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SACP wants discussion on economy

By William Mervin Gumede, Business Day,
29 May 2000

THE SA Communist Party (SACP) yesterday called for the opening up of economic debate between the African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners.

As part of resolutions taken at the party's national strategy conference held in Midrand at the weekend, the SACP felt that discussion on economic policy was necessitated by the economic crisis facing the country.

SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande said worsening levels of unemployment and massive retrenchments called for urgent action. "Because of our disagreements around government's macroeconomic policy (Gear), people shy away from talking about problems facing our economy. Gear is not going to be an intro point of the debate we are calling for," he said.

The SACP resolution comes a month after another alliance partner, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), called for a meeting to discuss tension within the alliance ahead of the local government elections.

Cosatu president Willie Madisha said yesterday that he believed that such a meeting would take place soon and its outcome would ensure that the alliance functioned properly.

The SACP also resolved to start a campaign to pressure banking institutions to relax credit lending rules to ensure that as many people as possible were able to access the facilities.

The party also expressed concern over disadvantages suffered by people listed by credit bureaus. "This does not mean that we want our people to be in more debt," said Nzimande.

The party also called on the Zimbabwean government to ensure that the country's forthcoming parliamentary elections were free and fair and that the rule of law be allowed to prevail.

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