E Cape SACP eyes state power

Solly Mapaila, left, with Xolile Nqatha at the SACP gathering at the Orient Theatre in East London
Solly Mapaila, left, with Xolile Nqatha at the SACP gathering at the Orient Theatre in East London
Image: Michael Pinyana

The ANC alliance partners in the Eastern Cape – the SACP and Cosatu – are responding to calls for the SACP to break away from the ruling party and contest general elections on their own ticket.

SACP Eastern Cape provincial secretary Xolile Nqatha revealed on Sunday the party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) had already taken a decision to contest for state power.

However, he said they still needed the buy-in of their national leaders, and he hoped it would be discussed in a special SACP congress they were calling for.

Nqatha was speaking at the 97th anniversary celebration of the SACP at the East London’s Orient Theatre on Sunday.

“The PEC has expressed strong concerns and a decision was taken during our congress to contest state power, hence the call for a special national congress,” he said.

Nqatha also said the SACP in the Eastern Cape needed to unite and be strong and that they should also guard against tribalism of the Zulus.

His sentiments were echoed by Cosatu provincial secretary Xolani Malamlela who said change was needed as relations in the tripartite alliance were strained.

“Our relationship as the alliance is not on the right track,” said Malamlela.

He added: “When the announcement to increase VAT was made, the ANC acted surprised and we wonder if the centre is holding.”

“Then there was an increase in the petrol price. [Those developments] make us like the idea of the SACP contesting state power.

“The alliance must act so poor people are not affected,” he said.

Malamlela charged that when elections were coming, the ANC attended alliance meetings, but ANC comrades lock themselves in meetings alone when they talk deployment.

Service delivery, he said, was affected negatively as a result.

He said before any decision was taken, there must be consultation with the working class through Cosatu.

Malamlela further said it seemed some of Cosatu’s national leaders had already started talking against the decision for the SACP to contest state power.

SACP’s first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila, who was the keynote speaker, said the SACP spent a lot of time in the development of revolutionary cadres who would go on to formulate the alliance.

ANC provincial chairman Oscar Mabuyane was also scheduled to address the gathering, but when it delayed to start, he left for another engagement and did not speak.