23rd IMCWP, Contribution by South African CP

10/25/23, 1:13 PM
  • South Africa, South African Communist Party 23rd IMCWP En Africa Communist and workers' parties



Dear Comrades


We convey warm fraternal greetings to all participants of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP), and congratulate the Communist Party of Turkey, (TKP) for hosting this important gathering.


Our party pays respect to all Communists in the world who have fallen over the past year, who made immense contributions in the struggle of the international working-class movement, challenging capitalism and imperialism, and who played a key role in the International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, including its working group such as our late Comrade Chris Matlhako. We appreciate all the support our party received on the occasion of his passing.


Thanks to the sterling work by the Working Group and all parties, we have as the basis of our meeting an important theme in front of us: The political and ideological battles to confront capitalists and imperialism. The tasks of communists to inform and mobilize the working class, youth, women, and intellectuals in the struggle against exploitation, oppression, imperialist lies and historical revisionism; for the social and democratic rights of workers and peoples; against militarism and war, for peace and socialism.


In the modern capitalist world in its imperialist phase, the struggle against exploitation, oppression, and imperialism, is as relevant as the existence of modern classes in society. In every country, the working class, youth, women, and intellectuals play a pivotal role in this battle, and the principal responsibility to inform and mobilise these sections of society, under overall working-class leadership, for peace, socialism, and the social and democratic rights of workers and people, is borne by communists.


We are now at a highly contested inflexion point in the global order. In imperialism is concentrated all social inequalities, ecological destruction, and militarism with destructive wars. The incendiary wars of capitalism, with the destruction of millions of lives, of infrastructure, the destruction of the environment and the naked pursuit of militarism are rooted in the desire for the maximum extraction of profit from working people, the toilers of our countries.


The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union and East Germany established a period of unrivalled US hegemony. This caused structural changes in the capitalist world economy, namely hyper-globalisation, financialisation and digitisation, underpinned by an ideology of free market fundamentalism known as neo-liberalism.  The unilateral domination of the US is being challenged as a multi-polar world order is being born.


The great tension that exists between US-led imperialism, and the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China nexus can among others be attributed to  China’s rise to become a major industrial power. In addition to the rapid development of cutting-edge technologies, the Belt-and-Road Initiative has emerged as an important tool to enhance Chinese influence and almost 150 countries are already participating in the programme.


In addition, Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 is the culmination of a long process of the deterioration of the global order.  The tense geopolitical atmosphere can be attributed to the provocative eastern expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to the borders of Russia. The NATO’s military expansion to the eastern borders of Russia was accompanied by the deployment of offensive intermediate-range missile systems in the European Baltic states close to the Russian borders provoking an aggressive offensive. In this regard, we urge the 23rd plenary session to declare its solidarity with the just struggle against fascism launched by the working people of Donbas as supported by the armed forces of Russia.


The outcomes of the BRICS 15th summit meeting held in Johannesburg in late-August needs to be located within this context, and the broader, fundamental need to intensify the advancement of an anti-imperialist agenda.  We acknowledge that the six new members admitted to the BRICS Forum, namely Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates is clearly a disparate group both economically and politically. However, with 37 percent of the global economy and 46 percent of the world’s population, and with a now considerably enhanced presence in the Middle East, a region historically dominated by the US, the significance of BRICS+6 cannot be ignored.


BRIC+6 in particularly challenges the imperialist use of unilateral coercive measures as a weapon of war. The SACP is strongly opposed to all imperialist machinations, including unilateral sanctions and economic blockades, combined with mass media propaganda, to attack and cripple the economies of the targeted countries. The imperialists use this as part of their regime change agenda, including to determine election outcomes through the negative impact of the unilateral sanctions and blockades.


We therefore express solidarity with Cuba and all other affected states against the genocidal American blockade.


We further express our solidarity with the Palestinians for their right to an independent state and affirm their right to resist. The Palestinian people have embarked on an armed struggle, like us in South Africa when we formed uMkhonto weSizwe as part of our struggle to end colonial and apartheid oppression, economic exploitation and land dispossession. Accordingly, we strongly condemn the aggression being exercised in the region by apartheid Israel, its US partners and their allies, especially the genocide currently taking place in Gaza and call for an cessation of hostilities.


We impel that solidarity work be manifested beyond statements and demonstrations, and be complemented with decisive action, whether, for example, it be through strategic strikes or the supply of humanitarian or other required goods. A class-biased, sectoral approach, can maximise impact in this regard.


