“Let’s make education fashionable and an educated youth is a liberated Youth”
6 January 6, 2016, Avalon Cemetery, Soweto
Let me for and on behalf of the 4th National Congress National Committee, as we commemorate Cde Joe Slovo, salute you in the name of our communists martyr’s, Cde Chris Hani, Cde Moses Mabhida, Cde Francis Baard, Cde Moses Kotane, Cde JB Marks, Cde Lillian Ngoyi , Cde Alex La Guma, Cde Vuyisile Mini, Cde Ruth First, Cde Joe Gqabi, Cde Sara Baartman, Cde Ncumisa Khondlo, Cde Walter Sisulu, Cde Govan Mbeki, Cde Raymond Mhlaba, Cde Thomas Nkobi and the martyr we are having his 21 Anniversary Cde Joe Slovo.
For us it is always an honor and pleasure to participate in the anniversary dedicated our National Chairperson, the founding member and commander in chief of uMkhonto Wesizwe, a comrade whose profound spirit inspires everyone, the spirit of absolute selflessness. A comrade of noble minded and pure, a comrade of moral integrity and above vulgar interests and a comrade of value to the people and the Party.
Comrades, many of you have been receiving and hearing people asking or whispering from diverse political tendencies, as they did yesterday, do today and perhaps will do tomorrow. Is this Party a Party of Joe Slovo? Is it still the vanguard of the working class?. Immediately these questions will arise, as it always does, from both our adherents and our adversaries.
Is this the Party of Joe Slovo? Or Is the Party the vanguard of the working Class? Some say yes, hoping the answer is yes, or that the Party is indeed the vanguard of the working class. Others, disappointed perhaps, will always think the answer is yes. There will be disappointed people who believe the answer is no, as well as those who hope the answer is no.
The Answer that we would like to provide as Young Communists is simple, yes this is the Party of Joe Slovo and this is the only insurance of the South African working class, the SACP through its deeds in the South African Revolution is the vanguard of the working class.
Comrade Chairperson, we feel it is important to lift that Cde Joe Slovo was not a racist. He fought against white supremacy or white domination, he fought against racism and on his words “No matter what vision one has of South Africa, the first thing that must be done is to destroy racism” He Further said “It’s not difficult in South Africa for the ordinary person to see the link between capitalism and racist exploitation, and when one sees the link one immediately thinks in terms of a socialist alternative”
Today we still hear the grand daughters of Verwoerd, Penny Sparrow, calling blacks monkeys. As YCLSA, we refuse to be victims of Penny Sparrow. She is the victim not us. She is the one carrying the burden of hate and racism. She is the one who sees a monkey reflected on her mirror not us. We are not going to be angry against her just because she has succumbed to the temptations of superiority, hate, stupidity and racism. All we will do is to mobilize and continue to mobilize and organize all South Africans to fight and bring to an end white privilege, illegitimate white power and the system that seeks to protect it.
Let’s look closely at it. In a way these racist white-supremacists are motivated by their ill-begotten massive economic power which they still enjoy even after more than 20 years democratic breakthrough, a democratic breakthrough they are still contesting.
The problem is that while the issue of racism mobilizes all forces within our movement prior 1994 , at the same time it hides with itself our emerging class enemies who aspire to be part of the dominantly white monopoly capital , a crisis -ridden economic system which reinforces racism in our country. These parasitic bourgeoisies elements within our movement are not interested in transforming the systematic and structural crisis of our economy, they are only interested in reforming the dominantly white monopoly capital for the purposes of their inclusion as individuals and as a small group of some consortiums. They may condemn the racist white monopoly capital during the day but at night, if not the same day, they go running with their tails between legs to some of these white conglomerates for incorporation or joint business ventures.
As long as there is a race, as long as there is a class and a long as there is a gender, there is a case for socialism. It’s only a Socialist South Africa that will put an end these issues and become a better country where equality , justice , and freedom apply to all , regardless of nationality , country of origin , political affiliation or sexual orientation.
JOE SLOVO RIGHT TO LEARN CAMPAIGN* Allow me comrades to once again unpack this campaign. This is a critical campaign of the YCLSA both in building the organisation and addressing the key questions that the youth must answer successfully, i.e. education and training. The Campaign is always launched annually nationally, in every Province, District and Branch. However, this is not a back-to-school campaign. It is about more than that and therefore is broader than that. This is the campaign the YCLSA which we use to engage in the struggle for free, compulsory quality and education, to deal with financial and academic exclusion, and to provide support to learners and students to achieve outstanding success in record time. The JR2L Campaign is therefore a standing, all-year-long campaign that must be consistently driven by all structures as set out above.
