Speech by the National Secretary at the Eastern Cape Special Provincial Council
28 February 2015, Umtata
True to our history for socialism in our life time
National Committee Members,
Provincial Committee Members,
District Committee Members,
Leadership of the SACP,
Leadership of ANC,
Leadership of COSATU,
Leadership of the PYA
Let me for and on behalf of the National Committee and the entire membership of our robust, militant, vibrant, discipline and socialist in character YCLSA. We convey our revolutionary greetings to the beautiful young reds of Eastern Cape and we wish your Province a successful and revolutionary Provincial Council.
Last week we convened our First Plenary Session of the 4th National Congress National Committee, where we were inducted by the Central Committee members, both political and ideological for class battles ahead. We have made deployments to Province, established the Political Commission and deployment on the commission.
This Provincial Council is convened when in the last few weeks Stats SA has released the Fourth Quarter Stats on youth unemployment, which is the picture as young people we cannot celebrate.
This Provincial Council is convened when the South African delegation just arrived at Moscow for the repatriation of the bodies of the communist`s stalwarts Cde JB Marks and Moses Kotane.
This Provincial Council is convened when in the last lap of our Joe Slovo Right to Learn Campaign, a campaign that we launched it in Limpopo Province, Sekhukhune District, followed by activities in other Provinces. It`s paramount to appreciate our dedication and our participation in this programme.
Whilst we were embarking on this programme, it came very clear that our members admire to be like Comrade Joe Slovo and also there are challenges in the Institution of Higher Learning regarding NFSAS and its maladministration. It came clear that there are those who unduly are beneficiaries of NFSAS and on the other side mismanagement of NAFSAS by Institutions of Higher Learning management. Having noted these abnormalities` and poor performing Schools, there is indeed a need to adopt Schools and nip on the butt the unduly and mismanagement of NFSAS.
As part of remembering Cde Joe Slovo, the youth of our country will forever be inspired by the immense contribution of this towering genius of our people to the cause of the struggle of our people for national liberation. His great teachings about the significance of our fundamental revolutionary principles of solidarity and internationalism will forever shape the determination of our struggle into the future of humanity. His great contribution to the struggle of our people against the vicious apartheid regime, and our overall struggle against imperialism and neo colonialism, and more importantly his great theoretical writings in the battle of ideas, will forever shape the future generations to come.
You convene this Provincial Congress directed by our constitution on the basic principles that govern the filling of vacancies. Let me only explain only the two relevant principles for this Provincial Council: one, A member who is elected in a higher committee while serving in a lower leading committee shall serve in both positions subject to being replaced in the lower leading committee within six months, otherwise she/he shall at the complexion of the sixth month since elected in a higher leading committee, and TWO, The filling of vacancies that may arise in a leading committee shall not exceed 50%. Otherwise an early congress shall be convened to elect a new leading committee.
This Provincial Council is very important, it about electing leadership and strategies on how best to intensify youth mobilization for socialism.
Through to our history, socialism in our life time has been chosen as theme and as the guide for the discussions that will ensue in this Provincial Council. We seek to underline and grind our membership about our history and what we stand for, so that we remain having a correct line and correct policies as the Marxist –Leninist youth organization, a youth-wing of the South African Communist party. So that we remain the worthy sons and daughters of the working class and communist stalwart`s and martyr`s that has built a strong foundation for the working class struggle in our country. We want to build young communists that will crush capitalism to its knees. We want to build young communists with a revolutionary consciousness to serve with no material gain. We want to produce all round cadres that will understand and view YCLSA and SACP as an only weapon to fight and struggle for socialism. We want to build a cadre ship that will understand and nature YCLSA as it is, as a political organization of South African working class youth and factory for future communists or as a preparatory school for the South African Communist Party.
WHO ARE WE?
We are a youth organization that was formed in1922. We are the youth-wing of the South African Communist Party. We are a factory for future communists. YCLSA is the 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.
