First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Solly Mapaila likely to emerge uncontested as SA Commun...

Defend Truth

NEW LEADERSHIP

Solly Mapaila likely to take over reins from Blade Nzimande as leader of the SA Communist Party

South African Communist Party first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila in Johannesburg on 17 October 2017. (Photo: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla)

The SACP is holding a four-day congress in Boksburg where new leadership will be elected. There is a strong feeling that the party’s first deputy general secretary has the support of the majority of delegates and will take over from Blade Nzimande.

The first deputy general secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Solly Mapaila, is most likely to emerge as the new leader since Blade Nzimande has bowed out of the contest after 24 years at the helm. Mapaila is said to be the favourite and only contender for the position, with no other names put forward.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Sharp sharp, Blade: Two major issues define Nzimande’s decades on top of the SACP 

Outgoing South African Communist Party (SACP) Secretary-General Blade Nzimande. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Masi Losi)

Mapaila, who was the second deputy general secretary from 2012 to 2017, was a member of ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, in which he operated outside of South Africa before 1994. 

He has also been very vocal in his disdain for corruption and was among the leaders who called for former president Jacob Zuma to resign before the end of his term. 

Along with electing leadership, the SACP will discuss key policies that have a sharp focus on the country’s ailing economy. Its commission on structural economic and broader social transformation and development will be chaired by central committee member Pat Horn, with former trade and industry minister Rob Davies expected to deliver a presentation.

Its focus is on socioeconomic initiatives of the working class, the social wage, informal economy workers and the resuscitation of the financial sector.

Speaking at a press conference before the congress on Wednesday afternoon, Nzimande said he was proud that SACP congresses prioritise policy discussions over leadership battles.

“We do not believe in this thing of elective congress. We are very proud that our congresses give preference to our programmes,” he said.

“We are holding this congress in one of the most difficult periods of South Africa’s democracy. So, this congress has a huge responsibility to pave the way… Never has our economy been in this situation since 1994. You cannot have so many young people literally sitting at home, that is unhealthy. We are going through a difficult time with energy, which has huge implications on the economy.”

Row over programme

On the first day of the conference the SACP managed to adopt conference credentials and rules with ease – within 15 minutes. It uses a system in which provinces vet one another’s credentials. This helps to deal with any impartiality at least three months before the conference. 

SACP chair Senzeni Zokwana gloated about the speed of finalising credentials, which is a stark contrast to the direction ANC conferences have taken.

For instance, the Gauteng regional congress began credentials on Saturday afternoon, but only adopted at around 6am on Sunday. The issues delaying the process involved allegations of bogus delegates and a court application by a disgruntled Ekurhuleni region member.

In pointing out the difference, Zokwana addressed ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane and ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe directly, saying the governing party could take a leaf out of the SACP’s book.

The party expects 400 voting delegates to participate in the congress. They consist of members of the SACP’s central committee, the Young Communist League (YCL) and all nine provinces. This is despite Mpumalanga and Gauteng not having held their congresses. 

A bone of contention at the congress has been the programme. There were requests that the ANC president deliver his message of support before Nzimande presented his political report. It was felt that it did not make sense for Cyril Ramaphosa to have the last say when it was not an ANC conference.

The impasse over the matter continued on the second day of the conference.

The YCL was also disgruntled about Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi saying it could and further lobbying to speak before Nzimande. SACP deputy chairperson Thulas Nxesi eventually gave in to the demands but could not make changes to Ramaphosa’s placing on the programme. 

Losi’s message was about how the alliance partners, the SACP and Cosatu,  can help the ANC renew itself ahead of the 2024 elections. She firmly expressed that the ANC should be working towards rebuilding instead of looking towards being a part of coalitions. 

She went on to say that all those found to have broken the law should be held to account, even if it means jail time. 

The YCL’s national secretary, Tinyiko Ntini, said the national democratic revolution is under siege and that it was up to the SACP to save the country. He cited the example of young and working-class South Africans who are marginalised because of socioeconomic ills plaguing the country. 

He said the party has a responsibility to sharpen the contradictions of the alliance and that it is up to the ANC to manage these differences.

The congress programme will continue until Saturday, with Ramaphosa expected to deliver a message of support on behalf of the ANC on Friday. DM

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 2

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted