On Climate Change
By Sandile Mzilikazi
“…climate change is undoubtedly the most devastating environmental problem of this century. Floods, droughts, severe storms, hurricanes, melting ice caps, rise in sea levels, ocean acidification and heat waves, all of that sharpens the impact of global crisis besetting us…60 percent of the planet’s ecosystems are damaged, 20 percent of the earth’s crust is degraded, we have been impassive witnesses to deforestation, land conversion, desertification, deterioration of fresh water systems, overexploitation of marine resources, pollution and loss of biodiversity… The overuse of the land exceeds by 30 percent the capacity to regenerate it. The planet is losing what the technicians call the ability to regulate itself; the planet is losing this. Every day more waste than can be processed is released. The survival of our species hammers in the consciousness of humanity. …Current human activity exceeds the threshold of sustainability, endangering life on the planet, but also in this we are profoundly unequal.” Hugo Chavez, Conference of Parties (COP) 15
The United Nations Climate Conference of Parties (COP) 21 Talks in Paris that took place in December 2015 have ended with the adoption of a landmark resolution between 195 countries.
This historic climate deal despite its limitations, in particular the absence of a punitive enforcement mechanism, nonetheless remain historic and serve as an important leap forward in the struggle for global climate justice.
In spite the significance of this subject to humanity in general and South Africa’s national development aspirations, very little attention has been given to this vital issue within the National Liberation Movement (NLM) despite its clear strategic link to the attainment of the goals of the National Democratic Revolution. Regrettably, if and when dealt with it has been left to a footnote amongst the tomes of resolutions taken in conferences and summits with technocrats left to their whims to deal with “the detail” with very little ideological guidance.
This paper will attempt to place the struggle for the protection of the earth, to be intractably linked to the pursuit of socialism and the defeat of imperialism. We will make a case as to why the discussion on the future of the planet that houses our collective future cannot be left to a few technocrats. We will reaffirm the case of why the struggle for environmental justice in general and climate justice in particular must be built on as a key pillar on the SACP’s Political Programme The South African Road to Socialism (SARS). In short, we will make a case for placing climate justice as a strategic thrust for “building capacity for, momentum towards and elements of socialism” .
We will make a case for why the struggle for climate justice is a mortal fight between the past and the future, the world’s poor and rich, truth pitted against misinformation and importantly science set against conjecture. It is a nonantogonistic contradiction that exists between world’s poor and the rich that requires the ideological, political and where possible the material intervention of a vanguard party of the working class.
Following decades of manufactured denialism and scepticism, with countless scientists and lobbyist being bought off by transnational corporations (similar to the AIDS denialism in the 90’s and tobacco denialism in 60’s) there is now general consensus amongst the scientific community on the causes and long term consequences of the change in global climatic weather patterns.
The world has reached a point where sufficient scientific consensus has been built that concurs that the earth's climate system is warming and that it is extremely likely (at least 95% probability) that humans are causing most of it through activities that increase greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels.
Despite this scientific evidence which has been around for almost half a century, many governments, in particular those from the industrialised world have been reluctant to act, opting instead to use the threat of climate change as a political bargaining tool that can be traded off in economic and political agreements because of a 5% chance that the science “might be wrong”.
Humanity cannot afford to gamble with its fate, in the pursuit of lopsided development. The threat we face as humanity is real and imminent. In effort to scope the gravity of the threat and the lethargy in responding to this threat Fidel Castro said “Numerous dangers threaten us, but two of them, nuclear war and climate change, are decisive and both are ever farther away from coming close to a solution.” 
What does the science say?
The political and science debates on climate change dates back to the 19th century, when anthropologists started collecting evidence suggestive of the fact that northern Europe may have been covered by ice thousands of years ago. This was coupled by a separate yet important discovery of the greenhouse effect, attributed to the polymath Baptiste Joseph Fourier, suggesting that "greenhouse gasses" trap heat radiated from the Earth's surface .
In combing both these theories, scientists were able to build a hypothesis that ice ages, that were believed to have been around thousands of years ago, were caused by a decrease in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
In 1896 Svente Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist, made an important leap forward in this field by providing evidence that the doubling the carbon dioxide content in the air would gradually raise global temperatures by 5 – 6 degrees Celsius. For over half a century, this body of work remained undeveloped until Guy S Callender, who interestingly was a Canadian steam engineer, suggested that the warming trend revealed in the 19th century, during the industrial revolution, a period characterised by rapid and global capital expansion was caused by a 10% increase in greenhouse gasses emitted from the burning of fossil fuels.
