The SRWP leadership met on 9 May 2019, to reflect on the 2019 National and Provincial Elections. We reflected on our performance as a Party, and the entire electoral process with its substantially flawed systems.
In our examination and analysis of the elections, we were consistent with our attitude that the bourgeois electoral system is not the solution to our problems, nor the route to Socialism but a necessary terrain of struggle for the working class in our struggle for Socialism.
We want to thank all our supporters, members and leaders for the good work they did, before and during the elections. In just under two months after our Launch Congress, the SRWP has been able to create a Party apparatus that was able to participate in these elections across all the nine provinces of South Africa. By this singular feat we have demonstrated our Socialist revolutionary readiness to govern.
The energy, enthusiasm, bravery and yes, technical and tactical skills displayed by the young SRWP were all in full display in these elections.
In these elections, the SRWP faced not only the combined might of the South African capitalist class from all racial groups and their political mouthpieces, but also an entrenched right-wing ANC with its equally right-wing South African Communist Party and right-wing leadership of the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
The SRWP is not shocked by the outcomes of these elections. They fit very well with the local and global trends in recent years.
The election results in South Africa are consistent with the outcomes of elections globally, which have witnessed a consolidation of conservative right wing political parties, from India, to Brazil from the United States of America to Zimbabwe across our borders. And as the SRWP, we are very clear that the victory of the ANC and the DA, is the victory of white monopoly capital and their imperialist masters. It is the continuation of the right-wing status quo and under this regime the attacks on the working class will continue relentlessly.
The global capitalist system is in a terminal systemic and structural crisis. There are no solutions from anywhere about how to move the global capitalist system out of this crisis.
Post the collapse of the Soviet Union, the global capitalist system has mounted a successful campaign to demonise Socialism and Communism, as the only scientific alternatives to capitalism and imperialism. The capitalist manufactured failures of Socialist efforts and genuine mistakes committed by Socialists and Communist organisations have all combined to demoralise, demobilise, and cause large sections of the world working class to lose faith in Socialism and Communism, and to look to authoritarian and right-wing political alternatives.
Here in South Africa, for example, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in these elections openly supported and campaigned for the ANC and its billionaire leader, Mr. Ramaphosa. Such historic betrayals of the working class by their own organisations work decisively against raising socialist consciousness among the working class and throws them into the arms of their cruel tormentors and exploiters.
Against such odds, genuine Communist revolutionary organisations such as the SRWP have an uphill battle to secure seats in bourgeois parliaments. We have just received our baptism of fire in these elections!
Our revolutionary task now is to patiently, consistently and tirelessly explain the class content and character of not only the elections but of the parties that have won in these elections, to the working class and our members. In this task, we will not be side-tracked by idiots of a special type, either from within our Party, or outside it, who will see the election results as an opportunity to divide and weaken us. Such spineless characters will use every device including attempts to isolate individual leaders, create divisions and friction between the SRWP and NUMSA and spread all sorts of rumours and manufacture fake analyses against us.
We were very clear about our reasons for participating in these elections. In a separate public statement, the SRWP will publish its full views about capitalist elections in general. We did not fool ourselves that we would win overwhelmingly, nor was that our objective, in these elections.
Yes, we hoped to secure both provincial and national seats so that we could use these platforms to advance our struggles for Socialism. All the time, however, as confirmed in our policy document on elections, we have been very clear that our strategic objective is not to deceive ourselves that incrementally winning seats would lead us to Socialism. Rather, benefiting from the political climate generated by the elections, we were determined to create and develop the apparatus of the Party and to expose our members and the working class to the falsehoods of all capitalist elections. We have won on both counts!
We are not surprised that the ANC and the four or so main capitalist parties are carelessly overlooking the overwhelming evidence of extreme fraud and faults in the electoral machinery and processes. They, after all, have secured their positions as the mouth pieces of South African capitalism and imperialism – they got the results they wanted.
The following are some of the evidence of faults and fraud which is important for the IEC to deal with:
• There are various instances of people voting multiple times during these elections, and twenty people have been arrested.
• The IEC systems have not improved to work the smart identity card and this led to individuals being able to vote multiple times.
• Ballot papers ran out at some voting stations and people were turned away.
• Many voting districts did not have scanners, or the scanners were faulty.
