Address by YCLSA National Secretary Cde Mluleki Dlelanga at Youth Month Rally: Mpumalanga Province
18 June 2017
Consolidate young communists, organize young people and prepare for socialism!
Leadership of the SACP as led by Cde Madala Masuku, Leadership of the African National Congress by Cde Aron Motsoaledi, Leadership of COSATU as led by Cde Zingiswa Losi, Leadership of the Progressive Youth Alliance, Our National Chairperson Cde Yershen Pillay, Our esteemed National Committee Members, Our Provincial Secretary Cde Tinyiko Ntini, together with all Provincial Secretaries, Former Leaders of the YCLSA, Young revolutionaries who come from across the length and breadth of our country.
Receive our special profound revolutionary greetings from the 4th National Congress National Committee on this assembly of young revolutionaries during our month as youth of South Africa.
As the current generation of the YCLSA , First, we first salute the 1976 generation of young people that stood up and fought gallantly against brutal apartheid system and we also salute and thank YCLSA founding members and former leaders of the YCLSA who have established ,moulded , defended and builded this home of the young communists , the YCLSA. These comrades include the likes 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.
Secondly our youth month 2017 message is about young people that are unemployed, about employed youth, about young people that has been abused, about young people that have been raped, about young people that have been killed, young people that are casualties, young people that have no access to education, about unemployed graduates
What is the problem, what is the nature of the problem and what must be done
South Africa's history of Colonialism, Apartheid and Segregation has led to institutionalized and systemic poverty, inequality, unemployment and underdevelopment requiring a decisive state-led response to redress the imbalances of the past. The brutal and fascist, white monopoly Apartheid regime, systemically dehumanized and underdeveloped black South Africans as part of ensuring a conveyor belt of future labour for the extraction of surplus value with the ultimate objective of ensuring the economy remains solely owned and controlled by white monopoly capital.
Youth constitute a significant, growing and distinct group in society. Much can be said about how society views youth. The way in which society views youth is critical to shaping perceptions by the adult population and how youths view themselves. There are three contending social perspectives on youth; youth as consumers in society, youth as problems to society and youth as assets to society.
The legacies of colonialism, apartheid and segregation have produced and reproduced the challenges of youth unemployment, poor quality education, lack of skills, high levels of HIV/AIDS, and low levels of entrepreneurship amongst the youth. It is no wonder that despite significant strides since the advent of democracy in 1994, the majority of young South Africans remain doubtful of a better life endowed with education, skills, jobs and opportunities for social and economic progress.
Youth must lead their own development and the state must support. Youth must be at the forefront of building schools, libraries and community centers as community builders and leaders of society. Young South Africans must never destroy or damage buildings such as schools or hospitals simply because of anger and frustration due to the lack of access to these buildings or to demand something else. Youth anger must be challenged strategically where youth build and not destroy where youth repair and not damage and where all youth are intellectually and productively militant and not destructively emotional.
Comrades, allow me to look closely on youth unemployment as it is a major problem facing young people in our country. The youth unemployment statistics in the first quarter of 2017 increased by 1.2 of a percentage point to 27.7% - the highest figure since September 2003.
The statistician-general of Statistics South Africa, released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of this year recently, saying that the growth in employment was offset by the increase in the number of job seekers who entered the market in the beginning of the year.
The expanded unemployment rate - which includes those who wanted to work but did not look for work - increased by 0.8 of a percentage point to 36.4%, or 391 000 people. This amounts to 9.3 million people who were unemployed but wanted to work in the first quarter of 2017.
The statistician-general of Statistics South Africa further said the gap between the unemployment rate envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP) and the current rate is widening.
"The NDP states unemployment should be 14% by 2020 and we have only two and a half years to that target," he said. "The gap to 2020 currently stands at 13.7 percentage points."
In the fourth quarter of 2016, unemployment stood at 26.5%.
Of the 433 000 of people who joined the ranks of the unemployed in the first quarter of 2017, approximately 58% were young people between the ages of 15 and 34 years. "Unemployment remained high among those with an education level of less than matric at 33.1%, which is 5.4 percentage points higher than the national average."
