90 years of the SACP


Having started in 1921 as the CPSA (forerunner of the SACP), with a magnificent attempt at drafting a programme for the South African socialist revolution, its mistakes and degeneration along Stalinist lines have turned it into its opposite.


Having followed every twist and turn of the Stalinized CPSU (CP of the Soviet Union), with expulsions of internationalists, falsification of the writings of Lenin and Trotsky, expulsion of the left from the trade unions, to initial support of the Gear structural adjustment programme and now support of the imperialist plan for the economy, the ‘New’ Growth Path, the SACP has become the central agency for imperialist capitalist domination and slavery of the working class in the region. The New Growth Path proposes, among other  measures, that workers wages be kept low in exchange for CEO’s of companies reducing the size of their increases. The current wave of strikes, with workers demanding double digit (10-18%) increases is a sign of a total rejection by the working class of the SACP and its policies. Workers at the picket lines of the current strikes openly say that the SACP has failed, ‘it not the vanguard of the working class’, ‘workers need to break from the government’ and even further, workers are saying ‘it is time to change the government’. This is no sentiment to support right wing parties like the DA but for workers to build our own vanguard party independent of the state and capital.


The workers see the SACP as part of the government, as part of the self-enrichment brigade that is part of the apparatus that shoots workers during strikes and which suppresses the rank and file soldiers (a thousand of whom are still on forced suspension) and their striving against the repressive apparatus of the old regime.


Thus it is fitting that the SACP 90 year commemorations include as keynote speakers, representatives from the Chinese Communist Party, the butchers of Tiananmen square. This same Chinese Communist Party keeps hundreds of millions of workers as slaves for exploitation by US and Japanese imperialist companies- such exploitative relations maintained by the Chinese CP on behalf of imperialism is part responsible for the waves of mass dismissals of millions of workers around the world. The slogan of the Chinese CP, taken from their former leader, Deng Xiao Ping, is ‘to get rich is glorious’. Dollar billionaires are members of the Chinese CP. Another fitting speaker is the Cuban Communist Party, who have just dismissed 1 million Cuban workers and opened up mass privatization and handed over many of the gains of the revolution to the hands of imperialism. The Cuban Communist party helped suppress the left in Angola where 4 communist groups were massacred, where under the hand of Che Guevara in the Congo, suppressed the development of a communist party, even though there were over 3 million mineworkers at the time, and the promotion of bourgeois nationalist formations, that cut a deal with imperialism for continued capitalist relations and imperialist exploitation.


The 90 year commemoration of the SACP is a gathering of the millionaire and billionaires club. What the working class can celebrate is that workers are finally breaking from this parasite that is artificially sustained by imperialism.


In the heat of the battles, at the clashes with the capitalist class, the SACP is absent. In the negotiating chambers with the bosses, the SACP is present, not only in the union delegations but also as part of the management teams of big capital. Workers openly say- ‘go to any head office of any big company, they are filled with ex-Cosatu leaders- they are the ones who know all our weaknesses- they are the ones who are killing workers struggles’. Vanguard workers are starting to discuss the building of an alternative to the SACP. The bourgeois analysts are openly touting Vavi to lead a reformist workers party to, like the Workers party of Brazil, they hope will give imperialism capitalism, a new lease of life for another 15 years.


This is a clarion call to the working class fighters in the unions and in the communities, to join in discussions with the WIVL, to develop a new programme for the Socialist revolution in South Africa as part of the world Socialist revolution. The middle class and even the section of the black middle class that are the leaders of the ANC and SACP and Cosatu, are incapable of fighting to achieve the completion of even 1 democratic demand- only the working class in power has the interest and will to do so (not through parliament but outside and against it)- this is the starting point of the programme. Capitalism imperialism, that controls the commanding heights of the economy, are organised on an international level, thus the second part of the programme has to be the international organization of the world’s proletarian vanguard.


Forward to the refounding of the Fourth International!



WIVL affiliate of the FLTI