The Young Communist League of South Africa is a Marxist-Leninist youth wing of the SACP.

The YCL stands for:

Non Racism
Freedom
Equality
The socialisation of the ownership and control of the means of production
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Communist University - Political School Material

National Secretary's Closing Address to the 5th National Congress

9 December 2018

"Deepen Youth Mobilisation and Building Capacity for People's Power"

Our National chairperson, Comrade Mabuse Mpe;
SACP Leadership led by the 1st DGS, Comrade Solly Mapaila;
Our outgone National Committee led by former NS, Comrade Mluleki Dlelanga;
The newly elected 5th Congress National Committee;
International Guests;
PYA formations;
Our esteemed delegates;

On behalf of the 5th Congress National Committee, let me take this opportunity to pass our revolutionary greetings.

"Members of our Party should not have personal aims which are independent of the Party interests. Their personal aims must harmonize with the Party's interests. If the aim they set for themselves is to study Marxist-Leninist theory, to develop their ability in work, to establish revolutionary organizations and to lead the masses in successful revolutionary struggles - if their aim is more is to do more for the Party - then this personal aim harmonizes with the interests of the Party. The Party needs many such members and cadres. Apart from this aim, Party members should have no independent personal motives such as attaining position of fame, or playing the individual hero; otherwise they will depart from the interests of the Party and may even become careerists within the Party" - Liu Shaoqi.

We are coming towards the end of a successful 5th National Congress that went against wishes of the prophets of doom. Those who anticipated anarchy in this congress, are those who are opposed to our goal to realise a socialist state. We are humbled with the responsibility bestowed upon us as a collective and we vow to work in unifying this organisation of Ruth First. Collectively, as leadership and membership at large we have a responsibility to close ranks against disruptors of unity, consolidate the youth in all sectors.

Our South African Road to Socialism, remains our guiding compass, our tool of measuring progress, our influence to society and the working class, from time to time, we always, honestly assess ourselves through this tool. We do this coupled with taking forward our Youth Manifesto which unpacks the 12 Youth pointers that will assist us to build youth fronts across all sectors in consolidating the youth. We shall do so noting the historical injustices that have entrenched the institutionalised and systematic challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Reformism is as reactionary as ultra-leftism; lack of decisiveness to grab strategic moment is calamitous. Today, we are about to close the successful 5th National Congress. Young people are waiting with anticipation to hear what these young reds have for them coming out of this congress. Our 2017/18 Red October campaign against gender-based violence must be intensified. We should not just be gender activists during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence however make this campaign a year-long programme and our character too must reflect such commitment. We have a responsibility as this collective to continue to confront all social ills in our society especially the abuse against people with albinism, women and children.

Deepen youth mobilisation and build capacity for people's power:

As we deepen youth mobilisation, we need to appreciate the set-backs, strengths and opportunities which lie ahead for us as an organisation. The YCLSA has been consistent with its analysis of political challenges in country and globally, and indeed it has always been above average, well this might be a subjective assessment but judging by few pointers that the political report highlighted, we can safely say that's the bottom-line. We need to seize this moment and rise to the occasion as young people are hopeless and swimming in a pool of unemployment and poverty. The challenge of unemployment at most leaves young people vulnerable to be preyed at by external forces in attempts to capture our movement. Despite the challenges that young people are faced with, we vow not to sell our organisation to the highest bidder.

As part of deepening youth mobilisation and building capacity for people's power, it is important to strengthen our political education programme in order not to lose our ideological posture. Young people are more militant in their demands and must at all material times be guided by a sober class-orientated organisation.

The YCLSA must be at the centre of consolidating the various youth sectors through the establishment of fronts to advance the interest the working class youth. In building this fronts, we need to understand that as advised by Lenin when he said "without an alliance with non-communists in the diverse spheres of activity there can be no question of any successful communist construction". It is important to establish relations with some of the section 19 and 21 organisations in order for us to consolidate the ground.