This number is even higher when the number of discouraged work seekers is taken into account. The quarterly figures show that less than 5% of the discouraged work seekers have tertiary education, while approximately 72% had an education level below matric.
The unemployment rate among graduates are 7.3%.
Employment by industry level
The employment by industry levels through the latest figures show that the manufacturing sector reflected the biggest growth in employment in the first quarter of 2017 - by 62 000.
The mining industry showed employment growth of 26 000 after a decline for four consecutive quarters.
The agricultural sector shed 44 000 jobs in the period under review, while employment in the trade sector dropped by 15 000.
Jobs in the informal sector also went down by 14 000 to 2.7 million.
Unpacking our theme: consolidate young communists, organize young people and prepare for socialism
When we say that the YCLSA is the home for Communist Youth, branches should bring this into reality as a major player in regard to being a training ground for young communist for the SACP. Therefore, all our strength and resources should focus on building strong YCLSA structures especially the branches.
The YCLSA should strive to establish branches in all wards, in townships, rural areas, villages, suburbs, towns, workplaces, campuses, and all other places were young people are based. The minimum objective is to establish branches where we currently have SACP Branches, but this should not limit our potential to grow beyond the SACP, thus, indirectly increasing the organisational form of the SACP.
In doing so, branches should be engaged in the following tasks, to satisfy their vanguard and vigilant role:
- Engage into continuous Political Education programme, aimed at introducing youth and members to the basic philosophy of Marxism-Leninism.
- Introducing members to the constitution of the YCLSA through branch inductions.
- Engage into focused and targeted recruitment of youth, particularly young women, white and coloured youth.
- Lead in international, national and local campaign that seeks to undermine the power, presence and exploitative nature of capitalism.
- Take up various civil responsibilities so as to identify and deal with the problems confronting youth.
The capitalist social system is characterised by poverty, unemployment, and inequality and class exploitation. This affects the section of society we seek to represent. It also provides political space for the organisation to mobilise youth to fight against this system. As the struggle against Apartheid was one through many forms and tactics, so will the struggle against capitalism.
In order to increase our mass-base, and to be an advanced guard for youth development, youth interest and aspirations, we need to put concerted efforts towards campaigns. The purpose of our campaigns should be to expose the brutality and inhuman of capitalism, and to highlight the plight of the working class and poor youth. In as much as most of the campaigns that we will engage into will not immediately usher a socialist society, they intervene in scathing minimal but qualitative bruises to the capitalist system. This also provides a platform to draw attention to the fact that societal crises are as a result of capitalist accumulation path.
We must continue to put our focus and target the following sections in our society and target the brutalities below:
- Socio-Economic Conditions of Young People, Socio-Economic Transformation and Development
- Education, Training and Human Resources Development - Health, Sexuality and the HIV/AIDS pandemic
- Transformation of Gender Relations and Women's Emancipation
- Marginalized Youth and Minority Youth
- Culture, Religion and Ideology
- Criminal Justice
- Sports and Recreation
Our campaigns should also be used to mobilize and organize youth behind the banner of Socialism and Communism, and to ensure that minimum but emphatic struggles are waged against capitalism. We can also use campaigns to educate youth about the social ills that are as a result of the system of capitalism, and how certain behaviour's, conducts and addictions are as a result of profit and not entertainment. However, as the YCLSA, we should not fall in the trap of making noise and not providing solutions. The YCLSA can engage into alternative seeking Projects by encouraging the formation/ establishment of co-operatives across the province and Issue-Based Campaigns. We must also use South African Road to Socialism as a guide to our programmes and we must set a progressive youth agenda that will characterize a developmental agenda. Therefore if we can succeed on this revolutionary work our organization indeed will be consolidated and young people should have been organized and the momentum, the capacity and preparations for socialism will be indeed in full swing.
Comrades, there are also current problems facing young people that are not being said?
