SACP poll plan not new - COSATU
Bonolo Selebano, The New Age, Johannesburg, 21 September 2016
COSATU is becoming increasingly sceptical about calls in the SACP to ditch
the ANC-led tripartite alliance and go it alone at the 2019 polls.
Speaking ahead of a bilateral meeting with the SACP, COSATU general
secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said yesterday that it was no coincidence
that calls for its alliance partner to contest the 2019 polls came against
the background of increasing tensions with the ANC.
"This is not a new call though, because we often hear it being made every
time when relations within the alliance are bad or dysfunctional,"
"We resolved to engage the SACP on this matter in our bilateral meeting
He said COSATU suspected that calls in the SACP to contest the 2019 general
elections were more about occupying government positions.
"We suspect that by 'state power' some proponents of this call merely refer
to being elected to legislatures or at best into political office,"
His comments come at a time when the SACP has said it is in the process of
ironing out the finer details of a discussion document concerning the
party's "relationship with state power", with a view towards the realisation
of the party contesting elections.
The SACP will also be making a final decision on the matter at its national
congress next year.
Making reference to dual party membership among ANC and SACP card carrying
members, Ntshalintshali said the SACP's proposal would bring the workings of
the alliance to a halt.
"Most members of the SACP are members of the ANC and COSATU. It will have an
impact if the party stands for elections. That's what we need to debate and
do the proper assessment," he said.
COSATU president Sdumo Dlamini chimed in on the debate saying the SACP
should be mindful of its ideological orientation in the context of economic
"The party is understood to stand for a socialist order," he said. "The
perception in society will be that the party is now introducing socialism in
"If you do not move along with society you may have a party that decides to
contest at that time and society is left behind and the party swims under
"Move with the people, particularly workers," Dlamini said.
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