Young people remain an asset for any revolutionary cause and benefactors of our struggle to bring meaningful change in the quest for a socialist South Africa. A history of struggle waged across the world proves that the future and destiny of any organisation depend on popular support anchored on mass mobilisation obviously coupled with mass politicisation and conscientization. This congress engaged thoroughly in commissions especially with much focus on the ongoing internal discussion on SACP, State and Popular Power, and we are pleased that the delegates are still crystal clear that the Party is a Party of power and as such it must contest state power. The Party must contest through an electoral-means as part of strategic moves to attain state and popular power.

Deepen, Advance and Defend the National Democratic Revolution:

In the process of building conscious, fighting soldiers for socialism, there will be causalities, liquidationists and traitors to the revolutionary struggle. For over years, there have been attempts to liquidate the Party however no attempt succeeded. As we celebrate the centenary of Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, we should remind ourselves on the challenging article by Liu Shao Chi 'on how to be a good communist'. At times, the offensive attack comes from within influenced by external factors which seek to capture the Party through the YCLSA. The struggle now needs committed and selfless cadres of the movement who are ready to the take responsibility for the revolution. The current challenging time will not need those who are self-centred, political careerists and those who undermines the revolutionary iron discipline of a communist and Party line.

As communists, we believe in internationalism, workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains [Communist Manifesto]. Xenophobia is inhuman and barbaric; we must fight together to radically stamp it down as it does not represent the culture and tradition of our movement's human solidarity with the peoples of the world.

The resurgence of the demon of tribalism and regionalism is something we must fight at all cost. We cannot allow to be inspired by backwardness bantustanism, tribalism, and regionalism.

24 years since the democratic breakthrough, great achievement has been made with major redistributive advances unlike during apartheid however persisting crisis levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality continues to hit sky-rocket.

We are as a matter of fact an organisation that is more concerned about the question of property relations and the relations of production, about the ownership of the means of production by the working class, as they are the producers of wealth, the toilers and the drivers of any production, which make them the motive forces of any revolution.

We believe in the public ownership of the means of production, believing that the state intervention in the economy is paramount rather than relying on the power of the market forces and end up being market fundamentalists. Private ownership of the means of production and monopolisation of the economy is unacceptable to us.

Since the ANC resolved on the radical phase of the transition, nothing much has happen in realistic approach however we believe that the second more radical phase must mean radical implementation of the freedom charter in advancing the struggle for the transformation of our economy. It must deal with the question of property relations and the ownership of the means of production must be speedily transferred to the majority of our people. We also believe that the biggest stumbling block to the above is the capitalist character of monopoly capital which is inherently corrupt and it delays any radical socio-economic transformation instead it will continuously push for cosmetic transformation that shall seek to co-opt few elites into the comfort zone.

Economic emancipation remains the core business of our political and ideological existence, at the core of our revolution, is working class emancipation from bourgeois exploitation and domination. Class contradictions of the NDR is on track, slowly but surely we are marching forward, the issue of Land Redistribution is the case in point, primarily means of production, land is going to empower and improve the lives of the majority of our people.

Comrades as a Marxist-Leninist organisation we are inherently conformed to the habitual exercises of visiting the works of Marx to always give class content and context that are bias to the working class and poor youth. That being said when we speak of Radical Socio-Economic Transformation it is imperative to analyse firstly that our current economical approach is based on economic growth and less on economic development and secondly from the perspective where in Capital Volume 1 chapter 4 Marx defines Capital by giving two formulas and their circular distinctions as such:

Commodity-Money-Commodity (CMC)
Money-Commodity-Money (MCM)

"In the circulation C-M-C, the money is in the end converted into a commodity that serves as a use value; it is spent once for all. In the inverted form, M-C-M, on the contrary, the buyer lays out money in order that, as a seller, he may recover money. By the purchase of his commodity he throws money into circulation, in order to withdraw it again by the sale of the same commodity"