Over the course of last half century, countless papers have been written on the subject with consensus being reached that there is currently “30% more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere relative to pre-industrial levels (150 years ago) in today's atmosphere that has resulted in of 0.5-0.6Ctemperature increase”. 
A 2013 study analysed 11,944 abstracts from academic papers published in the peer-reviewed scientiﬁc literature between 1991 and 2011 found that 97.1% researchers on the area agreed that humans are causing global warming. 
After years of inaction, debates on the causes and possible impact of global warming, it would be safe to say there is a now sufficient consensus amongst both scientists and politicians that the rapid rise in temperature will result in catastrophic and irreversible climate change that will have untold and disastrous impact on human society and natural environment.
This change is projected to result in the melting of polar ice caps; changes in sea currents and sea levels, dramatic and unpredictable increases in temperature that have resulted in most intense storms and flooding, and the long lasting droughts as evident throughout the sub-saharan Africa and here in South Africa.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)
The recent climate talks which took place in Paris under the auspice of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) are the latest in a series of international conferences and negotiations on climate change aimed at finding solutions to a manmade menace that threatens the livelihood of billions of world’s poor located in the so called developing world.
As mentioned above, notwithstanding compelling evidence on existence of the phenomenon of climate change since the turn of the 20th century, very little progress has been made in finding and agreeing on how best this threat can be addressed.
Decades of campaigning, lobbying and petitioning by civic organisations, students, workers, progressive world leaders and left leaning political movements have been met with derision.
Moral, social and political cases for why climate change needs to be confronted have been put before political and business leaders with not much progress. It was only in the 1990s, when an economic case, pointing to link between global warming and the expansion globalisation (capital accumulation) was any attempt made to find a solution. This line of reasoning is clearly reflected in a Standard and Poor’s (the rating agency that is responsible for the economic assassination of the developing world) report that draws a link between the expansion of global capitalism lead by advanced economies and the risk climate change places on the emerging economies that serve as suppliers of raw materials and markets for their produced goods and services. In the report they assert that developed economies and transnational firms have to devise plans to mitigate emerging economies risk “in part due to (emerging economies) reliance on agricultural production and employment, which can be vulnerable to shifting climate patterns and extreme weather events, but also due to their weaker capacity to absorb the financial cost.”
With the adoption of this prognosis, there have been regular meetings between high-level international diplomats nearly every year to try grind through a solution. Regrettably the results of these meetings have thus far been mostly disappointing. The most important of these summits leading to the recent COP 21 summit in Paris, was the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, the COP 3 in Kyoto and the COP15 Summit in Copenhagen which promised a lot but in the end proved to be anticlimatic.
The 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development also referred to as the “Rio Earth Summit” was the first attempt by the world to reflect on the impact that capitalist lead industrialisation (which is highly dependent on fossil fuel) has had on the environment. The summit focused on more than just the climate. It also included many other aspects related to environment and sustainability including toxins, water, land polution and clean energy. One of the major outcomes of the conference was the development of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The adoption of the framework was followed by a series Conference of the Parties (COP) mandated to negotiate and agree upon further action.
The 1997 COP3 in Kyoto, Japan resulted in the drafting and adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, which went into effect in 2005. The conference agreed that rich industrialised countries were required to cut their greenhouse gas emissions on average by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012. As has become customary of the US, the self-styled policeman of the world and the world’s largest emitter of industrial greenhouse gases (23%), entirely refused to ratify the treaty under duress from powerful fossil-fuel, oil and car transnational corporations to not curb their profit driven ends.
Chief amongst the criticism levelled against the Kyoto Protocal, besides being non-binding and the askew commitment of the agreement, was that it allowed rich countries that do not want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below their target to buy “right to pollute” credits from other countries that have achieved their targets.
And perhaps more concerning for us as an organisation that advocates for social ownership and control of the economy , it created a carbon trading market for “carbon credits” that could theoretically be earned by corporations that “invest” in projects that they can claim reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Understandably from our ideological perspective as the YCLSA, this escape clause is not only unhelpful but undesirable as it sought once again to create a market lead solution that allows those in the financial and energy complex to make money from selling off the atmosphere. This instrument was once again another way to profit from the destruction of the earth and to reduce the atmosphere to another commodity that can exchanged on a market in the process of capital accumulation.
