Landless sons and daughters of the dispossessed and stolen Africa, the PAC wishes to communicate a 2020 message. But before that it is critical that we reflect on the past year. The latter has been full of social crises, political lies and economic woes for the people of our dispossessed Azania. Various women have been subjects of sexual harassment, gruesome. There was a pitiless rape and mutilation of body parts of women. Even in the midst of various awareness campaigns about Gender Based Violence, women have experienced the most vicious treatment by their male counterparts who have lost both their manhood and personhood in the process. We believe that something is wrong in the social structural set-up, in the family structures, and the kind of ways in which young men are nurtured, and that a complete overhaul of the set-up is needed.
On the socio-politiconomic front, the year ended with about 30% of the people remaining unemployed. Some of these unemployed are university and college graduates. They continue to queue in the labor market to compete for the sale of their labor power at the price determined by the corporations. Whilst this is the case, Africans in general paid VAT at 15% (from 14%) since 2018 year under the supposed different administration. In relation to Eskom, there continues to be supply problems, subsequent price increases of electricity units, a ballooning debt (at about R430 billion), thus building a bubble waiting to burst very soon if something is not done. But the plan has been to unbundle it, entrench IPPs, and keep coal mines in the hands of businessmen. We closed the year with SAA is under business rescue, with a debt at R15.5 billion and likely to jump to R17.5 billion. This effectively means it may soon come to an end as a public entity, as is the case with Eskom.
Not only are Eskom and SAA in debt, those who are employed elsewhere in the economy remain underpaid, without job security, with some trapped in endless debts. To add insult to injury government is abusing this hard earned tax revenue. Commission after commission has been established – using the same African’s money from whom the government-corporation nexus has stolen. Yet up to this far, no real arrest, prosecution, and subsequent imprisonment of anyone has ensued. Instead government power is being used to arrest enemies as a pretext to be dealing with state crimes and corruption, yet leaving untouched other political thugs in their circles. Effectively, the “shocked” billionaire president has dismally failed to solve both landlessness and joblessness. Instead, financial institutions are cutting – and preparing to cut more – jobs. Even government and its SOEs are preparing to cut jobs in the name of saving such SOEs through restructuring.
As joblessness continued the previous year, the fake land debate which was excited by national elections died down in unsurprising silence. We caution you sons and daughters that there has been no land debate. Nor was the education system ever touched in this connection the whole of 26 since 1994. This is despite an obvious link between land and education. Even talks about “racism” in 2019 have been misdirected by political dwarfs, reactionaries, and opportunists who only saw on it something to gain politically than to solve materially.
In a nutshell, at the end of 2019, the country was yet to substantively deal with racism and dispossession as twin evils of history and the present. Instead, as in the past, the collaborators have continued to deal with appearances of racism.
This New Year (2020) will be one in which we revive our historical foothold in the social, political, and economic situation as the pace-setters in the struggle for liberation of peoples of Africa and Azania. You must remember: generally speaking, the history of the PAC is that of being pace-setters at the level of ideological framing of struggle and practical struggle itself. As the Africanist block within the Congress Youth League, we shaped the 1949 programme which led to various methods and ways of struggle such as the Defiance Campaign of 1952. It was us – the Africanists – who resisted infiltration by the communist quacks post this defiance campaign. When the struggle for liberation was aborted in 1955 through the Kliptown charter, it was the Africanists who founded the PAC as an expression of the ideological foundations of 1949. It was the PAC which led the status campaign, which took the form of the anti-pass campaign in 1960. And it was the PAC that was the first to go underground and engage in armed struggle. Sons and daughters, it was the Africanists who influenced the organizing of the 1976 uprising in schools, leading to the Bethal [secret] trial in which Uncle Zeph was the first accused. It was the Africanists who maintained that the return of the land was not negotiable in the early 1990s when the Kliptown Charterists accepted COSEDA outcomes. And it was the Africanists who refused to apologize in the TRC, who in fact called it the charade it was. Therefore, even in this contemporary neo-colonial period, we must revive this revolutionary giant to be once more the pace setters as has always been in the past.
There are a number of things that need to be done in regards to the above for the PAC regain its foothold. We must have a more focused strategy and tactical thinking in 2020 and beyond. The strategy plan is being issued to all structures as we speak. Additionally, the national leadership will take time to explain the elements constituting this strategy between the time this message is received and the end March 2020. The reason is to ensure that every structure and member of the party internalizes the strategy, is capable of owning it as its/his/her own, and can articulate it clearly, unambiguously, and persuasively to others. Most importantly, it is to ensure that each structure, leader, and member can interpret and apply the strategy in their own social, political, and economic contexts. It is the mastery of knowledge of this strategy that a tactical plan of action in relevant contexts can emerge and contribute to its achievement.
