Archives for category: Socialism

South Africa Communist Party President address COSATU congress in a critical moment

This Congress meets in the shadow of an intensified offensive against the working class in SA. It is an offensive directed primarily against the best organized detachment of our working class – this federation, this COSATU, especially the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and all these affiliates. The intensified offensive is born partly out of desperation on the part of our class enemies. Capitalism continues to be enmeshed in a deep-seated crisis. Everywhere global capitalism seeks to defend its profits and its power by displacing the impact of its crisis onto the workers, the poor, and the Third World. It violently foments civil war and destabilization of countries with an anti-imperialist track-record. It embarks on mass retrenchments, casualization, budget cuts and suffocating austerity measures at home and abroad. To carry through this butchery, global capitalism everywhere seeks to defeat the organized working class – a powerful barrier to its anti-popular strategies.

Here in SA we are no strangers to this offensive. Here, too, the anti-union offensive has intensified and grown more desperate in recent months. It is an offensive also supported by sections of imperialism. We have even seen the DA attempting to out-Malema Malema by leading a march on the COSATU head-quarters with a rag-tag army of suburbanites and desperate and misguided township youth.

This middle-class flirtation with anarchy is partly the result of the all-round capitalist crisis, in which it is also deeply affected. Much as the working class is bearing most of the brunt of this crisis, the middle classes are now also increasingly feeling the pinch. Unlike some of the middle classes in other parts of the world who have joined workers in protest against neo-liberal capitalism, our middle class, especially its white sections, has turned its venom against the ANC government, including racist attitudes rearing their ugly head anew, especially through the internet.

Equally, small and often elitist sections of the black middle class which also feels the economic hardship are working with some of their white counterparts to blame government, even for their own failures to make use of narrow BEE to accumulate wealth. In fact the common ideological platform for both sections of the white and black middle classes is that of the so-called lack of leadership in society. This is no honest debate but a rightist putsch and an ideological fad, aimed at discrediting the ANC and its government. It must be treated and dismissed as such.

But desperation by the elites is also rooted in the fact that since at least 2007 and the defeat of the 1996 class project, we have an ANC ruling party that (however unevenly) is committed to our tripartite alliance, and an ANC-led government that has abandoned (however unevenly) neo-liberalism, privatization, anti-communism, and anti-worker positions. Of course this progress within the ANC itself, and within government is not something to be taken for granted. It is contested space – and WE MUST, comrades, CONTEST it.

Because of these positive developments, increasingly the anti-union offensive in our country has been left to opposition parties in Parliament, to renegades expelled from our own ranks, to demagogues and opportunists of all stripes, supported by big money and broadcast through the megaphone of the mainstream media.

But if this intensified anti-union offensive stems partly from desperation in the face of the capitalist crisis, it is also an offensive that, from time to time, becomes emboldened by our own divisions and factionalism, by our own distractions, by our own neglect of our core tasks of organizing in the work-place and in our communities, by our own failures to deal decisively with corruption, tender-preneuring and business-unionism. Comrades, it is imperative that we close ranks. It is essential that we face up to this offensive as a united and disciplined COSATU, as a united Alliance, as a Liberation Movement strengthening, but also strengthened by a democratic state.

Learning appropriate lessons from Marikana

All of the above is the immediate context against which we need to understand the Marikana tragedy. In the space of a decade, the platinum sector has gone from boom to near-bust as a result of the global capitalist crisis and particularly the stagnation in Europe (the major importer of our platinum.

For years the mining houses – and particularly the platinum mining houses – have sought to break the back of NUM. Who can forget the late 1990s and the rule of terror that prevailed as a result of the so-called Five Madoda and their pseudo-trade union “Workers Mouthpiece”? We ask: who can forget? And yet so many in our country, unfortunately including some former COSATU leaders, DO forget. In that reign of terror in the Rustenburg region, vigilante thugs associated with the pseudo-union murdered 34 NUM shop-stewards.

What we also DO know for sure is that through the years of the platinum boom, impressive investments were made on the platinum belt. And yet, through this boom, virtually nothing was done for the living conditions of the work-force.

We failed these workers and their families. We failed to leverage effective social responsibility requirements out of the mining houses. We were too focused on using the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Act to enforce BEE shareholding.

