27 April 2020

Rebuild the Progressive Youth Alliance: the need to advance an alternative economic model post the Covid-19 Global Pandemic.

The National Committee of the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) joins all peace loving and progressive South Africans in commemorating the 26th anniversary since our first non-racial elections. This day, Freedom day, signifies an important milestone in the history of humanity, the transition to a post-apartheid non-racial democratic South Africa.

This day is a reminder of both the colonial past and our path to freedom. Exactly one hundrend years ago, Louis Botha and James Hertzog established the nationalists South African Party promising equality of Britons and Boers against the African people. It was this day that cemented the consolidation of the idea for the Union of South Africa, an idea which later provoked the birth of the African National Congress in 1912.

For South Africans, it is on this day where the world experienced South Africa’s first non-racial elections. Globally, the Australian Labor Party under Prime Minister Chris Watson becomes the first Labour government in the world on this day in 1904.

It is equally on this day that the National Party’s racist oppressive government passed the Group Areas Act in 1950, segregating races, and intensifying the racial, unequal apartheid spatial planning which continues to haunt the new government.

For us as young people, this day reminds us annually of the bloody riots of the 27th April 1977 in Soweto. It reminds us that this very freedom was not free and that young people paid the ultimate price with their lives.

This year, we sadly commemorate this day as the world fights yet another global pandemic: Covid-19. Since the outbreak of the Virus in Wuhan, we have witnessed the radical change in which humanity conducts everyday life. A quasi-nationalist approach of lockdowns has also been adopted by many countries as a mechanism to fighting the pandemic.

This pandemic has proven without doubt that any society devoid of Universal Health Coverage is an unjust society. It comes as the South African society was engaged in the process of embracing the National Health Insurance to correct this injustice.

The late General Secretary of the SACP, Chris Hani, emphasized that:

“Socialism is about decent shelter for those who are homeless. It is about water for those who have no safe drinking water. About health care, it is about a life of dignity for the old. It is about overcoming the huge divide between urban and rural areas. And it is about a decent education for all our people. Socialism is about rolling back the tyranny of the market. As long as the economy is dominated by an unelected, privileged few, the case for socialism will exist.”

The most critical task and challenge that faces young people and the general population in South Africa today is that of building a bridge between the injustices which occurred as a result of the previous oppressive system and the future we envision as young people.

The Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) owes it to the generation of Walter Sisulu, Ruth First, Ahmed Kathrada, Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani, Oliver Tambo and Nontsikelelo Sisulu to champion this fundamental task.

We ought to remember that the generation mentioned above, which in essence laid the foundation for the Progressive Youth Alliance, is a generation of academically qualified individuals who understood the necessity to collectively participate as activist in the struggle for social justice.

Young people as agents against the Covid-19 crisis

The Covid-19 crisis has taught us the need to radicalize the production of skills for our economy. As we witnessed the midnight arrival of the Cuban Doctors at Waterkloof Air Force Base, we equally owe it to ourselves to produce young doctors and nurses as agents in the struggle for socialism in our lifetime.

The Progressive Youth Alliance should prepare its membership to be frontline agents in transforming the lives of the South African people for the better during these difficult times and post the Covid-19 pandemic.

The YCLSA has stationed Chris Hani brigades as agents for socialism in fighting the Covid-19 crisis. Every YCLSA member is a community activist.

Rallying the PYA behind SASCO in institutions of higher learning

The divisions within the Progressive Youth Alliance have contributed to the weakening of our glorious student movement in institutions of higher learning. The unprincipled contestation of SASCO in SRC elections instead of building a capable and reliable intellectual hub and student movement is the partly the reason for the state of our student movement.

PYA organs are not innocent or immune from the crisis that faced the student movement prior the National Congress that successfully elected the new leadership. The participation of young leaders in the faction of our movement, especially those who use youth organs as tokens for recognition and appreciation by factions has contributed immensely to this crisis.

The rebuilding of the PYA necessitates that all youth organs within the Mass Democratic Movement should strive to build a capable SASCO to best advance the aspirations of students and our National Democratic Revolution, not factional mandates.

The need to rebuild the ANCYL to advance the struggle for economic Freedom within the context of our National Democratic Revolution in our life time.

Covid-19 has demonstrated that the economic inequalities in our society are a direct result of the legacy of apartheid, a notion that the SACP termed Colonization of a Special Type, which necessitates the need to address the national question. It has demonstrated that the need for a universal health coverage in the form of the NHI is directly linked to the effort to build a non-racial, non-sexist, equal, united, democratic and prosperous society.

