PORT ELIZABETH – South African Communist Party (SACP) General Secretary Blade Nzimande raised concerns at a Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) May Day rally held in Nelson Mandela Bay saying that “fightbacks” against state capture in KwaZulu-Natal were unfortunate.
Nzimande addressed a packed rally at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Kwazakhele on Tuesday.
He called for workers to stand up against state capture and called for the KwaZulu-Natal province not to be regressive. Nzimande said that state capture made a fool of South Africa’s sovereignty.
“We are saying to the workers stand up and defend the national sovereignty. Our country is not for sale,” he said.
“The doors point to money flowing through a spiders web of private bank accounts in South Africa and finding their way to Dubai and also held by Indian public bank called Baroda.”
Nzimande said that there would be no victory for socialism if state institutions were stolen.
He said that with African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “new dawn” changes were starting to take effect.
Touching on issues of unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, Nzimande said that there seemed to be some unfortunate fightbacks in parts of the province.
“Unfortunately parts of the KZN province is positioning itself to fight back against things that need to be done. We want to say don’t allow that province to be a basis of regression and actually going back,” said Nzimande to cheers from the crowds.
Nzimande said that the looters of the country should be the ones paying for programmes. He called for the super-rich to be taxed and to take the lead in subsidizing programmes.
Nzimande said the burden should not fall on the workers. More than likely referring to Saftu, who are against the proposed minimum wage of R3,500 per month, Nzimande took a swipe at trade unions which launched attacks on other unions.
“We need broad working class unity. You can’t have a trade union federation that goes our on a strike by attacking other worker federations, that is against worker unity. As the SACP we want to say today, Cosatu is our Allie but we are going to reach out to all other progressive worker formations and say let’s unite around the things that unite us and not divide ourselves.”
In recent weeks, Saftu embarked on a countrywide strike protesting against the proposed minimum wage calling it slave wages. Nzimande criticised unions that acted “opportunistically” against the proposed national minimum wage.
He said that the SACP believed that R3,500 was not a living wage, however, it was a “huge relief” for cleaners and domestics workers.
“As the SACP we are clear. R3,500 is not a living wage we must continue to wage the struggle for a living wage,” he said.
– African News Agency (ANA)