Date : Monday, July 9, 2018
AZAPO STANDING COMMITTEE RESOLUTIONS ON LAND REPOSSESSION, THE TRANSFER OF COMMUNAL LAND, SOCIO- ECONOMIC STRIFE AND THE 2019 ELECTIONS.
The Standing Committee of the Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) met over the weekend to consider a number of issues that impact on our national and organisational life.
The Standing Committee meeting in Randburg, took place in the backdrop of increasing polarisation among Black People as a result of the mishandling of the debates around the repossession of land, the increasing cost of living due to the constant rise in the petrol price, and the impact of the ill-advised increase in vat to 15%, as well as the impending 2019 National Elections.
The Standing Committee of AZAPO has taken a number of key decisions and resolved to pronounce on some of these with the view to giving guidance and substance to the obtaining national discourse and strife.
On the Transfer of Communal Land to the State and Inkosi Zwelithini’s Reaction to Pronouncements of the Motlanthe Panel
The Standing Committee of AZAPO is of the view that the Motlanthe Commission misdirected itself on the land question by concentrating its energies and focus on the tiny 13% of land that is currently under the administration of Black people and Amakhosi/ Magosi.
It is disgraceful that while the so called High Level Panel readily provided us with recommendations on how to deal with land under the custodianship of traditional leaders, there was utter silence on the primary contradiction on the land and the agrarian question in South Africa – the iniquitous ownership of land between Black and White people, where the white settler minority still clings to 87% of our land.
AZAPO believes that it is not the Amakhosi/ Magosi who are hoarding land in this country. The real hoarders of land are the rich white families like the Oppenheimers, the Ruperts and the Wiese’s of this world as well as big mining companies like De Beers, Anglo American and Lonmin. It is to these powerful families, the big corporations and white farmers that the primary battle to repossess our land must be directed, not to Traditional Leaders and within the tiny 13% of land in Black hands.
The irresponsible statement made by the leader of the High Level Panel, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, who called traditional leaders, “village tin-pot dictators”, must be condemned by all for their vulgar, denigrating and provocative nature towards the institution of Traditional Leadership. This has now provoked a strident response by Inkosi Zwelithini and has polarised and divided the Black Nation.
AZAPO is perturbed by the resort to base tribalistic and ethnic sentiments that have surfaced because of this divisive and provocative statement and standpoint by Motlanthe’s Panel.
The unity, solidarity and collective dignity of Black people, is what the Black Consciousness Movement has laboured unrelentingly for during of its 50 years of existence, and AZAPO will not standby idly when this sacrosanct position is threatened by the ruling party and parliament
Towards this end, AZAPO will be embarking on a process of consultation with all our Magosi to hear them out on their views on land, and to explain to them our own opposition to the transfer of communal land to the State, which pursues a capitalist and neo-liberal agenda.
AZAPO will seek audience with CONTRALESA, Inkosi Zwelithini and the Ingonyama Trust , The Royal Bafokeng Council, and other Traditional leaders in order to consolidate our resistance to the transfer of Black Communal land, but also to realise the expunction of Section 25 of the Constitution, which is a major obstacle toward the repossession and redistribution of land back to its rightful owners.
On the Rising Cost of Living Due to the Sharp Rise in Petrol Prices, Vat and their Impact on the Poor and the Black Working Class.
The Standing Committee also noted that the socio economic situation of the majority of our people is worsening, primarily due to the constant and sharp increase in the cost of petrol and fuel prices, and the ill-advised imposition of a 1% increase in Vat by government. Many families are struggling to put food on the table, and basic utilities such as water, electricity and transport are becoming inaccessible and unaffordable.
All this is happening because this government is too wedded to the capitalist system and believes that socio economic problems can be resolved by free market solutions. The worsening socio economic situation of our people is evidence enough that an unplanned economy is very much open to exploitation, profiteering and manipulation by capitalist market forces.
