Unemployed People’s Movement Statement on the National Crisis & Proposal for a Way Forward

In The Politics of Politics on April 10, 2010 at 7:13 am

8 April 2010

Our country is in crisis. The internal contradictions of the African National Congress have bought it to the point where it is no longer able to give leadership to society. It continues to speak the language of nationalism and national liberation but it has degenerated into an association of predatory elites hell bent on using the state to plunder the society. The gap between the ANC’s language and its practice is now so large that the organisation can no longer speak to the national interest with any conviction, clarity or credibility.

We have the highest rate of protest in any country in the world. People are in revolt across the country. Every night the TV news shows the police shooting at the poor. One of the most popular songs in these protests is “Amabhunu amnyama asenzela i –worry” – the black boers are causing us worry. The fact is that the ANC have taken over the systems of oppression and instead of dismantling them they have used them to enrich themselves. The people are quite correct. The ANC leaders have become the black boers.

With Julius Malema’s open embrace of the brutal regime in Harare the final destination of the ANC’s trajectory has been made clear. The people of Zimbabwe have waged a long struggle against the criminal regime in Harare. So far their gains have been very limited but Malema has gone to Harare and urinated on those gains, on the struggle of the Zimbabwean people, on their hopes for a free and just Zimababwe and all those who have been beaten, jailed and killed in the struggle to free Zimbabwe from the scourge of Zanu-PF.

Malema can sing the songs from the struggle against apartheid as much as he likes but the people will not be fooled. In Soweto Malema went to visit JubJub in the holding cells and not the families of the children who were killed by JubJub. His position is clear. We all know what side he is on and that is the side of the super-elite.

Our position is also clear. We agree 100% with Amilcar Cabral who said that:

We are fighting so that insults may no longer rule our countries, martyred and scorned for centuries, so that our peoples may never more be exploited by imperialists not only by people with white skin, because we do not confuse exploitation or exploiters with the colour of men’s skins; we do not want any exploitation and corruption in our country, not even by black people.’

Of course white racism remains a problem and it must be confronted but Malema is just misusing that struggle to try and distract the masses from his own plunder from the public purse.

The ANC has lost all ability to give leadership to society. It is now just like some sort of trade union for the super-elites. The people are awakening to their treason and the ANC will not govern for ever. But in the meantime leadership of this society will have to come from below – from the struggling masses in the townships and squatter camps.

We as the Unemployed People’s Movement are calling for the masses to resist Malema’s distractions and to give leadership to this society. We make the following contribution to the conversation about the direction that should come out of the shift to leadership of the society by the working class and the poor.

We need a fundamental social reorganisation.
The first steps should include serious steps to recognise and to deal with the crisis of unemployment. The first steps towards a social reorganisation can include:

1. Taking immediate steps to put the Right to Work in the Constitution.

2. Immediately implementing a guaranteed income of R2000 per month for all unemployed adults.

3. Immediately baring all party leaders from competing for government tenders.

4. Immediately investigating all party leaders with unexplainable wealth.

5. Immediately reversing the militarisation of the police and ceasing all repression of the movements of the poor and the working class.

6. Immediately beginning a serious discussion about how to socialise the economy.

We also need a fundamental political reorganisation. Immediate first steps should include:

1. Building a united platform for all progressive organisations and individuals outside of the ANC alliance. We support the call for a Conference of the Democratic Left.

2. Creating democratic councils in all communities and places of work and study in which the people can discuss the creation of a clear and credible alternative vision for the country in which all South African can have a real stake in the future.

3. Building a democratic people’s movement that win can control of the state.

Ayanda Kota
Unemployed People’s Movement


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