THE South African Communist Party (SACP) leadership congratulated comrades in the Free State at the weekend over their participation in the Metsimaholo by-election.
The annual augmented central committee meeting in Ekurhuleni commented: “While the SACP had hoped to achieve a marginally better result, winning three council seats after only campaigning for two weeks was a remarkable achievement.”
The municipal poll marked the first occasion since the party was declared illegal in 1950 that it contested an election independently of the ANC.
The SACP won three seats, all on the proportional representation list, as against 16 for for the ANC, 11 for the Democratic Alliance (DA) and eight for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), while a number of smaller parties received one seat each.
SACP Free State provincial secretary Bheke Stofile said the party would consult the community over possible council coalitions.
“In the course of campaigning, the SACP encountered considerable anti-ANC hostility from working-class communities. Notwithstanding this, the SACP did not run an anti-ANC electoral campaign, although this might well have won us considerably more votes,” the party said.
“We ran a campaign focusing on the socio-economic condition and aspirations of working-class communities and on the principled basis that the ANC does not belong to the corrupt and corporately captured.”
SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande stressed that the party was “not supporting a particular slate or presidential candidate” in this month’s ANC elective conference.
He urged delegates to “elect a leadership collective that will move the ANC out of its current leadership paralysis.”