The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) held its First Plenary session of the 5th Congress National Committee, from the 1st to the 3rd of March 2019 in Johannesburg. Leaders from across the country gathered over the last three days to examine the situation of the youth, the general politics of the land as well as international dynamics.
Our plenary received and adopted the political, organisational and financial reports. In addition, being an inaugural meeting of the 5th Congress National Committee, we received a political workshop from the SACP, conducted by cde Alex Mashilo – the National Spokesperson of the SACP.
The meeting further received inputs from the former National Secretary and DHET Deputy Minister, comrade Buti Manamela, former National Secretary, comrade Mluleki Dlelanga and political address from the SACP represented by the General Secretary, comrade Blade Nzimande.
The National Committee took time to pay tribute to members of the YCLSA who have lost their lives as a result of targeted political killings. The recent case being that of Mhlengi Khumalo who died as a result of a hail of bullets in KZN.  What it means is that, in our struggle against any form of injustice we will be the targets of the system and corrupt political elite. Those who rely on tenders and corruption never hesitate to hire assassins to wipe off forces of justice and equality.
In the same breath, YCLSA calls on all those implicated in the VBS Scandal, the State Capture Commission and PIC Commission of Enquiry  to recuse themselves, or the ANC to recall them without which we may not have the zeal and energy to campaign and participate in governance structures that unashamedly endorse corruption.
Joe Slovo Right to Learn Campaign:
The YCL SA studied the successes and challenges of its recent Joe Sloe Right to Learn Campaign – an annual initiative by the YCL SA to encourage enrolment into schools by young people. Education must be fashionable, we maintain. However, the YCL SA deliberated on the challenges facing those wanting to be access , particularly challenges brought about by the commodification of social and economic services including education.
Again, and of equal importance the YCLSA is concerned that not enough is being done to include children with disabilities into our ECD Centers, schools and institutions of higher learning. Infrastructure must be built to include all our people including those with disabilities. Services must be provided and stigma must be challenged. This is not done as a favour but as a commitment to a better world and more productive South Africa. People with disabilities must stop being treated as charity but as productive contributors to our economy and society.
The YCL SA intends to host a program in the near future with other members of civil society, including progressive organisations in this field, to address this pertinent issue – that is faced particularly by young people.  Public and private institutions must be forced to create the infrastructure that will make it possible for people with disabilities to access services without any difficulties – this is something we will force government to do!
Political Education and Ideological Training:
The political presentation focused, in the main, on the international dynamics in the era of imperialism, and the relationship between the SACP, the YCLSA, the entire youth, the founding principles of the YCLSA and the task ahead. The YCLSA will intensify Bua Thursdays as part of strengthening its ideological work. The National Committee created a commission that would focus on Political education and Ideological Training.
What was also emphasized was the need for the YCLSA to see (and acknowledge) itself as the integral part of the SACP while still capable to autonomously organise the working class youth for a socialist order.
The abuse of religion for self-accumulation:
One of the shocking, disturbing and concerning things facing youth and the entire Back working class  communities in general is the abuse of religion by dubious characters dubbing themselves pastors. The YCLSA is not anti-religion, in fact, some of the greatest communist have come from a religious background and our own National Committee has leaders who are simultaneously religious as well as socialists.
In fact, it is argues that Jesus Christ himself was a freedom fighter, a socialist – someone who believed in an egalitarian system! However, religion is also abused by certain charlatans. It is these so called pastors, priests and so called churches that the YCLSA will wage a war against. We will join hands with people of faith to wage a war against exploitation of our people – no matter where it may find itself.
The deplorable social and economic conditions of the poor have rendered them gullible to fake pastors and a whole host of other questionable experiments in the name of religion. The poor have been turned into guinea pigs of deadly experiments in the name of religion. As the YCLSA we strongly condemn fake leaders, pastors or others, who’s only aim is to make money out of the poor by claiming fake miracles in the name of God. We urge our branches to combat, in whatever way possible, these tendencies. We also call upon credible religious institutions to rise to the occasion and condemn such.
