The former Mapulaneng College MPCC hall was in red and struggle songs were the order of the day when the SACP launched their ‘Red October’ campaign recently. Present, to officially launch Red October 2018/2019 national campaign was SACP’S General Secretary Blade Nzimande who started by offering the SACP’s condolences to the late Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa’s family and to the family of SAFM’s Rowena Bird. He added that Molewa must be credited for her ‘Save the Rhino’ and the Clean Environment Campaign and said both the campaigns play an important role on tourism in Mpumalanga.
Nzimande said that they were launching the 2018\2019 Red October Campaign, a campaign by which they are fighting for the fixing of the municipalities so that these municipalities can work for people. He added that the campaign is happening at the time when many municipalities are experiencing problems like corruption, corporate capture, some municipalities do not have enough economic activity therefore they do not have enough funds, yet these funds are stolen on top of that.
“Therefore we are saying; communists let’s stand up and fight this. If we keep quiet and do nothing then these problems are going to continue. We must remember that there is a close relationship between the conditions under which our people live in, the municipalities and the conditions they face in the workplace. These municipalities are home to many retrenched workers so you cannot separate the workplace struggles with what is going on in the municipalities,” he said.
Nzimande also spoke about the legalisation of dagga and added that taking dagga leads to taking more serious drugs. He said communities are experiencing serious drug problems, some which lead to the rise of crime. He said some places don’t have electricity and this will lead to the raping of women. He said the problem of men who force young women to sleep with them before these young women can get jobs must be dealt with also.
“It’s good to focus on the girl child, but the focus must also be on the boy child too, boys must be taught how to treat women from an early age. Another serious issue we are facing is poverty, which is caused by lack of jobs. The issue of tenders must be looked at, i mean not every job must be put on a tender, some of these jobs must be done by the community and as the SACP we must stand up for that. Things like feeding schemes at schools must be given to co-operatives in the communities instead of tenders. This way opportunities are created in the community” said Nzimande.
Nzimande added that another problem is the issue of debt. He said the issue of repossessing property when somebody owes money, then the property is sold for a much lower price at an auction and then they say the person still owes money constitutes corruption. Nzimande added that they welcome Zondo Commission of enquiry, because intelligence structures are being abused to advance state capture. He added that the SACP must fight local government struggles and state capture.
“You cannot fight the issues of the municipalities without fighting labour brokers. Hence i am calling upon the SACP and COSATU to continue doing what they used to do in the 1980’s and fight community workers’ struggles. Not everything must be tenderised, some can be done by the community itself. Unite community co-operations to ensure a better community. You can’t organise community co-ops without organising women. The Communist Party must organise women and make sure they empower them,” he said.
Nzimande also added that the manner in which the alliance is functioning must change. He said they all campaign pre-elections but after that the decisions are made by the ANC. He said they are calling for a reconfiguration in the interest of the revolution. He said all must have a say on how things are supposed to be done.
Nzimande concluded by congratulating the local branch for putting the event together before breaking into a struggle song.