Unsurprisingly, greenhouse gas emissions from the richest countries continue to rise with US emissions are up 21.1% while China (the factory of world) the world's biggest emitter of CO2 has increased by 240% from 1990 baseline.
So what did COP 21 offer? A new deal for climate change?
The delegates to the conference of parties (COP 21) from 195 nations reached an unprecedented agreement on global climate in Paris after years of often fruitless negotiations to get to a deal to limit carbon emissions. The final text of the declaration resolved to amongst the many commitments:
- To “keep global temperatures "well below" 2.0C above pre-industrial times and "endeavour to limit" them even more, to 1.5C.”.
- To limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100.
- To review each country's contribution to cutting emissions every five years so they scale up to the challenge.
- For rich countries to help poorer nations by providing "climate finance" to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.
The legally binding pact limiting greenhouse gas emissions provides the world a road map for breaking away from fossil fuels that have powered the global economy since the Industrial Revolution. The deal - to take effect from 2020 - ends years of disagreement between rich and poor nations over how to carry out what will be a multi-trillion-dollar effort to slow down global warming and deal with its consequences already occurring around the planet. It is important to underscore that the agreement will not become binding on its member states until 55 parties who produce over 55% of the world's greenhouse gas have ratified the Agreement. This includes, China, US, Russia, EU and Japan. Each country that ratifies the agreement will be required to set a target for emission reduction, but the amount will be voluntary.
While this agreement that brings highly industrialised wealthy nations as well as vulnerable low-lying island nations, to agree to globally coordinate their efforts effort is ground breaking, commendable and a welcomed breakthrough, it still has important shortcomings.
Disappointingly, the agreement does not make provision for any means to enforce commitments made by member states that ratify the agreement besides "naming and shaming". The lack of an enforcement mechanism leaves the fate of humanity at risk, in game of Russian roulette played by big business.
Coupled with that reality is the concern raised by many scientists that the goal of 2.0C reduction may not be sufficient to reverse the damage, considering investments that may still need to be made. Billions of the world’s poor, in low lying coastal and islands are in grave risk. This is because the window of opportunity to limit increases to below 1.5°C is for all practical intentions and purpose no longer there.
At the risk of sounding, alarmist, it has become evidently clear that the fate of humanity now lies in the hands of governments that serve at the behest of large multinational corporations. The working people of the world are called upon to engage in a mortal struggle to hold their governments and big business accountable in order to save humanity.
Market driven capitalism and the environment
Fundamental to the inherently crisis ridden capitalism system is a doctrine of a “production system for profit instead of production for us”. This inherent system design flaw is what gives rise to a vicious cycle of capital formation and surplus, which is conditional to growing sales (outputs), which in turn requires the perpetual and unquenchable demand for more resources. So called market competition adds further pressure to the quest for growth because to successfully compete in the “market” more resources and new markets should be found which put pressure of the environment (which in most cases is not rehabilitated for usage for other purposes).
As a result, corporations in an effort to constantly grow surpluses, constantly invent new goods and markets for consummation even if those goods have no utilitarian value. It is this quest for new markets at all costs that has given rise to wastefulness and inefficiency that is inherent within the system that has given birth to a non-value adding billion rand media and advertising industry, while millions go to sleep hungry with no shelter.
It’s the incessant pursuit for growth and profit at all costs that results in the natural environment (rivers, atmosphere, land and water) being reduced to another exchangeable commodity to be owned and exploited like the other factors of production.
The complicity of the consumerism and materialism values that the YCLSA and SACP has identified as being antithetical to the socialist values cannot go unattended as a contributing factor. Consumer culture, in South Africa is exported through one of the most sophisticated media and advertising industries in the globe. Consumerism makes it a social standard to acquire the newest and fanciest cell phone or car while the current one is technically functional. What was the “in thing yesterday” is systematically rendered to cosmetically obsolete. It is this evil genius of capitalist consumerism that underwrites this “growth at all costs”.
South African consumers do not have a shortage of music, sport and even political icons to look up to on how to consume more and more goods in order for corporations to realise more and more profit and in so doing demanding more and more resources to produce more superfluous goods and services no one really needs, and inevitably producing more pollution in the process.