The working class is the backbone of society, yet it bears the heaviest burden of capitalism's excesses. To confront capitalism, it is essential to organise the working class, educate them about their exploitation, and empower them to demand their rights. Workers must unite across borders, industries, and professions to challenge the capitalist system. Trade unions, strikes, and collective action are essential tools for the working class to assert their demands for fair wages, safe working conditions, an equitable share of the wealth they produce, and to force the creation of a more just, equitable and peaceful world. These are the instruments through which a new socialist society would prevail.


If adequately mobilised, the youth, women, and progressive intellectuals are an affront to the untrammelled domination of the system of capitalism and imperialism. Young people's vitality, creativity, and determination is a potent force for change. Women, who often bear the brunt of gender-based oppression, have a unique perspective to offer in the fight for equality. Intellectuals, with their critical thinking and analytical skills, can be a bridge towards a deeper understanding of the injustices perpetuated by the capitalist system. It is our duty as communists to engage and educate these groups, forging alliances and empowering them to contribute to the struggle.


As communists, our vision is clear: we fight for a society where the means of production are socially owned, the working class holds political power, and where the people's needs take precedence over profits. We are committed to dismantling the capitalist system, ending imperialism, and challenging the historical revisionism that seeks to obscure the brutal realities of capitalism. Our goal is not only peace but also the establishment of socialism, a society where exploitation is eradicated, and the working class enjoys the full fruits of their labour.


In our domestic situation, the rapid regression of the national democratic revolution is undoing the gains of freedom, democracy, and accelerating the ascent to neoliberalism. We are struggling against a relentless application of neoliberal reforms on the economy, with marginal growth rates, an energy crisis, chronic unemployment and attacks on collective bargaining. Our party is coordinating with the trade union movement to stave off cuts in budgetary allocations and the wholesale privatisation of state-owned entities, mobilising various sectors in response. Despite rising productivity levels, wages remain stagnant with widespread downward variation of working conditions. The capitalist class wallows in opulence in one of the most unequal societies in the world. They accumulate immense wealth through the suffering of the working class, who toil relentlessly for a mere pittance.


The struggles against capitalism and imperialism take on a particularly acute dimension in Africa. For far too long, Africa has been a victim of ruthless exploitation and domination by imperialist powers. The imperialist thirst for resources has left a trail of devastation, robbing Africa of its wealth and perpetuating poverty. The challenges of imperialism in Africa are multifaceted and deeply ingrained. The continent's natural riches, from minerals to oil, have been ruthlessly extracted by foreign corporations, often in collusion with corrupt local elites. While yielding immense profits for imperialist powers, this resource extraction has left the African people in perpetual poverty, with little control over their own resources.


Additionally, imperialism in Africa has left a legacy of political instability, as imperialist powers have often supported dictatorial regimes that serve their interests. These puppet governments perpetuate a cycle of oppression and violence, further undermining the sovereignty of African nations. The people of Africa are subjected to the consequences of these geopolitical machinations, facing conflict, displacement, and a lack of basic human rights.


In this regard, the SACP pledges its solidarity with the people of Swaziland who are struggling for democracy, including those who are exiled in South Africa because of repressive activities by the monarchy despot whose autocracy undermines the will of the people. We call for the unbanning of political parties and the return of exiles to enable a democratic transition.


The South African Communist Party, along with other communist parties on the continent is working to revive the African Left Network Forum. As communists, it is our duty to recognise and struggle against these challenges, standing in solidarity with the African people as we confront the legacy of imperialism and continue on the path of emancipation.


On practical questions facing the IMCWP, we welcome the principled issues raised by the host party TKP on managing the discussion on differences. Again, as a matter of ideological conviction, we should all agree to concretely resolve these issues in a separate meeting that the working group should coordinate.


In conclusion, the battle against capitalism and imperialism is far from over, but the ideals of Marxism-Leninism illuminate the path to a better world. Communists must persistently inform and mobilise the working class, youth, women, and intellectuals. It is our duty as communists to mobilise, educate, and empower these groups, turning them into formidable allies in the struggle.


We stand for the social and democratic rights of workers and people, and we vehemently oppose militarism and war.


We are ready to concretely give meaning to the outcomes of this 23rd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties and the realisation of a socialist society where humanity's well-being is the ultimate priority.


Thank you.