Friday, July 13, 2007
Communists to the Front
"Communists to the Front" is the main theme of SACP convention in Port Elizabeth South Africa. Leadership election of top Communist Party officers were held Friday with the convention unanimously re-electing the current seat holders with minor revisions. Blade Nzimande was re-elected general secretary. The day began with greetings from the YCL and the Congress of South African Trade Unions. The Congress also presented Cuban President Fidel Castro with the Party's highest honor the Chris Hani award. As with the first day of the Congress much of the discussion focused on the Party's thorny relationship with African National Congress. In a significant development the Congress decided to shelve the proposal for the CP to stand alone in the 2009 elections. The Congress split up into discussion commissions on several different topics include the state, the economy, international and others. Rank-and-file delegates expressed frustration at the slow pace of change and some spoke of being sidelined in different ways. A glaring and curious absence as on the first day was any discussion of the current strike of 230,000 metal workers. Even the COSATU leader Zwelinzima Vavi neglected to mention it focus rather on internal tripartite alliance politics. There was also no mention today of the upcoming 2009 World Cup. Nevertheless, the Congress' overwhelmingly working-class delegates maintained a high spirit. In one interesting development, the meeting adopted a one-year probationary period for new members where they would hold candidate status. In the debate, some feared this would discourage people to join. The SACP has doubled its membership since its last convention.