The War is not yet over…
The National Union of Mineworkers., ‘as Marxist-Leninists… is a sharp instrument of class war into a direct road to socialism… advancing the struggle for a socialist South Africa – and a union which is known for its militancy…’ speech by Sidumo Dlamini, president of South Africa’s co-ruling COSATU trade union movement.
He also expressed fears that the proposed national youth subsidy would lead to the ‘replacement of non-subsidised workers older than 29, with subsidised younger workers.”
South Africa’s co-ruling COSATU trade union movement president says the Democratic Alliance, the FreedomFrontPlus and ‘certain art galleries ‘ are harbouring poisonous racial beliefs ’ …
Sidumo Dlamini 27 May 2012 COSATU‘s Message of Support to the 2012 National Union of Mineworkers’ National Congress. May 23 to 27 2012, Emperor’s Palace, Kempton Park (ANC’s name: Ekurhuleni).speech by the COSATU President –
“Invited Guests, in particular our distinguished international guests, we would like to express our gratitude for your contribution in building the NUM into a sharp instrument of class war. “
“We would like to thank you for building the NUM into a fighting organisation that has become an envy of both your friends and foes. We congratulate the NUM for reaching 30 years of fighting uncompromisingly for workers’ rights. It is 30 years of serious and relentless struggle; it is 30 years of building the organization that has forcefully and consistently put employers on a back foot; it has been 30 years of building not only the NUM but COSATU into a force that has earned international credibility; it has been 30 years of building the ANC and deepening the national democratic revolution as a direct route to Socialism; it has been 30 years of building the SACP and advancing the struggle for a Socialist South Africa.
NUM is a reservoir of leaders from where our movement as a whole comes to take the best to lead our revolution. The General Secretary of COSATU comrade Zwelinzima Vavi comes from this homestead. By the way he was not snubbed by the NUM as the media wants all of us to believe. The COSATU General Secretary is a child of NUM he comes in and out of this home as he wishes. We urge the media to stop peddling lies!
The NUM is also a school that prepared the current Deputy President of the ANC and of the country. The man who led negotiations for our democratic transition and presided over the drawing of our constitution which has become an envy of the world, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, comes from this reservoir and the current Secretary General of the ANC comrade Gwede Mantashe comes from here.
This is a union known for its political and ideological clarity; it was the first to adopt the Freedom Charter and went on to influence COSATU to adopt a similar progressive position.
‘ NUM’s militancy led a deadly strike action in 1987… heightened mass mobilisation… which landed a deadly blow to the Apartheid regime: ‘
This is a union which is known for its militancy. It was the NUM which led a deadly strike action in 1987 which contributed in heightening the momentum for mass mobilisation which ultimately landed a deadly blow to the Apartheid regime.
The NUM is the pride of COSATU. We have noted that the Secretariat Report shows that the NUM now has increased its membership to 320 000, despite the global economic crisis which has led to the shedding of jobs.
We are impressed by the state of finances in the union, which has healthy financial reserves. We are impressed about how the union is using its investments on education and training to realise the dream of producing children of mineworkers to become mining engineers.
All these good things make us to say that the NUM is indeed a model union envisaged by COSATU and we wish that all our unions can copy from the excellent work by the NUM.
“ We do not have an ‘elective congress’ – we are plotting the class struggle ”
It is for this reason that you, the members of NUM, must do everything to defend this glorious organisation. You must defend this union with everything you have. Part of that will include refusing to get service providers and employers to run your union. There must be a conscious refusal by all of us to have our organisations being defined in terms of their election processes.
Our struggle was never about being elected to positions of power. Our organisations were not formed just to get leaders elected. These organisations are instruments of class war which is not fought on the bases of the position you occupy in the organisation.
We do not have a thing called an “elective” congress, because a congress is not just about elections but is about plotting the class struggle.