In summary, the objectives of the campaign include:
- Commemorating the life and times of comrade Joe Slovo, one of the outstanding revolutionaries and leaders that the SACP and the ANC have ever produced;
- Make education fashionable by encouraging and mobilising the youth to engage in education, trade and professional development;
- Encouraging young people to undertake education and training;
- Improving learning and teaching processes and outcomes, quality, and ensure success;
- Waging struggles for access, struggles against academic, financial and other forms of exclusion in schools, universities, universities of technology, TVET colleges and other learning and teaching environments;
- Confronting social factors that act against learning and teaching, such as teenage and learner pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse and closing alcohol outlets that are located next to schools, combating drug and alcohol abuse through the entire education system linked with the same action in communities;
- Taking up issues such as lack of resources, including challenges experienced in terms of infrastructure, learning and teaching materials as well as equipment;
- Taking up struggles against crime, including theft and corruption in schools, universities, universities of technology and TVET colleges, and taking up issues relating to safety and security in schools and all of these institutions;
- Engaging Young Communist activism in the battles of ideas, ideological and theoretical struggles by campaigning for curriculum transformation and developing alternative platforms for Marxist-Leninist teachings in universities, universities of technology and TVET colleges, through among others, educational activities;
- Mobilising for SRC elections under the banner of the PYA, and build student organisations COSAS and SASCO strong in the revolutionary culture of our liberation struggle;
- Taking forward all YCLSA National Council and Congress resolutions and declarations on education and skills training/development.
2016 A YEAR TO ROLL BACK THE GAINS AND ADVANCES OF CAPITALIST CLASS
On our 2015 Year End Statement, our statement said we are positioning the YCLSA for struggles ahead and intensifying the new deal for the black working class youth. The whole 2015 we have responding to the theme of the 4th National Congress ” Intensifying Youth Mobilization for Socialism ” as well as building fighting soldiers for socialism. A question that may arise why youth for socialism? This has been a pertinent question we must always clarify to the youth of our country so that the youth of our country understand and appreciate the struggle for socialism. In our National Council and in our congress, we made the worth-nothing observation “In our country, millions of young people are unemployed, and suffer from class inequalities, exploitation and poverty. This reflects a toxic interaction between the endemic crises of imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism and the persisting legacy of colonial and apartheid capitalism despite progress achieved since the 1994 democratic breakthrough. Many young people have no access to skills development opportunities, such as apprenticeship, learner ships, internships and experiential training, because our economy is dominated by private enterprises which have a single motive, Profit making”
The capitalism as a system has done a tremendous challenges to the working class and the people in our country. The majority of the South Africans are highly indebted, the majority of South African suffer from inequality, the majority of the South Africans are unemployed, the majority of South Africans are victims of alcohol and drug abuse.
AN EDUCATED YOUTH IS A LIBERATED YOUTH
We prefaced our speech by saying an educated youth is a liberated youth. As the Population of our country is youthful. Hence it is important that we pay a greater focus on youth and that greater focus should be paid at educating the youth academically, and further be paid at the ideological, political and ethical education of youth. Millions of young people in our country are not educated and cannot read and write. Millions of Young people in our country are attending School at the primary and Tertiary level. Hence it is important to educate the youth as part of liberating the youth. As Cde Jose Ramon Machado, elucidating on the programme of the Third Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, which focused amongst others on the critical importance of renewal in the Party and recruitment of the Youth, intimated that “Young people who were born and brought up after the revolution, in a just and democratic society, are a talented and knowledgeable generation with a vision of the world, and should be more actively promoted.. If we want a dynamic leadership we should draw replacements and reinforcements from the younger generation” Such an investment will go a long way to complement efforts at greater unity. It will also serve as a guarantor for the safeguard of the revolution and its gains. This will also be helpful to the young leaders so as not always be used as the messenger.
Always called on corners and be told what they must say. Educating the youth will in the near future save youth leaders and youth in general to avoid a question or a confrontation that may arise like How do you speak about education
matters when you education is under question? Or how do you lead a very expensive mandate of youth development when your education is under question?
This will further be useful to those who insult congress leaders in the conflict hungry media. As YCLSA as a matter of principle, we shall fight and expose young leaders who insult the Alliance leadership. We do not personalize the material conditions, we believe on the art of persuasion through raising our views through internal congress movement structures.
On this anniversary of the martyr of the South African Communist Party , Cde Joe Slovo , as the Young Communist League we commit ourselves to continue strengthening our branches , our Districts , our Provinces and the National Committee as to advance the struggle for socialism, to champion the needs and aspirations of the youth, to be the youth voice and to mobilize , recruit and educate youth on Marxism-Leninism for the youth to appreciate the struggle for socialism that will never be delinked with a strong ANCYL , SASCO and COSAS.
Let us all go out and do it for Cde Joe Slovo. Let us go to Schools, Colleges, Universities, Workplaces, Villages, Streets, Farms, Townships, Suburbs and everywhere else and mobilize the youth to sing in unison: War on racism, an educated youth is a liberated youth, let’s make education fashionable and Aluta Continua.