South African Communist Party, Johannesburg Central Branch

Branch Executive Committee Draft Resolution

Interlocking SACP-ANC leadership cores

  1. that leadership elections at the ANC ‘s 52nd national conference have led to a situation where a number of SACP central committee members have been elected onto the national executive committee of the ANC
  2. that as a result of the elections in Polokwane, all the office-bearers of the party now serve on the ANC NEC – with our National Chairperson serving as the Secretary-General of the ANC; the General Secretary [and the Vice-Chairperson serving on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ANC].

Further noting:
  1. that the election of SACP leaders onto the highest structure of the ANC between national conference confirms both the popularity of the party amongst the rank-and-file of the ANC as well as the progressive shifts that are reflected in the policy outcomes of the ANC national conference
  2. that it is not only the right of individual communists who are members of the ANC to stand for elections within the movement but the duty of communist to work in mass formations such as the ANC
  3. that historically and as a result of dual membership that exist between the ANC and SACP, party leaders have held leadership positions in both organisations

  1. that recent experiences where individual communists serve in their individual capacities as leaders of other organisations have raised issues of accountability and questions of whose policies are being pursued
  2. that from time to time there will be differences between the ANC and SACP – situations that compel our leaders to speak as communists despite their positions within the ANC leading organs
  3. that the present situation where the SACP is building itself as a mass vanguard party is different from the exile period where the issue of interlocking leadership cores did not produce enormous contradictions
  4. that in its political leadership report to the February 2008, the leadership of COSATU has raised as a question the issue of interlocking leaderships between the ANC and SACP.

Therefore resolves:
  1. that the issue of interlocking leaderships between the ANC and the SACP should be put as an agenda item at the coming Strategy Conference of the party scheduled for May 2008
  2. that in the run-up to the conference, SACP branches and other structures of the party should discuss the issue – its politics and the implications of the new developments for the struggle for the party’s political and independent identity.

The implications of Polokwane on the “state power” debate within the SACP

  1. that for a while the SACP has been involved in a discussion on electoral contestation as part of an overall approach of the party to contest power at all levels of society
  2. that 12th National Congress resolved that the party will contest elections in 2009 in a context of a reconfigured Alliance
  3. that the Congress called for a Strategic Conference within a year to agree on the modalities of such a contestation with the following options in mind:

i. Where the party approaches the elections as part of the Alliance with clarity on issues of deployment, quotas and accountability of communists to the SACP.
ii. Where the party contests elections on an independent list with the possibility of a post-election coalition after elections.

Further noting:
  1. that we cannot discuss the above and approach the Strategy Conference as if Polokwane has not taken place
  2. that in Polokwane the working class and the poor reclaimed the ANC as their organisation in terms of leadership elected at the conference as well as the policies adopted

  1. that in discussing the issue of “state power”, we will have to base ourselves not only on what happened in Polokwane but on our experience over the last 13 years where the issue of communists serving as individuals on the ANC government has led to tensions and on numerous occasions unpalatable situations where communists pursued policies that were antithetical to those of the party
  2. that the chances of the ANC being captured again by non-working classes is not precluded in the coming period
  3. that a scenario where as the party we give the ANC a blank cheque and allow communists to serve as elected representatives in their own individual capacities, is untenable both for the SACP and the working class

Therefore resolves:
  1. that the coming elections in 2009 be fought as Alliance elections where all partners participate equally in the formulation of the manifesto, election strategy, campaigning and in deployment.
  2. that as the Party we should conclude an agreement with the ANC and within the Alliance prior the elections that 10% of all seats that the ANC wins will be reserved for SACP candidates
  3. that these SACP candidates will be accountable to the SACP – with the party enjoying the right within a broad Alliance strategy to direct them as well as to recall them.




1. That the question of state power is the central question of any revolution

2. That state power is located in diverse sites, including the executive, the legislatures, the judiciary, security forces, the broad public sector, state owned enterprises, and other public institutions.

3. That the strategic Medium Term Vision (MTV) of the South African Communist Party is to secure working class hegemony in the State in its diversity and in all other sites of power.

4. That electoral politics are an important but not an exclusive terrain for the contesting of state power.

5. Working class power in the state is related to working class power in all other sites, including the imperative of developing organs of popular power, active forms of participatory democracy and social mobilisation.

6. That the structures of the SACP and our cadres have confronted many problems with the way in which the Alliance has often functioned, particularly with regard to policy making, the lack of joint programmes on the ground, deployments and electoral list processes.


1. While the state of white minority rule has been abolished and important constitutional and other gains have been won, the post-1994 state requires significant transformation.

2. This includes amongst other things:

a) Redressing the damaging impact of privatisation and restructuring policies that have weakened the capacity of the state and exposed key strategic areas to the dominance of private capital;

b) Addressing the lack of a clear cadre development policy in the state;

c) Building the strategic capacity of the state to drive developmental programmes;

d) Rebuilding critical sectors of the public service, including health care and education, that are still reeling from the effects of years of down-sizing and other restructuring measures;

e) Transforming the key area of local government, often the weakest sphere of governance.

3. That SACP cadres who are deployed as ANC elected representatives, or as public servants must continue to owe allegiance to the Party and cannot conduct themselves in ways that are contrary to the fundamental policies, principles and values of the SACP. The same principle applies to SACP cadres in other deployments, including within the trade union movement, community organisations, etc.


1. The alliance requires major reconfiguration if the NDR is to be advanced, deepened and defended, and if we are to achieve the SACP’s medium term vision objectives of building working class hegemony in all sites of power, including the state;

2. That this reconfiguration of the Alliance must include the following elements:

a) The Alliance must establish itself as a strategic political centre;

b) This political centre must develop a common capacity to drive strategy, broad policy, campaigns, deployment and accountability.

3. At the same time, this reconfiguration of the Alliance must respect the independent role and strategic tasks of each of the alliance partners.


1. That the SACP deepens its capacity to provide strategic leadership in regard to key policy sites of state power, including industrial policy, social policies and the safety, security and defence sectors.

2. That the SACP contests state power in elections in the context of a reconfigured Alliance.

3. To mandate the incoming CC to actively pursue the different potential modalities of future SACP electoral campaigning. These modalities could involve either:

  • An electoral pact with our Alliance partners, which could include agreement on deployments, possible quotas, the accountability of elected representatives including accountability of SACP cadres to the Party, the election manifesto, and the importance of an independent face and role for the SACP and its cadres within legislatures.


  • Independent electoral lists on the voter’s roll with the possible objective of constituting a coalition Alliance agreement post elections.

4. The SACP must actively engage its Alliance partners on these proposals.

5. The Party and State Power Commission must take forward its work to study international experiences closely, and to analyse in detail and evaluate our local reality.

6. The incoming CC must convene a policy conference within a year, in order to assess the feasibility, and potential advantages and disadvantages of the different modalities noted above, including further detailed research.

7. Whatever options are chosen, we must strengthen the SACP’s policy capacity, and our organised strength on the ground.

Rule 6.4 of the SACP Constitution:

6.4 Members active in fraternal organisations or in any sector of the mass movement have a duty to set an example of loyalty, hard work and zeal in the performance of their duties and shall be bound by the discipline and decisions of such organisations and movement. They shall not create or participate in SACP caucuses within such organisations and movements designed to influence either elections or policies. The advocacy of SACP policy on any question relating to the internal affairs of any such organisations or movements shall be by open public statements or at joint meetings between representatives of the SACP and such organisations or movements.