COSATU

THE ROLE OF THE SACP IN USHERING SA’S NEOCOLONIAL STATE

The South African Communist Party (SACP) had a strong grip on the African National Congress (ANC) on questions of theory, strategy and tactics of the national liberation struggle and controlled the ANC. The SACP produced vast reading material such as the African Communist to exert its influence in the liberation struggle through the ANC. They contributed immensely in the drafting of the Freedom Charter which in turn shaped the political perspectives of the ANC.

As part of the drive to steer ANC in the direction of reformism, the SACP deployed its leadership crop and activists…advanced intellectuals… to serve in the ANC top leadership structures. These include Moses Mabida, Thabo Mbeki, Govan Mbeki, Mac Maharaj (who was the architect and executor of Operation Vulindlela), Jeremy Cronin, Joe Slovo (who was once MK Chief of Staff and formulator of the ‘Two Stage Theory’), amongst others. Chris Hani, also Chief of Staff of MK, like Joe Slovo, was influential across the alliance partners, namely, ANC, SACP and COSATU. These intellectuals together with the literature they produced were crucial in the strategy and policy development process of the ANC.

PAYING THE PRICE OF TELLING THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH

In the early 1990’s, former ANC President Nelson Mandela went to fund-raise money from the Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan. In the sixteen years that it has been in power, ANC mouthpiece, the SABC, has reported once about Farrakhan yet Farrakhan raise issues of importance to Africans and people of African descent. He also speaks inconvenient truths and politicians, who are a bunch of liars, hate people like Farrakhan. That is why he can’t be covered by the public broadcaster (SABC). He speaks truth to power.

POVERTY, POLITICS, AND THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP IN SOUTH AFRICA

Why is it that governments can find billions of dollars for global sporting events and little to deal with the grinding poverty that affects impoverished populations? Canada applauded itself for the $135-million in aid and disaster relief it sent to an earthquake ravaged Haiti while spending nearly $6-billion on the two-week long Vancouver Olympics. A similar contradiction is revealing itself in South Africa, where massive amounts of public and private spending on the upcoming 2010 Soccer World Cup are expected to salve a faltering economy and crippling poverty. Most South Africans, however, will see little direct or sustained economic benefit from the games let alone muster the funds to even purchase a ticket.

What is trumpeted as a branding and investment remedy to South Africa’s economic woes may very well become another Greek tragedy – where the legacy of the 2004 Athens Olympics has contributed to an economic meltdown. These global games offer dual incentives to both local and foreign business elites and little to a frustrated local population. On the one hand, investment, sponsorship and tourism opens new markets to foreign capital while local business elites profit from a heightened global image. At least, this is the story sold by both the state and World Cup planners. Central to this strategy is selling South Africa as a marketable and consumable brand.

The transition from apartheid to democratic rule in South Africa has been well documented. During this period, the pressures of both domestic and foreign capital forced the emergent African National Congress (ANC) government to follow the economic paradigms of the past and encourage foreign investment. The sanctions that once crippled the economy gave way to a period of increasing investment and relatively stable economic growth. Promoting a comfortable and gentrified image of South Africa perfectly serves the ruling African National Congress’s redistribution through growth policy that is intended to drum up foreign investment while selling off government owned assets. The Soccer World Cup effectively opens these economic and political spaces necessary to further neoliberal policies and development.

NATIONALISATION AND THE RESOLUTION OF THE NATIONAL QUESTION – AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH

The Kempton Park Settlement was and remains a flawed settlement because it was based on the interpretation of the National Question not as that of settler colonialism or a colonialism of a special type. It conflated the struggle for national self-determination and independence to that of democratisation. Having reduced the National Question to that of democratisation, serious compromises were made on fundamental issues of the land and by extension the property clauses that guaranteed the retention of ill gotten gains by the white minority and rendered the question of nationalisation a mere restitution case based on willing buyer and willing seller. In short the Kliptown Charter vision of Nationalisation was thrown out of the window at Kempton Park. Thus leaving control of mining and land in the hands of the white minority, with very little room to make necessary and required radical changes.

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