from Umsebenzi published by the SACP

Reconfigured Alliance, electoral options and state power

There was much debate at the SACP’s Special national congress (SNC) in July about whether the party should contest the 2016 local government elections under its own banner. The SNC decided on the compromise set out in this resolution:


* the character of the SACP as an independent Marxist-Leninist vanguard party that, since the late 1920s, has struggled for the realisation of working class hegemony over state power, as a decisive step towards consolidating a national democratic revolution as the most direct path to socialism in South Africa;

* in line with the SACP’s medium term vision, working class hegemony over state power can only be advanced, deepened and defended through simultaneously building working class hegemony in all key sites of power – in our communities, in the work place, in the battle of ideas, in the economy;

* in the current multi-party democratic dispensation in South Africa, parliamentary and municipal elections are an important but relatively limited site of struggle for the realisation of working class hegemony over state power;

* consistent with the above, the 1st special national congress adopted a resolution to initiate an internal debate on state power under new conditions post April 1994, and that the 12th national congress adopted a set of resolutions and proposed a clear way forward;

* the 13th national congress and the 2012 augmented central committee further resolved on this matter on the basis that objective and subjective conditions did not warrant a profound change in SACP’s electoral options; and October 2015

* that at the core of the 13th national congress resolutions was the need for the SACP to contest elections under a reconfigured alliance, and that owing to improved alliance conditions and shared strategic perspectives post the ANC’s 52nd and 53rd national conferences, the resolution was not formalised nor fully implemented.

Further noting

* the July 2015 Alliance Summit was yet another watershed moment that consolidated the unity of the alliance and adopted a clear programme of action and resolutions based on the shared strategic perspective of a second radical phase of the NDR;

* that while the creation of an alliance political council and a well-functioning alliance Secretariat has further improved alliance relations at national level, this has not found concrete expression in provinces and regions. on the contrary, alliance relations in some provinces and regions have deteriorated and degenerated to unacceptable levels; and

* the current process of organisational renewal and redesign provides yet another strategic platform to engage on the SACP’s relations with state power and the long-term strategy for socialism.

Believing that

* the South road to Socialism (SarS) and the medium term vision (MTV) contain the SACP’s clear theoretical and political perspectives on state power, and electoral processes; and

* conceptual clarity and consistent discipline on the meaning and articula- tion of concepts of state power and electoral options is critical to avoid theoreti-

cal confusion and unintended alienation of the SACP from its historic contribution and decisive role in contest of state power and its radical transformation.

Therefore resolves

* the 12th national congress resolution on contesting elections under conditions of a reconfigured alliance be im- plemented based on a clear framework, principles and guidelines and that such be tabled at the alliance political council for implementation commencing with the next local government elections;

* it is therefore important that in line with the alliance Summit resolutions, and as part of their implementation, the alliance political council decisively and speedily intervenes in provinces and regions where alliance relations have deteriorated and degenerated to unfortunate and unacceptable levels;

* as part of organisational renewal and redesign, a standing CC commission on state power and electoral options be established to evaluate and further refine our long term strategy for socialism based on the following:

an independent programme of the SACP for socialism as articulated in SarS;

— Favourable objective and subjective concrete conditions;

— dynamic, robust and democratic engagements with revolutionary, fraternal and alliance formations and communities to ensure working class hegemony and leadership;

  • proper and scientific assessment of the class balance of forces at all levels; and* that a report of this commission be tabled in the forthcoming 14th national congress.

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