President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet with the SACP on Saturday as the party continues with its threat to stop providing support to the ANC during the 2019 elections unless there is a reconfiguration of the tripartite alliance.
Ramaphosa has been invited to the SACP‘s central committee meeting that is underway in Johannesburg. The meeting will finalise the party‘s position on how the alliance should be reconfigured to give all alliance partners equal say in deployment and policy decisions.
The alliance has been dominated by the ANC with the SACP, trade union federation Cosatu and the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) serving as “junior partners” despite campaigning for the party during elections. This has been a constant bone of contention that has resulted in the ANC allies demanding a review of the arrangement.
SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila told News24 that the ANC national executive committee (NEC) cannot be the highest decision-making body on issues affecting all members of the alliance.
“It can‘t be correct that… the most important one [of the alliance meetings] is the ANC NEC meeting,” he said.
Mapaila said the alliance political council needed to be given more powers and influence over decisions.
He said the council, created after the Polokwane elective conference, had failed so far. It held its last summit in 2015.
Numerous calls have been made for the convening of this meeting between alliance partners, and the blame for the delay has been laid at the ANC‘s door, particularly former president Jacob Zuma. Mapaila said the council‘s value was diminished under Zuma.
“It‘s not going to happen, we are not going to allow it going forward. In fact, it is quite clear,” Mapaila said.
Over this past weekend, the SACP flexed its muscles ahead of an ANC NEC meeting, rejecting the three names recommended by the North West provincial executive committee to replace former premier Supra Mahumapelo.
The ANC, Cosatu, SACP and Sanco had held a secretariat meeting ahead of the NEC meeting.
The SACP has also sent out conflicting messages on contesting elections outside the ANC. At its 2017 elective conference, the party resolved to contest elections if the alliance was not reconfigured.
However, secretary general Blade Nzimande cast doubt on the party contesting elections and warned that such a move could split the SACP.
Mapaila said the communist party would hold its special congress to decide whether it would go ahead with contesting elections only after Cosatu holds its conference in September.
“We can‘t move without Cosatu,” he said.
Sovereign wealth fund
There is a strong pushback within the ANC against the SACP‘s proposals but Mapaila said “it would be naïve for the ANC to think it is the leader of the alliance”.
He suggested that the SACP would never settle for anything less than complete change in how the alliance functions.
While Mapaila has indicated that, overall, the SACP is happy with Ramaphosa‘s performance in government so far, particularly in dealing with corruption and state capture, the party will ask the president to consider the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund.
The fund should allow for all proceeds of mineral resources to benefit all South Africans and not a few, the party says.