Issued 29 November 2018
The leadership of the 147 working class formations that convened and met at the Working-Class Summit in July 2018 to launch a working-class movement met again on 23 November 2018 to evaluate the programme adopted by the Summit.
The leaders of the working class movement agreed unanimously that the situation that had necessitated the convening of the Working Class Summit has worsened.
- Unemployment has reached unprecedented levels at 37,3% and 52% for youth not in training and not at school, with a staggering 41% of black people unemployed.
- The economy is in recession and it is the poor working class which will carry a disproportionate burden for this.
- Government has increased VAT by 7% and refused to meaningfully zero-rate more food stuff, so-called sin taxes have been increased by more than the rate of inflation at 6% – 10%, and fuel prices have shattered all previous records and now stands at unaffordable levels which may lead to more increases of food and other goods prices.
- Crime statistics paint a frightening picture. The Commissioner of Police, after releasing horrific crime statistics showing that 57 people are killed every day, which makes South Africa one of the ten most murderous countries in the world told the country, told the country that there are 62 000 vacancies in the police service.
- A new Minister of Finance has been appointed and has wasted no time to launch a vitriolic attack on the working class, threatening to privatise SAA, throw 30 000 workers out of Eskom on to the streets and threatening jobs and working conditions of all public servants.
We need unity of the working class more than before. The meeting agreed to waste no time to implement the programme agreed at the July Working Class Summit.
Accordingly the leadership agreed to implement the programme as follows:
- To launch all provincial and local working class movement structures between now and the end of January 2018. Interim coordinators have been appointed.
- To move with speed to mobilise the working class for a total shut down of the country and economy on budget day to highlight:
- Crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequalities.
- Mass occupation of cities to demand that our land be returned and the property poverty of the majority be addressed.
- Education and healthcare crisis to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
- Evictions to be stopped and more houses to be built close to places of economic activity.
- To launch a mass education on the demands of the working-class summit and ensure debates on the ground are taking place in order to build class consciousness that will yield unity in struggles and total liberation of the working class.