health facilities should operate seven days a week and 24 hours a day.
Build a Left Popular Front against any form of injustice
We remain concerned with the crippling unemployment which is further exacerbated by the uncritical embrace of the so-called fourth industrial revolution. We categorically condemn retrenchments which exacerbate the crisis of joblessness. It is in this context that the Alliance shall together with the labour movement and civil society build a Left Popular Front against the unfolding jobs blood-bath in all major sectors of our economy. This period demands greater innovation and dismantling of the barriers that exclude and constrain small enterprises particularly in construction. Further, we urge the government to strengthen support for the establishment and harnessing of cooperatives towards inclusive economic trajectory.
Forward to a United SANCO Provincial Congress!
Alliance components unanimously wished the progressive civic organisation, SANCO, a successful provincial congress. Delegates must remember that unity is a precondition for grassroots mobilisation, agitation and long-term triumph against racist policies of the Western Cape government.
Issued by Lerumo Kalako on behalf of the Tripartite Alliance in the Western Cape, 20 November 2019