The South African Communist Party (SACP) has raised concerns over the high number of job losses across South Africa amid the coronavirus pandemic. This as the public and private sectors record mass losses in 2020 due to the negative financial impact of COVID-19.

The SACP’s General-Secretary, Blade Nzimande, was briefing the media on outcomes of its two-day Central Committee meeting.

He says, “As the SACP we are concerned that COVID-19 has actually exacerbated inequalities in societies across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed and deepened the capitalist crisis of high levels of inequality, unemployment, and poverty in our country. The reality is that SA is yet to recover the 2.2million jobs lost in the 2nd quarter of 2020 and more jobs lost thereafter as the capitalist bosses continue to retrench workers.”

Retrenchments at SOEs

The South African Communist Party has attributed looming retrenchments at state-owned enterprises to corruption and alleged State capture. This as the SABC management is expected to continue with the Section 189 process in 2021, saying the restructuring process will require the public broadcaster to cut jobs.

“Many black professionals have had their careers destroyed or compromised, either through their own collusion in corrupt activities or others being victimised for their principled stance against corruption. This has been the case in many of our SOEs, including the SABC. Corruption and state capture has caused havoc in destroying careers of many black professionals. We are concerned about building the capacity of the state with competent professionals,” explains Nzimande.

Lack of digital connectivity

The SACP says it will make access to digital services one of its key priorities next year. This as the lack of digital connectivity to many communities in the country, as exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, cannot continue unresolved.  The party says in line with its focus in its centenary of putting people before profits, it will push for public control of increases in the broadband spectrum.

“We would like as the SACP to see spectrum reserved for community use including for social purposes such as education and public health the central committee has placed emphasis on this development imperative for our centenary programme in 2021. We will therefore also include intensification of the campaign for access to wifi including free access especially in working-class and poor communities.” Additional reporting Busi Chimombe.

Full virtual media briefing: