[DEBATE] : SACP CC Meeting 17-18 February 2006
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Sun Feb 19 16:24:14 GMT 2006
SACP Statement on its Central Committee Meeting held on 17-18 February.
The SACP Central Committee (CC) met in Johannesburg this weekend of 17-18
February 2006. The meeting was shorter than usual to allow CC members to
return to their various local government election campaign deployments.
The SACP is campaigning for an overwhelming ANC election victory on March 1.
The CC received reports on the progress being made in our ANC-led campaign.
The municipal sphere has tended to be relegated simply to a delivery
function. In our campaigning the SACP is highlighting the key developmental
role of local government, not least the scope that it offers for ongoing
popular participation in ward committees, Integrated Development Plans
(IDPs), and in the proposed growth and development summits in all metros and
In our election campaigning, SACP activists are also highlighting to
communities our collective responsibility for ensuring that ANC councillors
uphold the solemn commitment they have undertaken to serve their communities
without any motive of personal gain; to convene at least four report-back
meetings a year, and to remain in the communities that elected them.
The CC also discussed some of the challenges that are confronting the
Alliance in the current election campaign, including fall-outs from the
drawing up of ANC candidate lists and from the re-demarcation of some cross
boundary municipalities. The CC believes that there are some cases of
legitimate concern where democratic or consultative procedures have been
extremely inadequate. The SACP has been raising these matters with its
Alliance partners and with our colleagues in government. However, whatever
the problems, the CC has made it very clear that we are not supporting any
independent candidates. We also do not sanction whatsoever any attempt to
create no-go areas, or any other interference with the electoral process.
The CC discussed two inputs on governments Accelerated Shared Growth for
South Africa (ASGISA). We welcomed this important initiative with its
commitment to fostering a new growth path, one that is shared with the
overall objective of halving unemployment and poverty by 2014. The CC agreed
that the SACP and its Alliance partners will need to be vigilant to ensure
that private capital and BEE initiatives do not hijack ASGISA, turning it
into an accelerated growth for themselves whilst the shared objective is
relegated to a trickle-down. There is a danger that ASGISA will be largely
reduced into a basket of large construction projects that at best accelerate
growth in the short-term and create some temporary construction jobs, but
without fundamentally addressing the underdevelopment crisis and the current
growth trajectory. Logistics infrastructure must equally address the
logistics needs of the poor. Skills development must include the skills
required for building village co-ops or sustaining family farms.
The CC also noted that the sections of ASGISA dealing with the so-called
second economy still require considerable work. Likewise the centrality of
agrarian reform does not receive adequate attention. Notwithstanding these
and other concerns, the CC welcomed the introduction of this important
initiative. It is one more confirmation of the deepening convergence of the
Alliance around some key aspects of economic policy.
The CC welcomed Minister of Finance, Cde Trevor Manuels announcement this
past week to consider the imposition of a windfall tax on South Africa
produced synthetic fuels. The pump price of our locally produced fuel is the
same as imported fuel, notwithstanding the fact that the production costs of
the local product are now considerably less.
Cde Manuels announcement has been met with howls from certain sections of
business. SASOL CEO, Pat Davies, said that it would cause the company to
rethink its local investment plans. SASOL later denied that this was a
threat, but the message was clear. The SASOL CEO has in fact done us all a
favour. He has reminded us how dangerous it is to leave such a key strategic
asset in the hands of a profit-maximising capitalist sector totally lacking
in any empathy for the major economic and developmental challenges of our
SASOL was established as a public entity by the apartheid government in
1950. In the late 1970s, with UN-imposed sanctions against South Africa,
vast amounts of public money were spent on the construction of SASOL 2 and
SASOL 3. On the eve of the 1994 democratic breakthrough, SASOL was hurriedly
Currently some 35% of our fuel is now synthetic, the bulk of it coming from
SASOL. This is a very important achievement, with major strategic
implications for our sovereign national capacity with global reserves
In the light of all of the above, the SACP calls on government to
re-nationalise SASOL. Government currently has a 20% share through the PIC
and the IDC. Clearly this share is insufficient leverage if recent
statements by SASOL and its record on employee safety and Black Economic
Empowerment are anything to go by.
The CC also calls for a review of all of the hasty privitisation exercises,
including that of ISCOR that occurred in the waning years of apartheid.
The CC also discussed the current rape charge trial involving ANC Deputy
President Jacob Zuma. The CC reaffirmed its principled position that both
Cde Zuma and the complainant must be afforded support and their dignity must
be respected at all times.
Charges of this nature place both parties in an extremely vulnerable
situation. It is in the interests of both parties, and, indeed of our
liberation movement and our country, that a dignified process is allowed to
proceed and that justice is done.
We must not allow the reckless abuse of the rights of either Cde Zuma or the
complainant. This abuse has emanated, not least, from sections of the media.
We call on all South Africans to ensure that our democracy and its
institutions emerge strengthened from this difficult period.
Tel: 011 339 3621
Fax: 011 339 4244
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