TOSAS Are Coming

One or two people have expressed doubts on my claim that South Africa is effectively governed by an African National Congress/South African Communist Party coalition.

I would go further and say that South Africa’s current comparative stability and prosperity may soon end as the SACP starts to lead South Africa down the Zimbabwe road.

The SACP calls their tactical approach, the “Cuban option“. When Castro came to power in Cuba, he hid his Marxism-Leninism for some time until he had gained control of enough sectors of Cuban society to be sure of victory.

Only when control was assured did he declare his hand.

I believe the SACP is approaching that point.

I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

I thought I’d start a series of profiles on some prominent South African socialist leaders.

I’ll call them “Top Operators of South African Socialism-TOSAS.”

I will just repeat, as I’ve had to several times, that criticism of South Africa’s current leadership, in no way implies support for the previous Apartheid regime.

Apartheid was fascist, the current leadership is socialist/communist. A plague on both your houses.

My ideal would be a non racial, constitutionally governed, free market driven South Africa.

There is no hope for that to occur with the current TOSAS in power.

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4 thoughts on “TOSAS Are Coming

  1. ON the contrary, Trev

    most of us dirty commies think that the ANC’s had it. GEAR has shown the ANC has gonedown the neo liberal path, enriching a black bourgeousie at the expense of the millinos still living in poverty. The ANC has even privatised and marketised electricity in slums like Soweto- surely you’d approve. Real socialists organse oppistion to them through groups like the Anti Privatisation Forum.

    Here’s an interview from this weeks Green Left to further illustrate the point.

    SOUTH AFRICA: Breaks appearing in Tripartite Alliance?

    Green Left Weekly’s Steve O’Brien spoke to Trevor Ngwane, a leader of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), about the renewed talk of a break-up of the Tripartite Alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

    The threat to withdraw from the governing coalition by the SACP and COSATU is a bit of a ritual in South African politics, but this time around the political ground has shifted, Ngwane explained.

    Continued suffering and increasing poverty has meant that “more and more people have begun to realise that the promises and dreams at independence have been sacrificed on the altar of profits”. Disillusionment with the government has become more generalised.

    While President Thabo Mbeki has carried on Nelson Mandela’s project of politically balancing between the working class and big business, he hasn’t been able to carry it off as successfully. “Not having Mandela’s abilities nor charm, he hasn’t been able to stitch together a successful or appealing image.”

    People see that government policies are driven by the group of technocrats that Mbeki has gathered around him and that they are very much influenced by the new Black bourgeoisie and state bureaucrats who have arisen under the ANC, according to Ngwane.

    The neoliberal policies introduced by the ANC, such as privatising water and electricity, have impacted severely on the poor. “While this was a realisation that the workplace and community activists who formed the APF in 2000 came to some years ago”, Ngwane said, “it’s becoming more obvious that the ANC dances to the music of the bosses”.

    As a result, the SACP and COSATU, “traditionally used by the ANC to control civic movements and dampen down opposition to their unpopular polices, are becoming increasingly nervous about their image and role in the Tripartite Alliance”.

    “Popular disillusionment with the ANC is shown by the massive strike wave we have seen over the past year. The recent strike by security workers went for three months and many of those involved were veterans of the armed struggle against apartheid. We have also had public sector stop-works last year and community revolts this year.”

    While politicians are not very accountable to their constituents, union officials have to justify their actions to the workers on a more regular basis, Ngwane told GLW. New union leaderships are being elected on the basis of their criticisms that the old leaderships were too close to the ANC.

    COSATU has started to advise its affiliates to get community support for their campaigns. “That’s why they now collaborate with the Soweto Electricity Cuts Committee (SECC) and have even invited the SECC to their congress in September.” While COSATU still has problems with the APF, the SECC is nevertheless an APF affiliate. It has effectively fought privatisation and has stopped poor people from getting their electricity cut off, Ngwane said.

    The health system has also been run down and recently the new leadership of the health workers’ union led a demonstration that marched on the Soweto Hospital.

    All this has started to have an impact on the SACP and COSATU.

    According to Ngwane, the SACP has about 10,000 members (although it claims 40,000 members), and remains a significant force. “It has many members who are young shop stewards who read Marx and then look up from their books to see the reality of the ANC government.”

    Last year, Ngwane explained, the SACP even discussed running independently from the ANC in the local council elections that were held earlier this year. It set up a commission to discuss this. While the commission’s paper was not issued until after the elections, the debate has continued and the document “Is the ANC leading a national democratic revolution, or managing capitalism?” can be found on the SACP website. “It concludes that the working class could have gained a lot more than what it has received from the ANC and even criticises Mandela!”

    This has raised the question of breaking the alliance. “The ANC responded vigorously and has retorted that the SACP has been looking at the process from a distance when it was itself intimately involved in all the decisions, the implication being that the SACP should be looking at its own history and assessing its own policies. This is challenging for the SACP, as you could argue that the SACP, and COSATU, because of their role in the anti-apartheid struggle, actually delivered the masses and the vote to the ANC.”

    “We in the APF have different viewpoints on these questions”, Ngwane said. “Our affiliates come from unions, communities, student and left organisations and some of them regard the SACP and the COSATU as being thoroughly corporatised and integrated into the state. Some supported running against the ANC in the local government elections and some, for autonomist and other reasons, didn’t.

    “I think the question of the break-up of the Tripartite Alliance still has to play out. The four SACP members in the cabinet and the party functionaries who depend on their patronage, will probably oppose any break with the ANC.

    “However, despite our division, the fact that the APF won a seat on Johannesburg City Council is a warning to the SACP that if it can’t explain why the ANC’s Tripartite Alliance causes poverty then others will.”

    From Green Left Weekly, August 30, 2006.
    Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.

  2. Secret Trev Fan-love the pseudonym by the way.

    While the DSP/GLW crowd used to have a very relationship with SACP members like Langa Zita, Jeremy Cronin etc, that has collapsed as the SACP leadership has moved to the “right” and the DSP has sought alliances with Maoists and its old Trotskyite milieu. From what I can understand, the APF, (which includes the DSP’s buddy and former SACP member, Dale McKinley) is Trotskyite leaning. They are hardly likely to be sympathetic to, or understanding of, the SACP’s agenda.

    The SACP is from the Moscow tradition. Everything they are doing now lines up with what was being taught at Lenin’s Institute for Higher Learning in moscow in the ’80s.

    Let history judge which of us is more correct in our analysis.

  3. It all means the same thing – the communists end up ruining South Africa as they have ruined every country they have been involved in. In no communist country has the GDP risen, standard of living increased or (in the long run) anything improved for the ordinary man in the street (or field). The only beneficiaries have been party functionaries (who appear to have the intelligence of a jube-jube)

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