Another negative reality, born of abject desperation, began to take root in many of these squalid shanty towns around the platinum mines. The Five Madoda and their “Workers Mouthpiece” infiltrated the informal settlements – and used coercion and patronage to gain control over shebeens, prostitution, minibus operations, shack-lordism, and the muti and mashonisa businesses. These lumpen-patriarchal networks exerted a reign of terror over many settlements, in the same way as similar networks are doing now.

What is to be done?

The SACP fully supports government`s crackdown on the illegal carrying of weapons, on intimidation and on incitement to violence. The ring-leaders must be dealt with and separated from the mass of misled strikers (many of whom are not actually employees of Lonmin or even workers). Those possessed of mysterious wealth, who have never worked a day in their lives, those who were recently anti-unionisation in the army, those who are now happily inciting others to kill and be killed must be dealt with. We also require a thorough investigation into where their funding is coming from, whether locally or internationally. Any formal structures of the ANC that are collaborating with the so-called Friends of the Youth League must themselves face suspension from our movement. We have given opportunism far too much space and tolerance. Together as an Alliance and with our local structures, together with government agencies, we need to help to restore basic norms of safety and security into the lives of our mining communities.

The SACP also fully supports the establishment of the Independent Judicial Commission of Inquiry. We must leave the detailed investigation into the events leading up to August 16, the day itself, and the violence in the ensuing days to the Commission. Without interfering, we must ensure that it is thorough and unbiased in its work. Any wrong-doing by the police must be uncovered. At the same time, it is absolutely important that the Inquiry hears evidence from the communities and contextualizes its understanding of the immediate events. The SACP is working with our structures in these mining settlements to take evidence and sworn affidavits. We know that NUM is doing likewise, and we urge the ANC and other COSATU affiliates, where relevant, to ensure that the Commission is presented with a broad and objective picture of the situation.

Finally, we must reject the apartheid and racist notion that what is happening in Marikana is inter-union rivalry, as if the NUM and pseudo union, AMCU were the same thing.

Back to basics: workplace organization to roll back neo-liberal restructuring

This important gathering is also taking place against the background of intensified attacks on the national democratic revolution, including attempts to try and present our movement as being at sea and not knowing what is to be done to deepen the national democratic revolution. We however need to state from the onset that if we focus most of our energies at this congress lamenting about the challenges we face instead of focusing on what is to be done, we would have wasted this very important opportunity. Analysis, yes, lamenting no!

The current global capitalist crisis has seen the intensification of attempts to increase the rate of profit of capitalism at the direct expense of the working class. With the increasing casualization and labour ‘brokering` of workers in South Africa, today less and less workers for instance have access to provident fund and medical aid. The impact and implications of this reality are enormous. For instance this means that the burden of looking after the health of labour brokered workers becomes the sole responsibility of workers themselves without any employer contribution. Similarly, lack of access to provident fund means an additional burden on the state when these workers retire. This means that both workers and the state are increasingly and directly subsidizing the profits of the bourgeoisie.

The impact of this massive restructuring of the workplace has also placed in danger the existence of significant sections of the trade union movement itself. In fact the growth of the trade union movement over the last decade years has been more in the public than the private sector, as COSATU`s own statistics show.

The trade union federations in our country, especially our ally, COSATU, must develop a comprehensive campaign to strengthen the trade union movement in the workplace.

In tackling the challenges facing the workplace we also need to ask some serious questions about the state of the trade union movement in South African today, including its strategies to confront the huge restructuring of the workplace undertaken by the capitalist class over the last one and a half decade. Could it also be that our reaction to attempts to relegate the role of the trade union movement by the 1996 class project to workplace issues unintentionally led to bending the stick too much in the opposite direction; that is, focusing on broader political struggles at the expense of workplace organization? Could it also be that good trade union organization has declined, in the same way as mass organization has taken a knock after 1994?

