Article from ROAPE Volume 34 Number 111
South African Communist Party in Post-apartheid Period
This article examines the SACP and its role in contesting the hegemonic project of neoliberalism in the post-apartheid period (1994-2004). I discuss the Party's written attacks on neoliberalism, support for the Congress of South African Trade Union's (Cosatu's) campaigns against privatisation, the formation of the Young Communist League (YCL), and the current campaigns surrounding cooperatives and financial sector reform. As the SACP is embedded within the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the Party's attempts to critique and fight neoliberalism have remained rhetorical and ineffective. Rather than directly confronting the neoliberal policies of the ANC, the SACP has instead cooperated with the ANC, hoping to pull it more to the ‘left’. The SACP's dedication to influencing the ANC has come at the expense of building a mass base of support that opposes neoliberalism. This approach has ultimately resulted in an accommodation to neoliberalism, and exposes many difficult contradictions for the SACP.