Nzimande hits out at middle class, 'elitist' blacks

2012-09-17 22:37
Blade Nzimande (File, Beeld)

Blade Nzimande (File, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande took a swipe at the country's middle class on Monday claiming it was trying to discredit the African National Congress government.

Nzimande told delegates at Cosatu's 11th national congress in Midrand, Johannesburg, that there was a "capital crisis" in South Africa and even the middle class was starting to feel the pinch.

But, he said, instead of joining workers in protest like middle classes around the world, South Africa's middle class, especially its white section, turned against the African National Congress government.

"Equally, small and often elitist sections of the black middle class which also feels the economic hardship are working with some of their white counterparts to blame government," Nzimande said.

The white and black middle class blamed it on what they called a lack of leadership in society.

Anti-union offensive

This was a "rightist putsch and ideological fad" aimed at discrediting the ANC, he said.

"It must be treated and dismissed as such."

"Desperation by the elites is also rooted in the fact that since 2007 and the defeat of the 1996 class project, we have an ANC ruling party that... is committed to our tripartite alliance," he said.

"[The] ANC-led government... has abandoned [however unevenly] neo-liberalism, privitisation, anti-communism, and anti-worker positions."

Nzimande said it was because of these positive developments that there was an anti-union offensive in South Africa.

"[This] has been left to opposition parties in Parliament, to renegades expelled from our own ranks, to demagogues and opportunists of all stripes, supported by big money and broadcast through the megaphone of the mainstream media," he said.

Failed the workers

Meanwhile, Nzimande said the platinum boom in the country has done nothing for the work force.

"We failed these workers and their families," he said.

He was referring to mineworkers at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana in the North West and other platinum mines in the area where workers were striking.

"We failed to leverage effective social responsibility requirements out of the mining houses," he said.

"We were too focused on using the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Act to enforce BEE shareholding."

- SAPA

Read more on:    lonmin  |  sacp  |  cosatu  |  blade nzimande  |  lonmin unrest  |  mining unrest  |  politics  |  labour
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