4 July 2021
Today, I stand here on behalf the 8th Provincial Executive Committee to welcome the SACP, alliance leadership and all those SACP supporters who are watching this official opening of our centenary celebration.
I address you from the Province and district where this 100-year-old Party was founded in 1921, the Western Cape, Cape Town district. As I make this address, there is a particular section of the workers and the poor who live in squatter camps in and around the City of Cape who are victims of floods in new squatter camps such as Sanitizer, Covid etc. The response of this neo-liberal DA led City Council told our people on their face that they are on their own.
I address you from a City where the rail system collapsed as a consequence of corruption and state capture.
The region where this Party was founded, the workers and the poor are subjected to potholes, pilling sewage, crime and corruption, extortions.
I address you from a province where farm workers face supper exploitation on the one hand and evictions on the other hand by farm bosses.
General Secretary, Dr. Blade Nzimande, the month of July 2021 is a historic month to the calender of our Party. We stand here proud of this historic milestone. It is against this background that at our 99th anniversary leading up to here, we adopted a dialectic theme thus Learning from the Past, Active in the Present, Building the Future-Building Socialism Now. In our unbroken 100 years of communist activism, we fought many fierce battles against Colonialism of a Special Type and apartheid and we fought against class exploitation of our people.
This centenary is a platform to highlight the many battles we fought and won, to appreciate the many advances we scored. Equally, this centenary should be a platform to reflect on building the Future-building socialism now. Therefore, as we celebrate our centenary-we must ask the pertinent question-what kind of Party are we building? What is the current state of the South African working class?
Unlike the Communist Party of China whose centenary celebration is full of concrete and tangible advances, (yes let us accept conditions are not the same, but equally conditions are made) here at home is not the case. Notwithstanding remarkable progress in social security interventions, the objective of fundamental socio-economic transformation remains elusive.
The basic capitalist contradictions still persist as workers continues to be exploited, landless, subjected to ever rising price of food and electricity, abject poverty, class inequality, joblessness and living in the margins of the economy. Further, the economy remains in Whites hands and international conglomerates.
Therefore, in this centenary celebration, we must hide nothing from our people and speak truth to power and make truth powerful as basis to tell what we stand for and against. We fought along with the ANC and the labour movement and many other forces to usher in democracy and freedom in this country. But there are ideological and counter-revolutionary irritations we must confront and they can never be tolerated in any day, they include the implementation of the inspired Bretton Wood institutions agenda of neo-liberalism and austerity on the one hand, and a counter-revolutionary smash and grab parasitic and corrupt network on the other hand.
Thus, we must unapologetically tell this government that the working class in this country do not accept and will never accept neo-liberalism and austerity as a solution to the problems the majority people face-Solutions to our problems is Socialism and ultimately communinism. We therefore reject neo-liberalism and austerity even if it is championed by the ANC government. The auctioning of our State owned Companies cannot be accepted because these entities are best placed instruments to advance our national developmental goals-thus we say NO TO PRIVATISATION. The budget cuts in social spending are nothing but bent to deepen the crisis of weakening the capacity of the state to serve our people.
Further, corrupt and unethical conduct in the state in particular stand on the way of any advance of our revolution. The corrupt and parasitic network must be confronted even if it resorts to the backward tribalism and victim-hood. To those who are arrested and charged, you are reminded, the Freedom Charter says, “All Shall be Equal Before the Law” Therefore, no one is above the law irrespective of position one hold or status one have in society.
In closing, let us renew our movement, our Party and all our organisations. Therefore, let us renew ourselves, let us wage a struggle against ourselves. As we march towards the next 100 years, what is the relationship between ourselves as leaders with the membership we lead and the people we represent?
Please allow me to share, an observation made by General Giap the hero of the Vietnamese revolution who once visited an Arab capital where there were (revolutionary) factions. The General saw the extravagant and luxurious life of the leaders of those factions and compared it to his life with the Vietnamese revolutionaries in the Vietnamese forest, he said to those leaders: It is difficult for your revolution to win” they asked him why? He answered them: because revolution and wealth do not meet, a revolution that is not led by consciousness turns into terrorism and the revolution that is showered with money turns into thieves and criminals, and if you see someone claiming to be of the revolution and who lives in a palace and eats the most delicious dishes and; lives in luxury, then I know that s/he is a malicious hypocrite who lives in the blood of others.
In his own words, our late General Secretary Chris Hani made a caution directed at all of us thus “what I fear is that the liberators emerge as elitists who drive around in Mercedes Benzes and use the resources of this country to live in palaces and to gather riches”
Let us reflect!!!
let us build a better South Africa free from class exploitation!!
let us build a better Socialist World!!!