The Alliance Political Council comprising the National Officials of the Alliance formations held a Plenary Session on Sunday and Monday, 10 – 11 November 2019 at Luthuli House in Johannesburg. The meeting took place against the background of national, continental and international developments with far-reaching implications.
The Alliance Political Council reaffirmed the continuing strategic relevance of the national democratic revolution, our historic shared strategy of struggle and democratic transition, and the Freedom Charter as the Alliance’s lodestar. The unity and cohesion of the Alliance and the motive forces of the national democratic revolution remain essential for the realisation of our national vision of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society, underpinned by systematic elimination of inequality.
The meeting attached great importance to the overwhelming view emphasising the mandatory implementation of congress and conference resolutions. The resolutions, in particular, encompass the shared strategic perspective to move our democratic transition on to a second radical phase to radically reduce the persisting high levels of inequality, unemployment, poverty and rising social insecurity.
Our common cause is to ensure that together in unity and action, we realise the commitments made in the ANC May 2019 general election manifesto. The manifesto was developed by the ANC, as the strategic leader of the Alliance, in consultation with all Alliance formations. It was accordingly endorsed by all and then taken to the electorate for support on the ballot. The manifesto is therefore a fundamental electoral mandate.
ECONOMIC AND BROADER SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
Guided by the aforementioned shared strategic perspective and principles, the Alliance Political Council, therefore, discussed the state of our economy and appropriate strategies required to achieve structural economic transformation, development and national prosperity. The discussion covered short-, medium- and long-term strategies.
The official unemployment figure of 29.1% or 6.73 million unemployed South Africans actively looking for work is a cause for concern for the Alliance. The meeting attached great importance to the urgent necessity for a holistic approach that involves all stakeholders and seeks to unify a widest possible range of South Africans to address this crisis.
The interventions required include a high-impact, comprehensive and coherent industrial strategy, underpinned by a macro-economic policy framework that supports our national development imperatives and contributes towards higher inclusive economic and employment growth. To this end, the Alliance Political Council assigned its Economic Working Group the task of finalising the unifying economic strategy that is needed. The task team will report to the Alliance Political Council in early December 2019.
The meeting expressed support for the Presidential programme to mobilise investment for increasing the levels of national production and pursuing job creation within the framework of the decent work agenda. The government set a target in 2018 of reaching R1.2 trillion of investment over a five year period. The 2018 and 2019 investment conference pledges of R290 billion and R363 billion respectively are combined already half-way towards meeting the target.
The turnaround of state-owned enterprises and other public entities to thrive and contribute towards an economy that creates jobs and serves all the people is a crucial component of our shared strategy. The meeting placed emphasis on good governance and stable leadership at public enterprises and other public entities. It was therefore agreed that the process to appoint a CEO for Eskom should be prioritised and thus completed.
The strategic perspective is to build a democratic developmental state and accordingly strengthen its capacity to serve the people as a whole. Therefore the Alliance Political Council reiterated common perspectives against privatisation of state assets and retrenchments in our economy.
The Alliance will also give more attention to the sphere of local government as part of the measures required to build a capable democratic developmental state. Local government is crucial to the delivery of government services, community development and to that extent the improvement of the living conditions of our people.
The meeting reiterated the Alliance’s unwavering commitment to fighting corruption in local government and across the entire state, economy and society at large.
In line with the common commitments made in the ANC May 2019 general election manifesto, the meeting also reiterated the absolute the necessity for the implementation and therefore compliance with the national minimum wage. The Alliance Political Council further reaffirmed the firm the commitment made in the manifesto for supporting advances towards a living wage and comprehensive social security.
The Alliance has a standing agreement on non-trading holidays and will earnestly push implementation. In this regard, Alliance components appreciate the historic leadership role of the working class as the main and most reliable motive force of our revolution.
