Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

May 12, 2010

SACP and COSATU to set up Joint Socialist Commission, Malesela Maleka - Patrick Craven, 29 April 2010

Bilateral agrees to building of a broad front for socialism

http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=173355&sn=Detail


Joint SACP - COSATU Statement

The leadership of the SACP and COSATU met on 26 April 2010, in a bilateral meeting to discuss issues of common interest and how best to deepen working power and hegemony in the current phase of our revolution. The basis for the meeting was the November 2009 bilateral and the numerous amount of work that has been done within the alliance on many important issues.

The meeting held frank political discussion and agreed on a number of important issues. Amongst others was our analysis that over the past years there has not be an effort to radically transform the colonial features of our economy. Attempts to simply deraciliase and to co-opt women and youth into this growth pattern have not been helpful. In this regard the leadership of the SACP and COSATU has agreed to pay attention to the debate within the alliance on the need for an alternative growth path whose central agenda is creating decent work and making a decisive break from the colonial character of our economy. Amongst this is the need to create a green economy and green jobs, all of which cannot simply be pursued within the capitalist framework.

Both the SACP and COSATU will continue to support the initiatives of IPAP 2 in this regard and hope to continuously contribute toward its enrichment in our drive to bolster productive capacity of the economy.

We commit to undertake joint work in order to deepen working class consciousness and workplace struggles right at the point of production. Capital has adopted various aggressive measures at the workplace to undermine the many important victories of the working class scored through various progressive legislations. Matters ranging from the issue of labour brokers, employment equity and skills development are a case in point wherein capital has dragged its feet and must now be taken to task.

As we met on the eve of the celebrations of Freedom Day, the leadership remained seized with finding the reality that South Africa has now become the most unequal society and that more than 50% of the South African population live in poverty. Despite our efforts to deliver houses we have not made a dent in the housing crisis. Our education system has not managed to capture the youth and assist us to build a new South African activist. The dropout rate of children within the schooling system remains relatively high and unacceptable.

Our health system has continued to show serious fault lines. Maternal mortality rate has increased from 230 mothers in 2000 to 400 in 2005 per 100 000. This is way above the MDG target of 38. Our life expectancy rates infant mortality rates and numbers of doctors per 1000 people also send a shocking message for something to be done urgently. The meeting welcomed the new vigour and positive message being sent around our campaign against HIV and AIDS. This indeed is a breath of fresh air. We are worried by attempts to derail the implementation of the National Health Insurance system whose sole aim is to radically transform this challenges that the nation is faced with. We commit to campaign for the full implementation of the NHI. We cannot allow people to profit at the expense of our people.

Unemployment has remained high and much so amongst young people. What this youth need is leadership and not demagogic mobilization around the "get rich quick" mentality.

Crime and corruption if not attended to will consume the moral fiber of our society and undermine our democratic breakthrough. The meeting agreed to support the SACP led campaign and strengthen the End Corruption Campaign Coalition in order to rid our society of the scourge of corruption. The struggle against corruption is not a political witch-hunt as some would like us to believe. We have learned from history that unless we act, our revolution will degenerate as there are already early signs of this.

These are key challenges facing our nation which we should all be focused on. We should not allow ourselves to be sidetracked by not so important issues. We fully agree with President Zuma that if we do not address these challenges we cannot confidently face our people anymore and blame apartheid. The time is now to make a qualitative policy shift away from the failed policies of the past for the sake of our people. This is not an ideological beauty contest, it is the future of our country and this democracy which we must jealously guard.

At a political level, the SACP and COSATU agree that we will have to continue to struggle to deepen working class influence and hegemony in all sites of power including in the ANC itself. To this end, we need to deepen ideological development of both SACP and COSATU cadres for them to defend the working class character of the alliance as a whole, the ANC and its policies. We did not go to Polokwane to wholesale our revolution to the new elite. We went to Polokwane for a radical change and we will continue to defend that change including in the economy - a break with a modernising approach to an economy that need radical systemic changes.

We went to Polokwane to build new ethos and values, to elect a caring leadership which shows compassion and listens to the people. We went to Polokwane to elect a leadership that is preoccupied with building a strong ANC and committed to the proper functioning of the alliance. When that alliance functions to shout a takeover from the roof tops is misleading and not in line with what we went to Polokwane for. The SACP and COSATU commit themselves to build at all levels a working alliance and strengthen our bilateral co-operation.

The bilateral agreed that the Joint Socialist Commission led by both General Secretaries must iron out proposal on a joint programme which will include amongst others mechanism to maximize working class unity and build a broad left front for Socialism. We further agreed to reconvene in due course to continue to debate in detail matters of tactical postures in the current period.

Joint statement issued by the SACP and COSATU, April 28 2010

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