We further would like to salute the First Provincial Congress Provincial Committee, which was launched in 2005 at Mbuyiselo Ngwenda: Cde Teboqo Qholosha, Doreen Sineke, Thandolwethu Manda, Nduluka Ngceba, Chumani Gceka, Zamikhaya Skade, Zola Mevana, Theo Fulani, Zakhile Somlatha, Phumeza Mpushe, Kholiswa Fihlani, Lindizwi Nkatha, Phakiso Lehlapa, Molefe Lubabalo and Funelwa Nxuseka. 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 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.
As part of our history allow me to quote the 3rd Congress political Report “As a communist youth formation, we further draw our inspiration from the principles of democratic centralism and organizational discipline. The reason why we are together is because we share the same interests, that of socialism. We understand that there are private affairs of individual members and how they choose to conduct themselves. However, we should understand that our coming together necessitates that as an organization we should have rules and regulations that the Centre must hold, that the members must decide from the minutest and lowest of structures to the highest of structures. This is why we have a constitution and various other policies and disciplines.
We obviously should not invoke these in order to suppress internal debates, however, we should understand that there is a point where minority must succumb to the reasoning of the majority and the lower structures must ultimately be bound by the directives and decisions of higher structures as mandated by congress.
The tendency that some will label intentions of restoring organizational discipline and democratic centralism as bureaucratization of debates, intolerance of different views, Stalinism, centralization of power within the organization and other labels should be challenged. We are not running a loose organization that should be subjected to continuous embarrassment by some few comrades who hold different views. We say in our constitution that we are a Marxist-Leninist organization, why then we are being called upon to tolerate anti-Marxist-Leninists, revisionist`s tendencies whose major purpose is to stifle the struggle for socialism.
Organizational discipline is significant in that it does not give room for counter-revolution to grow within an organization. We want to use this opportunity to explain what the January 2012 Provincial Executive Committee termed as “ Experienced Propagandists” , whom they go around trying to portray the PEC as divided , even further tried to drive a wedge between the party and YCLSA in the province. This group failed to win or convince other members on the meeting and once they are defeated in the constitutional meeting they go out and distort all the discussions. To them if a decision was not favorable it was not a decision. They wanted to use our organization to advance their private interests, we strongly felt that we must explain this behavior as Mao said “At no time and in no circumstances should a communist place his personal interests first, he should subordinate to the interests of the nation and of the masses. Hence selfishness , slacking , corruption , seeking the limelight are most contemptible , while selfishness , working with all one`s energy , whole hearted devotion to public duty , and quiet hard work will command respect”. The Provincial Executive Committee unanimously agreed as comrade Mao Tse-Tung instructs us to do the following “ All loyal , honest ,active and upright communists must unite to oppose the liberal tendencies shown by certain people among us , and set them on the right path” that anyone that define him/herself outside the leadership collective will face the almighty of Ufasimba.
Understood that it is the duty of revolutionaries to close rank, defend the revolution and move forward. The PEC felt to explain this tendency as it does not undermine the leadership of the organization but erodes the principles which define the political life of the YCLSA”
From the 2nd Provincial Congress, which was held at Skenjana Roji District, Turn Bull Park on December 2009 to our 3rd Provincial Congress, which was held at O.R.Tambo District, Walter Sisulu University, and December 2012. From Turn Bull Park, we took painful decisions in the interest of the organization, namely we disbanded Chule KK Papiyana District. Above all we established new districts Joe Gqabi and Ncumisa Kondlo. We realigned the new Alfred Nzo District and we doubled our membership and our structures. Currently the province has all districts in good standing and is among the first three biggest Provinces.
Even when the Provincial Leadership was engaged on building a strong, militant, discipline and vibrant organization. It was not smooth sailing as forces of reactions who wanted to hijack the organization were in the open. But through to the unity and shared understanding among Provincial leadership and the membership on approaching all the organizational and political direction that the province endeavored to achieve, it was easy to eliminate forces of darkness that wanted to sow division in the organization, including sowing division between the party and its youth-wing. This shared understanding on the organizational and political tasks at hand has been a major task that you must continue to execute without fail. The prevailing unity amongst the leadership and the unity of purpose and the unity in action in all our structures from top to bottom must be preserved in the interests of the struggle for socialism.