ALLIANCE RECONFIGURATION, ORGANISATIONAL RENEWAL AND UNITY
The Alliance Political Council reaffirmed the essential efforts under way to achieve organisational renewal and unity across the Alliance. As part of the efforts, the Alliance will embark on a targeted common programme to unify and strengthen the South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco). The Alliance will also pay specific attention to unifying the South African Student Congress (Cosas) and the Congress of South African Students (Sasco) as part of the organisational motive forces of the national democratic revolution.
The meeting endorsed a common framework for Alliance reconfiguration and success model for optimal performance. This is anchored in the shared belief that the Alliance must move with the times and thus take into account the continuously changing strategic challenges facing our democratic transition. Further discussions on the framework will take place in the various Alliance components. The Alliance Political Council will consider consolidated outcomes and recommend the common position paper for final adoption at the Annual Alliance Summit in 2020.
The meeting placed emphasis on building unity in action through consistent joint programmes and campaigns. These include:
§ An Alliance programme of action to mobilise our people in their communities and other areas of transformation and development to be their own architects of change.
§ Linked with the above, strengthening our movement as a whole, including through political education programmes and community activism, to serve the people wholeheartedly.
§ Continuing mass mobilisation in support of the government’s District Development Model.
§ A common programme on Marikana and the Rustenburg Platinum Belt, as well as on building a widest possible worker unity in general. To this end all Alliance components will participate in the upcoming rally in Marikana on Sunday, 17 November 2019.
§ Successful introduction of quality health care for all through the National Health Insurance.
§ Tackling the scourge of gender-based violence.
§ Combating social ills, such as criminality, gangsterism, substance abuse and xenophobia.
§ A campaign on the rights and responsibilities of the citizens, such as protecting public property against destruction and vandalism.
The meeting expressed concern about the VBS scandal-linked killings in Limpopo Province. The Alliance is urging relevant law enforcement and justice authorities to prioritise this issue and ensure that the perpetrators are hunted down and held to account.
The Alliance Political Council reaffirmed its commitment towards the common cause of the struggle of the millions of the people of the world against oppression and exploitation. Our struggle is about the unity and cohesion of our people for the achievement of a better world for humanity.
The meeting, therefore, asserted the centrality of the struggles of the African people against neo-colonialism and imperialism. The Alliance remains committed to the course of the African revolution for independence, economic and social emancipation.
The Alliance Political Council expressed its concerns about the growing onslaught against the progressive forces in Latin America and elsewhere across the world. The growing momentum by the forces of reaction is to sponsor regime change strategy and undermine the democratic will of the people.
The meeting welcomed the release of former President and leader of the Workers Party of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. His release is a victory against the abuse of state power to settle partisan political interests.
The Alliance Political Council strongly condemned the right-wing instigated and military supported coup in Bolivia. The developments are an attack to the sovereignty and self-determination of the indigenous people of the Bolivarian state. We call on the people of Bolivia to work together to find peaceful resolutions to the challenges of their country.
The Alliance Political Council further expressed support for the people of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua against imperialist aggression. We condemn the interference of the U.S. imperialism in the domestic affairs of the Latin American nation-states. In line with the overwhelming United Nations annual vote, the Alliance is calling for an immediate unconditional end to the U.S. blockade of Cuba. The Alliance is also calling for an end of the unilateral economic sanctions against Venezuela and Nicaragua.
The Alliance Political Council pledged its unequivocal support and solidarity with the people of Palestine, the Kurds, Saharawi and Vietnam. Our shared objective is to continue engaging with all the interested parties for the peaceful resolution of the problems confronting humanity during this important epoch of our struggle for complete economic and social emancipation.
The Alliance reaffirms its call for the reform of the United Nations Security Council and the inclusion of the African continent on a permanent basis.
SOCIAL COHESION AND TRANSFORMATION OF SPORTS
The Alliance Political Council congratulated our national rugby team, the Springboks, on the World Cup victory and our national netball team, the Proteas, on winning the African championship.
The transformation of sports is important for social cohesion and national building and should be deepened.
ISSUED BY THE ALLIANCE SECRETARIAT
Ace Magashule, African National Congress
Solly Mapaila, South African Communist Party
Bheki Ntshalintshali, Congress of South African Trade Unions