15 December 2020

The Young Communist League of South Africa [Ufasimba] convened its 6th plenary session of the National Committee on Sunday, 13 December 2020. The meeting was held virtually due to the nature of the pandemic that has reoriented human activity and the regulations in place aimed at mitigating the worst that could be experienced due to the pandemic.

Given the context of gender struggles within our society, the meeting received an address from Cde Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities on building a conscious youth in the fight against Gender Based Violence and Femicide, and using the National Youth Policy as a catalyst for change.  The address covered the pillars of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) adopted by government earlier this year, the National Youth Policy (NYP), and challenges faced by government in combating femicide. The engagements and possible joint programmes with the department will be continuous and the National Committee resolved to assist government where possible in ensuring that the adopted policies become a success especially in the best interest of the oppressed in our society.

The National Committee paid tribute to all frontline workers that passed-on in the line of duty and service to humanity fighting against the invisible enemy. The meeting further paid tribute to all fallen red brigades of the socialist movement, amongst them Mandla Matsane and Action Setaka.

The meeting noted that in the coming year, the oldest and largest Communist Party on the African Continent, the SACP, will be celebrating its centenary, and that in the same year the YCLSA will host its National Council as per the constitution of the organization, deliberations in the meeting were also directed at ensuring the success of these important events in the political calendar of our Movement.

The National Committee discussed a wide range of issues affecting the youth, women, oppressed nations worldwide and the state of our National Democratic Revolution, the South African political and economic system, and the working class generally. Amongst the issues discussed is the unacceptable unemployment rate, the upcoming local government elections, mental health, campaigns of the organization and the global balance of forces.

State of our liberation alliance and the Progressive Youth Alliance:

Our Mass Democratic Movement exists to ensure broad and popular mobilization of the motive forces across all classes and strata, and most importantly, to advance the strategic aims of our revolutionary programme. This means that supporting the African National Congress (ANC) does not mean a victory for different structures, factions or individual leaders of the ANC, but rather for the people’s camp as a strategic path in terms of driving our National Democratic Revolution. Electoral victory does not mean deployments or looting associations disguised as factions within the ANC, but rather, electoral victory means positioning the Alliance as the centre of power entrusted to mandate the functionaries of the movement within the state.

The National Committee expressed concerns on the conduct of individual leaders of the ANC and the posture of the liberation movement regarding the importance of the Alliance as the center of power. Moreover, it is important to emphasize that contesting elections through the ANC is not a favour to the working class nor the alliance. In this spirit, the National Committee unapologetically condemns and cautions the exclusion of the Alliance partners and the entire Mass Democratic Movement in key decisions including the draft guidelines for the upcoming local government elections which is a product of lack of proper consultation.

Additionally, the reactionary behaviour of some ANC leaders or structure in key state institutions is tantamount to disrespecting the aims and objectives of our revolution. These reactionary tendencies include the disrespect of collective bargaining agreements and the bashing of union leaders and members, especially in local government sphere. The time to consolidate unity of the working class in defense of the revolution is now!

The National Treasury’s appetite for neo-liberal austerity:

South Africa’s National Treasury is undoubtedly of the most untransformed and concerning department post the 1994 democratic transition. The institution harbours the most reactionary intellectual moral based on capitalist neo-liberal ethics undoubtedly enforced by a leadership that lacks vision and touch with reality. Instead of being identified with the collective decisions and morale with the cabinet, leaders within the institution, in particular the Minister, projects it as a super-entity of the state under the custodianship of international finance institution and domestic capitalist oligarchy that is influenced by government.

The YCLSA calls for the transformation of this institution – transformation of the operational model of entity. Its either change of heart or change of leadership in that department.

The broadband struggle and the state of our education delivery model:

Throughout the year, we have consistently exposed the accumulation patterns of the telecommunications monopolies and their shortcomings. The pandemic has blatantly exposed the weakness of the South African capitalist model regarding the connection of broadband and the manner in which it affects the transformation of our society, particularly our education system. As much as the National Committee is concerned about the lack of commitment in the higher education sector in expediting the process to distribute devices to aid students in completing their studies, the fundamental question equally remains on the fact that this process presents an accumulation path for both domestic and global manufactures of these devices.

Noting the nature and character of South African’s telecommunications sector, this process will benefit the monopolies in terms of data bundles procurement as an accumulation path rather than an opportunity to improve and invest in infrastructure development to ensure access by rural and poor communities. The challenge of connectivity remains an impediment and a barrier to the education and success of young people in rural and poor communities especially when institutions migrate to e-learning with this looming surge.

All students must be given allowances as the academic calendar has been extended and NSFAS should immediately deal with the distribution of the devices to students.

Organizational campaigns and the upcoming National Council:

As we prepare for the Joe Slovo Right to Learn Campaign, the meeting resolved elevating the mental health matter during this campaign and call for adequate support through the Higher Health in all campuses.

Preparations for the 4th National Council are at an advanced stage and constant communique will be shared to our structures to ensure that necessary requirements are met. Internal communications will be made in line with constitutional requirements for this gathering.

On International front:

While it is necessary to acknowledge the economic challenges facing Zimbabwe, National Committee expressed concerns and condemned the offensive and military intervention of the Zimbabwean government on the working class, especially the arrests and detention of students and journalists. The suppression of human rights and policy brutality in Zimbabwe should be condemned and the SADC region should demonstrate capacity to protect citizens across the region. The YCLSA calls for the release of jailed activists including the detained students and journalists.

The National Committee also made a critical analysis on developments across the African Continent especially on the continued brutality and undemocratic rule in Swaziland, the renewed imperialist commitment by both the United States and the apartheid regime in Israel. Ordinarily, the African Union (AU) should be the custodian of human rights and prosperity on the continent, yet shockingly, the AU remains a commentator as people are brutalized by cruel regimes across the African Continent. The YCLSA calls for decisive action and exclusion of oppressive regimes from the AU and further calls on the South African government to never shy away from the struggles of the oppressed people in the continent.

furthermore, the National Committee reaffirmed the positions of the organizations and solidarity programmes on the struggle for democracy in Swaziland, reaffirmed that the illegal colonization of Western Sahara by Morocco is an injustice to humanity, and called on the African Union to enforce the recognition of Somaliland by other countries, especially in Africa.

Issued by YCLSA

Tinyiko Ntini – National Secretary

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