Sadly, it has also exposed the struggles of the youth in our country. The nature of the South African economy as inherited from the previous system of oppression has placed young people in the periphery in terms of proportionality to economic activism. As a result of the high youth unemployment, young people are also unskilled, poor and depressed.

This constitutes the urgent need to build a radical ANCYL to advance the struggle for economic freedom in our life. This struggle is equally a struggle for socialism.

The Progressive Youth Alliance and the 2021 Local Government elections

The 2016 Local Government Elections punched holes in the life of our glorious movement that will always signal a reminder that South Africans deserve better individuals than sponsored candidates by factions who are loyal to corrupt intentions of groupings than the agenda of building a people’s economy.

This time around, the Progressive Youth Alliance should lead the task of producing qualified young councillors who are loyal to the values and principles of our movement as front line agents in the struggle to transform the lives of South Africans.

We ought to isolate pop-star tendencies and give the best of the best options.

Against all odds- No to the privatization of our SOEs

The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) has commended the South African Airways (SAA) for an outstanding service to the people of South Africa in the wake of a global crisis of Covid-19 for the historic landing of the Cuban Doctors at Waterkloof Air force Base.

Since the beginning of the fight against the Covid-19 global pandemic, the South African Airways has undertaken numerous roles in bringing South Africans home and of late, landing the Cuban Doctors.

The historic landing of the Cubans at the Waterkloof Air force Base amidst a fight against the Covid-19 global pandemic reflects the outstanding capabilities of SAA and the continued necessity need for a capable state owned airline.

The Progressive Youth alliance should mobilize young people against the privatization of our key State Owned Enterprises. It is equally about time that we forward capable and qualified young people to lead these State owned Entities.

Working class internationalism and the covid-19 crisis

The YCLSA commends the Cuban Revolution for the principle of solidarity and selfless service to humanity. The level of international solidarity displayed by the Cuban people has demonstrated without doubt that socialism remains the only system that can best serve humanity. Until today, capitalism once against has not solution to rescue humanity either than to plunge the world into crisis.

The noble solidarity of the Cuban people should be a lesson to South Africans to be agents for democracy, peace and justice, and demonstrate practical solidarity to the struggle for self-determination of both the Saharawi and the Palestinian people, and the urgent need for democracy in Swaziland.

Mobilize against the profit driven global capitalist mandate

Capitalism will always seek to benefit business interests even during times of crisis. We stated in the previous week that ‘the globalized system of capitalism which relies on nation-states can never be the solution to humanity nor will it ever seek to serve the best interest of all. The global campaign by imperialist regimes, big multinational corporations and global finance institutions serves to maintain class inequalities and exploitation of the already exploited to maintain the unjust, inhumane profit apatite of capitalism. This campaign unsurprisingly resonates well domestically with the now frustrated unpopular liberal clique of the Democratic Alliance and AfriForum that has been trying to campaign for an economic intervention which lacks even the high school Economic and Management Science literacy which states that there can be no economic activity without active people in the economy’.

The intentions by mining and other sectors to retrench workers should be condemned. The unnecessary provocation by Village Main Reef (VMR) which has issued and imposed both section 189 and 197 of the Labour Relations Act (Act No.66 of 1995) should be met with equal force. This is just the beginning of a concerted effort by business to place the burden of the Covid-19 crisis on the working class. No workers shall be retrenched without a fight and the YCLSA will join the trade unions in the battlefield.

The Shenanigans of big businesses in the retail sector such as Shoprite and others to hijack the informal economy in the township by opening spaza shops is a clear reflection of capitalist greed and evilness.

Recently, while big retail corporations were allowed to sell food in stores, the poor that lives by cooking for the workers of our country were already prohibited from operating. The recently gazetted regulations which now incorporates big business into the prohibition of cooked food seeks to mitigate an injustice that has already occurred. Yet they still want to loot from the poor and collapse the township economy of which the poor relies on.

Concluding remarks

The National Committee of the YCLSA conveys a message of hope, peace and social solidarity during these difficult times. This day should always remind us of our collective capabilities if we fight together.

It is on this day that we as South Africans should reflect on the past, the progress of the democratic government and the future we aspire as a nation.

The YCLSA wishes the Muslim community well during this period of Ramadan.

Issued by the National Secretary

Tinyiko Ntini

On behalf of the 5th Congress National Committee