The SA Communist Party's general secretary Blade Nzimande.

THE South African Communist Party (SACP)’s central committee has pledged its support for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to deal with corruption, which has seen billions of rands stolen from government coffers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SACP’s secretary general Blade Nzimande said the central committee discussed and welcomed Ramaphosa’s letter to ANC members in which he called the party “Accused No1” in the dock in terms of corruption accusations linked to its members and leaders.

He said Ramaphosa, in his letter to members of the party, spoke for a great majority of ANC and alliance members and supporters.

“He has the full support of the SACP in driving a firm anti-corruption line within our movement,” he said following the central committee’s two0day meeting.

“The President spoke for a great majority of ANC and alliance members and supporters … Much as the struggle against corruption must be waged on all fronts, it is important for the ANC as the governing party to take a lead in this regard, including a determined effort to confront all manner of fightback campaign including those fightback campaigns that are camouflaged in choreographed open letters.”

The central committee also said the looting of public resources intended for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic crisis was ‘akin to murder’.

“The looting of public resources intended for dealing with the health crisis—like the up to eight hundred per cent mark-ups on health equipment by rent-seeking tenderpreneurs in a number of instances, or the theft of personal protective equipment. These are actions that the World Health Organisation director general has rightfully described as ‘akin to murder,’ said the central committee said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, these wanton acts of corruption are just one more, particularly awful, example of the rampant scourge of corruption and unethical behaviour across much of the public and private sectors.”

The central committee of the party also welcomed the decisions of the last ANC National Executive Committee to intensify the campaign against corruption and deal decisively with all the culprits, including instructing all those charged with fraud, corruption and other crimes in the courts of law to step aside.

It said much as the struggle against corruption must be waged on all fronts, it is important for the ANC as the governing party, to take a lead in this regard, including a determined effort to confront all manner of fight back campaigns.

OTHER KEY OUTCOMES OF THE SACP’S CENTRAL COMMITTEE

On the South African Airways:

The central committee called for an urgent release of the funds as committed by the government to rescue and restructure the SAA towards a viable, growing and thriving national airline. The SACP is acutely aware of attempts by those who want to feed and profit from the carcass of the SAA to work towards the liquidation of the national airlines, for nothing else but their greed. A national airline or an airline in which the state has a significant stake is crucial as part of our aviation industrial strategy, wider industrial development and support for the economic sectors linked to the aviation industry, such as the air cargo industry-an important sector in international trade-and tourism, among others. A well-managed whole-of-state guided national airline is also crucial for a post-Covid-19 crisis turnaround.

On the public sector wage agreement:

The central committee denounced the National Treasury’s characterisation of the government’s compliance with the public service wage agreement as ‘immoral’. The SACP reiterates its call on government to honour its public sector wage agreement.

On the public health-care sector and the National Health Insurance:

The intensification of the NHI campaign will go hand in hand with the intensification of another important campaign-a campaign against neoliberal austerity. Without the introduction of the NHI and tackling austerity, the public healthcare sector will remain under-resourced and will not be strengthened. The public healthcare sector is expected to take care of the needs of the overwhelming majority of our population.

On Revolutionary Morality Committee:

The central committee mandated its Political Bureau to appoint a Revolutionary Morality Committee, in line with the SACP Constitution, to discharge its responsibilities in relation to the standards of revolutionary morality.

No to a Tenderised State:

The central committee reaffirmed the SACP’s stance against the tenderisation of the state. Besides measures that coalesced around hollowing out of the strategic capacity of the state, tenderisation of the state has directly led to curtailing of the role of the state in the economy and productive activity, in favour of economic control by the private wealth accumulation sector. Hence the weakening of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and other public entities. This is now accompanied by measures aimed at exposing (‘opening’) the assets of the SOEs and other public entities to private sector exploitation for a greater share in private wealth accumulation competition. The working-class need to unite to stop the manoeuvres to convert South Africa into a full-blown capitalist tender state. 

(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)

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