SACP Western Cape Statement of the 6th Provincial Council
4 December 2018
The 8th Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Western Cape convened its 6th Provincial Council on 1 December 2018, at Intsebenziswano High School in Philippi, Cape Town. The Council was attended by delegates from branches, districts, Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA), Central Committee deployee and Alliance partners. The 6th Provincial Council was convened as a platform to receive both organisational and political reports. It was addressed by Comrade Khaya Magaxa, a Central Committee Member and acting Provincial Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC).
The Council also served as a platform to assess the work of the 8th PEC to rebuild the Party from the grassroots across the five districts of the province as a means of deepening ideological and political consciousness, strengthening working class unity and programmatically push back the neoliberal offensive and challenge the hegemony of the Democratic Alliance party in the province.
The Council noted that the 1st of December is World AIDS Day and further made the call to its members to continue with the fight against HIV/AIDS, including voluntary testing, understanding that early detection of the virus is vital in managing it and ultimately prolonging life.
16 Days of Activism
The struggle against patriarchy and gender-based violence should not be necessarily confined to events of 16 Days of Activism, important as they might be, but must be integrated to our day-to-day struggles against capitalism in the struggle for socialism. Thus, patriarchy remains prevalent at household, work-place and within the political sphere. The Council highlighted a need for the criminal justice system to devise effective and sustainable crime prevention strategies with emphasis on violent crimes against women and children.
State of Municipalities in the Western Cape
The Council urged all SACP structures in the province to intensify the 2018-2019 Red October campaign to fight corruption within the local government. The Western Cape is one of the hot spots of corruption, looting and poor provision of basic services to the people. The City of Cape Town, the Eden District Municipality, and Witzenberg Municipality are marred by looting and corruption. The rot at these municipalities is an impediment to the provision of basic services to the working class. Thus, persisting lack of sanitation, safe drinking water, provision of houses and the collusion between municipal officials and private developers need to be confronted. These and the general state of local government has compelled the current Red October campaign to focus on, and intensify, the fight against corruption and the need for municipalities to serve our people selflessly.
The state of the rail system and challenges facing Prasa
The SACP in the Western Cape Province will continuously campaign for accessible, affordable, reliable and safe public transport. There is a need to extend the rail infrastructure to connect working class areas like Atlantis, Mfuleni, Delft and connect Khayelitsha to Strand and Khayelitsha to Wynberg. There needs to be a rethink about the establishment of the rail lanes for the rural parts of the province. In line with this, the bus service system needs to be integrated. The SACP in the province continues to make the call that the Golden Arrow Bus Service and Autopax fleet buses be utilised during peak hours to augment Prasa.
Further, the Party commends the initiative of the Ministry responsible for Transport for calling the recent Imbizo which served as a platform to engage the communities in the province about the state of public transport in the province.
Privatisation of State Owned Entities (SOEs) and the impact on the working class
The 14th Congress Central Committee 5th Plenary Session statement was clear about attempts made by the parasitic networks to privatise our SOEs. Taking the que from the Central Committee, the Party in the province will heighten the campaign for the wide scale investigation into our SOEs, in particular PetroSA.
The SACP in the Western Cape Province will continue to fight against retrenchments and privatisation of all our SOEs, in particular at ESKOM and South African Airways (SAA). The SACP recognises the reality that the neoliberal reorganisation of our State Owned Entities will bring about dire consequences, more especially for the working class and poor. This neoliberal agenda will lead to retrenchments, electricity tariff hikes and load-shading.
The SACP Western Cape Province further resolved to use 2019 as a Year of the roll-out of Mass Action Against Privatisation, Casualisation and Unemployment.
On the financial sector
The recent Augmented Central Committee has called for the convening of the second financial sector summit as a matter of urgency. The persisting dire economic environment makes this summit a compelling imperative. The Party in the Province welcomed the decision and Cosatu’s proposed workers’ bank as a progressive step. Consequently, the opening of a workers’ bank will be an important contribution towards breaking the monopoly of the big four banks. The Party further warns business unionists that should they use the workers’ bank as their slash funds they will receive the wrath of the working class.
No to petrol levy
The Council condemned the decision by Finance MEC Ivan Meyer for going ahead with the petrol tariffs hike. The MEC went ahead and announced the petrol hike before even the outcomes of the research commissioned by the Provincial Finance department.
On Farmworkers and Access to Land
On the issue of access to land, the question that needs to be asked relates to the protection of farmworkers in the interim. Our experience as the SACP is that illegal eviction of farmworkers has escalated. In this regard the SACP in the Western Cape has resolved to work with all unions that organise farmworkers. This is in the quest to harness and consolidate the collective organising strength of the unions..
Further, the SACP will explore means on how to best assist the community and workers on the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) to protect their security of tenure by fighting evictions and ensure access to decent basic services.
Furthermore, the SACP in the Western Cape supports the campaign by progressive civil society organisations to ensure that the PHA should largely remain a farming area and will reject any large-scale development that has the potential of destroying the Western Cape’s vegetable basket.
The Alliance and upcoming national general elections
The SACP in the Western Cape will support the ANC towards the 2019 national general elections. As a result, the SACP will fully participate and compliment the Alliance elections campaign as headed by the ANC. Therefore, communists in the province will be at the forefront to defend the gains of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR).
However, the SACP will ensure that the final list to parliament is not a product that affirms factional groupings but an affirmation of unity within the Alliance. Thus, the vanguard role of communists should be to unite the Alliance, neutralise factionalism and expose careerists and opportunists.
Reconfiguration of the Alliance
The Council welcomed the reconfiguration documents produced by the SACP, ANC and COSATU. But the SACP in the province is concerned about the main content of the ANC’s discussion document. It appears that the ANC is comfortable with the current state of affairs on how the Alliance functions. The unwillingness of the ANC to change the modus operandi is witnessed in the elections processes currently underway such as the formulation of the manifesto and the list processes. The Party in the Western Cape Province will continue fighting harder for the Alliance to be reconfigured from the bottom up.
The Council has accepted the documents as the guide towards a meaningful reconfiguration of the Alliance. The national democratic revolution should be at the centre of what defines the outlook of the reconfiguration of the Alliance.
The reconfiguration of the Alliance must not be reduced to boardroom power-sharing politics. Alliance structures should drive campaigns whose objectives must be to address the aspirations of the national democratic revolution, a direct route to socialism in South African conditions.
The Council congratulated the newly elected Provincial leadership of the YCLSA in the Western Cape. The Council views the revival of the YCLSA as part of the work to strengthen the Party. The revival of the YCLSA in the province will greatly contribute to the mobilisation and conscientisation of working class youth in the province. The Party in the Western Cape Province will assist the YCLSA to rebuild its structures organically from all the districts and drive campaigns that address issues facing the youth in the Western Cape.
Issued by Benson Ngqentsu, Provincial Secretary, SACP Western Cape, 4 December 2018