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ASI 2006 Reports - Azania - Sbusiso Xaba

It is a privilege to bring revolutionary greeting from the soldiers on the Southern African front of African revolution to leadership from African people from all over world. This report is to highlight the plight of African people in Azania under a neocolonial system as a manifestation of the ruthlessness of capitalism. It is presented with shame as this part of the continent is being used to re-colonize Africa for the interests of western imperialists and the international corporate syndicate.

The African middle class that has been the sole beneficiary of the liberation of the African continent from classic colonialism can never liberate us. Our uhuru will only come through an organized response of the African working class to Marcus Garvey’s calling when he said, “Up, you mighty race! You can accomplish what you will!”

Azania’s political situation

There is media freedom in the sense that anyone can own and run a newspaper, but most people do not read newspapers. Those who have access get news and other information from electronic media.

It is electronic media where the State controls freedom of expression through the ICASA licensing process. The radios and TV process is managed in such a manner that people who control those are liberal and conservatives.

Most channels and stations are owned by the State and abused by the government to communicate a picture that serves its neo-liberal agenda. The multinationals and State institutions are exploiting its control of broadcasting institutions to reinforce liberal propaganda.

The funding of political parties by the private sector is done in a manner that creates a corrupt relationship between the political parties, leaders and corporations. The State funding through Independent Electoral Authority creates a situation where true democracy can never be possible as the political landscape is being skewed in favor of the first election results of 1994.

For example, in the last national elections the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was given about one million Rand while the ruling African National Congress (ANC) was given about one billion Rand for the elections.

There has been a growing activism with growth of social movements around various issues including land, development, governance, reparations, labor rights, economy, education, privatization of State assets, and health, but most of these movements are funded by the white left like most NGOs across the continent.

It is for that reason that social movements have to choose between biting the hand that feeds them or stand their ground and fight social injustice.

The most organized sector of the social movements is the Trade Union sector that has managed to organize workers around issues of salaries and workplace rights and also been vocal on national issues. It remains a weakness of the trade union movement that it sees its function as to manage the current relationship between the employer and the employed and to further mobilize the workers to support liberal policies during elections while shouting revolution between elections.

Political parties in Azania

There are a number of political parties in Azania that compete for power and have various agendas.

The African National Congress (ANC) is the ruling party in Azania with a two third majority in the parliament and executive power. It quickly proclaimed after going into power in 1994 that it is not a socialist party after being supported by communist governments for years during the liberation struggle.

It adopted a liberal economic policy to please IMF and the World Bank and is currently at war with itself to determine which imperialist interest it must serve.

The white supremacists of the National Party (NP) that created and maintained apartheid joined the ANC after formally dissolving their party because there is no policy difference between the two.

The Communist Party of South Africa (SACP) reads and preaches communism but continuously supports liberalism and sponsors capitalism. SACP only serves to contain those with leftwing tendencies but itself is not a leftwing party as it supports the liberal ANC.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) represents white supremacy covered in liberalism. It holds 10 percent of parliament. It is of grave concern that some African middle class forces have been joining this party.

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) is an organization without a clear political agenda beyond exploiting religious and spiritual conviction.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), United Democratic Movement (UDM), Independent Democratic (ID) and other parties represent tribal interest in direct contradiction with African unity. In general, they are liberal in ideology. Together they hold about 10 percent of parliamentary representation.

The Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA) and the Azanian People Organization (AZAPO) are ideologically African conscious and international and are therefore compatible with the adopted documents of the African Socialist International. These parties have done well in ensuring that their members are involved in journalism and controlling the editing of various newspapers.

It is sad that there is a lot of work to be done to enter the corridors of substantive decision-making. It is desirable that unity be forged between SOPA, AZAPO and PAC, as there are minor ideological differences.

There has been a lot of progress made in working towards unity between SOPA and PAC, particularly the youth formations of the two parties have common platforms and programmes.

Even though the revolutionary Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) only holds one percent of parliamentary representation and does not have executive power, it commands a significant representation in the corridors of power in Azania.

“The African working class and peasants are dying of diseases, affected by high levels of crime and drowning in poverty while the minority, which include the colonially privileged, remain intact and the African middle class has been co-opted in benefiting from the blood of the workers.”

