Mandela in his own words on the nationalisation clause of the
In an article, entitled ‘In our :Lifetime’ published in Liberation in June 1956, Nelson Mandela made the following statement about the Freedom Charter:
‘Whilst the Charter proclaims democratic changes of a far reaching nature, it is by no means a blueprint for a socialist state, but a programme for the unification of various classes and groupings amongst the people on a democratic basis. Under socialism the workers hold state power. They and the peasants own the means of production, land, the factories and the mills. All production is for use and not for profit. The Charter does not contemplate such profound economic and political changes. Its declaration “The people shall govern!” visualizes the transfer of power not to any single social class but to all the people of the country be they workers, peasants, professional men or petty-bourgeoisie.
It is true that in demanding the nationalisation of the banks, the gold mines and the land the Charter strikes a fatal blow at the financial and gold-mining monopolies and farming interests that have for centuries plundered the country and condemned its people to servitude. But such a step is absolutely imperative and necessary because the realisation of the Charter is inconceivable, in fact impossible, unless and until these monopolies are first smashed up and the national wealth of the country turned over to the people. The breaking up and democratisation of these monopolies will open up fresh fields for the development of a prosperous Non-European bourgeois class. For the first time in the history of the country the Non-European bourgeoisie will have the opportunity to own in their own name and right mills and factories, and trade and private enterprise will boom and flourish as never before. To destroy these monopolies means the termination of the exploitation of vast sections of the populace by mining kings and land barons and there will be a general rise in living standards of the people. It is precisely because the Charter offers immense opportunities for an overall movement in the material conditions of all classes and groups that it attracts such wide support.’
Thus the essence of the Freedom Charter is for a section of the black middle class to develop as capitalists. It follows that this class is the real leaders of the ANC and thus of the tripartite alliance (ANC-SACP-COSATU).
Now when we see that after 20 years, only 3% of the shares on the JSE, the stock exchange, is owned by BEE, we can see the essence of the real cause of the leadership of the ANC and SACP, namely that for a small stake in the system, monopoly capital, ie the rule of imperialism-capitalism, will continue. Even this figure is exaggerated as much of the 3% shares have come through loans from the very monopoly capital. Today, the BEE companies are spearheading the development of human slavery (labour brokers); Wiphold has shares in pre-paid water and electricity meters, BEE company Busa is building private hospitals, the PIC built up private school group Curro which charges parents of matriculants R30 000 per month, Matemeku is the BEE partner of Kapsch which is implementing e-tolling; the Mandela family itself has shares in 200 companies. At the same time, the Journal of Southern African Studies article by Newman, Ashman and Fine, shows that the theft by mining monopolies over the past 50 years have accelerated since 1993 and reached a peak of 20% of GDP, amounting to R600bn just in 2007 (US imperialism and its Anglo American were the main beneficiaries of this theft, ironically the masses gathered at the FNB cheered their chief political representative). This is the cause for which the old man fought for and for which he died. We still remember when the old man came to the Cosatu Congress to compel workers to accept the imperialist plan, GEAR, or the ANC would dump Cosatu. How many thousands have died an early death due to the GEAR and its later morphs?
It is time for the working class to decisively break from the capitalist ANC and for an independent revolutionary working class party, nationally, regionally and internationally.