South African Communist Party
8 December 2021 The South African Communist Party (SACP) expresses its solidarity with the workers who will be marching to the Eskom headquarters, Megawatt Park in Johannesburg, on Saturday 11 December 2021. Led by the National Union of Mineworkers, the workers demand adequate earnings, among others, in line with the decent work agenda. Equally important, social dialogue is a key tenet of decent work, as opposed to a restructuring agenda that is introduced as fait accompli. The workers must not be blamed and punished for the failures that were caused by neoliberalism and state capture. After 1994, the crisis at Eskom, including frequent load shedding, was created under an economic policy that was introduced as cast in stone. Imposed in 1996, it was under the influence of GEAR that the government adopted an energy policy stance, in December 1998, to NOT invest in new electric power generation capacity, ignoring warnings that the needs of the people and the economy were going to outstrip pre-existing energy production and supply within 10 years. This decision was taken in favour of chiselling Eskom to interpose private wealth accumulation interests in power generation—fragmented from transmission and distribution. Meanwhile, old power stations were aging. Failures took root in maintenance. The decaying energy generation capacity reached a point where it was inadequate to meet the needs of the people and the economy. By the time the badly designed Medupi and Kusile projects were implemented, it was too late. In addition, the two projects experienced construction problems. These included shoddy work, failure to meet completion deadlines, astronomical cost escalations, and the failure of the first units to be completed to reach 100 per cent efficiency and reliability on a first time through basis. Besides the capture of the policy space by neoliberal thinking and/or the class forces behind it, state capture through governance decay and looting worsened the situation. Neither neoliberalism nor state capture is the solution. The problems caused by both at Eskom and in energy production are holding up the economy. This is a major contributor to stagnation and the unemployment crisis. There must be change, which must include increased public investment in electric power generation and modernisation of Eskom to meet the needs of the people, support the economy and ensure the security of power supply. This must be anchored in the principles of a just green transition, with adequate protection for workers and employment creation among apex priorities. The SACP calls on workers to unite across trade union affiliation and federations in pursuit of the common demands to sort out our country’s energy crisis. ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP EST. 1921 AS THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA | CPSA 1921–2021: 100 YEARS OF UNBROKEN STRUGGLE PUT PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT SOCIALISM IS THE FUTURE—BUILD IT NOW! Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo SACP Central Committee Member: Media & Communications FOR INTERVIEW ARRANGEMENTS, MEDIA LIAISON & CIRCULATION SERVICES Hlengiwe Nkonyane Communications Officer: Media Liaison, Multimedia & Digital Communications Platforms Co-ordinator Mobile: +27 79 384 6550 OFFICE & OTHER CONTACT DETAILS Office: +2711 339 3621/2 Twitter: SACP1921 Website: www.sacp.org.za Facebook Page: South African Communist Party WELCOME TO THE SACP DONATION PAGE: https://donate.sacp.org.za/. PLEASE MAKE A CLEAN DONATION.
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SACP expresses solidarity with workers in their march for decent work led by NUM