The SACP in the Western Cape held the 5th Provincial Council of its 8th Provincial Congress on the 9 September 2018 at Ntsebenziswano Senior Secondary in Philippi. The Council was attended by delegates representing branches of the SACP in the province and representatives from Cosatu and SANCO. The Council observed a moment of silence in memory of the workers who lost their lives at the Rheinmetall Denel explosion.
The Council received a keynote address from our Second Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Chris Matlhako, and a message of solidarity from the National Secretary of the Young Communist League, Comrade Mluleki Dlelanga. The Council received the Political, Organisational and financial reports. These reports helped the Council to assess the state of the Party and the current political and economic situation in the country as well as internationally. More emphasis was placed on the necessity to ensure that the SACP is rooted among and deepens its inviolable ties with the people and is responsive to their living conditions.
The Council resolved on many strategic proposals for building the fighting capacity and independence of the SACP.
Reshuffle and Cooption
The Council has received a report about the departure of the First Deputy Provincial Secretary, Comrade Barry James Mitchell that left a vacancy within the provincial secretariat. The Council thanked Cde Barry Mitchell for the role he has played in building the Party and the Alliance and wished him well in his academic studies in Spain.
The Council elected Cde Sonwabile Ngxiza to the position of the First Deputy Provincial Secretary, Cde Masonwabe Sokoyi to the position of the Second Deputy Provincial Secretary and Cde Jan Kotze to the PEC.
Post-Nasrec and the general domestic political development
The Council noted the continuing optimism and goodwill as well as numerous positive developments generated by the post-Nasrec moment. These developments include the progressive support of the National Health Insurance, the accelerated roll-out of free higher education for the poor, bold position on the question of land and the commencement of the Commission of Inquiry into the State Capture.
In the same vein, the Council noted the emergence of a dangerous intersection between the remnants of the 1996 class project and the post-Nasrec moment.
The post-Nasrec goodwill is undermined by the impending bloodbath of retrenchments across the sectors of the economy and many anti-poor developments.
Council observed with concern the current conundrum of rising fuel costs and food prices which is resulting in the further impoverishment of the poor without any major interventions. The Council called for reflation within the economy directed at the workers and poor.
The Council welcomed the revitalisation of State Owned Companies as part of building a capable developmental state. The Council echoed the 5th Plenary Session of the 14th SACP Congress in rejecting attempts of taking the country back to the neoliberal agenda pushed by the 1996 Class Project including privatisation.
Economic sabotage within the rail system
The Council has encouraged its structures to mobilise communities to participate in the upcoming Imbizo convened by the Minister Transport Dr. Blade Nzimande to be held on the 29 September 2018. Unless the Minister decisively dismantles the parasitic network in and outside Prasa the rail operation will not normalise.
Council noted the coincidence of the demand by the DA-led City of Cape Town to operate the rail system with the concerted regressive acts of sabotaging public transport, included but not limited to the torching of trains. The DA-led administration in the City and the Province has been bent on undermining our national government.
The SACP in the Western Cape calls on government to act swiftly to arrest those responsible for instigating this economic sabotage regardless of whether they are inside or outside Prasa.
Exclusion of working class communities in fishing economic activity
The Council has expressed serious concern on the continued exclusion of the coastal communities from fishing, a dominant economic activity which is important for the sustenance of many livelihoods.
This marginalisation further entrenches capitalist exploitation, which is predominantly white and male dominated.
The Party urged the government to expedite rolling out of fishing rights especially to the poor and to develop solidarity economic approaches in the fishing sector.
Further, Council further called for a wider investigation on the issue of fishing licensing in the sector.
The Council noted the recent unfortunate incident in Hout Bay where a person is reported missing.
Water crisis in the province
The water crisis in this region of the country has severe impact on the lives and pockets of working class communities across the province. The political point-scoring tactic of the DA relating to its response to the crisis in Cape Town, Paarl, the Karoo and various affected areas needs to be exposed.
The Council resolved to build a left popular front and craft awareness campaigns to encourage fair water usage while exposing the short comings of the provincial and local governments.
Fatalities at the Denel plant
The Council sadly noted the fatal blast at a Denel plant in Somerset West. It is astonishing to learn that under state owned entities labour brokering prevails and impacts the dignity of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
The Council appreciated ongoing investigation into the circumstances leading to the incident and calls on officials in the plant to take full responsibility and own up after the explosion.
ANC regional conferences
The recent regional conferences of the ANC across the province were characterised by contestation, slate and divisive politics and winner takes all posture. The Party is extremely concerned by the poor organisation of these conferences, degeneration of the ANC and heightened factional divisions.
Council called for an urgent intervention by the national leadership to dismantle the existing factions in the province.
The SACP believes that unless the ANC dismantles the factions, gate-keeping, anti-alliance and other related tendencies, it will not be able to reclaim power in the Western Cape and to stop the destructive trajectory that it has veered to.
Issued by SACP Western Cape