YCLSA speech to 95th Anniversary Celebrations of the SACP Delivered by the National Chairperson Yershen Pillay
30 July 2016, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Today we celebrate 95 years of the South African Communist Party. As the YCL, we want to wish our mother body a happy 95th birthday. We wish you many more glorious years as the vanguard party of the working class. We hope that by your 96th birthday we will be contesting state power and that by your 100th birthday the Party will be leading a Socialist State in South Africa.
That is our wish as the YCL.
As young communists we exercise iron discipline and extreme loyalty to the advancement of the class struggle and the decisions of our mother body. We will therefore be at the forefront of ensuring an overwhelming victory for the ANC in the upcoming local government elections as part of implementing the decisions of the 3rd Special National Congress.
We must celebrate 95 years of our revolutionary party by intensifying the financial sector campaign. We must celebrate 95 years of our resilient party by building stronger, more vibrant and campaigning branches as the basic unit of the organization. We must celebrate 95 years of our beloved party by waging a relentless war against alcohol and drug abuse. Drugs such as Nyaope, also known as Tik or Sugars are manifestations of the evils of capitalism. We must end the use and abuse of such drugs by our people. Down with Nyaope Down!
We must be addicted to education, not drugs!
We must be fluent in reading and writing, not drinking and smoking!
We must say no to the bottle and yes to the book!
It is high time that the private sector fund higher education, with all their super profits they have amassed over the years. The state alone, cannot be responsible for funding higher education. Capital must contribute and they must contribute fairly and equitably. We hope that the funding model for the provision of free higher education for the poor will make the private sector pay back their debts to society and in particular to the sons and daughters of the working class.
In our recently launched Youth Manifesto, the YCL has called for a youth employment tax to subsidize the implementation of a compulsory national youth service programme for unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 24. We hope that government will heed our call as the YCL for a youth employment tax and a compulsory national youth service programme for unemployed youth.
It is said that there are three kinds of lies - lies, dammed lies and statistics. There are also three kinds of liars - lairs, dammed liars and the DA. This is a party that lies about everything. They lie about jobs data, they lie about the causes and challenges facing our economy, they lie about crime and corruption when they themselves have a track record of corruption in local government.
They were elected to govern the Midvaal Local Municipality in Gauteng and they failed. They were elected to govern the Oudshoorn Local Municipailty in the Western Cape and they failed. How can you dream of governing a metro when you can't even govern local municipalities like Oudshoorn and Midvaal. They lie about stopping corruption yet an investigation into the Midvaal Local Municipality as well as in Oudshoorn found the DA and its leaders to be guilty of gross financial maladministration and corruption. With economic growth stagnating, income inequality rising and mining commodity prices still at their lowest levels, it is a lie to suggest anything better than what the ANC is able to offer.
They lay claim to Nelson Mandela, a former President of the ANC, because his name and that of the ANC has an entrenched legitimacy amongst the people. It is the legitimacy of the Mandela name that they so desire simply because they do not have any legitimacy of their own. They have no legitimacy and they have no leaders. You know a party is bankrupt of leaders when it has to refer to the leaders of other parties as its role models.
Today Cape Town is one of the most unequal cities in the world in terms of income inequality. On one side of the mountain is Camps Bay where rich whites live in comfort. On the other side of the mountain is Khayletshia and Mitchell's Plain where the majority of black and coloured people live in poverty. This is precisely because of the neo-liberal policies of the DA which has deepened income inequality in the Western Cape to the extent that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is what will happen to the Nelson Mandela Metro if our people make the wrong decision to vote for the DA.
Today we have social grants for the poor including enterprise grants for young people to start their own enterprises. It is not perfect, but no other party can offer a better, more viable alternative. Therefore our people must vote ANC.
Today we have no fee schools and if you are in your final year of study at an institution of higher learning you loan is converted into a bursary and you study for free. This is not perfect, but no other party can offer a better, more viable alternative. Therefore, our people must vote ANC.
Today almost 5 million of those who are infected with HIV receive anti-retrovirals and we have a plan to implement National Health Insurance or NHI. It is not perfect, but no other party can offer a better, more viable alternative. Therefore, our people must vote ANC.
We must be loyal but critical of the ANC. We must ensure an overwhelming victory for the ANC but at the end same time be critical of any threats to the ANC both internally and externally. Let us mobilize our branches and districts to ensure that our people actually go out and vote on the 3rd of March. No sleeping, no drinking, only voting on the 3rd August.
We must not lose the Nelson Mandela Metro because our people did not go out and vote. All who are eligible must be assisted to go to the voting stations and vote.
Forward with an Overwhelming Victory for the ANC forward!