The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) takes this opportunity to congratulate the South African Communist Party [SACP] on the historic milestone of its Centenary celebration. The SACP was founded on the 30th July 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA).
The celebration of this historic milestone is marked during a period when the world is confronted by difficult challenges. Principal among these is the complete failure of the capitalist system in responding to challenges facing humanity. This situation has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic which has led to unprecedented destruction of livelihoods of millions of the working class as a whole.
This global public-health crisis has exposed the inability of capitalism to respond to the pandemic, instead the ruling class (capitalist) has been preoccupied with profit maximisation during a catastrophic moment in the history of mankind. The working class has had to endure the devastation brought about by this crisis of COVID-19 and also the failures of the inhumane system of capitalism.
The SACP centenary is also marked at a time when our National Democratic Revolution [NDR] is at a point of stagnation. The NDR is clearly facing multiple threats from various social forces that can potentially derail it. NEHAWU agrees with the SACP’s analysis that whilst the South African revolution is facing a number of threats, in the immediate these are located on two fronts – the neo-liberal austerity agenda and primitive accumulation through looting and state capture networks.
Currently, there is a serious total onslaught being meted-out against the working class from its class enemies. Workers and the working class in South Africa find themselves at the receiving end of the brutality of capitalism and its lackeys. The neo-liberal austerity agenda is being heighted daily in South Africa and this is evident with how the government and the private sector have embarked on a process of implementing austerity measures which amongst others include jobs cuts, retrenchments, privatisation, cutting social spending, wage freezes and others.
This, therefore requires the South African Communist Party (SACP) to provide strategic and tactical leadership to help the working class to map the way out of this disconcerting socio-economic and political conjuncture. The SACP’s role in this current epoch of our revolution is of critical importance mostly as the working class desires a scientific analysis of the concrete situation that we are confronted with in order to be effective in pursuing our struggles. The SACP, since its formation has always been able to provide that scientific analysis as an integral part in the struggles of the working class of our country against class and national oppression.
As the SACP celebrates its centenary, it should reflect and make a concrete assessment of what needs to be done in this current epoch as a building block towards Socialism and as NEHAWU, we believe that key amongst the immediate task of the Party are the following: Building the Left Popular Front, Building the Progressive Trade Union Movement, and Mass Mobilisation and Campaigns.
The building of a left popular front is central to establishing working-class hegemony in order to redirect our National Democratic Revolution to achieve its objectives. The left popular front will require the consolidation of the left-axis and in this regard the SACP is instrumental for that task as the vanguard of the working class including contesting the leadership of the NDR as this program places the working class as its primary motive force.
The SACP must in the immediate start to drive mass mobilisation programs of the working class in order to venture into a revolution. This must be coupled with serious campaigns that directly speak to the interest of our class. The Party would then be able to win the hearts and minds of working class, who currently are in a despair and a dire situation imposed upon them by the brutal inhuman system of capitalism. NEHAWU pledges to continue to support the SACP’s anti-corruption campaign, Hunger eradication, healthcare, human settlement and water for all (HHH+W) campaign and other campaigns of the party.
The Party needs to fully support, build and strengthen the progressive trade union movement. The history of the Party in this arena is well documented in how the Party has over the years built the trade union movement in the country. In this current epoch the Party is more than ever required by the workers to focus on trade union work to build and strengthen unions in order to defend and advance the workers’ struggles such as defending collective bargaining and worker’s rights.
Lastly, we want to draw from the words of Comrade Michael Harmel, Former Central Committee of the SACP, when he asserts in the Fifty Fighting Years of the Party that “The assessment of past achievements, as well as of errors and misjudgements, is a duty of each Party, helping in its own work and adding to the experience of the international working class movement”. Indeed, as the SACP celebrates 100 years of its existence, it must make a through comprehensive assessment of its achievements and experiences in order to continue with its strategic task of advancing the struggle for socialism.
As NEHAWU, we congratulate our vanguard party for this historic milestone of 100 Years of Fighting for Socialism.
Happy 100th anniversary to the South African Communist Party.
Put People before Profits
Socialism is the future. Build it now.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU Acting National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org