SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande says unless the ANC-led tripartite alliance puts its house in order, the movement will still face multiple problems of incapacity and discipline to handle its domestic affairs, including leadership.
Nzimande, who addressed the congress of the Cosatu-affiliated SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union in Cape town yesterday, suggested this against the backdrop of a fierce debate within the Alliance about who should be the next ANC president. ANC structures favour Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, while the left subtly supports Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma.
Nzimande said the movement must display capacity to tackle its internal challenges. “This is why it is very important for the ANC to reach consensus and better handle leadership transitions,” Nzimande said.
He identified what he termed “parasitic bourgeoisie” as the immediate challenge that the movement was facing domestically as well as internally in the movement. This is accompanied by the global capitalist system crisis and more powerful imperialist forces.
Nzimande said the movement needed to defeat the parasites that weakened both the capacity of the state and the broader movement.
He said the last Alliance summit in 2015 identified many problems. “All Alliance partners, without exception, agreed in a declaration from the summit that corporate capture was a problem,” Nzimande said.
The corporate capture took advantage of the social distance by the movement from the masses and distortion of internal organisational processes and gatekeeping. Nzimande cited other related methods as manipulation of membership records and votes at elective gatherings, corruption, factionalism, patronage, a lack of focus on community social issues.
He said organisational factions can hold back an organisation and liquidate the strategic leadership capacity an organisation needs to function.
“Factions can render an organisation incapable of tackling its strategic opponents,” he added.
The ANC’s loss of power in the Western Cape in the past and its significant decline in the recent local government elections needs to be scrutinised. “The fact of the matter is that the recent decline is wider than that, it includes loss of power also in some local or district municipalities in rural areas,” Nzimande said.