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SACP considers contesting 2019 elections independently

13 July 2017 - 19:09 By Olebogeng Molatlhwa
Jeremy Cronin. File photo.
Jeremy Cronin. File photo.
Image: Times Media

Former SA Communist Party deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin has strongly suggested that conditions appear ripe for the party to contest elections independently.

Speaking at the SACP national congress in Boksburg on Thursday‚ Cronin told party delegates that with the ANC not guaranteed to obtain a clear majority in the 2019 general elections‚ the party could have a successful showing.

Cronin said while the ANC was likely to emerge as the largest party in 2019‚ its declining support put the chances of obtaining a clear majority at risk.

He said the SACP could not take the decision‚ in 2007‚ to contest elections because that could have "deepened local hostilities" - even leading to violence.

But there are concerns that the SACP may not be able to garner enough electoral support to capture power.

Cronin revealed that a Cosatu-funded shop steward survey "in the early 2000s" found that while the party's ideological and campaigning perspective "was highly appreciated"‚ only 6% of those surveyed expressed support for an "independent SACP electoral ticket".

Delegates‚ especially from Mpumalanga‚ made it clear through song that they wanted the SACP to contest elections independently.

However‚ Cronin - delivering a presentation on the SACP and State Power - said the party "is not a narrowly electoralist formation"‚ adding that its approach to elections was guided "strategic commitment to advance the (National Democratic Revolution)".

Meanwhile‚ a representative of the 101 stalwarts and veterans of the ANC rejected claims that the group had described ANC branches as being of a low quality.

TimesLIVE Trevor Fowler‚ former Johannesburg City Manager‚ said the stalwarts had actually wanted branches to engage with a document the group had authored in which the ills plaguing the ANC were contained.

Fowler said the stalwarts would host their own national consultative conference in September‚ adding that they expected the ANC to support the conference.

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