There is also an emerging threat for our progressive trade union movement, where there is collusion between business unionism, elements bought by bosses and tenderpreneurs whose goal is to divide and weaken the trade union movement as part of capturing these unions and turning them into sweetheart unions. The most aggressive of this tendency is to be found in the current offensive directed against the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Way back at our Special Congress in 2009 we warned against an emerging new tendency within our movement, which is anti-working class, anti-communist and even having proto-fascist features. We further warned against being confused and fooled by a call for nationalization whose aim was to bail out a section of mining BEE in a crisis. We further said none within our ranks must by any means flirt with this tendency. Today we are being proven right, as it is this same tendency that is in the forefront of trying to destroy the NUM, with the intention to divide and weaken COSATU as a whole. This is a tendency whose goal is to accumulate by all means, and whose mission has been to capture our movement for purposes of self-enrichment and accumulation. It is a tendency, we are convinced now as the SACP that is backed by powerful imperialist interests who are threatened by the prospects of a leftward shift in our movement. These are thieves who will stop at nothing to pillage the resources of the state, and are prepared to even sell our country to the highest imperialist bidder. It is a tendency that must be defeated, and only a united and better organized working class can do so!

Once more the SACP calls upon this Congress to come out unambiguously against this tendency. No amount of political sophistry or big-sounding English should justify anyone from within our ranks justifying working with these demagogues. There must be no ‘ifs` or ‘buts` in our attitude towards the new tendency. The struggle of the working class is not for sale!!! Instead we are calling for the federation to close ranks, isolate and defeat this tendency.

The SACP`s position is that the struggle for decent work must incorporate a variety of dimensions and not simply be reduced to wages, important as this is. The struggle for decent work must involve the campaign for a living wage, a decent social wage and transformed workplaces free of racism, patriarchy and managerial unilateralism.

The anti-majoritarian liberal offensive and necessity to build a working-class led mass movement

As the SACP we have consistently been raising the need to defeat the anti-majoritarian liberal offensive. Its agenda is that of undermining black majority rule using all manner of methods, including attempts to capture institutions supporting our democracy and its intensified attacks on the working class. Of late it is becoming vocal against what it sees as the danger of big unions and big government, and essentially calling for the weakening of the labour movement in general, and COSATU in particular. It is seeking to place the blame of unemployment on the employed, and especially organized workers. We are told, the basis for inequality in our society is no longer race, nor the class inequalities between the bourgeoisie and the working class, but the basis now is between the employed and unemployed!!

The SACP has consistently raised this matter, and again warning that none within our ranks should be confused by this liberal agenda and be tempted to form alliances blindly. Liberals, as has always been their history, cherry pick the battles they want to wage, and sometimes opportunistically want to be seen as friends of the working class. They will stand up against e-tolling in Gauteng, not because they really care about the working class, but in opposition to the ANC government, and yet be completely silent about the fact that the DA has tolled Chapman`s Peak in Cape Town and seeks to build more physical structures there! They will take the ANC government to court over textbooks in Limpopo, but not go to court when the DA is unilaterally closing schools in the Western Cape.

Whilst liberals will form a new NGO on a variety of matters where they oppose government, they have formed no NGO to fight against the brutality against farmworkers; nor are there new NGOs formed to fight the scourge of labour brokers by liberals. They opportunistically seek alliances with the working class in order to advance elite interests, embarrass the ANC government, but tell the working class to go jump when it comes to challenging established capitalist interests.

Whilst we accept that COSATU may form tactical alliances with various formations at different points in time, caution must always be taken against who are our real friends. We are also concerned about the tone of the political report on some of these matters. Strongly implied in the report is a more critical stance towards the Alliance, and uncritical praise and elevation of tactical alliances with a whole variety of other forces. This is, we believe an incorrect posture by COSATU.

The more recent ideological offensive against our movement and revolution is that of a charge that there is an absence of leadership in society and an attempt to project our movement as being at sea, not knowing what to do. Here we see a very clear convergence between the liberal offensive and what we have characterized as the new tendency. Our leadership and movement is not being judged on progress made in terms of commitments made for instance around our five priorities, but through a targeted attack on the movement as a whole, especially COSATU and the ANC, with a particular focus on the President of the ANC and the republic, Cde Jacob Zuma. The print media is actually at the centre and forefront of this offensive.

It is our considered view as the SACP that the principal task of the working class at the present moment is that of building a working class led people`s mass movement to drive transformation on all fronts. Whilst NGOs are important at no stage should they become a substitute for the people`s voice. For that matter not all NGOs are progressive, and many are captured by particular class interests, not least those of their often (imperialist) donors.

