Saturday, 5 May 2012

The ANC betrays its own NDR by Malaika wa Azania

by Malaika Wa Azania on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 11:38am ·
The previous public service strike brought to the fore the bitter nature of the power struggle at play in the ruling ANC/SACP/COSATU alliance.It may not be inaccurate to assess that factions in the alliance,perhaps led by the ANCYL,are preparing to execute a political coup at the ANC's 2012 conference in Bloemfontein.At its most serious,this political shift may include the axing of Jacob Zuma and his forced resignation as president of SA.At the very least,infighting ahead of the 2012 conference will continue to destabilise the tripartite alliance.This will have the effect of destabilising the broader policy environment in the country and cause a rise in levels of uncertainty about the future of the country.We can only make sense of the policy environment in SA by understanding the ANC's concept of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR).The NDR is poorly understood in SA,by both the ANC and the public itself,and yet,it serves as the philosophical and ideological grounding of the ANC.

1.The NDR has its roots in Lenin's theory of Imperialism,which states that European colonial powers owe their prosperity solely to the ruthless exploitation of their Black colonies.
2.In the late 1950s,as the process of de-colonisation accelerated,the USSR paid attention to the issue of national democratic revolutions,defining the features of as "...they lead to the elimination of colonial...oppression and are latent with anti-capitalist tendency...paving the way for transition to socialist reconstruction."
3.SA was seen by the Soviets as having potential to shorten the stage of the NDR and move swiftly to socialism,due to its large labour force and supposedly strong support for the SACP.
4.In 1962 the SACP adopted a programme called the Road to SA Freedom,which called for an NDR to destroy White domination.It urged the democratisation of the state by making it demographically representive.It urged the new state to defend revolutionary gains through "a vigorous and vigilant the people against the former dominating/exploiting classes.
5.In 1969 at the Morogoro Conference,the ANC endorsed this perspective in a Strategy and Tactics document which was largely a watered-down version of the SACP's 1962 programme.

Since coming to power in April 1994,the ANC has adopted 3 key Strategy and Tactics documents setting out the current tasks of the NDR and weighing up the balance of forces which either assist or obstruct them.Current tasks as set out at the Mafikeng conference in 1997,the Stellenbosch conference in 2002,and the recent Polokwane conference in 2007,are to:
>liberate Blacks from political and economic bondage
>eliminate apartheid property relations via the redistribution of wealth and income
>democratise the state

However,the NDR in its current definition will not work.Why?

COSATU and the SACP make it clear that the NDR is intended to provide the foundation of a socialist and then communist society.However,this goal is not overt in ANC documents.How then,can the tripartite alliance advance for different goals?

There are serious consequences of the ANC's commitment to the NDR.
>The ANC used the strategy of people's war to help eliminate Black political rivals and secure its hegemony in the post-apartheid era
>The ANC still sees itself as a national liberation movement responsible for implementing a NDR and hence,uniquely entitled to rule.This makes it contemptuous of Parliament,opposition parties and the press,and determined to reverse adverse electoral outcomes,as in the Western Cape in 2009.

The ANC/SACP/COSATU alliance cannot execute a NDR when their ideological positions and approaches to economic growth paths differ.More than anything else,the ANC does not regard itself as bound by the Constitution and has no principled commitment to press freedom,property rights or an independent judiciary.

The objectives as set from the Mafikeng conference in 1997 will continue to be resuscitated and remain a pipe dream until the land question is answered in its entirety.

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