We’re too soft on capitalists – Jeremy Cronin

2015-06-04 18:17
Jeremy Cronin

Jeremy Cronin

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Jeremy Cronin is ashamed to say he is part of a government that “unwisely introduced too much liberalisation and allowed monopoly capital in South Africa to escape” and even evade tax.

The deputy minister of public works and South African Communist Party deputy general secretary today said capitalists are flourishing in the new South Africa after having their wings clipped in the 1970s and 1980s when they could not join the global trading platforms.

“Monopoly capital in South Africa was bottled up because of economic, financial and oil sanctions. Big mining companies could not get their surplus out in order to multiply profits by moving out or partly out of South Africa to reap the benefits of low wage economies elsewhere in the world – which the bourgeoisie calls globalisation,” said Cronin.

“But after 1994, the government which I am part of – I’m ashamed to say – unwisely introduced too much liberalisation and allowed monopoly capital in South Africa to escape. [Monopoly capital was allowed] to disinvest out of our economy; to have massive capital flight, to have tax evasions; and to have the surplus that you have produced here out of our country; and …. now they speak monopoly corporate.”

Addressing delegates at the 15th national congress of the National Union of Mineworkers, Cronin said these were the same people who benefited mostly after 1994.

Cronin said while there had been some gains for the previously disadvantaged and ordinary South Africans since the dawn of democracy, the “more beneficiaries of our hard-earned democratic revolution have been monopoly capital”.

He said capitalism was still alive in South Africa. He also told exemplary tales of capitalism, suggesting that the system was still rife in South Africa.

“Over the past three years, this union that has been the bedrock of the revolution in our country has been the target of an unprecedented attack. The story of progressive unions in capitalist society is always a story of struggle, and the relationship between capitalists and workers may at certain times be relatively civilised,” said Cronin.

“At other times it will be hostile and aggressive but even in the best of times the class interests of bosses and workers stand in fundamental contradiction to each other. The bosses’ priority number one is profits for themselves, priority number two is profits for themselves, priority number three is profits for themselves … all other considerations are secondary – whether it is job creation, a living wage, health and safety or the social conditions of workers and their families; whether to invest or disinvest; all these are secondary considerations.

“A mine might still be productive; there might be abundant resources under the ground, but if profits are not according to their wishes then they will simply close down the mine on the altar of profit worship and workers and their families will become the sacrificial victims of this worship. Towns will be turned into ghost towns.

“That is the story of capitalism in South Africa and that is the story of capitalism everywhere around the world and that always been at the heart of the struggle waged by workers – not least organised mineworkers in our country. This struggle is always there as long as there is capitalism.”
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