As the YCLSA we are in a firm view that to remain silent is the betrayal of the struggle. Our revolution and the Alliance is experiencing turbulences. The sovereignty of our country is a stake. It is not business as usual, the abnormality is the normality we are not lamenting. We are telling things as they are. On this youth month of 2017 we are speaking truth to power and power to truth as part of taking responsibility for the revolution as well as fighting for the betrayal of the revolution. History teaches us that all revolutions and all revolutionaries are capable of selling out the revolution. At times we might be confused that is it him/her, we say history is on our side we are all capable of selling out the revolution. Young revolutionaries and revolutionaries must never be confused when our revolution is being sold out!
- Comrades, a democracy that was won through sweat, blood and struggle has been sold out to the Guptas. Yes monopoly capital is our strategic enemy but the immediate threat to our country, to our people, to our sovereignty are the GUPTAS. Guptas are the enemy of the youth and Guptas are the enemy of the growth and development of our country.
- Corruption is the enemy of our revolution and youth of our country, young people who are not connected or political connected to them growth and development is a dream.
- Factionalism is the enemy of our revolution and the youth of our country, faction rotate, and a faction produce another faction. Factions are brutal and factions are cruel. Factionalism robs young revolutionaries on understanding the theory of the revolution and understanding and valuing the unity of the organization. Factionalism leads to patronage politics and blind loyalty. Patronage corrupt and make young people individual henchmen whilst blind loyalty deprive young people opportunity to objectively understand and differentiate between what is right and what is wrong.
- Capitalism is the mother enemy of the young people, capitalism creates youth unemployment, poverty, in equality, youth in drugs etc.
Comrades, this what is facing our revolution, the young people and young revolutionaries is the contradiction of the contradiction. We raise this issues that people are afraid to tell the youth of our country. We say to the youth of our country judge us , criticize us , insult us but truth is on our side , we will continue to say no on anything that seeks to affects the future of our youth and our country. We raised the issue of the former security branch member Mr. Ntlemeza, we were insulted but we won. We raised the about Brian Molefe, the golden boy of the Guptas, we were insulted but we won. We are raising the issue in particular the influence of Guptas, we are being insulted, but we know we will win. Now also we have an issue with the Minister of Guptas, Mr. Malusi Gigaba, he is not the Minister of Finance is the minister of the Guptas. He has betrayed the 1976 Youth Generation mission and even betrayed the current youth generation. We say to him you are compromised, your consciousness if you have it must guide you on what you do, either you resin or not but it must guide you. We are also saying now to the President of the Guptas , Mr. Jacob Zuma , who has decided instead of being the President of the ANC and the Republic of South Africa but decided to be the President of the Guptas , we say on behalf of over 105 000 members of the YCLSA, please step down . You have lost your credibility.
TWO YCLSA MESSAGES TO SENIOR LEADERS AND YOUTH OF OUR COUNTRY
As the YCLSA on this youth month rally of 2017, we want to send a clear and unambiguous message both to the all senior leaders in the congress movement and the youth of our country.
Do not corrupt us!
Young people are the current and the future of both the congress movement and our motherland South Africa. If you care about the future of this country. Don't corrupt us! Instead your responsibility is to teach us about an organization, teach us about the history of our revolution, teach us about the theory of the revolution, teach us about being patriotic and teach us about love for humanity and the importance or the fundamental principle of serving the people.
YCLSA is your organization!
As the YCLSA, we are the youth-wing of the SACP however the youth of our country should know that whether you are a member of YCLSA or you are not a member YCLSA is your organization. YCLSA continues to champion the needs, interests and aspiration of all young people in our country. History is on our side, history speaks for itself for us. In our consultative conference, we resolved in the Ten Youth Demands for 2015:
- Decent jobs and a living wage for all workers including young workers and learners.