‘There are the endless riches of this continent: yet our people are subjected to hunger and abject poverty because of colonial plunder: ‘
Comrades, today we celebrate Africa Day. On this day, the 25th May in 1963, the Organisation of African Unity was born and established as its mission the achievement of independence by all African states. In 2002 the OAU established its own successor, the African Union, which defines its mission as ensuring the development of the African continent under terms determined by the African people themselves. As we celebrate this we must remind ourselves that Africa is said to possess 99% of the world’s chrome resources, 85% of its platinum, 70% of its tantalite, 68% of its cobalt, 54% of its gold plus significant oil and gas reserves. The continent is also home to uranium, manganese, diamonds and bauxite deposits in very high quantities, timber and other forest resources, including massive underground water reserves discovered in some of the driest parts of the continent. There are the endless riches of this content. Yet our people are subjected to hunger and abject poverty because of colonial plunder and corruption which continues to rob them of the development they so much deserve.
These are the countries’ resources which attracted the imperialist powers that met in Berlin 1884 and decided to divide Africa amongst themselves and imposed artificial boundaries in order to divide our resources amongst themselves.
This imperialists’ Berlin conference consolidated the process started by Jan Van Riebiek in South Africa when they arrived uninvited on our shores in 1652. It is these colonial and imperialist processes which rendered Africa a colonial territory in which her peoples were subjected to indignities and killings, administered by foreign powers ironically claiming to be democratic and civilized.
‘ A nightmare: (Deputy-Agriculture Minister) Pieter Mulder ’
Just when we thought that the project of reconstructing Africa and South Africa in particular was on track we woke up to a nightmare of Peter Mulder” (sic: his name is spelled Pieter Mulder: ed.) “who, like his ancestors, told all of us that “Africans in particular never in the past lived in the whole of South Africa. The Bantu-speaking people moved from the equator down while the white people moved from the Cape up to meet each other at the Kei River. There is sufficient proof that there were no Bantu-speaking people in the Western Cape and North-western Cape. These parts form 40% of South Africa’s land surface”.
‘ Democratic Alliance’s racist pronouncements and aggressive march against Cosatu ‘
“As if that was not enough the DA went on to make racist pronouncements to denigrate our people, who in the main were blacks and Africans and gave them a status of refugees in their own country, mistaking the Western Cape as just another State which exists outside of a unitary South Africa.,” he said. (speech continues beneath pictures).
Pictures of the ‘peaceful’ way in which Cosatu trade union members dealt with the ‘aggressive’ DA-march in Johannesburg
Above: one poster held up by Cosatu trade union movement protestors against the DA march was: ‘HIV-AIDS is better than DA”. Below: Cosatu hurled a rain of stones on the DA protestors, injuring several members:
“ DA became even more aggressive… they decided to march against Cosatu “
He continued his speech: “As we were still trying to find creative ways to engage with the insults hurled to our people, the DA became even more aggressive. They decided to march against COSATU, using the African youth to advance their racist and neoliberal agenda. Like their colonial forebears who used the divide and rule strategy, the DA used the strategy of setting the black working class against each other on a programme that is intended to exploit them.
“UTata uMandela warned us when he wrote an article entitled The Shifting Sands of Illusion in June 1953. Speaking about the DA of that time he said that they, “though apparently democratic and progressive in form, are essentially reactionary in content. They stand not for the freedom of the people but for the adoption of more subtle systems of oppression and exploitation. Though they talk of liberty and human dignity they are subordinate henchmen of the ruling circles. They stand for the retention of the cheap labour system and of the subordinate colonial status of the non-European masses together with the Nationalist Government whose class interests are identical with theirs. In practice they acquiesce in the slavery of the people, low wages, mass unemployment, the squalid tenements in the locations and shanty-towns.”
The whole concept of non-racialism gets questioned… De Klerk’s racial slur’
“Comrades when these things happen, the whole principle of non-racialism gets questioned, when it starts to look as it is Blacks and Africans and a few whites in our ranks who have the responsibility to work for peace and non racialism.
