By Staff Reporter
National Union of Metalwaorkers of South Africa (NUMSA) general secretary Irvin Jim has urged Africans to take up the fight to overthrow capitalism as a system which breeds corruption and cronyism.
Officiating at the preparatory African Assembly this morning for the People’s Assembly scheduled for Venezuela later this year, Jim however, cautioned that breakthroughs in a revolution would not be achieved without the involvement of the working class, the youth and most importantly, international solidarity as fundamental pillars.
“It is my submission that we have no choice on the matter but to take up the fight to overthrow capitalism as a system which breeds corruption and cronyism. Failure to do so will result in barbarism taking over,” Jim told the delegates from 18 African countries meeting in Johannesburg.
He said four central organisations – NUMSA, MST of Brazil, Socialist Party of Zambia and the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party had resolved to have a specific focus to stand in solidarity with the people of Venezuela whose revolution is seriously under attack where the enemy camp is not mincing its words in attacking revolutionary forces in Latin America.
“It is, however, clear that the immediate target is to wipe out the Bolivarian Revolution and erase the revolutionary contribution of Hugo Chavez and rob the Venezuelan people of their chosen path to pursue the struggle for Socialism,” Jim said.
He called for continued struggle for total emancipation of the African Continent from imperialist forces who met in Berlin in 1884 to divide Africa amongst themselves in what has been defined as ‘the Scramble for Africa’.
Jim reminded the delegates that the assembly of the African Continent was not just about solidarity with the toiling masses of Venezuela, but also a moment of reflection for the African continent about reviving its revolutionary credentials in pursuing the class struggle in dealing with local and continental bourgeoisie.
“At the same time, we need to answer what is to be done in organizing the working class as a class for itself? Our case here in South Africa, this entails challenging ourselves in being resolute on building Workers Party structures as well as solidarity networks and structures to engage colonialism and imperialism on the continent,” he said.
Jim said the Caracas Assembly should advance humanity, humility, solidarity to stimulate debate with Latin America and the rest of the world on how best to pursue the struggle for socialism while acknowledging the gains that have been made.
“This, we should do without fail regardless of being separated by rivers and forests. There are a few things we can’t fail to talk about – both on our own continent and in Latin America and the Bolivarian revolution,” he said.
He urged the delegates as they seek concrete revolutionary programmes which shall address unresolved questions of land remaining in the hands of the colonial and imperialist forces in alliance with the minority white, oppressive, racist pollution as it was the case in most African countries.
“The property question will not be addressed meaning that the oppressed, economically marginalized and landless majority will not be affirmed in ownership and control of the economy and as such, there will be an open refusal to nationalize the commanding heights of the economy and mineral endowments,” Jim said. “These notorious outcomes of our failed revolution leads to failure to change the relations of production and render nice, good-sounding revolutionary phrases of liberation movements and nationalist movements such as addressing non-racialism, non-sexism, building a democratic society, as nothing but a myth”.
He said the success of racist, colonial, imperialist forces on this front is always made possible by bourgeois, co-opted, middle class individuals who become soldiers of fortune for the capitalist class.
“The institutions which arm them to shape bourgeois nation-states, who make sure that such nation states become real organs of oppression, are institutions such as IMF, World Bank, WTO, World Economic Forum in alliance with the CEOs of Multinationals and TNCs,” Jim said. “They conquer education and make sure that the dominant, capitalist class and its capitalist values conquer knowledge and knowledge-production from a very early schooling age”.
He said the capitalists present Venezuela like other targeted countries such as Cuba, Brazil as a country failed by socialism whilst doing everything to ensure that they sabotage its delivery system by making sure that they have no access to basic needs such as food and sanitary towels for women.
Jim said South Africa was a victim of capitalist system that was being adopted for the past two decades, under imperialist and neoliberal policies, which makes the country the darling of IMF, World Bank, WTO and WEF.
He said with the possibility of Cyril Ramaphosa becoming the next president of South Africa, the rating agencies were already approving the outlook of the country without any reflective economic achievements.
“With the smell of Cyril Ramaphosa being closer to the reins of power, their own Trump who is voted into power by the working class, the rand immediately strengthened,” Jim said. “What is our reality which we will report to Caracas? The unemployment rate – despite the lie by Stats SA that it is around 27.7% – is actually at +36%. Approximately 34 million South Africans are without a plate of food as at the end of 2017”.
He told the delegates to challenge and recommit themselves to the class struggle.