But, of course, not all NGOs are retrogressive either. We, the Alliance as a whole, need to actively engage in this terrain of “civil society” and contribute to the building of a progressive NGO movement as part of revitalizing the Mass Democratic Movement to be led by the working class.

The question of a working class-led people`s movement assumes even more importance in the light of the Marikana and related experiences. Organization of mineworkers has to be accompanied by the progressive organization of adjacent mining communities in order to defeat warlordism and shacklordism that are often exploited to weaken and destroy working class organization in the workplace.

Building on our advances to address the triple challenges of our revolution

At our 13th Congress we said if the aim of our Special National Congress in December 2009 was to assist our broad movement to understand the global capitalist crisis, the reasons for the persistence of structural unemployment and racialised poverty and inequality, and the challenges facing our movement since Polokwane, the 13th Congress focused on what is to be done to consolidate, defend and advance our revolution.

One of the primary challenges of our revolution now and in the coming period is that of translating the many important policy breakthroughs made over the past four-to-five years into palpable changes that must transform our current semi-colonial economic growth path for the progressive benefit of the overwhelming majority of the workers and the poor.

It is very important to remember that being part of the Alliance as working class formations, it is our responsibility to protect, defend and deepen the unity of our Alliance. Part of this responsibility and revolutionary duty is that we cannot choose to sometimes step aside and behave as if we are outside our Alliance and revolution, and have the luxury to lament or criticize as outsiders, often encouraged by the media. To choose to act as if we are outside the Alliance when things get tough, and to seek to prioritise media recognition is nothing but rank opportunism; and such behavior does not belong to the ranks of the working class. Problems or disagreements amongst ourselves as Allies, which are inevitable anyway, cannot be subject of press conferences or tweeter messages, but need to be tackled within the structures of our Alliance and through principled bilateral engagements.

At no stage should we celebrate the difficulties facing any of our Alliance partners. We simply cannot elevate tactical alliances with other social formations (no matter how important we think they may be) above our Alliance.

Of course it is absolutely essential that our working class formations must jealously guard their independence. But such independence must serve to assert the working class as the principal motive force of our revolution, as the foundation of the unity of our Alliance, and not as an oppositionist or opportunist element within our Alliance.

Nevertheless whatever challenges we face must never make us lose sight of the advances we have made since our democratic breakthrough in 1994, and those especially made since Polokwane. A correct approach for revolutionaries is not to lament about these problems or use them in a populist fashion for short-term political gain. The challenge of true revolutionaries is to recognize advances we have made and seek to build on these in order to address existing challenges.

In particular, since the ANC Polokwane conference, we have seen some important policy breakthroughs and other achievements that we dare not lose sight of. Amongst these are the following:

  • The development of an overarching industrial policy, within the context of proposals for a new growth path. This new policy emphasizes the need to beneficiate our mineral wealth, rebuild the manufacturing sector as part of the industrialization of our economy and take job creation to higher levels. The key challenge is to align our macro economic policies to these objectives.
  • A clear move away from emphasis on privatization of the early 2000s to a commitment to a more active role by the state in economic development.
  • A clear commitment by the ANC and government to move away from the ‘willing seller, willing buyer` model of land reform, to a more radical redistribution of land, including expropriation as provided for in our constitution.
  • The major state-led investment in infrastructure as announced by the President in the 2012 State of the Nation address responds to a call that has long been made by the working class for more investment in infrastructure. The key task of the working class is to ensure that monies invested in infrastructure are not stolen by tenderpreneurs who want a quick buck out of shoddy work. It is also important that we mobilise to demand that all companies that win major infrastructure projects from government must not use labour brokers and must also be committed to the training and skilling of workers.
  • Since Polokwane, government is now embarking on a pilot for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) a long standing call by the SACP in particular when we launched our campaign on health for all around 2004-5. But one of the biggest achievements by this Zuma-led administration is that life expectancy of our population has gone up, largely due to the provision of ARVs to our people and the slowing down of mother to child transmission of HIV. This is one of the biggest achievements we have made and is a far cry from the disastrous path of AIDS denialism that was with us prior to 2007!!
  • The ANC and our Alliance has now prioritized education as an apex priority of the five priorities. Government has already embarked on important measures to improve access to education for the poor. For instance, now more than 60% of our schools are no-fee schools, and more than 8 millions students benefit from the school nutrition scheme. In addition, FET college education has now become free for students who come from poor families if they are study occupation related programmes – a first in the history of our country!