The South African working class and the environment
The 13th National Congress of the SACP resolved to adopt environment justice as a new site of struggle. This is because the struggle for climate justice and the struggle for socialism are intractably linked.
Similar to the struggle for socialism, the struggle over the climate justice is the struggle over access, the use, and control between the many and the few of finite resources.
It is a struggle about the privatisation of land, forests, water resources and a people’s culture and way of life.
It a struggle of the small man against the big man over preservation of food and at times even national sovereignty.
It is the struggle fought over collective political, economic, and social rights.
It is a struggle that requires the education, organising, and agitation of the working class across ethnic, cultural and international boundaries.
It is a struggle that demands the theoretical and practical leadership of a vanguard organisation that can lead those that stand to lose the most under the yoke capitalism.
It a pursuit that requires the formation and cultivation of strategic alliances with workers, students, and women already in trenches that have already developed practices and knowledge to protect and defend their livelihoods.
It is a scientific pursuit that stands juxtaposed to misinformation and conjecture. It is a struggle that requires the development of sound theoretical models, strategies and tactics in order to realise systematic transformation needed to tackle the real causes of human underdevelopment.
Just like the struggle for socialism it is hinged on the protection of the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalised sections of society, their mobilisation, and agitation towards participatory economic democracy.
Socialist Cuba has often been in the forefront in this regard. As part of our political programme, our vision for a socialist society has to include a political and economic revolution built upon the interconnection of the environmental, social, and economic justice. This resolution was underpinned by a realisation by the SACP that struggle for socialism is conditional on the abolishment of the capitalism mode of production, which has subjugated the largest sections of South Africans to poor sanitation and food insecurity, resigning those in urban areas to townships located downstream (downwind) to polluting industries and those in rural areas to a grinding life of poverty confined to unproductive subsistence farming with no protection from the ravaging effects of natural elements.
A change in climatic patterns that will result in a shift in rainfall quantities and distribution will directly impact on millions in working class communities; will affect human settlements, livelihoods, and infrastructure particularly in low-lying coastal areas.
In South Africa the impacts of climate will result in significant change in rainfall patterns, resulting in potentially devastating effects on agricultural production similar to what is evident in the recent drought. Though Africa only contributes only 2% of the global emissions South Africa, the biggest economies on the continent accounts for 50% of emissions on the continent. South Africa’s historical industrial path based on extractive primary sectors buttress by cheap labour, cheap electricity and minerals has placed the country on an unsustainable growth path and on a collision course with the counter currents of global capitalist forces.
The recent water shortages as result of poor rainfall, the contamination of scare water sources from acid mine drainage coupled with crumbling water reticulation infrastructure are indication of what is to come should we fail to arrest this situation. The ongoing droughts and irregular rainfall will further expose millions who are already food insecure to further food insecurity in one of the driest country in the continent. According to a COSATU policy paper published in 2011, 40% of all South Africans are considered to be food insecure. A future characterised by irregular rainfall and drought will almost certainly increase in droughts and floods which are part of climate change will cut food production in parts of the world by 50% in the next 12 years. This will put pressure on food prices, including on basic foods such as bread. South Africa will not be exempt from this. In fact the bread price in South Africa has already risen by 66% in the last three years. 
On a global scale, in spite not contributing to this problem, it will be communities in the poorest nations that will bear the brunt of the costs consequential to climate change. Many of these countries, in particular those from African, lack the capacity and resources to create effective responses that will come as a result of climate change and its negative impact on livelihoods. This is clear case for why we need to change the way we produce food and energy in order to power the people and machinery driving the economy.
What is to be done?
“Socialism, this is the direction, this is the path to save the planet, I don’t have the least doubt. Capitalism is the road to hell, to the destruction of the world. We say this from Venezuela, which because of socialism faces threats from the U.S. Empire. If capitalism resists, we are obliged to take up a battle against capitalism and open the way for the salvation of the human species. It’s up to us, raising the banners of Christ, Mohammed, equality, love, justice, humanity, the true and most profound humanism. If we don’t do it, the most wonderful creation of the universe, the human being, will disappear, it will disappear.” Hugo Chavez
Our entry point as the YCLSA on the issue is that the struggle for socialism and the struggle for a sustainable and healthy environment are ultimately one and the same struggle. Significantly, the YCLSA acting independently and through the SACP, has to provide leadership on environmental issues. This includes working with progressive forces in South Africa and throughout the world to ensure that environmental issues continue to receive the standing they deserve.