Intensify the fight against gender-based violence:
The YCLSA strongly condemns gender based violence, particularly on women. No matter the gains we are still unhappy with the high levels of violence and discrimination against women. We as the YCLSA will not allow our work against such violence to be limited to 16 days or any other short-termist campaign. Our commitment to a non-sexist society will be ingrained into our work.
The YCLSA pledge its support and solidarity with our talented athlete, Caster Semenya in this trying times. The offensive against Semenya by the IAAF which is mostly dominated by European countries and white males is nothing but an untransformed, racist and sexist institution which lacks an understanding of the sacrosanct principle of gender equality embodied by United Nation charter on Human Rights.
We therefore support the stance taken by South African Medical Association (SAMA) to throw it’s weight behind Caster. Indeed, there is a need for the IAAF to review its own policies before applying their sectarian approach to issues of international athletics under the guise of science.
‘Data must fall’ campaign:
As part of our struggle against a neo-liberal commodification of the entire life world, which includes technological achievements, the YCLSA noted the need to put pressure on the state for the reduction of data prices. The postponement of the signing of the Bill that would have made this possible represents an affront to the struggle for justice and justice for young people. We need more campaigns around the call for data to fall. We need to push for the implementation of the End-user and Subscriber Service Service Charter regulations published on the 07 May 2018 which were due to come into effect in June 2018. Many young people who are unemployed rely heavily on their cellphones to search for job opportunities, and thus to make online applications. All these depends on the availability and affordability of data.
On State-Owned Entities:
The triple challenges, of unemployment, poverty and inequality, that we face require a strong and capable state to overcome them. And key to a strong and capable state are state-owned entities. The sorry state of our SOE’s makes it difficult, if not impossible to go about a truly transformative trajectory for a just and equal society. We welcome certain inventions made by the current Minister of Public Enterprises but warn that the mandate of SOE’s should be developmental and transformative. Privatization goes against such noble projects. We will oppose the privatization of public entities, regardless of the name it is given to cover up for its manifestation and pernicious implications.
International Solidarity:
The National Committee put much emphasis on Venuezela as it faces an imperialist onslaught, particularly as a result of the greedy US wanting to put its dirty hands on Venezuela’s massive oil reserves. The brutal expansionist nature of capitalism, in the form of imperialism, is a real reality that has to be understood and confronted. The the logic of the war economy of the imperialist US must be challenged.
At a time when the USA is drunk on wanting to invade another people, thus the people of Venezuela, we condemn the recent utterances by fellow socialist, the US senator Bernie Sanders. We have always respected Sanders and his commitment to socialist programs but his recent unfair criticism and pushing of the US line on Venezeuala is disappointing.
In the face of US sanctions and interference in Venezuela Sanders tweeted “The people of Venezuela are enduring a serious humanitarian crisis. The Maduro government must put the needs of its people first, allow humanitarian aid into the country, and refrain from violence against protesters.”
Sanders is unfortunately joining the likes of Donald Trump in advancing the “humanitarian intervention” line. This so called American
“humanitarian intervention” is nothing more than an excuse to invade Venezeula and control its oil resources.  We will double up our efforts in supporting the people of Venezuela who democratically elected Nicolus Maduro as their leader and President.
On an international front that has domestic consequence, the YCLSA joins our progressive partner organizations, unions and others in avidly opposing the Israeli-led takeover of Clover. South Africa and its businesses must not be party to the continued violations of Palestinian human rights. In addition, it is utterly false that the Israeli takeover will benefit workers. The truth is that workers will lose jobs as has been the trend when international corporations take over our companies. An additional concern is that profits generated locally from our people, the working class, will now flow overseas with no benefit to our economy. We call on deployees in government to do all in their power to oppose this deal.
In the struggle for a just world , we must never tire. Forward ever backward never.
Issued by YCLSA HQ
Molaodi Wa Sekake – National Spokesperson
Mobile: 078 164 3668
Tinyiko Ntini – National Secretary
Mobile: 084 979 5999/ 071 171 5984