Another crucially important development in the lead up to this Congress has been the ANC`s National Policy Conference. The most significant commitment made by that conference was that the principal challenge of our revolution is that of earnestly effecting a second radical phase of our transition, principally but not exclusively by focusing on a radical restructuring of our economy. Some of the contradictions notwithstanding, this is a significant opportunity for the working class to make further impact on the national democratic revolution and, for us, as our most direct route to socialism.

A critical challenge of the second phase of our transition is that of building a developmental state, with a public service that is capable of driving transformation. In this respect we must use the fact that in the public service we have a multi-year bargaining agreement to reflect on the role of progressive public sector unions in building such a developmental state.

All the above constitutes the immediate terrain upon which the working class must act as the principal motive force of the national democratic revolution and the struggle for socialism. This is taking responsibility for the NDR!

 

To judge from India’s official surveys, the protection of its forests is a success. Somehow, this resource-hungry country of 1.2 billion people is managing to preserve its rich forests almost intact in the face of growing demands for timber and agricultural land.

But a senior official responsible for assessing the health of the nation’s forests says that recent surveys have overestimated the extent of the remaining forests. Ranjit Gill of the Forest Survey of India (FSI) claims that illegal felling of valuable teak and sal trees has devastated supposedly protected forests in the northeast of the country. He and other experts also say that an over-reliance on inadequate imaging by an Indian satellite system is making such destruction easy to overlook.

On May Day, tens of thousands of Americans took to the streets. Invoking labor’s militant past, Occupiers in many cities called it a “general strike.” But few have asked why even the traditional strike has become almost an anachronism for America’s labor movement. In 1974, there were 424 major work stoppages, each involving at least 1,000 workers. By 2009, only five such stoppages occurred.

It’s easy to see this trend as damning evidence of labor’s irrelevance and the need to find a fresh wellspring of social and economic change. It’s even easier to place the blame squarely at the feet of conservative union leaders. Both these views lack nuance. Labor unions face a legal framework stacked against them. Laws can’t be casually broken: Unions have an important responsibility to their members and the financial assets they safeguard. Yet it’s worth remembering that past labor leaders believed in industrial action on a scale that would seem revolutionary even to radicals in the movement today. Figures like Samuel Gompers, Dave Beck, George Meany and Walter Reuther thought the strike was the most effective weapon of the working class. The decline of this venerable tactic has been devastating to our unions.

What’s changed?

Wider economic trends have worked against labor for decades. Internationally, the 1970s saw the intersection of weak growth and persistent inflation. This structural crisis was resolved against the interests of working people, with the aftermath especially stark in America. Real wages have declined and our social safety net has eroded, while hyper-mobile corporations are glossier and equipped with slick public-relations departments, but just as exploitative as ever.

The response from reformers within the labor movement hasn’t helped matters. As Joe Burns writes in Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America, “Adapting their own ideas to match this new conservative reality, these activists created the one-day strike, the corporate campaign and social unionism – tactics that functioned comfortably within the existing structures imposed by management and the legal system.”

If unions need to strike like they used to, but can’t because they’re justifiably afraid of the legal repercussions, what can be done?

Circumventing the law is a provocative tactic, but it may just be the Hail Mary we’ve been looking for.

Burns argues for the erection of independent worker organizations without assets or property that would be able to get around laws that make it difficult for unions to legally strike. Though this idea was endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers in a 2005 memo on possible future labor strategies, it’s considerably more militant than most unions are ready for now.

But in a sense, the Occupy movement may be a positive influence. Labor lends its numbers, discipline and organization, while Occupy invokes a rich history of American civil disobedience.

During the past 30 years the U.S. union movement has become more progressive on issues of immigration, foreign policy and the environment, but union membership continues to fall. Yet the return of mass demonstrations offers a new climate for labor. Now is the perfect time to remember how to fight.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Eastern Cape Province held a successful bilateral meeting on the 28 August 2012 in East London. (…)

The bilateral meeting observed a moment of silence for those who lost their lives, their family members, colleagues and their parents in Lonmin Marikana Platinum Mine during strike, the ten school children who lost during a road accident in Kwazulu Natal and Professor Neville Alexander, may their souls rest in peace.

