The South African Communist Party strongly condemns the reported intentions by a certain sect that propagates an illegal shutdown of others’ workplaces, business operations and logistics infrastructure on Monday, 20 March 2023, to prevent workers who need to go to work to support themselves and their dependents from doing so.
The SACP urges every person who needs go to the workplace to work or to run their business operations, to a surgery, a clinic, or a hospital to receive healthcare, or to any other place or institution anywhere in South Africa on Monday, 20 March 2023, to feel free to do so, to exercise their human rights without fear.
While we unwaveringly reaffirm every person’s right to protest, we are equally categorical, in line with the rule of law, that protest action must be lawful. According to the Bill of Rights enshrined in our constitution, no single grouping or person may engage in an illegal protest action or impose their protest action on everyone who does not support it and its agendas.
In the same vein, we are strongly opposed to proto-fascism, political thuggery, lawlessness, and anarchy. This is not the position of the SACP only but also an overwhelming majority of the working-class and peace-loving people at large.
Alive to the experience of the July 2021 counterrevolutionary offensive, which involved illegal shutdowns, looting, killings and other despicable acts, law enforcement authorities must take proactive steps to combat such acts and protect the rights of every person who chooses to not bow down to illegal shutdowns and their underpinning agendas.
A combination of opportunist and proto-fascist tendencies exposed.
South Africa’s annual Human Rights Day is on 21 March and not on 20 March.
Ordinarily, schools in South Africa take a recess on a Monday that is followed by a holiday on the next day, Tuesday.
Similarly, in certain sectors of the economy, there are employers who, after consultation with representative trade unions or workers directly, and therefore by mutual agreement, make such a Monday an annual leave day.
In public service, March is the last month of the financial year. As accrued leave days lapse at the end of the last month of the financial year, many public servants choose Mondays that are followed by a holiday the following day to exhaust their unused annual leave days or credits.
These practices effectively create a long weekend for schools and workers employed by those employers.
Therefore, choosing such a day to embark on the so-called “national shutdown”, and more so propagated with intimidation and threats, apparently to show political strength is nothing but an opportunist and proto-fascist gimmick aimed at claiming easy victories.
Systemic crises of capitalism and neoliberal policy failures
South Africa is in the middle of multiple economic and social crises emanating from the globally prevailing capitalist mode of production, its persisting domestic legacy, and failures of the domesticated, imperialist driven, neoliberal policy prescripts.
Sustainable solution to the systemic crises of the capitalist mode of production and neoliberal policy failures will come from genuine class struggle and a united working-class, among others organised democratically into a popular Left front and a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor, as opposed to sectarian agendas and violation of the human rights of others through intimidation, threats, illegal or forced shutdowns and the like.
All-round class-conscious workers and democrats should win the majority to their side by democratic means, in pursuit of revolutionary policy and system change towards universal social emancipation, and in defence of human rights.
Issued by SACP