SACP national spokesperson Alex Mashilo. Picture: Facebook

Johannesburg - The SA Communist Party (SACP) has warned its members to think carefully before resolving to contest elections outside of the ANC in the 2021 local government elections.

This comes as the party gears up for its special national congress in December, where it will debate and finalise contesting future elections independently.

The party has been pushing for a reconfiguration of the alliance, as its lower structure complained about the dominance of the ANC on list, policy and deployments processes, which they said saw many SACP and Cosatu members being sidelined.

In its discussion paper for the congress, titled New possibilities, new challenges, new SACP responsibilities, the party says the marginalisation of its members and leaders from ANC parliamentary seats will likely intensify the call for the party to contest elections on its own.

The party, however, warns its members that its leftist posture and 300000 membership may not automatically translate into votes during elections, and that more analysis of the “balance of forces” will be necessary before going it alone, as other seemingly strong organisations have failed at the ballot, including Numsa’s Socialist Workers Revolutionary Party.

“With the capacity of the trade union that is said to have resolved to form a workers’ party boasting a membership of above 400000 members, and notwithstanding the fact its union federation (if propaganda is to be believed) is said to be fast draining membership from Cosatu and about to beat its 1.7 million member mark in its federation, the Socialist Workers Revolutionary Party received just around 24000 votes in the polls,” the party said.

On Sunday, the SACP denied allegations that some of its leaders were facing removal from their positions ahead of the special national congress, including general secretary Blade ­Nzimande, who has been at the helm for 22 years.

This comes after City Press reported that the Western Cape structure of the party was lobbying for the Special National Congress (SNC) to also have an elective status, to allow for the renewal of the party.

SACP national spokesperson Alex Mashilo said the SNC was currently not planning to allow any change of leadership, as it was resolved by the party’s central committee this month that the current leadership would remain until their five-year term ends in 2022.

“The Augmented Central Committee re-affirmed the status of the Special National Congress as a mid-term review congress that will not elect any members of the Central Committee - unless 75% decides to do so, as per the SACP constitution,” Mashilo said in a statement.

Political Bureau