Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

SACP contesting elections ‘like choosing between mother and father,’ says ANC

The ANC's NEC has resolved to hold an alliance summit next month.

The African National Congress (ANC) has voiced its opposition to the South African Communist Party (SACP) contesting next year’s national elections.

SACP has publicly warned that it would contest other parties in the upcoming 2024 general elections if the tripartite alliance, which consists of the ANC, SACP and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), collapsed.

The ANC-led alliance has in the recent past been fraught with challenges over decision-making and government’s policy direction, with calls for the reconfiguration of the partnership.

‘There’s been difficulties’

Addressing the media on the final last day of its national executive committee (NEC) meeting, the ANC said the governing party needed to strengthen its alliance with SACP and Cosatu “as a matter of urgency”.

“The NEC reaffirmed its commitment to the renewal of ANC, SACP and Cosatu because of the critique that our partners made of the ANC, we acknowledged that and have done so in several of our conferences, as well as the task of renewal.

“The core values and principles of the alliance, the commitment to a common programme of action and all those issues that form part of the programme of the alliance,” ANC general manager Febe Potgieter said on Monday.

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“[Our] relationship has endured and has gone through different phases… there’s been difficulties, but it remains at the heart of what we call our national democratic revolution and the struggle to transform South Africa.”

Potgieter said the alliance’s plans to “transform” South Africa would be “in great danger” if the SACP decided to contest the polls on its own.

“Our belief is that it would be very wrong for the progressive and transformation project in the country because what you will do, is to request ANC members to choose between ANC and the SACP. It’s like saying you must choose between a mother and father when they [experience difficulties]… it doesn’t work that way,” she said.

“Going separate ways I think would be a serious break in terms of the transformation project in the country because at the same time you will also present the electorate [with a dilemma] with that kind of divisive approach.”

Policy disagreements

Furthermore, ANC NEC member Zuko Godlimpi conceded that there are disagreements between the ANC and the alliance partners on some policies.

“We believe that if there’s an increase dialogue between us, it will minimise areas of tensions and to be quite frank, we have not been doing very well in that regard.

“There are areas of policy disagreements that have been playing out overtime so we need to find ways and means to narrow the scope of disagreements,” he said.

READ MORE: Mapaila says SACP is ready to contest 2024 elections, questions whether the working class is ready

Potgieter, meanwhile, confirmed the NEC had resolved to hold an alliance summit in May to fix its relationship with the SACP.

She also commented on the court action taken by the South Africa Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) against Cosatu’s decision to support SACP in the 2024 elections, saying it was an internal matter.

“Cosatu has a way of taking certain decisions… so we trust Cosatu to deal with that matter within their Constitution and making sure that it maintains the unity of the federation which is very important,” Potgieter added.

Sadtu, in its papers, has argued Cosatu’s resolution was wrongly adopted as it had been resolved that there would be a special congress to deliberate on the matter.

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