The bilateral welcomed the announcement by President Jacob Zuma on the commission of enquiry that will lead in clarifying the role of various players in the incident and to putting the Marikana issue at rest. However we believe that Lonmin management must take a greater responsibility of those who lost their parents and family members in the Marikana tragedy, having noted that most of them emerge from the Eastern Cape. Our view is that the Lonmin must commit to building homes for these families and taking care of their children`s education.

Both the federation and the party condemn the opportunistic elements that are prepared to literally walk over dead bodies to score political points. This is the desperation lumpen bourgeoisie whom are prepared to bring about the lumpenisation of the under-class for their new accumulation path.(…)

The brutal bourgeoisie mode of production continues to face an unending structural crisis. This mode of production has over a period of time failed to respond to the needs of the people throughout the globe. This crisis has forced the bourgeoisie to plant mercenaries in other countries that are anti-imperialist as an attempt to rescue this structural crisis of this atrocious system.

The bilateral meeting condemns the invasion and the killings of people of Syria, particularly by United States of America. The people of Syria must not be compromised in an attempt to rescue a crumbling capitalist system, this has proven to fail in Libya no matter how many people were killed but capitalism was never rescued.

We draw strength from the international communists who continue to work towards total destruction of the brutal capitalist system. The international left forces must unite and consolidate a program that will bring about an end to the inhumane capitalist mode of production.

The working class throughout the globe has been forced to carry the scars and injuries of this dwindling ruthless system of production. In South Africa the unemployment, poverty and inequality remain structural and deep rooted; in the 18 years of democracy the property relations remain unchanged except the co-option of few black people.(…)

Our ANC alliance led government must strengthen the BRICS as an alternative economic bloc to the brutal so called western super power

We have noted that even though we have seen changes in the leadership and policy directions of our movement post 2007 and also have come out with progressive policies propositions in the ANC NGC but we seem to be trapped in undeclared age of hope as the working class, when it comes to implementation of such policies. We have all agreed that there should be radical policy directions for the benefit of the working class but we have seen less in implementation. We have been celebrating few momenta joys and not the long term solutions for the working class. This has made it easy for the new tendency and the emerging lumpen bourgeoisie to rent the under-class for their self-accumulation as the poor becomes more vulnerable.

The meeting much-admired COSATU for having successful and most united provincial congress, with the challenges facing the alliance components the unity shown by both the national congress of the SACP and the provincial congress of COSATU cannot be taken for granted. The meeting further wished both COSATU and the ANC successful and united national congresses, which should be seen as platforms to deepen and defend our shared program; the National Democratic Revolution (NDR).

The alliance is facing a strategic threat from the neo-liberal some from the former members and leaders of the movement, some from the neo-liberal social movements and the DA led opposition. Our alliance continues to be undermined through courts and now the new string of the so-called artist whom in the name of art have deemed it fit to cartoon our leadership. Our alliance is also undermined and attacked by the neo-liberals as portraying our leadership as the most corrupt and most immoral, when the reality is that this neo-liberal offense is meant to weaken the alliance and consolidate political power for the DA consortium led opposition and the new emerging lumped bourgeoisie.

The unity of the ANC, SACP and COSATU alliance is of all paramount importance if we are to change the plight of the poor of our province. It is important for the alliance to be viewed as the political center and therefore programmatic relations must be enforced, if we are to attain the objectives of the NDR.

There is strong need of the alliance components to develop a program in relation to resolving challenges facing the movement throughout the province. Our alliance must never cease to be the beacon of hope to the striving masses of this land; it must be a beacon of hope because of its programs that responds to the need and aspirations of the workers and the poor.

The unity of SACP & COSATU in the province and the country at large is of paramount importance. The ANC cannot be able to assert itself without the alliance; it will not be able to lead this NDR without this alliance. It is therefore important to take greater responsibility of the NDR as our shared program and most importantly for the SACP and COSATU the struggle of building a socialist South Africa for and with the workers and the poor.