YCLSA and Education:

Our focus must be on a radical transformation of the education sector which must contribute towards the radical transformation of our economy. Our content of learning and teaching must be bias to the working class and the poor as the primary motive force of the revolution, further challenge the dominance of neo-liberal curriculum content in our institutions which affects even the social being of our students. This neo-liberal content of education teaches our youth in particular students that the market is the panacea to the problems facing human society. Neo-liberalism is no longer just a concept but now a variant of capitalism. In the education sector one can clearly see it through the vast differences between TVETs and Universities and how the former gets more funded than the latter through existing policies within the government.

The YCLSA has a responsibility of defining and characterising education outside the confines of it being means to an end exclusively for labour, as Engels alluded at the burial of Marx that ''Mankind must first eat, drink, have shelter and clothing before it peruse politics, science, art, religion, etc'' in the contemporary context we are still subjected to learning and ultimately having sources of education from all areas of our lives as we continue to learn from our communities, older generations, and from one another (emphasis on one another).

4th Industrial Revolution:

A lot has been said in relation to the 4th Industrial Revolution and a popular view of it being an attack to labour and a threat to the advancement of a socialist agenda, however comrades we should be able to distinguish between the mode of production and method of production in this instance. We agree that the first Industrial Revolution entrenched and maximised capitalism but from the second and third and going into the fourth it has been about the method of production which in a simple form maintenance of an existing system.

Therefore the debate here is centred on the interaction of man and machine and who gets to drive narrative of how this interaction should be orientated. Man creates machines and ultimately determines the modus operandi of this particular creation hence we should be in the forefront of this process and transition.

Unity of the Progressive Youth Alliance is Sacrosanct:

It is important to acknowledge the existence of the PYA and vital role that has been played by these structures in transformation of the lives of young people in the country however slowly the PYA is becoming a paper-tiger. The relations have recently faced challenges due to various political factors and we have failed to develop a coherent action plan in confronting the challenges faced by our constituency. It is the responsibility of the YCLSA to fight for unity and cohesion of the PYA however not at the expense of handing ourselves as sacrificial lamps to a political lull. With an understanding that the weakness of the PYA will automatically mean translate to a weak Tripartite Alliance. We have a collective responsibility to unite and close ranks.

Consolidate international solidarity and confront Imperialism:

"Imperialism will not last long because it always does evil things. It persists in grooming and supporting reactionaries in all countries who are against the people, it has forcibly seized many colonies and semi-colonies and many military bases, and it threatens the peace with atomic war. Thus, forced by imperialism to do so, more than 90 per cent of the people of the world are rising or will rise in struggle against it. Yet, imperialism is still alive, still running amuck in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In the West imperialism is still oppressing the people at home. This situation must change. It is the task of the people of the whole world to put an end to the aggression and oppression perpetrated by imperialism, and chiefly by U.S. imperialism". Mao Tse Tung.

Being an internationalist organisation, we have an unconditional responsibility to pledge our support to all oppressed peoples of the world. This congress was graced by our comrades from Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Greece, and Basque, Venezuela, Cyprus and Palestine. This was not just an honour but a call for the unity of all left-forces across the world against imperialist forces as led by the US, whose agenda has never been peace but regime change, sanctions, political interferences, etc. our commitment to internationalism is not a favor or choice thus the establishment of a second Deputy National Secretary position to pay focus on international work and campaigns.

Conclusion:

We would like to thank the 4th Congress National Committee collective led by 'A man of peace' comrade Mluleki for the role and contribution you made to the life of the young reds in the cause of our revolutionary struggle for socialism. You will remain to be in the pool that we will timeously consulted for guidance. To the leadership of the Party, we remain the YCLSA of the Party and we vow to be the first line of defense to the Party and its leadership. It upon all of us to define our mission and dare not fail in fulfilling it. We thank you!!!

Amandla!!! Socialism in our lifetime!!!