YCLSA National Committee Press Statement
5 November 2017
The National Committee of the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) held its 9th Plenary Session from the 3rd to the 5th November 2017.
The meeting received Political, Organizational and Financial Reports. In the main, the political report dealt with the State, Popular power and the Role of the South African Communist Party (SACP), the Centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, and the Role of the YCLSA in youth mobilization and the struggle for Socialism.
The meeting of the National Committee noted the current context of renewed energy and arrogance of monopoly capital. Monopoly capital has embarked on a series of retrenchments as we see in the mining sector with the objective of generating super profits for a tiny minority. The current semi - colonial, capitalist economy in South Africa continues to produce and reproduce unemployment, inequality and poverty. The National Committee discussed in particular the concerns around youth unemployment, poverty and inequalities. Youth unemployment and poverty continues to rise and the YCLSA will be developing a youth manifesto to provide new, innovative solutions to these challenges. And most importantly embark on mass campaigns around these issues.
The National Committee was addressed by the SACP First Deputy General Secretary (1st DGS), comrade Solly Mapaila. The 1st DGS of the SACP presented a political overview around the state of the tripartite alliance and the current challenges facing the movement. He further elaborated on the resolutions of the 14th National Congress of the SACP and progress made in this regard. Cde. Mapaila further shared with the National Committee reasons behind the decision to contest elections as the SACP in Metsimaholo municipality in the Free State province.
The YCLSA welcomes the decision of the SACP to contest local elections in Metsimaholo Municipality, Free State Province
The SACP as our mother body has taken a very decisive decision to register SACP candidates who will directly contest all 21 wards in the Metsimaholo Municipality, Free State Province. This decision is a clear indication that the SACP is serious about contesting State Power and implementing its 14th National Congress resolution to actively contest elections. The YCLSA is proud to support such a decision which is the first step towards the SACP contesting National Elections in 2019. The YCLSA has always maintained that we have objectively exhausted the current journey with the ANC and the SACP must now actively contest elections for State Power.
The YCLSA will be dedicating maximum time, energy and effort to ensure an overwhelming and decisive victory for the SACP in all 21 wards at the local elections in Metsimaholo on the 29th November 2017.
Unity and Action in the Struggle for Socialism
The Young Communist League of South Africa [uFasimba] entered the year 2017 united and we will leave the year even more united. The stability within the YCLSA and the SACP is a breath of fresh air when we observe things around us within the ANC and its leagues. One of the reasons for our stability, which brings its own strength, is that we are an ideologically based and political coherent organization. Our mandate is to fight against all forms of exploitation, oppression and manipulation of the working class, currently and explicitly embodied by the political elite that benefits from corporate capture of the State. Thus, even though many are shocked by the Gupta capture of our state we, on the other hand, have always been consistent in pointing out and fighting all forms of capture. The YCLSA is convinced that we must start focusing our energies on a beyond "Gupta era". Our struggle is deeper and far-reaching than that.
On the Gupta Family and it's Godfather President Jacob Zuma
The "Gupta-era" is going to come to an end. This victory would be the result of the masses of our people rising up against the theft of our resources. This end of the Gupta-era and its capture of our state through un-ethical and corrupt politicians would be a result of civil society, labour and the youth having spoken up against the Gupta-cartel and their Godfather, Jacob Zuma.
Another nail in the Gupta-era coffin is going to be the election of the anti-corruption candidate in December at the upcoming ANC congress. On this note, we warmly welcome the increasing number of branches of the ANC that are nominating in the direction against corruption.
The YCLSA also reflected on the most recent exposure of the relations that President Zuma has developed with thugs involved in illicit activities as detailed in Jacques Paauw's book "The President's Keeper". On this note the YCLSA will be embarking on a campaign to expose and mobilize against these illicit cartels operating in our country. We believe that there is strong evidence of agencies being captured by these gangsters and their lackeys in government to enable these activities. This will require the effort of every young person who is highly affected by this insenstive neo-colonial and neo-liberal manoeuvres.
Our mandate, however, is not to get distracted with elections in other organizations nor do we believe that we cannot think beyond the ANC. Our mandate, which we reaffirmed during our meeting, is to build YCLSA and SACP branches and develop foot soldiers in the fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment and in the struggle for a more just and, of course, socialist world. We urge young people who are at the receiving end of capitalist exploitation to rise up and reclaim their humanity.
