From: NKOSIKHULULE NYEMBEZI <NYEMBE1@law.und.ac.za>
Date: Tue, 2 May 1995 01:09:00
Subject: SACP CONGRESS #1
SACP Congress #1
From Nkosikhulule Nyembezi
2 May 1995
My name is Nkosikhulule a member of the South African Communist Party.
My branch is based in Durban. From the middle of last month my friend
Peter Limb has been requesting me to write about the 9th SACP Congress
that was held on the 6-8 April in Johannesburg. Another request was
from Carolyn Brown (the first person I met in this group after I was
introduced by Peter) who wanted to know about the labour related issues.
After my return from the congress I was very busy and I was away from
the office for some time. Now I can be able to write on this topic and
highlight some of the issues that were discussed and the resolutions taken.
I will look into issues separately. I hope that the information will be
useful to the members of the group.
9th SACP CONGRESS APRIL 1995
Resolution of the on the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP)
What is the RDP?
After the new government was voted into office in South Africa, the RDP
was adopted as a policy of the government that is going to be implemented
over the next five years. The RDP was drafted by the African National
Congress (ANC) and its alliances the South African Communist Party (SACP)
and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). The process of
putting together the programme was done in consultation with a number of
organisations and groups that are within and outside the congress
organisations under the ANC. The programme is aimed at bettering the lives
of the people, to democratise the state and the society. Most of the
organisation in the Government of National Unity (GNU) have accepted the
RDP as the way forward in the process of changing South Africa and have
pledged their support.
Despite that some of them are paying lip service to the RDP and they want
to use it for personal enrichment and to further their interests.
Because of that the organisations on the left have an important role to
play in ensuring that the interests of the workers are championed at all
times. In the GNU there is Minister Without Potfolio who works in the office
of President Mandela and he is responsible for the implemantation of the RDP.
The congress has noted that the drafting of the RDP was a process
driven by the broad working class and the poor and one which the SACP
played a leading role, and that capital and big businesses are
attempting to hijack the RDP into a charitable project to be used to
produce profits for the wealthy.
The congress was affirmed that the RDP remains a terrain of class
struggle and that it is the duty of SACP to strengthen the working
class bias of the RDP process and that the RDP must be people-driven
process based on the mobilisation of the working class and the poor if
it is to be people-centred in content and transformative in approach.
That the working people in local communities and workplace must be
involved in the implementation of the RDP programmes and that the
public utilities which serve basic social needs must not only remain
in the public domain but be transformed and democratised in order to
ensure that the delivery of services is guided by the social needs of
the working masses and the poor rather than the greed profits.
The congress resolved;
To continue to campaign to give the RDP a working class content and bias
and to ensure that its programmes benefit the first and foremost the
broad working masses and the poor.
To call for the effective empowerment of local RDP structures by
ensuring that they have the right to undertake development initiatives
specifically tailored to community needs and to take decisions on
the RDP programmes including what is to be implemented and when,
where and how it is to be implemented in accordance with the will
of the community.
To encourage and help in the provision of skills-based training to assist
local communities and especially women and the rural poor to participate
effectively in the RDP and that the SACP together with COSATU spearhead
campaign for the worker involvement in the economy and control over
economic decision-making through the ongoing worker-driven workplace
democratisation and to resist all attempts to push through the wholesale
privatisation of major public utilities involved in the provision of
This resolution is very important in the struggle of the workers of
South Africa at the moment because there is a lot that is said about
the workers being responsible for delaying the process of implementation
of the RDP. The big businesses and those who want to satisfy their
interests paint a picture of the RDP as a collection of schemes that will
allow the government to deliver goods to the society.
Their interpretation of the RDP is that workers must be passive in the
process and accept what they get.
They are saying that there must be a halt in the depends for salary
increase and living wage so as to restore the confidence of investors.
It is important that the SACP as an organisation that has the interests
of the working class must play a role together with other structures in
putting forward the needs of the workers and in ensuring that the
government makes social spending a priority.