SACP general-secretary Dr Blade Nzimande has used the final days of 2021 to convey well wishes to South Africans, particularly the poor and the working class.
In his end-of-year message, Nzimande reflected on challenges faced by the country as well as the SACP’s 100th anniversary celebrated in July.
“As the SACP, we are proud of the leadership we gave in establishing non-racialism in South Africa, as the first non-racial political organisation in our country. We are proud of the contribution we made in the struggle for gender equality,” Nzimande said.
“We worked together with other revolutionary democrats to build unity and our liberation movement, to end colonial and apartheid oppression in our land; to bring about democracy in our country; and to fight for the attainment of South African freedom.
“The history of the liberation of South Africa will be incomplete without recognition of the sterling contribution of the communist party.”
Nzimande said when others said “free at last”, the SACP continued the struggle after the 1994 democratic breakthrough towards complete social emancipation, adding that many progressive advances that have benefited millions of people were achieved through struggle.
According to Nzimande, positive gains made over the past few years through the national democratic revolution and other means are facing the threat of erosion.
This, he said, became more apparent in this year’s local government elections.
“The most significant feature of the elections was the extremely low voter turnout. While the global Covid-19 pandemic had an impact, the bigger picture includes a deeply concerning trend of loss of faith in the democratic electoral processes.
“The legitimate concerns depressing, especially workers and the poor, include high levels of unemployment, inequality, and poverty, frequent load shedding, as well as municipal dysfunctionality and corruption,” said Nzimande.
These and other problems created by the persisting capitalist economic crisis, neo-liberal policy failures, and the corrosion of revolutionary discipline negatively affect development, including the delivery of local government services, he said.
“Because of divisions and infighting, the trend of a decline in ANC electoral performance, established in previous elections, continued. By not voting, the growing number of ANC voters sent a strong message,” he said.
“The ANC and the entire alliance must take that message to heart,” Nzimande said.