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27 APRIL—The ANC is set to lose its majority, and there is a clear choice in these elections: Will there be more of the neo-apartheid, neoliberal onslaught, or do we put a stop to the disastrous course of the past 30 years? Left-wing workers and militant fighters for black freedom are looking to the EFF. Its demands like land expropriation and nationalisation of the mines speak to the deeply felt need for radical change, which requires an organised struggle against imperialism and white domination.

We agree that voting EFF is the best way to strike a blow against the Randlords, imperialists and their political tools in these pivotal elections. But the real question is, how do we wage a winning struggle for the EFF’s demands—for land, jobs, and an end to load shedding? To do this, we need a strategy fundamentally counterposed to that of the EFF. We need a strategy based on the class struggle.

Resolving the country’s central problems will take a sharp confrontation with the white capitalist rulers. But while appealing to the masses’ hatred of these rulers, the EFF tops do everything they can to breed the illusion that it can be done amicably, by reasoning with them. This stems from the basic contradiction inherent in the EFF and its nationalist programme. The EFF draws support from all sections of the black masses by appealing to the thirst for black liberation with radical measures that are completely unacceptable to white monopoly capital. But it promises a middle-class road to liberation, one acceptable to the black elites—who themselves are both oppressed by and tied to the white rulers. That is why Julius is constantly preaching the myth that we can get our land and jobs by relying on parliament, the courts and police—the very heart of the neo-apartheid system birthed at CODESA.

The EFF’s balancing act becomes more difficult with each success. The EFF tops will be forced to choose between waging a serious struggle for the party’s demands, or betraying them in order to cut a deal with imperialism. The whole history of liberation struggles under petty-bourgeois nationalist leadership tells us that they will betray when the pressure gets high enough. In order to advance toward victory, there must be a party that can break the masses away from the nationalists and lead them in an uncompromising, revolutionary struggle against imperialism—a party like Lenin’s Bolsheviks (see “Lessons of the Anti-Apartheid Struggle”, AmaBolsheviki Amnyama No. 1, October 2023). The question is, how do we build a revolutionary class-struggle pole to wrest leadership away from the EFF?

Revolutionary-minded workers and militants must not sit back and wait as the EFF is pulled apart by its own contradictions. The task, right now, is to organise the core of the working-class pole. To do this, we must stand in the vanguard of every social struggle, pushing forward a fight for the EFF’s Cardinal Pillars using class-struggle methods. We must also prepare for the next stage of struggle by studying and applying the lessons from revolutionary struggles here and internationally. We propose forming Marxist study circles as a guide to action. Starting with the question, how do we combat the obstacles holding back the struggle for land and jobs, and to stop load shedding.

The Fight for Land

The white rulers will use every means of resistance available to prevent the stolen land from being returned to the people. To smash through their resistance, the aspirations of all the oppressed masses must be channelled into a united fight for land, linked to a perspective of black proletarian power. But although the EFF has won huge authority by championing the demand of land expropriation without compensation, its programme of nationalist unity with the black elites undermines and sabotages the fight for a powerful mass movement to take the land. Far from tapping into the land hunger of the rural masses, the EFF tops betray and alienate them with their pandering to the tribal chiefs—the main proxies of white domination in the former bantustans, who are responsible for denying land rights to black women in particular. And even as occupations led by Abahlali, the EFF and other fighters for land rights face bloody police attacks, the EFF’s election manifesto trumpets the reactionary call to strengthen the cops and disarm the population. This is meant to assure the capitalists that the land struggle will be confined by the limits of bourgeois law and order. The same aim as Malema’s promise to resolve the land question via parliament. The result is to disarm and restrain the struggle for land, paving the way to betrayal of the EFF’s own First Pillar.

Against this, to resolve the land question we propose a fighting alliance of farmworkers and landless, including urban shack dwellers and backyard dwellers, with the industrial proletariat. Organise landless committees to seize the land from the white farmer-capitalists, real estate magnates, and tribal chiefs! For armed self defence based on the trade unions and other mass organisations!

The Fight for Jobs, Industrialisation and to Stop Load Shedding

The suffocating stranglehold of the white- and foreign-owned monopolies is the driving force behind economic chaos and ruin facing the country. To make any serious progress against mass unemployment and devastating de-industrialisation, the proletariat must gather behind it the unemployed masses and ruined petty bourgeoisie for a sharp struggle against their common enemy.

There is no clearer case than the crippling electricity crisis resulting from the looting and sabotage of Eskom. We all know that the underlying cause of the crisis is the predatory interests of the Randlords and imperialists, who have starved Eskom of necessary investment in order to collapse the SOE and force through its privatisation—all with the help of conniving partners in one ANC-led Tripartite Alliance government after the next. But the EFF’s solution is to entrust the task of saving Eskom...to Zuma-era technocrats like Brian Molefe and Matšhela Koko. The same thing is promoted by the NUMSA tops. This will leave the management of Eskom subject to the competing interests of capitalist cliques, who all share an interest in feeding at the trough of the SOEs. It can only fuel the cycle of corruption, looting and sabotage, playing into the hands of the imperialists. It will further divide and demoralise the working class, including by pitting Eskom workers against the masses who are suffering under relentless load shedding.

Against this losing strategy, what’s needed to save Eskom and other SOEs is for the working class to take the lead in solving this national crisis. To fight the looting and sabotage, and to win mass allies in their struggle for safe conditions and decent wages, workers at Eskom and Transnet must fight for workers control. To expose and attack the predatory capitalists who are cannibalising the SOEs: Open the books! One of the main causes of break-downs is the low-quality coal dumped on Eskom by the coal monopolies. They are lining their pockets at the expense of the national economy, exporting all the good coal to Europe and Asia. To put a stop to this, workers committees are needed to control transport and delivery, from the mines to the power plants and ports.

Such a fight can easily become the spark for the urgently needed struggle to reverse the ongoing privatisations of Eskom and Transnet. It can be the beginning of a counter-offensive, to go forward in the fight for nationalisation of industry, jobs, and industrial development. Nationalise the IPPs! Nationalise the mines, banks and industry! No compensation!

To those who agree with this perspective: Form Marxist study circles to discuss the tasks facing us, connect this to the daily struggles in your workplace and community, and lay the groundwork for a revolutionary working-class pole. Those who want to get started are urged to contact us:

WhatsApp: 079 171 5793

AmaBolsheviki Amnyama