Speech by YCLSA National Secretary Cde Mluleki Dlelanga at the YCLSA 94th Anniversary Celebrations
25 May 2015
Let me for and on behalf of our 4th National Congress National Committee say receive our special greetings to the re-establishment Anniversary of the oldest youth formation not in South Africa but in Africa. This organization is the Young Communist League of South Africa.
Dear comrades, young revolutionaries, the beautiful young reds, the owners of this organisation. It is important as we celebrate our 94th Anniversary to stress that leaders are not the owners of the YCLSA, the rank and file membership are the owners of the YCLSA. This means leaders are mandated by the owners in the congress through delegates from our nucleus the branch on the basis of trust to be in the leadership positions and be the best servants of the YCLSA. As leaders strive to be the best servants of the organization, they must always be mindful of the organizational principles that have kept this organization intact since its establishment as well as since its reestablishment. All leaders whether elected a branch, district, provincial and national congress should always be mindful that they have been elected on the basis of trust to be the best servants of the Young Communist league of South Africa.
WHO ARE WE?
We are a youth organization that was formed 25 May in1922. We are the youth-wing of the South African Communist Party. We are a vehicle for mobilising young people along socialist/communist line. We are a factory for future communists. We are a Marxist-Leninist youth organization which stand for : non racism, freedom, equality and the socialisation of the ownership and control of the means of production .In line with the constitution, we are tasked to recruit young people from all cultural and racial backgrounds between the ages of 14 and 35. YCLSA members are organized from a branch level. Our membership is voluntary, with members expected to play an active role in confronting the challenges of the time.
We are an organization of young people whose main objective is to fight for socialism and advance the political and organizational programme of the SACP; whilst in the immediate agitating for a society that meets the basic demands of education, health, work, land, and housing and protect the environment.
We are a communist youth organization, which distinguishes us from all other youth formations in terms of ideological stance and vision of society we seek to build. Therefore, our members, although not communist in the onset, are expected to learn over time and understand the medium and long term vision of the SACP. We are therefore the preparatory school of the SACP. We must recruit, train and prepare membership for the SACP.
We are an integral part of the working class movement, which is struggling for socialism in which the development of human beings as opposed to profit will be the basis for production and organizing society. It is in this society, which is linked to communism, where working class power in all spheres of living will be utilized to achieve human development based on democracy.
We are the son and daughters of the communist heroes both sung and unsung who held the first and second batons as generation of the yclsa. These heroes include the likes of Mike Feldman, Norman and Leon Levy, Louis and Sadie Forman, Esther Barsel, Paul Joseph, Duma Nokwe,Barney Fauler,Eric Launter,Harold Wolpe,Thomas Mbeki, JN Sigh, Willie Kulk,Stanley Silwana,Sara Sable( the first National secretary of YCLSA), Eddie Rough, Moses Mabhida, Joe Slovo, Ruth First(the second National Secretary),Chris Hani, Moses Kotane, whom we continue to pay homage and remember as we continue with the baton that they have left to those who came before us.
These are the comrades that have laid foundation for us and had worked with some of us, whom their contribution on building this organization is immeasurable regardless of challenges they experienced as the collective. They have been labelled, insulted and scorned but they remained through to our convictions.
When the SACP 11th Congress took a decision to re-establish the YCLSA, and when that resolution was realised in the 2003 re-establishment congress at Vaal University, prophets of doom had declared that we will be just be another failing project of an ideology that has failed. Others, both inside and outside the progressive movement, had written us off even before we had started.
We have a daunting task of breathing fresh air into organizational building, political education and cadre development. We must inspire, excite, and innovate young people. We must build active, exciting and campaigning organization.
We are the sons and daughters of taxi drivers, truck drivers, of garden boys and kitchen girls, of farm workers, hawkers and poor people who are subjected to poverty, unemployment and inequality by the brutal and inhumane capitalist system.
Young Communist League of South Africa is not unhistorical, we know where we come from, where we are and we know that we are the future.
Companeros, as we celebrate our 94th re-establishment anniversary we must continue to be relevant by taking up issues affecting the young people. If we were to lose touch it will be hard to mobilise young people under the banner of the YCLSA. We owe our existence primarily to our members and young people in general. Therefore, it is important that we understand the organizational, political and the strategic tasks facing the Young communist League of South Africa. Ours is a struggle for socialism. That is our primary tasks both organizational and political. As part of our struggle for socialism our organizational, political and strategic tasks moving forward are:
- To struggle for socialism
- Defending and deepening the national democratic revolution.
- Raising class consciousness of the youth
- Strengthening the organization.
- Building Alliances.
Companeros, I won't get on details on these organizational and political tasks we face as the organization. But our ultimate goal is to draw a mass of young people from working class communities and the other sympathetic youth into our folds. We should draw our strength from the unity and the organization our members. We should continue with the elements of an organization building project which entails mass recruitment, building branches, campaigns on issues affecting the youth, political education and ideological training, resource mobilization, cultural programmes and international solidarity work.
Comrades, ours is the struggle for socialism. Our philosophy is Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism is not just a theory of leisure; it is a theory of revolutions, which chiefly agitate the following:
- The socialist revolution.
- Elimination of capitalism
- Establishment of the power of the working class. Through the seizure of political power the working class can begin a process of changing property relations in society, say by confiscating the stolen land by the bourgeoisie.
As an organisation and as well as the members of the organization, we shall strive to be vanguard fighters of the South African youth and in particular the working class, and to be imbued in communist consciousness. That's the bottom line; the YCLSA says so in its 94th re-establishment Anniversary. As such we must never allow any member or any leader or individual or personal interests to supersede the founding aims, objectives and mission of the Young Communist league of South Africa. We must never allow this organization to be like any other youth formation, this organization, the Young Communist League of South Africa should always remain the advanced detachment of the South African working class youth. We must always be mindful, like all living organism our organization will experience difficulties and challenges but difficulties and challenges are not stop signs in a revolutions, instead they are experiences on how to take the revolution forward.
It is us, the generation gathered here in this 94th Anniversary celebration, black and white, that history has singled out to represent the aspirations of past generations and generations still to come, to uphold and defend their trust. Their trust is upon us. This is the magnitude of the task we face, the real challenges that as members and leaders we must meet without fail. We have a duty to our country and the people for a future hope, where every one of us will leave in peace, progress and prosperity. That future to us is socialism.
Let us be worthy sons and daughters of the working class.
Let's all say socialism in our lifetime.
Let's keep the red flag flying high.
Let us continue with our resilient on the struggle for socialism and say socialism in our life time that's the bottom line coz YCLSA Says So!
Happy 94th Anniversary YCLSA, Happy 94th Anniversary!
Long Live YCLSA, Long Live!
Forward with the struggle for Socialism Forward!