POLITICS

What The SACP's New Leadership Says About Its Future With The ANC

“If the EFF can do what they have achieved, why can’t the SACP do the same?”

13/07/2017 16:38 SAST | Updated 14/07/2017 09:15 SAST
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Gwede Mantashe and Blade Nzimande.

Analysis

What does the SACP's new leadership mean for its rocky alliance with the ANC?

Senzeni Zokwana was re-elected as the party chairperson, Thulas Nxesi deputy chairperson, Blade Nzimande remains general secretary while Solly Mapaila is now the first deputy general secretary. Chris Mathlako was elected as the second deputy secretary while Joyce Moloi-Moropa is the only woman who was elected and will serve as national treasurer.

According to political analyst Ralph Mathekga, the leadership that has been chosen by party members shows exactly which path the SACP is taking. He says the election of Mapaila and Nzimande, who have both spoken out against the ANC, shows the SACP is continuing with its distancing from the ruling party.

"This shows the SACP is going to assert itself strongly on where they stand with the ANC" said Mathekga.

The party are also discussing a possible breakaway for the upcoming 2019 national elections, with the Mpumalanga Province branch and the Young Communist League making it clear that they want the SACP to contest future elections on its own.

However, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the party not to be hasty about their decision to break from the tripartite alliance. He delivered the ANC's message of support on Wednesday, after the SACP banned President Jacob Zuma from attending the gathering. Ramaphosa asked the communist party not to make decisions out of anger.

Mathekga said the SACP could use this period to assert their power instead of going solo.

"The ANC is weaker now so the SACP has more bargaining power" he said. He also adds that this could be the perfect time for the communist party to renegotiate their involvement in the alliance.

However, he believes the party stands a good chance of getting seats in Parliament if they do decide to break away from the ruling party. "They can get 4-5 percent of votes in the upcoming 2019 elections," he said. He makes an example of the Economic Freedom Fighters as a party which has managed to make a name for itself in a short space of time.

"If the EFF can do what they have achieved, why can't the SACP do the same?"