Whilst the trade union is the natural organiser of the working class due to the nature of class exploitation eminating at the site of production, it is only the Revolutionary Party that can organise and lead a true Socialist revolution.
Following the 10th Congress of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, the following key decisions were made:
Withdraw electoral support from the ANC and move for COSATU to move out of the ANC led alliance.
Extend union scope, especially along value chains.
Creation of a new socialist oriented federation
Creation of a United Front
Creation of a revolutionary socialist workers party
From then there was the creation of an Interim Working Committee and the goal of creating a workers’ party was official in 2018. The party was officially registered with the Electoral Commission of South Africa in September and in December 2018, the first national meeting of the newly formed SRWP in Johannesburg South Africa on December 14 and 15, gathering in a pre-launch conference to establish the key organisational, ideological and programmatic pillars of the party. On 4-6 April 2019, the party was officially launched in a Congress of 1,000 participants form all nine provinces, with the participation of international and local observers.
The Congress was dedicated to “Fieldmore” Mapeto Baldwin Langa, a member of NUMSA, who passed in August 2018. Fieldmore was a lifelong communist and internationalist, when he was just 17 he joined uMkhonto weSizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress during the anti-apartheid struggle.
During the three days of work, delegates heard from different members of the Interim Working Committee of the Party such as the convenor of the SRWP, Irvin Jim. In his address, Jim remarked on the path that brought them where they are today and why the creation of this party today in South Africa is so essential.
On the second day of work, the delegates split up into different commissions to work on the different issues of the political platform including (education, health, housing, work, etc.), as well the different founding documents of the party.
Key decisions were made to adopt a Constitutions, political programme and participate in the May 2019 National Elections, as a form of consicousness raising.
After the launch, the party embarked on its work guided by the following strategic objectives and mission:
Education, agitation, mobilisation and organisation of the working class in South Africa so that they become a conscious and socialist revolutionary working class.
The overthrow of white racist, colonial capitalist supremacy in South Africa, in all spheres and activities of life.
The conquest of political power by the working class in South Africa.
The establishment in South Africa of a Socialist Republic.
The ideological roots of the party lies in Marxism-Leninism, which is:
The most advanced theoretical and practical application of Marxism.
The practical application of Marxism for the emancipation of the working class.
As the revolutionary practical application of Marxism by the working class in their struggle for socialism.
Marxism understands the world in the following terms:
“……in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which it is built up, and from that which alone can be explained the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; That the history of these class struggles forms a series of evolutions in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and oppressed class – the proletariat – cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class – the bourgeoisie – without, at the same time, and once and for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinction, and class struggles.”
(The Manifesto of the Communist Party, Preface to the 1888 English Edition, Karl Frederick Engels, 1888, London)