South African Communist Party

Inchanga, eThekwini Metro, Sunday, 3 October 2021 The Red October Campaign 2021 takes place in the year of our founding centenary. 30th July 2021 marked the 100th founding anniversary of the SACP, founded as the Communist Party of South Africa. Within this period of 100 years of our unbroken struggle, we initiated the Red October Campaign in the last decade of the 20th century, within the first decade of our democratic dispensation after our victory against the apartheid regime in the 1990s. Through the Red October Campaign, we built communist activism in pursuit of the demands of the masses and broader social transformation and development imperatives. To highlight the contribution of the Red October Campaign, there are two examples we wish to make. First, it was through the Red October Campaign that the SACP became the first political organisation in our democratic dispensation to place land redistribution and agrarian transformation at the centre stage. By mid-2000s, the Red October Campaign produced a shift from the so-called “Willing buyer, Willing seller” market-driven land reform approach. Land redistribution and agrarian transformation remain one central issue that our national democratic revolution must resolve, to ensure equitable access to land and other natural resources. This is essential to build integrated human settlements, and to eliminate the colonial and apartheid legacy of uneven development and its daily reproduction by the capitalist market. Together with agrarian transformation, land redistribution is also essential to ensure the transfer of land to masses to work it, as part of the agrarian transformation, poverty eradication, and employment creation imperative. Therefore, hand in hand with completing the process to make expropriation a policy instrument to achieve land redistribution within our constitutional dispensation, we need to build technical and material support, in line with the Freedom Charter, for productive use of land by the masses. The seconds example we wish to make relates to financial sector transformation. Had it not been for the SACP-initiated and led Financial Sector Transformation Campaign, South Africa would have been more severely affected by the global economic crisis that broke out in 2008. It was through the Red October Campaign that the SACP introduced and drove the Financial Sector Transformation Campaign. As the direct fruit of the Financial Sector Transformation Campaign, consumers in South Africa were protected against reckless and predatory lending practices by the banks and other financial establishments. This was done through the adoption of the National Credit Act. It was through this achievement by our campaigning that we cushioned South Africa’s financial system against the worst effects of the global economic crisis. This was unlike in the United States, for example, where the global economic crisis was first felt in the banking system and financial markets. Liberalisation and deregulation in United States paved the way for bad financial sector conduct. This created conditions for what first appeared to be a ballooning debt crisis. As the crisis spread like a contagious virus due to sectoral linkages and global connections, more and more its broader characteristics as an economy-wide crisis at the global scale pronounced themselves and caused a massive devastation, including a meltdown in production.         Our Red October Campaign is not an oppositionist agenda that projects the ANC-led government as the cause of all problems. The campaign seeks to deepen the transformation of our state to serve the people wholeheartedly. At the same time, it serves as a platform to drive and intensify class struggle against capitalist domination, monopoly, and exploitation of the masses. This is what we did when we directly confronted the financial sector in pursuit of transformation. We need to intensify…

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Red October Campaign 2021 statement delivered by Dr Blade Nzimande, the SACP General Secretary