- Free education for all from pre-school to tertiary education
- Basic services for all
- The provision of good quality treatment , care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS
- An end to the abuse of women and children
- Lowering the pension age to 55 for all women and men in order to create work opportunities to young people
- Extension of child support grants to cover young people up to the age of 16
- The extension of the school feeding scheme to high schools
- Nationalization of all land for productive economic use by landless communities targeting jobless young people
- Public ownership of all mineral wealth
On our youth month rally in 2016, we launched a youth manifesto with the Ten Youth Fronts:
- Creating jobs for youth
- National youth service
- Improving access and success in education
- Social cohesion and nation building
- Youth enterprises and cooperatives development
- Health and well-being
- Youth and the environment
- Infrastructure and ICT for youth
- Sport and recreation
As the YCLSA, we want to argue that while much progress has been achieved since 1996, a new approach that is mass-based and focused targeting unemployed youth, youth from poor households and youth in rural areas is the next phase of youth development most appropriate for a second, more radical phase of the national democratic revolution (NDR). The focus of youth development in the second, more radical phase of the NDR should be on education and skills development, youth entrepreneurship and cooperatives development as well as social mobilization - all of which are the key drivers of accelerated job creation for young South Africans. We argue that more needs to be done to foster a culture of youth entrepreneurship and cooperatives development in order to develop youth who are job-creators and not simply job seekers. As part of making education fashionable, a culture of academic excellence and increased access to education for youth from poor households and youth in rural areas must be prioritized in the new approach.
Finally, we stress the importance of social mobilization and the need to institutionalize, mainstream and massify youth service in the second, more radical phase of the NDR. The greatest challenge confronting the youth movement today is that of youth unemployment. We therefore argue that the strategic objective of a new approach to youth development should be accelerated job creation for youth in the second, more radical phase of the transition. The new approach to youth development should inform the review of the national youth policy, the review of the integrated youth development strategy and the development of a long term youth employment plan as a blueprint for accelerated job creation.
Red card to corruption, Red card to dictators and Red card to lies!
We want to say to SACP and COSATU we applaud you and admire you courage and resilient for speaking out about what is happening in the ANC. No one has a license to speak only about ANC. ANC is the project of the South African people. We all joined the ANC and paid the same subscription amount.
If the working class is the main motive force of the national democratic revolution as the ANC asserts on strategy and tactics document, then working class has every right not only to express but also to assert its views on who should lead the revolution. The ANC is not national democratic revolution and national democratic revolution is neither ANC nor was it first conceived by the ANC.
But, if the ANC expects to lead national democratic revolution organizationally, it must also expect that the character of its leadership will be discussed by the main motive force of the revolution, the working class.
The word democratic in the national democratic revolution, first and foremost means that the leadership of the revolution must itself be a result of democracy or a democratic process. It is dictorial to expect people to follow leadership they could not express their views about it in the first place.
But as the YCLSA , we note that on the ANC leadership discussion the word women has been vulgarized and has only been centered around one women, whom we are not sure about her capacity. We believe that the name proposed is supposed atleat to be the President of the ANCWL than the ANC as in the ANCWL the is a vacuum of the President.
As the YCLSA, we want to categorically say we support struggles of the working class women. We support poor women, we support women's work in the kitchens, we support women's that are being raped every day and we support all the women's both employed and unemployed, they must count us, we fully support them.
We also want to say to the women's in the congress movement, they must refuse women to be used. Any women that has allowed herself to be abused they must stand up and say not in our name.
The name proposed for ANC president does not even by inch represent the poor women, women in the kitchen and all unemployed women's. This women's candidate is totally belonging in a very different class. Therefore, as the YCLSA we can't support such name and such imitative.
We say to the youth our country the time is now to emulate the generation of 1976
We say to the youth of our country let's stand up and fight corruption
We say to the youth of our country, let's stand up and fight the Guptarization of the ANC and the State
We say to the youth of our country, lets strive to be the worthy sons and daughters of martyrs that fought for freedom
We say to the youth of our country, let's all rise up and fight for free, compulsory and quality education for the poor
We say to the youth of our country, let's all stand up and fight for nation building and development of our country
We say to the youth of our country, let's stand up and fight the corporate capture of the state by Guptas and its stooges
We say to the youth of our country, let's all in unison say capitalism is our strategic enemy
We say to the youth of our country, we are the present and the future and we are building that future and that future is socialism.
YCLSA leads, YCLSA lives, YCLSA sharpen contradictions and YCLSA provide direction
Socialism in our life time.