[Marxism] SACP-ANC and South Africa

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Tue Feb 13 11:52:20 MST 2007

Patrick Bond writes:

...there are more protests in South Africa than
probably anywhere else in the world, per person (16 on average each day
in 2004-05 according to the police). There is a very vibrant
independent-left alternative, in the form of dozens of diverse social
movements, some of which make regular alliances for non-electoral
Protests against parties which originate in the trade unions and social
movements and then administer the existing system in defiance of the program
of the mass organizations are an old, old story  - the norm, rather than
exception - under capitalism.

The more important question is the readiness of the disaffected unions and
social movements to break with these parties and to build new ones to
replace them. I think history shows that any significant movement in this
direction must originate within the bosom of these mass parties and extend
into the leadership ranks, and that calls from the left, particularly from
outside the mass organizations, are largely futile and counter-productive
short of this internal climate.

I'd be interested in knowing more about how far has this process has gone in
South Africa.  My understanding is that while there is a high degree of
tension within the tripartite alliance, neither the SACP nor COSATU have
called for an open break with the ANC but are seeking instead to reform it
by replacing Mbeki and his allies with someone like Jacob Zuma who is seen
as more committed to the principles outlined in the Freedom Charter.

Is this correct, and, if so, do you share their perspective? Or is your
opposition such that you are calling over the head of COSATU and the SAC for
the "dozens of diverse social movements" which you describe to form a new
party in opposition to the ANC?

I suspect this is the issue - rather than the record of the Mbeki
government, on which I don't think there can be much dispute - which
underlies the differences being expressed on the list..

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