On the back door sale of Telkom Shares
The YCLSA is aware of moves to sell Telkom shares owned by the state and to use the proceeds to bail out SAA from which resources were siphoned off to sustain political elites and their close associates - this is absurd! We cannot, must not and should not be selling our telecommunications provider as this will essentially be selling our future. Our people fought hard for this entity to be a public entity that must provide services to our people, especially in this era of a "data economy" from which private mobile operators want to make profit.
The YCLSA is vehemently opposed to the selling of Telkom shares to a select few in the private sector. Telkom is critical in the rollout of fibre optic cables for the provision of telecommunication services to our people and therefore becomes critical for progress into the 4th Industrial Revolution.
On the Struggles of Mineworkers
On the labour front, the YCLSA is highly disturbed by the silence of the Minister of Mineral Resources with regard to the Lilly mine issue. We are further worried about the recent incidents that are taking place in the mining sector. The recent "fall of grounds" in Mponeng mine confirms what we have been saying that the mine bosses always prioritize profit maximisation over the safety of workers. Amongst the reasons fall of grounds are taking place are poor working conditions, high heat levels that workers are exposed to and poor mining standards.
The YCLSA is calling upon the Minister of Mineral Resources Honorable Musebenzi Zwane to force Mining bosses to adhere to the following;
- Ventilation standards must be followed
- Support system is adequate
- Monitoring systems are installed
- Mining Industry systems be linked to Government Council for Geo-science to avoid under reporting.
The current retrenchments are highly politicised by the mining houses. Mr. Sipho Pityana who is the Chairman of Anglo Gold AShanti, CEO of Sibanye Mr Niel Frannemaarn and others are pushing their own political agenda using jobs and workers. We are calling upon mining houses and all companies to apply retrenchments as a last resort. Our government must also make retrenchments not an easy option.
On the Presidential Fees Commission
The YCLSA was very suspicious with the establishment of the Presidential Fees Commission in the first place, this view we expressed on many platforms. We did not understand why the President would commission a committee that must make a determination on whether free education is feasible when the movement and the ANC in particular took a decision 10 years ago in Turfloop. Instead of his government implementing this important resolution that young people have been waiting for, President Zuma has commissioned many commissions using government funds, and the same funds that must take poor students to school.
The recent Presidential Commission was not different. We however still participated and submitted how free education for the poor must be implemented in 2018. This submission we also made in the ANC Policy Conference where we challenged the ANC to take responsibility for their resolutions and not hide behind commissions and deployees. The Commission itself went beyond the timeframes and we raised our discomfort about this because we know how the fate of young people is in the hands of this suspicious commission.
The Commission finally submitted their findings to the President but because President Zuma has never taken young people and students seriously, he has decided to sit on it. The President delays this report when he fully understands the anxieties of students at a time when institutions are busy with processes of increasing fees. We demand the release of the report by Zuma and we demand that free quality education for the poor be implemented in 2018. We furthermore demand an explanation from President Zuma as to why the delay in the release of the report and why he chose to release the report after dismissing the General Secretary of the SACP, Cde. Blade Nzimande from his cabinet.
On the International Front
We salute our comrades across the world that celebrated 100 years of the Great October Socialist Revolution. We also note that our branches, districts and provinces held successful events, marking this occasion and also using this period to reflect on the gains of communism.
We also note the centenary of the Balfour declaration that resulted in the creation of the Modern State of Israel in the land of Palestine and which has resulted in the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lord Balfour, the British official that gave away the land of Palestine without the consent of the local indigenous Palestinian Christians, Muslims and Jews who were already residing there was nothing more than a racist, colonialist and white supremacist. In 1906, in his own words, he said: 'we have to face the facts...men are not born equal, the white and black races are not born with equal capacities: they are born with different capacities which education cannot and will not change.'"
The YCL SA will be joining other organizations across the country in marking this centenary but also in marking the 40th year of the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and calling for the shutting down of the SA Embassy in Israel - a downgrade is not really enough!
We further note the recent vote at the UN General Assembly in support of lifting the embargo on Cuba. We condemn the US and Israel for being the only two countries that voted against this but welcome the fact that they are isolated as the two countries that are against progress.
The YCL SA National Committee ends the year by saluting our branches and districts that have mobilized against state capture, have held programs and have remained relevant within the youth of our country. Our branches and members have done sterling work in the communities that they are based.
Finally, the YCLSA sends its collective condolences to our former spokesperson, Cde Khaya Xaba, and his family who lost his mother this past Thursday.
Issued by the YCLSA
For more information
YCLSA National Spokesperson
Molaodi Wa Sekake
078 164 3668
YCLSA Media Liason Offficer
073 969 85 32