This situation is untenable. It will get worse before it gets better, so long as the ruling administration does not untangle itself from the clutches of capitalism. The lack of regulation and control on prices in the economy, on food, electricity, petrol, medical and education services, among many categories, is a major contributor to the current economic strife that our people and the economy are experiencing.
There is a generalised increase in inflation on basic goods and services such as food, housing, fuel, electricity, medicine, education and transport, and government economic planners appear helpless and hapless to explain this phenomenon and to roll it back.
As a result of this, the South African economic socio-economic fundamentals are progressively worsening: more unemployment, more poverty and inequality. This, more than anything else, should tell the ruling party that there is something fundamentally wrong with the economic trajectory and policy direction that South Africa has pursued for the last 24 years.
AZAPO calls upon the government to immediately consider subsidies for poor and working class families on basic goods and services such as food, transport and electricity.
The South African financial system, which is largely foreign owned and dominated, must also be regulated to direct national savings to investment in infrastructure and productive economic activities. The present anomaly where the financial sector is left to its own devices, and does not contribute to capital formation in the country is unsustainable. The sector is not contributing to building factories, roads, housing and economic and social infrastructure to effect national development and to improve socio-economic conditions in the country.
AZAPO believes socialist principles of economic planning can serve the South African economy better because they emphasise central and national planning. An economy without any national plan as is the case at present, under the ANC will forever remain vulnerable and susceptible to external and internal forces of exploitation. The spike in interest rates and petrol prices, prove that the South African economy needs strong government intervention and regulation.
It is now time to abandon capitalist models and bring the free market system under harness, so that we can give our people hope. Something that has eluded this nation for 24 years since the Kempton Park Compromise.
On the ANC Demand for Majority Coverage from the SABC in News and Elections Campaigns.
AZAPO has noted the demands by the ruling party for more coverage of its news by the national broadcaster, during the Commission of Inquiry currently underway at the SABC on political interference at the National Broadcaster.
This is an obscene and absurd demand, coming immediately after the destructive legacy that the public broadcaster has just emerged from after the misguided and meddlesome role played by deployed cadres like Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the national broadcaster.
Such a demand will have the effect of undermining the Editorial Independence of the SABC and would give the ruling party an unfair advantage in the run up to the 2018 elections. The integrity of the SABC must be protected by all. It must remain a public broadcaster that serves all facets of South African political, economic and social life, fairly and in a balanced manner.
The issue of electoral coverage is regulated by ICASA not by the SABC and it must remain there.
AZAPO’s Readiness for the 2019 National Provincial Elections (NPE)
The Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) is on track to reclaim its space as the true custodian of our people’s aspirations. To this end, the current leadership took stock of the state of readiness of our structures to advance our liberatory goals, by using the electoral platform in 2019.
The leadership collective was impressed by how many of our structures and leaders in Limpopo, the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga, represented the true voice of our people on the current Land Repossession hearings that have taken place in these provinces.
AZAPO was visible, articulate and principled on representing our people’s historical claims on land, and in rejecting Section 25 of the constitution, which promotes the willing buyer willing seller model.
Four of our provincials structures have successfully relaunched, and many of our student, youth, trade union and women formations, are hard at work, interacting with communities and social structures to canvass their views on key election issues for 2019.
This will culminate in our National Council planned for September 2018, which will serve as a policy discussion platform, and will feed into our Election Planning and Campaign Strategy for 2019.
AZAPO is confident that, it will perform well in the coming elections, because many of our people, have come round to the views expressed by AZAPO in 1994, that the struggle must continue, as the Kempton Park Compromise will not deliver real and true freedom.
AZAPO will enter the elections in 2019 to advance our historic revolutionary and liberation agenda, but will also maintain high levels of community and mass struggles by our structures.
2019 represents an opportunity to claw back against the betrayal of 24 years of our people’s hopes and aspiration. AZAPO, as it has always done since SASO was founded in 1969, will rekindle hope and rally our people behind Black Unity, Black Solidarity and Black Power, once more, in 2019.
Issued by AZAPO
|AZAPO Spokesperson||AZAPO Secretary General|