LET`S COMBAT THE ENEMIES OF THE REVOLUTION
We are the future leaders of our National democratic Revolution [NDR]. We are the leaders of tomorrow. We are the heirs and the lifeblood of our revolution. When our revolution is under siege, our task is to swell the ranks and to defend. History is confirming that after the death of any revolutionary leader who has won popularity with the masses his enemies will appropriate his name and use it to hoodwink the oppressed classes. We see today the enemy of our revolution appropriating the names of our leaders to undermine our national democratic revolution.
It is therefore our foremost task to occupy the forefront trenches of our struggle and to defeat the enemies of our revolution. It is our task to defeat those who want to liquidate the history of the struggle of our country, those who want to undermine the heroic contribution, the bravery, audacity and the leadership role of our heroes and heroines in the cause of the struggle of our people. The most important task of the young generation is to learn, learn and to learn. Our task is to know the history of our revolution.
Our important task is to know the history of our revolution and its leaders.
Media in our country has assumed a position of not being trusted on whatever they say. It is a matter of fact that towards 2014 General National Elections they were denouncing the African National Congress as a bad organization not to be given time to rule the country. They thought that the authenticity of their voice will influence the outcomes. From then onward nothing positive they say about South Africa, African National Congress and South African Communist Party.
The media is somewhat in a different space in the South African politics. It is now an official position and they tend to influence the youth to see our organizations differently. For instance the capture and content of State of the Nation Address got ignored; only focussing how bad is the President of the Republic and how bad the ruling party is.
Comrades, imperialism is multiplying itself hence what we see in the National Assembly. How come a progressive Union can collaborate with elements that were working very hard to sabotage the State of the Nation Address? The question that arises is, are we sharing the same understanding and what is the meaning of being a member of progressive Union.
The whole fracas taking place in the National Assembly brings us on the debate of understanding the difference between winning elections and being on power.
Our enemies get revealed day by day, as we aware that for anyone who wants to report to the imperialists about his/her action, one attack communists.We finds the attacks by former apartheid President F.W. De Klerk on communists in South Africa unprecedented and quite shocking. Former President F.W. De Klerk articulated his views at a recent engagement with the South African Press Club that he feels everything is okay in South Africa but his only concern is the influence of communists on government. We want to say to F.W. De Klerk that that everything is ok in South Africa, the only concern is you! If F.W. De Klerk does not agree with the influence of communists in government he should join his capitalist friends in Australia. Communists are here to stay.
The greatest danger is not to defend ourselves when we see the attack is coming. The most valuation in pursuit of revolution we have is the Alliance because Alliance is unity on diversity. Therefore as the shocking force and soldiers for socialism, we have limited options but to defend the Alliance. We should mobilize and educate the young people ideological so for the young people to defend democracy appreciate the struggle for socialism and go forward to struggle for socialism.
LEARNING THE ART OF TURNING BAD THINGS TO GOOD THINGS
Comrades, your Province were once led by PILC for almost four years after the collapse of the 1st Provincial Congress Provincial Committee collapsed and later disbanded. This was very bad for a province such as Eastern Cape. A Province that is known of its contribution in the struggle against apartheid regime and in the struggle for socialism. This Province is known about providing leadership during difficult times in the revolution; therefore to have PILC instead of a structure mandated by branches was a bad thing.
Bad things that occur during the revolutionary process are bad, but when such disturbances occur, they enabled us to learn lessons and forced us to establish structures, recruit members, educate cadres and our membership.
Having embarked on these activities, we turned the bad state of affairs of our province into a good state of Province. Today your Province is among the biggest and campaigning Provinces in the country. Today in each and every district there are structures in good standing, today in every institution of Higher Learning there is an YCLSA Branch. Today in both Provincial and National politics as well on issues affecting the youth politics , your Province is contributing on being the voice for the needs and the aspirations of young people.
