Radical economic transformation has been seen as the only solution to serve the rights of the black natives in the country. With RET on board, more blacks can participate in the Economy as well as the Socio economic structure of the country. When we talk about the blacks, the issues relating to their interests not only persist in South Africa but also in other African countries. Keeping this in focus, Black opinion has published a letter by Andile Mnxitama addressing Explo Nani-Kofi – Director of Kilombo Centre for Civil Society & African Self-Determination, in Peki, Ghana. The Excerpts of the letter goes as follows:
“Dear Brother Explo Nani-Kofi
I haven’t been able to follow closely the political dynamics in Ghana but I gather there is a crisis of the Nkrumahist parties. It looks like the same crisis we have in South Africa (SA) with Pan Afrikanist and Black Consciousness (BC) parties. As we speak the Pan Afrikanists have one seat in parliament. The BC block has been wiped out of parliamentary representation. They have not sought to become effective extra parliamentary entities and are dead as influencers of society.
Our response has been to establish a new political party named Black First Land First (BLF) which is a Black Consciousness and Pan Afrikanist movement embracing the leadership ethos of Thomas Sankara. We have identified the central contradiction and understand how the main enemy has kept all black people divided by the very same political party system. We have realized that the emphasis on the ruling party – the African National Congress (ANC) – as the enemy misses the central point that in SA the ruling class is not part of the ruling party. Yes the neo apartheid rule of the ANC indicates that it has served as a bodyguard of the enemy, which is white settler colonialism and which in the economic sphere manifests as white monopoly capital.
The political environment has been greatly confused by the same white monopoly capital which by virtue of being the owner of the means of production has become the owner of the media which generates pro status-quo propaganda. There has been a rapid growth of dissatisfaction with the post 1994 neo liberal democratic order which has kept the black majority marginalized.
To deflect attention from the main contradiction by the enemy two powerful discourses have been developed. The first narrative is that the problem in SA is not the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few white families – it is rather state corruption or state capture. The genius of this move was to successfully associate corruption with President Zuma and the Indian expatriate family of the Guptas. I don’t have time to go into the details but basically the sin of the Guptas, in the main, was to try and enter the mainstream economy where white monopoly capital has hegemony and monopoly.
The second narrative is that the Guptas are seen by the main enemy as fermenting an uprising against white monopoly capital through the now popular program called Radical Economic Transformation (RET). The recent ANC Elective Conference was a battle between the pro white monopoly capital forces of neo liberalism versus the radical nationalists of RET. Cyril Ramaphosa represented white monopoly capital and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was the candidate of RET. Ramaphosa – with a shocking amount of financial backing from white monopoly capital, the media and dodgy court decisions to undermine delegates known to be pro RET – won with a very small percentage.
The paradox of the ANC conference is that while Ramaphosa won the presidency of the ANC, he lost the policy battle. The forces of RET won all the major policy positions associated with RET. The important point to note is that RET is essentially a minimum program of our own party. This has created a programmatic convergence of our party with the ANC which in turn has openly been the neo liberal ruling party for the last 23 years. In this respect, there has been a left nationalist shift driven by President Zuma. Our party has played no small part in popularizing and pushing of this left wing shift. I’m sure you are aware of the recent announcement of free education by President Zuma.
What these developments show is that for SA the main theatre of politics and policy shift rests within the ruling party. The ruling class which is white monopoly capital also understands this, hence it openly backs Ramaphosa who is the candidate of white monopoly capital. The left has, up to now, not been tactical in its relationship with the ruling party which remains an electoral giant.
I am not sure if conditions exist in Ghana to replicate the posture that we have taken here. The exciting dialectical tension is that our party will contest elections in 2019 under our own banner but as defenders of RET, which is the official position of the ruling party. We know that the ANC will not implement the RET program without a mass push.
Let me conclude with a skeletal summary of the main elements of RET:
- Land expropriation without compensation
- Establishment of a state bank and black banks
- Nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank
- Free education
- Mining ownership for blacks (30% in 12 months)
- Minimum wage
These are the minimum demands BLF has been pushing. So in SA we are entering a new phase of developing a new consensus of radical nationalist forces beyond the narrow petty competition by political parties. BLF is at the centre of these developments. We believe that mass mobilisation will be decisive in facilitating the break with neo liberalism and settler colonialism to help us defeat white supremacy in SA.
I hope these observations would assist in bringing you up to speed with developments here.
I thank you. Have a great festive season.