The military and judiciary areas are the two areas that the PAC was able to build a capacity unmatched by any other party in Azania. There are many party members of prominence and members in general that hold critical roles in civil service, academic institution and general commerce.

It is a challenge that the PAC is seriously lacking in control of the legislative process and executive powers.

Social and cultural conditions in Azania

Cultural expression is still overwhelmingly a mirror of mainstream Europe and America. Business is conducted in the language of the conqueror and so is the educational medium of instruction.

In education, the curriculum thrust has not changed from teaching white supremacy and promoting capitalist values. It hardly features Africa in any meaningful content.

The doors of tertiary education are firmly closed for students coming from poor backgrounds. The price tag of education is used as a tool to maintain the privileges of the ruling class that has ruled for the past 300 years.

The health system is very good for those with medical insurance, which has dropped from 18 percent of the population in 1995 to 14 percent in 2005. Diseases such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes are well managed among the middle class while killing scores of poor and downtrodden.

HIV/AIDS is the biggest threat that Azania and Southern Africa is facing which is altering the demographic in our region. There are 1.5 million orphans in Azania and one million people living with AIDS.

Ten percent of the population has HIV and 1.2 percent of the population is newly infected every year. There has been an increase in mortality rate with life expectancy reduced from 56 years to 41 in a decade.

Tuberculosis has gotten a free ride on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Malaria is a big problem in specific areas, particularly those close to Mozambique.

The criminal justice system has not changed since the colonial era both in content and context. The base law in Azania remains Roman and Dutch law.

The procedures and tradition in the police service, correctional service and court system favors the rich and connected. The African customary courts system has not been integrated in total conflict resolution systems of the country.

It is easy to tell that we at war in various communities with government machinery still gearing to protect affluent suburbs and not committed to expand infrastructure to working-class suburbs.

Economic conditions in Azania

In Azania, the economy and society is highly polarized as a result of the apartheid legacy. Azania is a country long categorized as “internal colonialism” or “settler colonialism.”

Azania has significant resources for the redistribution of income and assets provided the necessary policies and measures of implementation are put in place. South Africa’s per capita GDP places it as one of the 50 wealthiest nations and it has the 35th largest economy, but this is not benefiting all of the people of

Azania.

The neocolonial era has brought a great deal of upward mobility in the upper levels of society. There has been a “dramatic increase in African affluence,” but at lower levels massive problems of poverty and unemployment persist.

Azania has one of the most unequal income distributions in the world. There is a 40 percent unemployment rate and a youth unemployment rate of almost 60 percent. Poverty is higher in rural areas than in the urban areas with 27 percent of rural dwellers having incomes half the poverty line .

We have to build the ASI

One will see Africans in office as spokespersons of national institutions, but imperialist forces are still firmly in power as seen in actions taken in direct conflict with the interest of African people by these institutions.

The African working class and peasants are dying of diseases, affected by high levels of crime and drowning in poverty while the minority, which include the colonially privileged, remain intact and the African middle class has been co-opted in benefiting from the blood of the workers.

It is therefore in the interest of African people everywhere, especially on the Azanian front, that the project of building the African Socialist International (ASI) succeeds. It is of great importance that the revolution takes place in the African world to create a unified African socialist democratic State, one government for the continent that is unapologetically lead by the working class. It is the duty of the African working class organization and leadership to ensure that Africa’s resources, especially the land and minerals, are used to advance African peoples lives and liberate Africa from ignorance, diseases and poverty.

Africa was colonized by corporations. Therefore they must be held liable for reparations in conjunction with their governments. The underdevelopment of Africa has directly benefited Europeans who robbed their way out of poverty, regular civil wars and diseases and into extreme luxury and continuous entertainment.

The price for reparation is very high as cost formulae has to include slavery, underpayment of labor, property theft, mineral theft, destruction of environment, destruction of balance in nature, land rental and fines for abuses just to mention a few high level variables.

South America is showing the world that change will not come cheap. It will not be given by those who benefit from working class exploitation. It will not come from gentlemanly behavior, but instead will only come from radical action.

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