Just recently we also woke up to another racial slur when De Klerk told the world that not all aspects of apartheid were morally repugnant and that there was merit in the notion of ethnic groups living apart”.
“This is not the first time De Klerk abused the trust given to him by our people. He showed similar dishonesty during the CODESA negotiations, leading to comrade Mandela saying that “even the head of an illegitimate, discredited, minority regime as his, has certain moral standards to uphold. He has no excuse, because he is a representative of a discredited regime, not to uphold moral standards … that his weakness is to look at matters from the point of view of the National Party and the White minority in this country, not from the point of view of the population of South Africa”
1810 Saartjie Baartman humiliation and 2012 Jacob Zuma penis painting compared:
He continued: “Recently we woke up to yet another insult, when the president of the ANC and the country was depicted in the most denigrating fashion in the name of art and freedom of expression. We have been once again forced to relive the memories of Sara Bartman (sic: the correct spelling is Saartjie Baartman ) who in 1810 was taken from Cape Town to London and later in 1814 taken to France, and became the object of scientific and imperialist investigation and medical research that formed the bedrock of European ideas about black female sexuality. Like Sarah Barman (sic) who was put in a museum for public viewing and entertainment for the masters, the denigrating picture of our President was put in an art gallery for public viewing and entertainment.
Poisonous racial beliefs:
“We are reminded and forced to relive the painful colonial period in which the image of black people in the white mind focused on outrageous depictions of individual blacks and their assumed cultural practices. During that period dozens of graphic artists and illustrators prospered as racial commercial artists by drawing such images to sell products and to illustrate show bills and magazines. Even though we have been provoked to the extreme we must not make a mistake of responding in a racist fashion; we have a responsibility to stand on the side of honour and honour the principle of non-racialism as the core principle of our revolution.
Ours is to build a non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic and prosperous South Africa. The poisonous racial beliefs which are being harboured in the thinking and policies of the DA , the Freedom Front Plus and articulated through their ideological instruments such as in art galleries have no place in our country.
Take to the street to defend non-racialism…
We call on all our members to Join COSATU, the SACP and the ANC as we take to the street to defend the principle of non racialism. We are also angered by the City Press ‘s stance and arrogance that they will not remove this drawing from the website. We call on our people to show their disapproval by stopping stop buying the newspaper until they remove the drawing from the website.
As we fight racism that is being perpetuated by the DA we must not lose focus from the main tasks confronting our revolution. Comrades we have a responsibility to reflect properly and confront those things which matters for our revolution to succeed. These included confronting divisions. We should do so not do so from a neutral, but from a working class standpoint. The first aspect of this standpoint is that we should seek to build unity that is founded on protecting our class interests and not just workers’ interests but working class interests as a whole.
National Democratic Revolution as a direct route to Socialism:
econdly we should seek to build unity that is founded on our responsibility to deepen the National Democratic Revolution as a direct route to Socialism. This requires that at all material times we should know what to emphasize based on our common understand of the balance of forces and what should be achieved at that point in time. In my view what we emphasise should be determined by what we have defined as our primary enemy and not to elevate the secondary to the level of the primary factors to a point where tactical considerations are elevated to strategic factors.
We must at all times seek to keep the motive forces together and direct war against our primary class enemies. There will be from time those within our ranks who will deviate but we must be clear about how we should deal with them.
‘ Do we deal with them as if they were class enemies or we deal with them in such a way that we seek to maximise unity within the motive forces? ‘
I have observed with great concern for example how during election factions define themselves as being principled; but what is to be principled? This phrasing comrade has become a weapon of giving credibility to factionalism. All factions claim to be acting on the basis of pursuing a principle and when you come closer you are likely to discover that the overriding principle is individual interests.
Our immediate tasks are to elaborate and clarify ourselves about the objective principles that should underpin our actions at all material times. Today I want to emphasise that at the top of these principles must be working class unity which must be based on class interests. It is on the basis of this class unity that we should pursue a battle against neoliberalism as an antithesis of the working class interests.
