South African Communist Party

3 November 2021 Allow me on behalf of the SACP Central Committee and the entire membership of the Party to convey our revolutionary greetings. We wish your 12th National Congress a resounding success. From the onset, we also wish to stress the importance of unity to all the three elements of the theme, to the union at all levels, and to the entire progressive trade union movement both in the public and private sectors. We wish to underline that engaging in seeking consensus with each other on all major questions is part and parcel of working-class democracy and principles of solidarity. Strengthen workplace organisation, deepen class consciousness, and advance internationalism NEHAWU has been playing a key role in the trade union movement in advancing all the three elements of your theme for this congress, “Strengthen workplace organisation to defend collective bargaining, Deepen class consciousness and Advance internationalism”. This was without doubt visible in the struggle to seek the implementation of Resolution 1 of 2018. The SACP came out in a principled support of the workers, in defence of collective bargaining and mindful of the wider implications of the National Treasury-led U-turn in honouring the negotiated public service and administration salary increases. More than anything else underpinning the U-turn is the neoliberal policy of austerity and the arguments that go with it. Collective bargaining is a key pillar of social dialogue in labour relations and the decent work agenda. If compromised, by among others post-settlement U-turns, other things break down. The consequences can spread beyond the confines of the workplace, as we have seen it happening. Also, certain sections of the private sector took their cue from the U-turn in honouring public service and administration salary increases by engaging in acts that undermined collective bargaining. We cannot overemphasise the crucial importance of strengthening workplace organisation to defend collective bargaining. The second element of your theme, “Deepen class consciousness”, draws attention to the imperative of linking the workplace struggle with the broader political struggle to build working-class power in pursuit of universal social emancipation. Through its campaigning and union education, NEHAWU has played an active role in building class-oriented trade unionism. We need to deepen our joint efforts, such as the Chris Hani Brigade Programme, which has produced a good number of well-trained leaders and union officials within NEHAWU. This has also benefitted our broader movement with the capacity that it has produced.  NEHAWU has also played an important role in line with the third element of the congress theme, “Advance internationalism”. We wish to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for the role that the union has played within the World Federation of Trade Unions, in international solidarity and anti-imperialist struggles. It will fill pages to name all the international solidarity and anti-imperialist programmes that NEHAWU has taken part in and supported. We are looking forward to the union strengthening workplace organisation, deepening class consciousness, and advancing internationalism. On this score, one key task that NEHAWU and other public service unions face is that of using your strategic location in the state to help dismantle the networks of corporate state capture and other forms of corruption. We say this appreciating the positive contribution that you have made in the battle. We acknowledge working together in a widest possible patriotic front, buttressed by the combined power of the workers, and united through progressive trade unions both inside and outside the state, we could have succeeded much earlier than our first breakthrough in dealing state capture networks a decisive blow. We refer to “both inside and outside the state” because the…

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SACP message of support to the NEHAWU 12th National Congress delivered Virtually by the General Secretary Dr Blade Nzimande