Nzimande: SACP must lead the revolution not follow it

The South African Communist Party (SACP) must take responsibility for the national democratic revolution, secretary general Blade Nzimande said on Saturday.

Speaking at the party’s provincial congress in Benoni, Gauteng, he said, “As the SACP and part of our revolutionary alliance, we dare not make the mistake of behaving as if we are spectators in the national revolutionary alliance,” he said.

“We cannot behave as if we are an opposition force to government,” he said to applause from the delegates.

He said that the party, as communists, should not allow their “enemies” to distract them. “We must not leave an inch for the enemies,” he warned.

He said as the vanguard of the working class, the SACP must seek to position the working class to play its role as the leading force for the national democratic revolution.

“That is why our programme instructs all communist to be in all key terrain and fronts of struggle, and must not leave an inch for the enemies or detractors of our revolution.”

Independent membership
Nzimande said the SACP must also safeguard its independence.

“It is only an independent SACP that can make a meaningful contribution in consolidating and deepening the national democratic revolution as our most direct route to socialism.”

He said there was no contradiction for being independent and being in all sites of struggle, as much as that there was no contradiction between an independent SACP and individual communists being members of the ANC, Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco).

“Being in the ANC, Cosatu and Sanco, and all terrains and fronts of struggle is precisely the way through which as communist we take responsibility for the revolution.”

He also called on the Young Communist League (YCL) to be everywhere including the ANC Youth League.

“The ANCYL belong to young people of this country,” he said. “There can never be economic freedom under capitalism, you cannot be fighting for economic freedom and be against communism.”

Red scare
Delegates wearing the party’s red T-shirt’s and caps, cheered and shouted as he spoke.

The conference hall was coloured red with posters calling for the total ban of labour brokers and e-tolls.

“We demand reliable public transport not e-toll,” read one poster. “SACP says smash capitalism,” read another.

Nzimade said the party has made a significant progress since its last national congress, including the incorporation of a large amount of the Polokwane resolutions into the government’s programme of action, and the National Health Insurance.

He said though there had been progress, unemployment, poverty and inequalities were still problems facing the working class.

He said the party prided itself on being an integral part of fighting those problems and leading numerous workers’ struggle.

“We have been part of the evolution of trade union movement in our country, culminating in the formation and growth of Cosatu.”

He called on party members not to be distracted by lone voices in Cosatu that were against the SACP.—Sapa