Johannesburg - The SACP is preparing for life after the ANC loses power as it forecasts that its traditional ally will not get 50% in the 2024 general elections.
According to the SACP, the prospects for ANC renewal are uncertain and the character of its possible renewal, if it were to occur, is a matter of struggle in the party.
“Its future electoral prospects are uncertain, with a strong possibility of it achieving less than 50% in 2024,” the party states in discussion documents released ahead of its national congress in July.
But the SACP also warned that the ANC remains by far the largest electoral formation and that its residual support base should not be underestimated.
The SACP is certain that if after the 2024 polls the ANC is forced nationally into coalition arrangements, it will be the senior partner.
In addition, the SACP states that the programmatic basis on which the ANC enters into coalition agreements will depend on its character in about two years’ time.
”The SACP (and the organised working class and all progressive forces) can neither stand aloof from the struggle for ANC renewal, nor invest all our expectations in it.
“If we take this latter position we risk further marginalising the party (SACP) and going down with a sinking ship,” the 101-year-old organisation explained.
The ANC has described the period towards the 2024 election as “treacherous waters” that it needs to navigate.
”Current trajectories and modelling exercises project the ANC to dip below 50% in the 2024 national elections, for the first time since 1994,” the governing party admitted.
At its congress, the SACP will also continue addressing the possibility of contesting elections.
”Such a campaign realistically should aim to place more firmly on the public agenda the prospects and necessity to roll back neo-liberal austerity, for the possibilities and imperatives of a socialist advance, to bring hope to an alienated youth, or to a disaffected ANC support base, and to use our independent presence in legislatures to act as ‘people’s tribunes’,” the organisation explained.
The SACP is considering building what it calls a “left popular front or left popular movement”, which it maintained should not be seen merely as its alternative route or “Plan B” although it might have to become that if the ANC continues to degenerate.
”Either way, effective left popular mobilisation should not be developed as an anti-ANC position – but it should certainly be aggressively against some of the dominant trends within the ANC and the ANC-led government (whether neo-liberal austerity or vulgar state capture plundering),” the party added.
Cosatu has undertaken to engage and respond to the documents released in the build-up to the ANC policy conference and the SACP national congress, which are both expected to be held in July.
”There is also an urgent need to close the gap between the masses and the ANC and confront the reality that the people on the ground are losing confidence in the capacity of the ANC to drive transformation,” Cosatu said after its central executive committee meeting this week.