The poor people of the world and the working class in particular stand to lose the most in the event of defeat in the struggle climate justice. And as a corollary the working class is also best placed to lead to process to embark on campaigns that can change the trajectory of this struggle.
The working class is the motive force for the realisation of sustainable economy where all South Africans and global citizens, including present and future generations realise their right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.
Consistent with our theoretical conception of the relationship between the economic base and super structure; the governments of the biggest and industrialised economies serving “as the executive arm of the ruling class” are unable and unwilling to take decisive action to protect the environment and the fate of humanity.
Evidently, even if they may so wish to act in the interest of their citizens, many of these governments are brow beaten into submission to act to the whims of capital at the expense of workers and the planet.
In spite of the cohesive arm of transnational capitalism, South African workers in particular and industrial workers in particular are in a uniquely positioned to lead the struggle for socialism and social justice.
Notwithstanding recent challenges faced by COSATU, South African workers are by the most organised in the industrialised world. They make up the majority of our communities and their position in production gives them social power by the use of the strike, to impact and paralyze the system. This is particularly true of workers in the energy and transportation sectors, organised by the NUM and CEPPAWU, who working together with their international counterparts could wield their power to the transformation of the fossil fuel industry, without undermining existing jobs. This combined with the socially progressive constitution in the republic, the location of South Africa in the energy and minerals value chain and the relationship with the ruling African National Congress places COSATU and SACP in a uniquely advantageous positon in global geopolitics.
So how do we create elements of, capacity for and momentum towards a socialist society?
How do go about reversing the harmful effects of climate change in South Africa and our communities?
The YCLSA should strengthen economic planning and participation at all levels in order to lobby and advocate for the proper allocation of resources in the best way possible for people and the planet. YCLSA members and branches must be actively involved in local government Integrated Development Planning (IDP) and Social Labour Plan (SLP) consultaions processes in order to ensure that municipalities and mines build infrastructure like roads, public transport, and community food production facilities, libraries and clinics for working class communities at the expense of prestige projects like bicycle lanes, municipal and government advertising and police stations, prisons, and courts.
The YCLSA and SACP must invest in building capacity, to participate in community consultation forums that often environmental impact studies for the construction of new mines and heavy industrial facilities. As part of our advocacy work in IDP and SLP consultation work, must be to call for investment in and the promotion of use of public transportation in working class communities, the expansion of rail logistics and the reversal of the apartheid spatial legacy by locating new working class communities within places of work and play.The YCLSA should call for the increase in use and quality of public infrastructure and vociferously oppose any attempts to privatise its use, ownership and control. We should continue to advocate for a social and economic system enjoyed in common, such as public transit, parks and recreational facilities, healthcare and quality education. This would reduce waste as well as give everyone access to social goods.
The YCLSA and SACP must work to build organs of people’s power and democracy in local communities and to educate communities of their rights and responsibilities. Empowered and organised communities will be able to ensure that solar and wind farms are built instead of nuclear power and coal plants. Democracy is essential for successful planning. When workers and communities are empowered to make decisions about production, they will be able to find creative solutions that respect ecological limits while fulfilling people’s needs.
As the YCLSA we must heighten the call for development of renewal energy projects across all levels of government including at municipal level. South Africa has huge untapped potential for renewable energy. A shift towards renewable energy will reduce our emissions, and importantly present sustainable development benefits, including rural job creation, and stimulation of small enterprise. The combination of both Hydroelectrical (Grand Inga) and Concentrated Solar Plants (Karoo) and Gas Fired Plants will in combination with the installed coal fired station provide ample base and variable load electricity that is in line with our a growth path that is in the best interest of the working class. It is estimated that the Grand Inga Electricity Scheme alone, estimated at $ 60 Billion will produce 44 GW of energy for the continent. That is a quarter of the costs per unit of electricity produced compared to nuclear. From where we sit, it should be clear that there is absolutely neither a political, environmental nor even an economic case for nuclear that stands to benefit the workers of South Africa. .
