Nationalisation is an attempt by the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) to save black economic empowerment (BEE) “elements in crisis”, and will not help the poor, South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday.
At the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) central committee meeting at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, he warned against the call for nationalisation by elements in the ANCYL, “whose intention is to save these BEE elements in crisis, and not to address the interests of the workers and the poor in the country”.
Putting privately owned assets in the hands of the state is not “inherently progressive” as it depends on which class interests are being advanced.
“We want to make it clear that the call is not a genuine call to actually empower the workers and the poor.
“Nationalisation has been undertaken by Hitler,” he said, adding that it was also conducted by the nationalist apartheid government.
“Ten years from now there will be a renewed call for privatisation.”
Wide array of forces
Nzimande said the ANC’s elective conference in Polokwane in 2007 saw a wide array of forces lined up to oppose the “previously hegemonic bloc” led by former president Thabo Mbeki.
“This wide array of forces … was constituted essentially out of an unholy alliance … between broad left forces opposing in principle the strategic and tactical line of the 1996 class project, on the one hand, and other forces who were essentially frustrated personal accumulators and populist demagogues articulating a sense of anger and alienation particularly among the youth sector,” he said.
Cosatu, the SACP and the ANCYL joined forces to support President Jacob Zuma to oust Mbeki at the Polokwane conference.
Nzimande said the latter grouping, consisting of “frustrated personal accumulators and populist demagogues”, exposed itself at the ANC’s national general council in 2010.
The advances of this grouping were not effectively rejected and, as a result, “this dangerous demagogic ‘vanguard’ has acquired new life, resourcing and arrogance”.
“Yes, that’s a vanguard, but a vanguard for tenderpreneurs, not a vanguard for the workers and the poor. That is why it is important to know that being a vanguard is not like a tender award, one for you, one for me, but it is earned in struggle, on the ground,” he said.
Nzimande also defended ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, who the ANCYL wants to replace with Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula at the ruling party’s next elective conference in 2012. — Sapa