The SA Communist Party (SACP) could separate from the ruling ANC and contest the 2019 national election on its own.
The party is considering the idea after it came under strong pressure from some of its structures to abandon the ruling party and contest the elections as a separate entity. A final decision whether to leave the ANC will be made at the SACP national congress in July 2017.
The SACP is not fighting for power for the party but for the working class
SACP national spokesperson Alex Mashilo said yesterday the party’s current position was that it was contesting power through the ANC-led alliance. However, he said there was ongoing discussion about the party’s future position, as suggested by some provinces such as Mpumalanga which, at its recent congress, called for the SACP to leave the ANC.
Mashilo told The Citizen two discussion papers on state power had been produced and were being processed by the party’s central committee. The committee was mandated by the party’s special congress last July to set up a sub-committee to continuously examine its relationship with the working class and to scrutinise the issue of state power.
The central committee has received two draft documents from its sub-committee and the second was being updated with input from provinces. This document raised the separation issue. Mashilo said the submissions of provinces that made the call would form part of the congress discussion on these papers.
“As things stand right now, the position of the SACP is that the party is not a narrow electoralist party, the SACP is not fighting for power for the party but for the working class,” Mashilo said.
“Our engagement with elections in this period is guided by the need to advance the national democratic revolution guided by our principles.”
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said some members and structures in the SACP felt they were being marginalised by the ANC’s policy-making, while others felt left out of the ruling party’s deployments.
“But the main thing here is that the SACP sees in the ANC an organisation that is in decline that will not help them going forward. “The ANC, seemingly, was having difficulty uniting its own forces and is factionalised,” he said.