NEHAWU calls for SACP to contest 2024 elections independently

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Members of the largest public sector union in the country, National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) have called for the South African Communist Party (SACP) to contest the 2024 elections.

The call was made during COSATU’s 14th National Congress that is currently under way.

“As NEHAWU, we are quite clear that this congress, we are going to lobby and engage others to support the Communist Party in 2024 because we have no other option we can rely on except the party. That’s the view of NEHAWU, it’s going to be tested here. And [we going to] hear how congress resolves on that matter but this is the package that we have been given by our members,” says NEHAWU’s Zola Saphetha.

Addressing delegates at the congress, the SACP’s General-Secretary, said it may be a matter of time.

“The SACP is ready. Any other thing is a matter of engagement. The congress of the party was clear on this matter. We have raised issues that we must still discuss with our alliance partners because we are not isolationists. We work within a revolutionary movement and therefore the agenda for the revolutionary movement remains the most valid agenda if properly implemented in our country. So don’t ever say the SACP is not ready. That is incorrect, the SACP is ready. The issue is in its readiness, are the working class ready?,” says SACP General-Secretary Solly Mapaila.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC), which forms part of the tripartite alliance, intimated that such a move will only split the vote.

“The ANC can’t back the party if the party breaks ranks, if the party breaks ranks, the ANC can’t support that. We will contest all, we are going to split…because the party is going to fish from the same pond where the ANC is fishing,” says ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

Only time will tell if the tripartite alliance has reached its sell-by date.