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ANC not socialist party

By unknown | Jun 28, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

President Thabo Mbeki yesterday came down hard on organisations and individuals to the left of the ANC who accuse the party of having failed to address the needs of the poor because of its pro-capitalist policies.

Mbeki said those who made such criticisms were overlooking the historical role that the ANC saw itself playing in ending apartheid and colonialism in South Africa.

He said even though it had an alliance with the SACP, the ANC had never seen its task as turning South Africa into a socialist state.

"For many decades the ANC, precisely because it accepted and supported the right of our people to choose their path of development, accepted the proposition that the SACP, and not the ANC, would lead the forces and the struggle for the victory of the socialist revolution," said Mbeki.

The ANC president was speaking at the party's four-day policy conference in Midrand, Johannesburg where over 15000 delegates are to discuss, among others, its economic policy.

Mbeki said the alliance with the SACP was driven by the understanding that the ANC would lead the national democratic revolution, which entailed bringing in a democratic political dispensation and creating structures and policies that would lead to improving the quality of live of the South African majority.

"In this context, the SACP has always understood that it could not delegate its socialist tasks to the ANC [because] the task of the socialist revolution could not be delegated to the national democratic revolution. For many decades, the SACP has therefore not seen or acted against the ANC as its political competitor," he said.

Mbeki said he was making his statements in response to suggestions that "the ANC has not eradicated the legacy of 350 years of colonialism and apartheid because our conferences, starting with the consultative conference at Nasrec in 1990, have not adopted what some people characterise as socialist policies".

ANC national working committee member Joel Netshitenzhe said the party wanted to create a national democratic society in which there was free education and health as well as a sustainable social welfare net.

He said to achieve this South Africa needed, among other things, a black capitalist class that created jobs and did not only concentrate on shareholding.


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