‘ As Marxist-Leninists … ‘
“The Second immediate tasks is that as Marxist-Leninists we should shift away from a false belief that history is made by “Great Men and Women”, kings and queens, statesmen and politicians. As Marxist-Leninists we are opposed to this unscientific approach, but we do not deny the role of individuals in history, their initiative or audacity (or lack of it), in the social struggle.
“We accept that history is made by people. But we make it our responsibility to uncover the dialectical relationship between the individual (the subjective factor) and the great forces (the objective factors) that govern the movement of society and see this role in its historical context.
‘ Marxism teaches us that no person… can determine main course of historical development
“Marxism teaches us that no person, no matter how talented, capable or farsighted, can determine the main course of historical development, which is shaped by objective forces.
“However, we do accept that under critical circumstances, the role played by individuals can be decisive, the last decisive link in the chain of causality. But we must always deliberately seek to enhance the role of the masses in our revolution and subject the individual to the revolutionary masses.
“It is in this context that the third strategic task we need to undertake is to assert the role of shop stewards as being central in the political life of our organisation. The resources of our formations must be directed to building both the political and organisational capacity of our shop stewards as the nucleus of our organisation.
“Comrades our revolution has reached a stage where we need to invest our resources into building the capacity and political resourcefulness of our shop stewards based on advancing our class interests. If we fail to do this task the confidence of the right wing which exists both within and outside our movement will continue to be in the ascendency and remain unchallenged.
‘ We are guided by our Central Committee: we must build the SA Communist Party as our vanguard:
“The fourth challenge comrades, is that we should consistently wage a relentless struggle against the neoliberal agenda. We should be prepared to fight it wherever it raises its ugly head. We should fight it inside our own movement even if it comes camouflaged as government departmental programmes, where we are told not to micro-manage deployees in government.
Part of this task includes building the SACP as our vanguard. We have noted with concern how some of our differences have played themselves out in the public. As COSATU we want our affiliates to be guided by the resolutions of our Central Committee which on among others called for better management of differences amongst Alliance formations. Most of what goes into the public should be managed internally through such structures as the National Political Council and the Alliance secretariat.
Articulation of COSATU positions in opposition to the government or even other components of the Alliance policy positions should not be seen as public spats. It also does not take away the right and responsibility of comrades to engage robustly on any political question as they try to find answers to the burning questions of our society. This articulation should happen in a manner that seeks to build consensus and unity of the Alliance and should not degenerate into name-calling and labelling. We emphasise that the unity of the Alliance is sacrosanct and people must not play around with it.
The Central Committee said that COSATU’s view that the SACP is being weakened and its national profile is on the decline as a result of its decision to change its constitution to allow the post of the General Secretary not to be full time is a matter that should be guided by the spirit of this resolution.
COSATU should however respect this as a decision of the SACP constitutional structures. COSATU also accepts the SACP argument that deployment of its cadres is informed by its Medium Term Vision that enjoins the SACP to occupy all fronts of struggle including in the state. COSATU agrees with this strategic objective that communists must be in all sites of struggle but insists that the current situation does not strike a balance between this need and a need to build a strong SACP on the ground. COSATU will have space to influence the SACP in the run-up to its 13th National Congress.
In the meantime this should not be allowed to divide COSATU and the SACP and must, as far as it is possible, be better managed in the internal debates between the two formations.
In our Central Committee we also said that our task in the current conjuncture is to defend the ANC 52nd National Conference progressive resolutions and ensure that we embark on a series of campaigns to ensure their effective implementation. The political task of the working class in this conjuncture is to defend the leadership collective elected in this conference against those who have from inception launched campaigns to put this leadership on the back foot and who have undermined their authority.
Our task is to work with government to realise the common objectives summarised in the ANC elections manifesto of 2009, and ensure that the programme of decent work is taken forward. We want the government to succeed on its five priorities because we know their failure will spell disaster for the working class.
