Generally, the stance of the parasitic-patronage network has been a populist anti-intellectualism (“clever blacks” are disparaged.) For the first time in many decades, the ANC no longer has a journal of ideological discussion and debate.
However, over the past several months there has been an attempt to craft a more coherent ideological platform, evoking black and particularly narrow nationalist (including ethnic nationalist tendencies) or chauvinist themes and the notion of “radical economic transformation” (in the process narrowing the until recently forgotten Mangaung resolution calling for a “radical second phase of the NDR”).
This move seems in large part to have been motivated by the hugely negative impact on the parasitic- patronage network of the growing revelations of their subordination to and complicity with the Gupta- family. The Gupta connection clearly has zero positive resonance either with the mass base, or even with the many local aspirant rentier factions who resent the favouritism bestowed upon (or extracted by?) the Guptas.
by Tshepo Ikaneng, SABC
SACP General Secretary, Blade Nzimande, has warned that the African National Congress (ANC) could be facing an elections defeat in the 2019 national elections if strong action isn’t taken against corruption and state capture.
Nzimande has been speaking at the start of the week-long SACP Congress currently underway in Boksburg on Gauteng’s East Rand.
The SACP leadership announced that it had banned President Jacob Zuma from addressing the congress. Instead Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will address them on Wednesday.
The dire state of the country’s economy and alleged influence of the controversial Gupta family in state institutions are major issues being discussed at the SACP’s 14th national congress.
The congress resumed its second day with strong calls for an immediate end to state looting and corruption.
The Communist Party’s national chairperson Senzeni Zokwana fired the first salvo as he lashed out at the ANC-led government.
“We meet at the time when the President of the ANC has been advice to step down. Our main enemy of the NDR is corruption, factions, and leadership who did not listen to the structures.”
Zokwana also launched a scathing attack on the Gupta family accusing it of unethical conduct.
Meanwhile, Gauteng ANC deputy chairperson David Makhura warned of declining confidence in the tripartite alliance.
“We are losing moral authority as a result of being tolerant of crooks within our ranks. The SACP must be prepared to endure insults, intimidation, and threats because those who want corruption to thrive are going to fight back hard.”
Then it was SACP general-secretary Nzimande who took to the podium. He used his speech to express regret at the role his party and himself played during the bruising pre-Polokwane national conference in 2007.
The conference lead to the recall of former President Thabo Mbeki as head of state in 2008 and triggered the formation of break away party, the Congress of the People.
Nzimande says they feel betrayed by their support for President Jacob Zuma’s faction at that time.
“We want to say as the SACP we feel betrayed in the understanding that we had in Polokwane. Our trust has been broken and we must learn lessons. We can’t just freely give trust which when broken things go haywire. That’s how I feel.”
Nzimande maintains that the collapse of key state institutions and the alleged capture of state owned enterprises are negatively affecting the ANC’s electoral support base.
“Much of this popular decline is related to daily revelations of embarrassing scandals involving highly placed ANC politicians entangled with the notorious GUPTA empire including the President’s own family unfortunately.”
The SACP leader believes that the proceeds of alleged state capture have been used to fuel factions within the ANC-led alliance.
He says, “What also state capture is doing is corrupting our organisations because there is mutual dependence between these parasites and factions in our movement who want to capture our organisations so that they can accumulate money to drive factions within our movement.”
Amongst those who attended the SACP national congress was former President Kgalema Motlanthe, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and ANC stalwarts Sydney Mafumadi and Mavuso Msimang.
Since our 2012 Congress a new term “the Fourth Industrial Revolution” has come into vogue. While, of course, we should guard against fashionable tag-lines, it would also be a mistake to ignore the massive impact on economies and on the world of work of a series of advances in digitised technologies, including robotics, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing and the internet of things. These developments are set to bring about disruptive change, not just in productive sectors but also in service activities, including retailing, legal services, accounting and health services, among others.
In theory, these new technologies have the potential to significantly advance human welfare, liberate humanity from mind-numbing labour, and provide better solutions to a myriad of developmental challenges. In the current capitalist and imperialist context, however, these changes also have the more likely potential to significantly widen inequalities with negative “disruptive effects” on workers, with lower levels of skills especially in developing countries.
For instance, earlier this year Adidas moved production from low wage factories in Asia back to Germany – on the grounds that robotics and 3-D printers were cheaper than low paid workers. In Marxist terms we can see that what is underway is an effort by capital to surmount the continuing ongoing global crisis by raising relative surplus value.