On the Provincial Government:

The bilateral raised its concern on the poor administration displayed by the some departments in the province, in particular the Department of Health: wherein we have witnessed the lack of security of the nurses, non-payment of workers, loss of medicines, etc. We strongly believe that drastic actions must be taken within the department to remedy the situation and those found responsible must face the full might of the law. This has to be resolved as a matter of urgency as this has a potential of compromising the lives of the poor and can also compromise a solid ground for the National Health Insurance (NHI).

The bilateral applauded the significant progress made in the Department of Education following the misunderstanding when it comes to an issue of section 100b between the Provincial Government and the National Government. We of the firm view that more involvement of all in the society to assist in the department is imperative as education is the societal matter.

We are calling upon our Provincial Government to rollout a massive infrastructure projects as promised in the State of The Province Address by our Premier Ms. Noxolo Kiviet and a comprehensive industrial strategy to curb unemployment. There is a dire need of inclusive Rural and agrarian reform strategy as the means for massive food production and combating unemployment.

The meeting also noted with great apprehension the deteriorating situation of most of the municipalities in the province. In Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality there has been no Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for more than three years and there has also been consistent infighting within the municipality. In the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality there has been no City Manager and vacant Executive Directors` posts for more than three years. In Mnquma Local Municipality there has been no progress owing to the divisions and infighting within the municipality.

If the issues that are raised above are not resolved as a matter of urgency with high velocity service delivery and emancipation of people will be highly compromised as they severely impact on the service delivery.

We reasserted to wage a relentless war against corruption in and out of government; corruption continues to deny people of our province and the country at large their right to services. The government tenders have for over a period of time proven to be most role-players in the scourge of corruption. It is our belief that those who are working or deployed politically in the state must not do business with the state, to declare that you do business with the state is not enough, people must choose between being business people and genuine public servants.

COSATU and the SACP recommit these two working class formations to working together, shoulder to shoulder in rooting out corruption. We will have campaigns to this end, in making sure that we root out corruption in favour of free basic services for all.

 

Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser were the three main forces behind the organization’s creation. Kwame Nkrumah, the Marxist pan-African leader of Ghana, and Ahmed Sukarno, the leader of Indonesia, would also put their weight behind the NAM and join Tito, Nehru, and Nasser. These leaders and their countries did not view the Cold War as an ideological struggle. This was a smokescreen. The Cold War was a power struggle from their perspectives and ideology was merely used as a justification.

(here in  Portuguese)

The word “non-alignment” was first used on the world stage by Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon, India’s ambassador to the United Nations, while the term “Third World” was first used by the French scholar Alfred Sauvy. Third World is a debated political term and some find it both deregulatory and ethnocentric. To the point of confusion the phrase Third World is inextricably intertwined with the concept of non-alignment and the NAM.
Both the NAM and, especially, Third World are wrongly and carelessly used as synonyms for the Developing and Under-developing Worlds or as economic indicators. Most Third World countries were underprivileged former colonies or less affluent states in places like Africa and Latin America that were the victims of imperialism and exploitation. This has led to the general identification or misidentification of the NAM countries and the Third World with concepts of poverty. This is wrong and not what either of the terms means.
Third World was a concept that developed during the Cold War period to distinguish those countries that were not formally a part of the First World that was formed by the Western Bloc and either the Eastern/Soviet Bloc and Communist World that formed the Second World. In theory most these Third Worlders were neutral and joining the NAM was a formal expression of this position of non-alignment.

Aside from being considered Second Worlders, communist states like the People’s Republic of China and Cuba have widely been classified as parts of the Third World and have considered themselves as parts of the third global force. Chairman Mao’s views defined through his concept of Three Worlds also supported the classification of communist states like Angola, China, Cuba, and Mozambique as Third Worlders, because they did not belong to the Soviet Bloc like Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland.

In the most orthodox of interpretations of the political meaning of Third World, the communist state of Yugoslavia was a part of the Third World. In the same context, Iran due to its ties to NATO and its membership in the US-controlled Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) was politically a part of the First World until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Thus, reference to Yugoslavia as a Second World country and Iran as a Third World country prior to 1979 are incorrect.

The term Third World has also given rise to the phrase “Global South.” This name is based on the geographically southward situation of the Third World on the map as opposed to the geographically northward situation of the First and Second Worlds, which both began to collectively be called the “Global North.” The names Global North and Global South came to slowly replace the terms First, Second, and Third World, especially since the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed.

