The SACP held an augmented Central Committee meeting over the past weekend. Yet, despite all the top brass being present, the SACP in its statement of 2 Dec 2012, failed to call for support for the farm workers strike of the 4th December. The concern of the SACP leaders was that workers should not be violent and should not damage property. Not one single word by the SACP about the armed vigilante groups posing as security companies, nor about the fact that the farm bosses had bought up all the available live ammunition in local gunshops. Is this the voice of the vanguard of the working class? Or of the vanguard of the black capitalists?
The SACP claims that the ‘first phase’ of the democratic transition has passed and now it is the second phase of this transition. The SACP’s analysis of the first phase of the democratic transition, is that it has passed the farms by. This is a complete falsification of events and covers up on the role of the ANC capitalists in maintaining slave conditions on the farms. We explain:
Billionaire ANC capitalist, Tokyo Sexwale, is a farm boss, having purchased the Bloemendal farm. We called the management of this farm to find out if they were willing to pay a minimum of R150 per day to workers. The farm management replied: ‘We pay above the minimum wage, but to ask for R150 per day is a ridiculous ask.’ There you have it, from the horse’s mouth, the ANC capitalists are not prepared to end slave conditions on the farms.
We also called the BEE Director of KWV, the biggest wine exporter in the country, Mr Khutso Mampeule. We asked him, seeing that Phetogo Investments (now Whitmore 1), of which he is head, has received a R120 million cash injection from the IDC (public money), whether they would be prepared to take a stand and support a R150 per day minimum on the farms they source their grapes from. Mr Mampeule refused to give any support to any workers’ demand, saying: ‘it was too political’. How strange Mr Mampeule, it was not too political when you received R120 million from public money, R40 million from the wine bosses (SAWIT) and R40 million from KWV itself, to enable you to pose as a BEE capitalist parasiting on the continued slave conditions of farm workers?
Did it not occur to the ‘vanguard’ of the working class to question high food prices and the fact that 75% of the cost of food bought in the large retailers, goes to the large distributor like Tiger Brands and the retailer itself? And that only between 3% and 10% of the actual cost of food goes to the farm worker?
This was not a ‘democratic advance’ that passed the farm workers by, it was slave conditions being maintained by the BEE ANC capitalists for a few pieces of silver. We can understand why the ANC leaders made an amicable settlement not to sing the song ‘kill the boer, kill the farmer’ because it means singing that the black boere like Tokyo Sexwale and Valli Moosa, should also be dealt with by the masses. The truth is that the farmers have been killing farm workers with impunity for centuries- under the ANC govt, this is set to continue.
We support an indefinite strike by the farm workers until their demands are met but it is essential that the rest of the masses, victims of high food prices should also support them. We call for:
1. All members of the community should not take the jobs of the strikers;
2. Each farm to have a workers committee directly electable and subject to instant recall, without financial privileges; for workers self-defence committees as part of the farm committees;
3. The books of the large retailers, the large food processors (like Tiger Brands), the large commercial farms, the banks, should all be open to workers inspection to identify where the massive amounts of money for food is disappearing to. For anti-high price committees at every workplace, mine, community
4. R150 per day as a minimum on all farms immediately; towards R12500 for all farm workers per month, which should rise when prices rise;
5. Expropriation of all large retailers, banks, large food processors, large commercial farms, without compensation to the capitalists, all under workers control
6. Mobilisation towards a general strike in support of the farm workers’ demands to end slave conditions on farms and for workers control over prices and the entire food sector.