More than two thousand years ago Lao Tzu said: "Good fortune lie within bad, bad fortune lie within good”. This is the spirit that we must educate our membership on as well as leadership should always keep on mind that during the risky and difficult times in the revolution, bad things occur that does not mean good things won`t occur. At all material times we should remain through to our convictions and be with the masses.
TAKING CARE OF GOOD CADRES AS PART OF TAKING STRUGGLE FORWARD
As Chairman Mao thought us on how to take care of good cadres. The Province has been guide by his teachings and the Province has not been bad students on his teachings. Even when sometimes there were comrades who committed class suicide the Provincial Leadership amid pressure from the membership, practiced the teachings of taking care of good cadre. Allow me comrades once again to explain on how to take a good care of cadres as an organization has grown and new blood has emerged in the leadership position in the organization.
We must know how to take good care of cadres. There are several ways of doing so.
First, give them guidance. This means allowing them a free hand in their work so that they have the courage to assume responsibility and, at the same time, giving them timely instructions so that, guided by the Party`s political line, they are able to make full use of their initiative.
Second, raise their level. This means educating them by giving them the opportunity to study so that they can enhance their theoretical understanding and their working ability.
Third, check up on their work, and help them sum up their experience, carry forward their achievements and correct their mistakes. To assign work without checking up and to take notice only when serious mistakes are made--that is not the way to take care of cadres.
Fourth, in general, use the method of persuasion with cadres who have made mistakes, and help them correct their mistakes. The method of struggle should be confined to those who make serious mistakes and nevertheless refuse to accept guidance. Here patience is essential. It is wrong lightly to label people "opportunists" or lightly to begin "waging struggles" against them.
Fifth, help them with their difficulties. When cadres are in difficulty as a result of illness, straitened means or domestic or other troubles, we must be sure to give them as much care as possible. This is how to take good care of cadres.
OUR TASKS MOVING FORWARD
The political and developmental challenges and opportunities require a strong organization and determined conscious effort. In broad terms, the following are our tasks moving forward:
a. Mass mobilization and conscientisation of the youth: working with other progressive youth movement and the democratic movement generally the YCL has to step up efforts to recruit young people and deepen their political consciousness. Specifically, the YCL must recruit members for itself and the Communist Part as well as increase awareness on the struggle for socialism. To that end, a political education and recruitment programme must be implemented in a disciplined fashion by the league. The YCL branch must be a hive of activity and there should be no dull moment.
b. Organise mass campaigns to draw young people in political activism: there is no greater teacher than practice and campaigns provide an effective way to capture the minds of the youth, steel them in progressive political activism BUT more importantly change their conditions. In that respect the league must identify issues around which it will mount campaigns to connect with the struggles of the working class and confront the youth developmental issues. These can be conceptualized on a number of fronts, namely political, education and training; community and work place struggles and international solidarity.
c. Contribute to the struggle of ideas to win more of our people to the socialist cause: The ideological hegemony of neo-liberalism and capitalism in general has to be confronted if we are to secure the future for socialism. The league has to occupy a centre stage in the battle of ideas and tap into the energy and enthusiasm of young people themselves. In this regard the league should use the talent of the youth to develop proposals for economic development and youth development specifically.
The rallying theme for mobilizing the young people of our country to join YCLSA is intensify youth mobilization for socialism, intensify youth mobilization for socialism, and intensifies youth mobilization for socialism.
Therefore, we must fulfil our revolutionary duty to build and expand Marxist-Leninist influence and hegemony among young people in all key sites of struggle, taking our cue from the Party programme the `South African Road to socialism`.
Comrade`s delegates, I stand here before you with mixed feelings.
On the one side I feel a little sad to say farewell to the comrades in the structures that I have served in for almost ten years, and to leave the comfort of the environment I have grown to understand well, even though we will still be working closely in my new responsibility.
On the other hand I stand with a strong sense of appreciation, gratitude and humility. As the YCLSA has made to be what I am today and for that I will remain indebted to the YCLSA and the Party.
Viva the most disciplined, most organized youth movement in the country the YCL, Viva!
Long live the YCL long live!