The NAM formed when the Third Worlders who were caught between the Atlanticists and the Soviets during the Cold War tried to formalize their third way or force. The NAM would be born after the Bandung Conference in 1955, which infuriated the US and Western Bloc who saw it as a sin against their global interests.

Contrarily to Western Bloc views, the Soviet Union was much more predisposed to accepting the NAM. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev even proposed in 1960 that the UN be managed by a “troika” composed of the First, Second, and Third Worlds instead of its Western-influenced secretariat in New York City that was colluding with the US to remove Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba from power in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as other independent world leaders.

Fidel Castro and Cuba, which hosted the NAM’s summit in 1979 when Iran joined as its eighty-eighth member, would actually argue that the Second World and communist movements were the “natural allies” of the Third World and the NAM. The favorable attitudes of Nasser and Nehru towards the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc’s support for various national liberation movements also lends credence towards the Cuban argument about the Second and Third World alliance against the capitalist exploitation and imperialist policies of the First World.

The first NAM summit would be held in the Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade in 1961 under the chairmanship of Marshall Tito. The summit in Belgrade would call for an end to all empires and colonization. Tito, Nehru, Nasser, Nkrumah, Sukarno and other NAM leaders would demand that Western Europeans end their colonial roles in Africa and let African peoples decide their own fates.

A preparatory conference was also held a few months earlier in Cairo by Gamal Abdel Nasser. At the preparatory meetings non-alignment was defined by five points:

(1) Non-aligned countries must follow an independent policy of co-existence of nations with varied political and social systems;

(2) Non-aligned countries must be consistent in their support for national independence;

(3) Non-aligned countries must not belong to a multilateral alliance concluded in the context of superpower or big power politics;

(4) If non-aligned countries have bilateral agreement with big powers or belonged to a regional defense pact, these agreements should not have been concluded in context of the Cold War;

(5) If non-aligned states cede military bases to a big power, these bases should not be granted in the context of the Cold War.

All the NAM conferences to follow would cover vital issues in the years to come that ranged from the inclusion of the People’s Republic of China in the UN, the fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, African wars of independence against Western European countries, opposition to apartheid and racism, and nuclear disarmament. Furthermore, the NAM has traditionally been hostile to Zionism and condemned the occupation of Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Egyptian territories by Israel, which has earned it the seamlessly never-ending aversion of Tel Aviv.

Read this text (in Portuguese) on social democracy and its role of a treason

In seeking to answer the question ‘what is social democracy today?’ There is a preliminary plea of ​​pure lucidity and mental hygiene: reject outright the characterization of this current political force as “Left” and, whilst also rejecting a ‘unit left “who, on behalf of an alleged fight at a right hand ‘ideological’ and ‘ultra-liberal’ only serve to delay the necessary unity and dodge the substantive issues of class struggle.

 

What scary me most in this article is the amount of fascist comments done afterwords. We are really in a systemic crisis. Its really scary the impunity of fascist ideas after Auschwitz! Read also here.

“Adolf is coming,” warned Liana Kanelli, Greek communist and Member of Parliament, during our July interview in her office in the parliament building in central Athens.

Were there no video of her being assaulted by a member of the Greek neo-fascist party Golden Dawn on a TV news program in June, Kanelli would have remained unknown in the United States. But the feisty lawmaker’s tussle showed the world how the Greek economic crisis—exacerbated by Northern European demands for more unpopular austerity measures—is opening a Pandora’s box of extremism.

Her political message is clear: the austerity measures imposed by the Troika (the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel amount to colonization. The forced wage and pension cuts, the privatization of public services, and the sale of public assets are letting foreign profiteers gobble up the nation’s resources at the people’s expense.

And now Kannelli sees the disturbing rise of fascism as furthering the goals of the EU’s conquest of Greece. “Golden Dawn is a very useful tool for the capitalist crisis,” she said. “They can be used for the dark part of the job.”

Golden Dawn is attempting to gain state funding for private security firms to patrol immigrant neighborhoods, Kanelli claims. The party dispatches motorcycle gangs to harass and intimidate immigrants in the streets of Athens. Kanelli and others accuse the police of protecting Golden Dawn during these hunts. The allegation isn’t shocking, since an estimated 50 percent of Greek police officers voted for Golden Dawn in the May and June elections.