The plunder of the resources of the country (and indeed the entire African continent) presents a compelling case for the expropriation without compensation of Anglo American and other monopolies. Yet the approach of the ANC-SACP and Cosatu leaders show that they are the best defenders of big capital.
A few days ago the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan indicated that the state may have to assist bailing out the European banks by between R700 million to R1.4 Bn. Gordhan even warns off even discussion of nationalization as it is ‘not helping to create the right kind of confidence (among investors)’.
The Cosatu and SACP leaders limit themselves to rhetoric over nationalising Sasol. It is reported in the Journal of Southern African studies, in the writings of Ben Fine and other bourgeois academics that in the apartheid-era (slave capitalist-era), through to the current period, monopolies such as Anglo American and others have illegally channelled wealth out of the country through ‘transfer-pricing’. In essence this means that they deliberately falsify the prices of the raw material exports, marking them down. Thus the market related prices are charged outside of the country which means that a massive part of the profits are taken out. In 2007 alone it is estimated that Anglo American and others took out at least R500 bn through transfer pricing. Such a huge amount of funds could not have left the country without the direct complicity of the state.
Of the theft on such a huge scale, the Cosatu and SACP leaders remain silent. The ANC’s Gordhan has the audacity to say that the working class must tighten our belts, we must accept only a 5% wage increase next year, for the next 3 years, but he turns a blind eye to the grand scale theft by his real masters, Anglo American and others.
Even if the amount taken out
of the country through transfer pricing alone was just R300 bn every year, this
would mean that the state would not have to borrow, nor pay the massive
interest amounts. There would be no R1 trillion (R1000 Bn) debt. What we are
saying is that the masses in
If the state clamped down on
the transfer pricing theft and claimed the monies stolen over the years, there
would be enough to meet all the housing and food needs and we could probably
have enough resources to end hunger and starvation across the entire
The Cosatu and SACP ‘anti-corruption’ stance is to deliberately focus the eyes of the masses on the small change being stolen by a few managers, while big capital gets away with the large-scale theft. The CP of China and other capitalist regimes around the world use the same technique to divert the eyes of the masses- this ‘anti-corruption’ is a capitalist tool for the rich monopolies, for imperialism, to remain in control of the wealth of the world.
Further, the Cosatu leaders have no problems with the R802 Bn scam in infrastructure- the state has no plan for houses for all, so the bulk of the funds are going for capitalist infrastructure to make the plunder of the masses and the resources for efficient for the monopolies. The Cosatu leaders have abandoned the fight against electricity price increases- they go along with the electricity scam which doubles the electricity capacity of the country within 10-15 years- and this at a time when industry is in real decline. The government electricity build programme builds most coal and nuclear which are commodity based, with all the negative pollution and health factors that go with it, rather than solar panels which would eventually give almost free electricity. In short the Cosatu and SACP leaders are supporting the creation of a cash cow for Anglo American and other monopolies. Indeed the ‘infrastructure’ programme is another bailout of about R1 trillion for the imperialist banks such as JP Morgan Chase, the banks that control Anglo American and who are also benefiting from the loans that the state makes. In short the Cosatu and SACP and ANC are responsible for the handing over of more than R2 trillion to the imperialist banks.
The ANC goes further- they say that in such ‘hard times’ while the imperialists are getting R2 trillion for free, not only must wages be limited to 5%, the education budget be cut by about 1% in real terms but taxes must go up. It is clear that the rich will be largely unaffected by these tax increases as already the ANC has reduced the company tax from 48% in the apartheid era to 28% today.
The Cosatu leaders are not opposing the so-called Industrial development Zones (sweat shops for big capital), they are actively helping reduce workers wages in the country. Sactwu has given the lead in sweatshops by agreeing that all new workers must have their wages cut by 30%, all in the name of ‘decent jobs’! R457 million was left unspent in social grants the past year which means that hundreds of thousands more families, mostly in rural areas, were left in greater starvation by the state- not a word from Cosatu and the SACP leaders. The Cosatu leaders cry about not enough funds for beneficiation (local development of industry related to the raw materials mined here). They are asking for a few more pennies to beg Anglo American and other genocidaire monopolies to create more jobs here- really what they are asking for, are more token small manufacturing companies to be set up so they as leaders of Cosatu can continue to turn a blind eye to the plunder of the entire Africa.
The Cosatu leaders are such servants of Anglo American that they do not even question the R50 000 a month wage SA soldiers receive for going to the Congo to guard the mining installations of Anglo American- plunder that is being carried out over the bones of over 6 million Congolese being killed, a genocide that is ongoing even today.
The ANC and SACP are anti-worker and the sooner the masses break with them the better. But we need to also realize that with the current leadership of Cosatu, the fight for nationalization under workers control, will never be achieved. Workers need to remove this leadership, call a workers summit to prepare for a general strike for workers to make the demand for expropriation of the commanding heights a reality- the middle class and bourgeois ANC have shown they are only capable of socializing the losses of capitalism while they line their own pockets.
Above all we need a revolutionary working class party that fights for the programme of the Fourth International for working class power with its own methods on a world scale. Join the Workers International Vanguard League to help make this a reality.
Forward to Socialism!