SACP re­jects base­less ac­cu­sa­tions made by Ta­bane

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS - ALEX MASHILO

ONKGOPOTSE JJ Ta­bane’s “The ir­rel­e­vance of the SACP” pub­lished by The Star (July 24) refers. If in­deed the SACP was ir­rel­e­vant, Ta­bane would not have ded­i­cated his time and wasted his ef­forts to try and jus­tify that the party was ir­rel­e­vant.

Why bother about some­thing that is ir­rel­e­vant any­way be­cause it has no ma­te­rial ef­fect? What made Ta­bane in­ca­pable of ig­nor­ing the SACP is, on the con­trary, its con­tin­u­ing strate­gic rel­e­vance. The fact that he har­bours views op­posed to the party does not make it ir­rel­e­vant.

Ev­ery opin­ion based on sci­en­tific crit­i­cism the SACP wel­comes, but as to prej­u­dices the maxim adopted by the world’s renowned revo­lu­tion­ary so­cial sci­en­tist Karl Marx in his Cap­i­tal from the great Floren­tine is ours: “Segui il tuo corso, e las­cia dir le genti”, i.e. “(Fol­low your own course, and let peo­ple talk – para­phrased from Dante)” (July 25, 1867).

Ta­bane lev­els a num­ber of base­less al­le­ga­tions against the SACP. The al­le­ga­tions are all re­jected with con­tempt. Due to the lim­i­ta­tion of space I will ad­dress just a few. “A few weeks ago”, Ta­bane writes, “the SACP met in Ekurhu­leni to de­lib­er­ate on the fu­ture of the ANC”. False! The dec­la­ra­tion of the Na­tional Im­bizo held on May 19 and 20 made it very clear what the meet­ing was con­vened for: “In the con­text of deep­en­ing, so­ci­ety wide con­cern about chal­lenges of lead­er­ship, moral de­cay and mul­ti­ple so­cial and eco­nomic crises, the SACP con­vened a Na­tional Im­bizo”. Note that there is no men­tion of the ANC and its fu­ture in this clear-cut state­ment.

“Let’s take a look at just a few of its cardinal fail­ures”, Ta­bane writes, re­fer­ring to the SACP. He con­tin­ues, “Fail­ure to fight against ne­olib­er­al­ism within the al­liance, The Gear (Growth, Em­ploy­ment and Re­dis­tri­bu­tion) re­mains the prime ex­am­ple…” On the con­trary, it was none other the SACP in al­liance with Cosatu that waged a re­lent­less strug­gle against Gear, in­clud­ing pri­vati­sa­tion of sta­te­owned en­ter­prises. The strug­gle against Gear led to se­ri­ous ten­sions on pol­icy within the al­liance, last­ing over a decade af­ter the in­tro­duc­tion of Gear in 1996. A small group of Gear ad­her­ents split from the ANC af­ter its 52nd na­tional con­fer­ence held in Polok­wane in 2007. They de­spised the SACP and vowed to fight for the preser­va­tion of the eco­nomic pol­icy of the pre­vi­ous decade, call­ing it the best eco­nomic pol­icy. They formed the “Con­gress of the Peo­ple” (Cope). On Novem­ber 30, 2008 Ta­bane was an­nounced as its spokesper­son. Ta­bane’s tog­gling of re­al­ity is both hyp­o­crit­i­cal and disin­gen­u­ous! He left Cope af­ter pen­ning an ar­ti­cle on Novem­ber 25, 2010 ex­plain­ing why he was re­sign­ing. As his­tory has shown, Cope was dwin­dling from its de­but.

By the way, the cur­rent draft ANC Strat­egy and Tac­tics doc­u­ment makes im­por­tant con­ces­sions about the fail­ures of eco­nomic pol­icy and wrong eco­nomic pol­icy choices dur­ing the height of Gear. This did not come on its own. There was, as stated al­ready, se­ri­ous ten­sions within the ANC-headed al­liance em­a­nat­ing from Gear and gen­er­ally from eco­nomic pol­icy di­rec­tion. The SACP to­gether with Cosatu were push­ing strongly for eco­nomic pol­icy changes. This is widely ac­knowl­edged ex­cept on the thresh­old of prej­u­dice. It is wel­come news that, af­ter all, the ANC on its own as an in­de­pen­dent for­ma­tion ac­knowl­edged those eco­nomic pol­icy weak­nesses. The ANC-headed al­liance is made up of in­de­pen­dent for­ma­tions char­ac­terised by mu­tual in­flu­ence. At times this mu­tual in­flu­ence was the out­come not only of unity but also of strug­gle. This is ev­i­dent in many other ma­jor per­spec­tives that have be­come the al­liance’s shared per­spec­tives to­day.

In ad­di­tion to the above, it is none other than the SACP that has ini­ti­ated a cam­paign on fi­nan­cial sec­tor trans­for­ma­tion. The adop­tion of the Na­tional Credit Act and cre­ation of the Na­tional Credit Reg­u­la­tor as well as the low in­come trans­ac­tional bank­ing ac­count, the Mzansi Ac­count, are the fruits of the SACP­driven fi­nan­cial sec­tor trans­for­ma­tion cam­paign. In other words, had it not been for the SACP the im­pact of the on­go­ing mul­ti­ple cap­i­tal­ist in­ter­na­tional crises dat­ing back to 2008 would have been more se­vere on South Africa, es­pe­cially on the work­ers and poor. Reck­less and ever in­creas­ing in­se­cure lend­ing prac­tices by com­mer­cial banks and loan sharks were part of the causes of the crises, which first erupted in the US in the form of a fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Yet Ta­bane ac­cuses the SACP of hav­ing done noth­ing, for hav­ing pushed no sin­gle leg­is­la­tion to ad­vance the in­ter­ests of the work­ers and poor!

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