We said we will do so not by becoming uncritical supporters of both the ANC and government leadership. We shall at all times engage strategically with the ANC to ensure that it builds capacity and has the necessary confidence to act decisively to lead the Alliance and society.
At the same time, when the leadership allows paralysis and lack of confidence in our movement, we shall, in a principled fashion, speak out and embark on campaigns to ensure that the revolution stays on track. We shall at all times engage the ANC leadership on our concerns so that they may appreciate why we have chosen to embark on such campaigns.
In this context we want to remind some of the deployees in government that Polokwane (the Pietersburg ANC-conference) did not speak about the Gautrain, City-to-city Speed Trains. Neither did it speak about e-tolls but it spoke about “the promotion of affordable public transport, the expansion of rail logistics and the reversal of the apartheid spatial legacy”.
‘ Greater need for national youth service to absorb the unemployed..’
We must remind our comrades in government that Polokwane (the Pietersburg conference) rejected proposals on the youth wage subsidy; instead it said that “as part of directly absorbing the unemployed there was a need for a much larger national youth service and ensuring the linkage of industrial strategy with key youth development programmes in the form of an integrated Youth Development Strategy. This would include programmes that target the employment of women”.
He continues: “Polokwane” (the Pietersburg conference) “also said that ‘answering the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality means that we must simultaneously accelerate economic growth and transform the quality of that growth’. Our most effective weapon in the campaign against poverty is the creation of decent work, and creating work requires faster economic growth. Moreover, the challenges of poverty and inequality require that accelerated growth take place in the context of an effective strategy of redistribution that builds a new and more equitable growth path”
Comrades we will not allow employers to abuse the youth wage subsidy in the same way that they turned SETAS into milk cows and gave workers useless skills. We have no doubt they will do the same with the proposed youth wage subsidy.
An amount of R5billion has been budgeted to support the youth wage subsidy by National Treasury. This R5 billion should be used to upgrade basic education infrastructure, expand FET colleges to skill and train young people, strengthen the capacity of SOEs and municipalities to directly deliver infrastructure and services and thereby directly absorb the unemployed, build industries through beneficiation and strengthening of domestic value chains.
All these interventions require a radical shift in macroeconomic and other policies, including the decisive role of the state in strategic sectors!
Firms will replace unsubsidised workers (older than 29 years) with subsidised, younger workers:
“The DA claims that the subsidy will create 400,000 jobs, but Treasury estimates show that the net jobs created would be 178,000. This does not take into account the displacement that would occur as firms replace workers who are less than 29 years, neither does it take into account the substitution that would take place, as firms replace unsubsidised workers with subsidised workers. Furthermore, this does not take into account the displacement of firms whose workers are not subsidised.
There are six reasons in the main why COSATU is opposed to the Youth Wage Subsidy, which in our view will have the following impact:
1. It will substitute already employed workers who have hard-won benefits (ILO made a presentation at Nedlac on this, based on international evidence):
2. It will give money to employers to hire people that employers would have hired even without a youth wage subsidy (the so-called deadweight loss):
3. It will degrade conditions of employment for workers across the board:
4. It does not guarantee that the young person will be trained during the subsidy period.
5. It will lead to increase in the precarious nature employment across the board:
6. It will Increase profit margins and not employment
We must refuse to allow a situation where access and control to state power by our movement used to butcher the working class. The ANC is our movement we must make it to serve the interests of the working class which constitute the primary motive force of the National Democratic Revolution.
We wish this congress all the success. Amandla! Issued by COSATU, May 25 2012 Present were:
The president of the NUM comrade Senzeni Zokwana The General Secretary of the NUM, comrade Frans Baleni The entire leadership of the NUM, COSATU leadership present The leadership of the ANC – the vanguard of our National Democratic Revolution The leadership of the SACP – the vanguard of our Socialist Revolution The leadership of SANCO
Shifting Sands of Illusion door Nelson Mandela: Nederlands tekstboek
Saartjie Baartman: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saartjie_Baartman