• The indelible ink in some cases was easy to remove, making it easy for people to vote multiple times.
• There were reports of ballot papers not being stamped at the back of the ballot paper.
• VEC4 forms were not available at all voting districts meaning that people were restricted to voting only nationally.
• Party agents in at least two voting districts in Tshwane were turned away and prevented from participating in counting the votes.
• There were problems with voting stations where some opened late, and at least one, did not open at all.
• In addition, despite 48 political parties contesting elections not all parties were accommodated in the voting stations.
Against this background, we find that it is impossible for us to scientifically accept the accuracy of the results of these elections. The IEC itself has admitted just as much when it said it will count all the votes as valid notwithstanding the evidence proving that some voters have voted more than once.
Further, in the light of the evidence available and our own knowledge of our weaknesses and strengths as the SRWP, we reject, quite contemptuously, the figures of the votes ascribed to us.
While we had no doubts that our performance in these elections was not going to win us large votes, the figures ascribed to our votes are a joke and impossible to explain scientifically other than that the system clearly dealt with us. We are convinced history will prove us right.
We are convinced that while we certainly did not perform as well as we can in any election, the quantum of the votes ascribed to us are not a reflection of the size of the actual votes we received in these elections.
What do these elections and their results mean?
This is a victory of the IMF and the World Bank. This is a victory for the international circuits of imperialism. This is a victory for rating agents. This is a victory of the mining oligarchy.
These elections are a victory to protect and sustain the value of white wealth. This is a victory to cushion and hide a completely unsustainable and now collapsed negotiated settlement.
It is not a mistake that a billionaire in the form of Cyril Ramaphosa is now the confirmed CEO of South Africa. His rise to power even when he was the deputy president, has been marked by a consistency in creating a conducive environment to protect the status quo. And, in particular, to ensure that the working class is at the receiving end of his so called New Deal which for the working class is nothing but a raw deal.
Cyril Ramaphosa is credited as one of the architects of South Africa’s post 1994 capitalist constitution and the National Development Plan when he was part of the National
Commission for Development Planning with Trevor Manuel. He is responsible for the national minimum wage of R20 an hour, and for the attack on the constitutional right of workers to strike.
Austerity measures are going to be deepened and become our daily experience. The working class can forget about any expansion in the national budget to address their needs.
Privatisation, of all SOEs, in particular Eskom, which is key to continue to be in the hands of the state to champion manufacturing and industrialisation will now move swiftly.
The SRWP is ready to be proactive and to call on all Eskom workers, who were lied to that they would not be retrenched after elections, to demand that Cyril Ramaphosa in his first acceptance speech must confirm that he will not retrench a single worker and that he will stop the privatisation of Eskom.
The victory of the ANC and DA, joined now by the Freedom Front Plus, which is openly racist, unlike the liberal racism of the DA, is a victory of the capitalist ruling class of all races in South Africa, with the white monopoly capitalist class at the head.
Under the consolidation of this capitalist political class there shall be no restructuring and transformation of the South African economy and society. There will be no measures to address the fundamental issues of ownership and control of the economy, especially through nationalisation.
These elections constitute a huge setback in the history of the South African working-class revolution and those who were hesitant to join the noble and just struggle, which the SRWP is advancing must wait to see and experience the following:
1. That our call to nationalise the mines, all commanding heights of the economy, all our minerals under worker control, to champion full employment, equality and the abolition of inequalities will be presented as outdated and will be further delegitimised.
2. We must forget about free and compulsory decolonised education from birth to death.
3. We must forget about what we can define as the ‘triple H’ which include quality housing, which gives dignity to the majority of the homeless working class who survive outside even the apartheid spatial development. We can forget about free, quality health care and continue to experience the deadly conditions that currently stalk the wards of our hospital. And we will continue to experience hunger with 26% of children without a plate of food to eat and 50% of the population being food insecure.
The SRWP has its work cut out. We have work from our Congress to complete. We have our organisational tasks ahead of us. We have a political programme of demands to advance with all the South African working class.
We call upon all the working class in this country not to be drunk with either the bitterness of loss or the false euphoria of victory in these elections. Let us unite as a class and confront the challenges of struggling for a Socialist South Africa as the only country in which our class interests will be dominant.
As to the South African capitalist class of all races we say: savour your false victory, for as long as you can.
The struggle continues!
Issued by The Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party