The YCLSA must forge strategic alliances with progressive organisations to ensure decrease demand through technology, efficiency, and education while ensuring that low income households are still able to access electricity and water, through municipal indigent programmes. Unemployed youth must be employed and trained by the state to design and rebuild energy efficient houses and to do retro-fitting of energy efficient homes through solar water heaters, installation of decent ceiling insulation, and the design of houses to best take advantage of natural light and warmth from the sun. As part of this work, the SACP and YCLSA must identify and work with progressive environmental issue based organisations in our communities and campuses that share the protection of the environment as a minimum program. Most campuses across the country have organisations that organise around the ideology of “ecosocialism” an ideology consistent with Marxist theory. In so doing the YCLSA will be able to build strategic relationships with individuals and organisations with a view a view to amplify its programs and to draw in a generation of activists to its ranks.
The constraints faced by Eskom can be expected to persist into the forcible future. Unemployed youth, including YCLSA structures must be brought into massive energy efficiency programmes by including integration of energy-saving technologies into our social programmes and by leading campaigns to encourage environmental and energy conscious consumer behaviour.
Coupled with our programme towards socialism, the YCLSA and SACP must define clear and measurable indicators of development, not econometric indicators of growth GDP, as a scorecard for our development path. Rather human development indicators of like unemployment, inequality, life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy.
We must strengthen our ties with progressive international working class youth and student organisations, through World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) to build strategic alliances and draw lessons on how to corporate and coordinate our campaigns and struggles. Of immediate interest for us as the YCLSA would be the work done by our counterparts in Cuba. From the 1990s, faced with economic hardship following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the overnight loss of cheap oil, socialist Cuba pioneered a host of ecologically sustainable approaches to agriculture and food and energy security. These included smaller farms, the shortening of logistic hauls distances through development of local markets and the use of more labour intensive methods, and even the reversion in many cases to the use of more soil. Over the last decade, Fidel Castro has risen to be one of the most consistent global leaders raising the challenges of climate change end environmental sustainability.
We must mobilise and educate workers in energy and transport sector on their role with capitalism, as a competition based system which is focused on the unbridled pursuit of profit in which labour creates all of the wealth in society but has neither control over production nor the distribution of goods and the profits it creates. Workers must be made aware made of not only their shop floor struggles, but importantly their struggles must be linked with those of the community. As part of this programme the SACP resolved to campaign for” a switch to the use of renewable sources (notably solar and wind for energy), while balancing this with other developmental priorities.” Working with workers in energy, manufacturing and agricultural sector, we need to find sustainable solutions to energy and food security that will not comprise the livelihood of those workers. As part of mapping the solution space, is the responsibility identify renewable energy solutions that will not comprise the jobs of the millions of workers in the mining and energy sector. We must start to seriously promoting and supporting local small scale agriculture for local consumption both in rural and urban settings. People in townships, villages and even in cities (building rooftops) must be encouraged to produce their own food. Such a shift would be important mitigation step to protect working class communities in a country dependent on industrial scale farming. In order to address the environmental crisis, the SACP must play an active role in providing workers with the ideological guidance that will at all times be able to link their shop floor struggles, their livelihoods and the struggle for socialism.
Communities, business, and the state will have to mobilize to invest in method in negative carbon policies and programmes. That is, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it (where possible). The promotion of reforestation and elimination of deforestation in rural communities is one of the campaign the SACP can be actively educate and organise around.
As argued, a mode of production that exists to maximise profit instead of serving human need results in the accumulation of capital that is detached from the process of producing economic value. This leads to waste, inefficiency, and social and environmental problems including climate change issues. Profit driving production is for this reason why monopoly capital will be unable to find a sustainable solution in contract to a socialist economy. Instead of producing for profit, the governing principle of a socialist economy would be to meet the needs of people and the ecosystems we depend on. This would allow us to produce in the ways that are most sustainable, rather than most profitable. We need a revolutionary transformation that creates a new social system. This can only be achieved through the power of the organised, educated, united and agitated working class under the leadership of a disciplined vanguard Party.
To accomplish these tasks, we need a YCLSA that is organisationally disciplined, that not only can influence its membership, its South Africa allies, but a YCLSA that is bold and innovative enough to actively search for new allies locally and internationally that share the visions of building a just and equitable world order. Let us build a world which provides for people’s basic needs and that is based on egalitarism and economic, political and social democracy.
Sandile Mzilikazi Khumalo is YCLSA Mpumalanga Chairperson
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