If to say briefly, at the core of our strategy is the heightening of society’s consciousness about the primary and contextual contradictions, growing of PAC membership, creating efficient and administrative machinery for the party, and translating all these into improved electoral support in local government and national elections in 2021 and 2024 respectively, all these for the advancement of the revolution. Pertinent to the achievement of these strategic objectives is ensuring that there is a symbiosis between masses and the PAC branches, leaders, and members.
We then ask you, members of the revolutionary cause, to be one with communities in 2020, like the fish is with water, and immerse yourselves in the struggles of the people and lead with and not for them. The worst we can do is to claim to lead on behalf of the people without them, or pretend to lead for them in the council, legislative bodies, etc. We must remember: none of the elements of our strategy will succeed if we do not do the practical work, if we talk on social media only. We must now have foot soldiers. In this connection, our strategy also includes establishing a Pan Africanist political school with a curriculum of Africanist orientation, deploying seasoned party political commissars to train, prepare, and test the foot soldiers on whom the execution of this strategy relies. At the right time, announcements in this regard will be made by relevant offices of the NEC to various structures.
On another important matter, as we speak, the party is engaged in a policy review process on issues of land, education, economy, gender, etc. The review shall ensure that there is a discussion by branches going to conference in August 2019. This process is vital in responding to the contemporary challenges of the neo-liberal order propounded by the settler colonialist thugs whose sole end is to cling to the dispossessor-dispossessed relations in Azania. More importantly this process is important for aligning and singularizing the articulation of the party line internally and externally, as much as it is to provide the much needed clarity on the question of land in this country. It will, eventually, guide our revolutionary all of us in our interactions with the masses in various contexts in Azania.
Finally, it is the intention of the PAC, in 2020, to build structures. By this is meant building branches that are active, vibrant, and involved in, and in leadership of, community struggles. To do this, we are will be building the units and strata of the party. PASO will be brought back to life. Out of roughly 28 000 schools in this country, PASO shall be built. Out of the 50 colleges and 26 universities, more PASMA branches must be built. PAWO shall be built once more. When 2020 ends, we must all be reporting progress. We have no choice but to build. But to build needs a good foundation. A foundation of the PAC is its basic units, namely branches and component structures. The future of this revolutionary party cannot be build top down; it needs to be built bottom up. Bottom up does not just mean building structures; it means building structures that have young people from high school and university, and extricate them from the vacillations of the middle class whose ranks they will inevitably join. It also means targeting what Sobukwe called the cornerstone of the revolution: the illiterate and semi-illiterate; the young, unemployed, semi-skilled and unskilled masses of our people, and the rudimentary peasantry in the country. To achieve this, PASMA should be at university and college early to receive the children of Africa and see to their access to education. PASMA should jealously protect young girls seeking entry into university so they do not become victims of ignorant young male rapists and harrasers, etc. Also, PASMA must ensure that young innocent children are not victims of corruption, bribery, and fraud in exchange for access to education.
As for PAC branches, there must be visibility in branches, communities, next to schools, in townships, etc. There must be gazeebos across Azania. The flag must fly high. The masses must be helped interpret their situation and be lured, not with rhetoric or by offering mere trifles; but they must persuaded and converted into the party as the organization in which their interests are expressed and genuinely advanced.
To those who still doubt, we say: the train is moving; get in. The titanic is sinking; get out. The ship of liberation is taking off and will traverse this arduous journey for and to liberation; get inside. Those who wronged the PAC, we say you are forgiven; come back and tow the line. Those who left a long time ago for any number of reasons, we say now is the right time to come back and be a brick with which to build this party. We await your arrival. Those who are nay-sayers, we say your teeth will soon gnash, and your laughter will perish in shame and despair. To the reactionaries, populists, and screeching megaphones, we say your time is up; get out of the way, or we will vanquish you as we take on our rightful place and historic mission. We will not be stopped by courts or by a man. We are too great for that. We will not be deterred by the enemy camp. We are ahead of it. We are marching towards liberation, and we will not look back. And we will ceaselessly be agitating until the cry of the dispossessed Africans is heard. We shall fight on until the land is restored to the African, and until the United States of Africa is realized.
Prepared by the PAC Presidency January 2020
Issued by Publicity and Information January 2020