SACP to contest 2009 polls alone

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

The Communist Party in Gauteng says it is ready to take the ANC head on in the next general elections.

The SACP resolved at a provincial council meeting at the weekend to promote this resolution at their national congress in Port Elizabeth next month.

The party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) form the Tripartite Alliance with the ANC and have always contested elections as one group.

Provincial SACP secretary- general Zico Tamela told the media in Johannesburg yesterday that new challenges of advancing the interests of workers and the poor were forcing the party to contest for state power.

"The council overwhelmingly decided that the SACP must contest elections from 2009 at all levels by fielding its own candidates," said Tamela.

"In the past we were faced with the challenge of defeating the apartheid past and to make sure the democratic dispensation became a reality.

"But conditions have changed, and the SACP is faced with the challenge of advancing workers and the interests of a socialist future," he said.

He said the resolution had been communicated to President Thabo Mbeki, Gauteng premier and ANC provincial leader Mbhazima Shilowa and mass democratic movement formations.

"We have spoken to all our allies and they were given the opportunity to interact with our discussion document," he said.

Tamela said there was widespread support among most structures of the SACP to contest the next elections independently of the alliance.

The Gauteng SACP also thinks Cosatu will support them.

"Because of their conditions, workers will shift towards the left. We are a party of the workers and the poor, not of comrade Jacob Zuma or President Mbeki," Tamela said.