UFASIMBA-THE DAWN OF YOUNG COMMUNISTS
1. Background of the Launch.
On the 12-14 December 2003 the Relaunching Congress of the Young Communist League sat at the Vaal University of Technology. over 500 delegates from the 9 provinces, local and international guest, the General Secretary of the SACP and of COSATU and the deputy president of the ANC and of the country. The launch was after 18 months of preparations, lengthy meetings, provincial consultative conferences, national consultative conference and various other interaction with progressive youth formations.
The relaunch congress was primarily meant to cement the work that led to it, adopt the constitution, receive messages from the various organisations that are allied to the SACP and the progressive movement. It was also meant to reinforce the policy and strategy discussions that took place led by the National Steering Committee.
The Leadership of the YCL is as follows:
National Secretary:Buti Manamela
National Chairperson:David Masondo
Deputy National Secretary:Mazibuko JAra
Deputy National Chairperson: Hlengiwe
National Treasurer: Jenny Jenkins
There are 15 other National Committee members.
2. The Relationship of the YCL and the SACP.
The YCL was launched after a resolution that was taken by the SACP 11th National Congress held at Rustenburg. The YCL is the youth wing of the SACP and seeks to mobilise young communist behind the political vision and strategy of the SACP. Although this is the case, the YCL will not be seen as a parrot that will mime the positions of the party, it will assert and influence the positions of the party within the party itself, and is an autonomous organisation.
To the SACP, the YCL will be U-fasimbe, Shaka's youth army. U-fasimbe means that this is something that you will never see from a distance, and you will just see it appearing right infront of you. This army would conquer without being deployed because they understood the Medium Term Vision of Shaka. In the same way that the ANCYL of the 40's revived and redirected the Strategy and Tactics of the ANC, were necessary, the YCL will do that. Ufasimba shall be what the YCL is known as throughout the country and the world.
3. The significance of the Launch.
This Congress was significant in three ways; firstly that it has a historic significance in that after 53 years of the banning of the Young Communist League, in 1950, together with the Communist Party of South Africa under the Suppression of Communism Act. It is further historic in that the intention to, and the activities for the suppression of Communist and Socialist ideas throughout the Apartheid are. The Relaunch of the YCL also had a contemporary significance, in that, since the collapse of the Soviet bloc in the late 90's, propaganda around the fact that the ideas of Communism were outdated and that they failed. The young people who gathered in the Vaal University disproved the fact that these ideas that were espoused by Marx and Engels, are the only progressive ideas that will free them from the yoke of capitalism. The third significance is that it was strategic in that the relaunch is in line with the building of a strong SACP and mobilising the youth behind the banner of Socialism.
4. Building a Strong YCL and a strong SACP.
The YCL National Committee will be engaged in launching provincial, district and branch structures. We will be calling on all young people from 14 - 35 years in workplaces, schools, universities, townships, farms, rural areas, government institutions and all other places were young people are based to join the YCL at R5.00 for the unemployed and R10.00 for young workers. The main objective is to build a mass-based young communist that is clear ideologically, taught and armed with Marxism-Leninism to fight capitalism and its rotten agenda.
We will also encourage these young people to join and participate in the campaigns of the SACP as the vanguard of the working class. This are the young people who will shape, build and see a socialist future. They will dismiss those who say that socialism is a dream by telling them that it is better than the nightmare of unemployement, continued jobloss bloodbath, poverty, hunger, homelessness, lack of water and security, which are the effects of capitalism. The hope of this young people lies in Socialism, a future they are building by strengthening the Party and the YCL.
5. Programmatic issues for the YCL.
The YCL will campaign for Free Education in South Africa, as embodied in the Freedom Charter. With Free Education we mean the abolishment of School Fees, elimination of education that seeks to create individualism, democratisation and broad participation of communities in schools, the abolition of private school with an initial campaign against government funding towards this schools. We will mobilise young people and their organisations, trade unions, NGO?s and Community organisations to realise these goals. We will setup community forums that will debate and campaign for Free Education. We believe that with proper State planning Free Education can be realised.
Our strategic pillars in dealing with problems in education are access to quality education, equity, redress and the democratisation of the governance of education institutions in all levels of education.
Young people will volunteer through the banner of the SACP and of the Party to participate in the fight against HIV/AIDS, these will be known as the HIV/AIDS Communist Brigades. They will educate young people about the enemy of the working class and the poor, and practice care with those who are affected and infected.
Behind the SACP?s campaign against the Financial Sector?s continued exclusion of worker and the poor from the mainstream of the economy, and the programme of the SACP on co-operatives, we will find ways of making this key initiatives create jobs for young people, directly and indirectly. As the YCL on the other hand, we will engage the Umsombovu Youth Fund finance youth co-operatives on the one hand, and the National Youth Commission to use its influence in encouraging government to create jobs.
We will betaking up issues of actualised workers because the majority of them are young and are the highly exploited, especially in the retail sector.
The YCL will be engaged into a clear programme of mobilising young people to vote the ANC. This is because we believe that the ANC, together with the SACP and COSATU, are the only organisations that are capable to deliver South Africans from national oppression and injustices of the past, as they did for the past 10 years.
We will have national rallies to mobilise young people to register on the 23-24 January 2004. This is the only way that they can determine the leadership of the country.
The National Committee that met over the weekend of the 16 January adopted a clear Framework for a POA, and this and more issues were covered and will be communicated to all young people. U-fasimba is here, and will stay and fight for the realisation of our future.