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Message-ID: <MAILQUEUE-101.950502010859.384@law.und.ac.za>
Date: Tue, 2 May 1995 01:09:00

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.


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 social needs.

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.


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