The SA Communist Party (SACP) recently celebrated its centenary in South Africa, having held its founding conference on 1 August 1921 in Cape Town.
Since then, the contribution of communists to SA’s political history has evolved over the last 100 years. Along the way, the SACP’s contribution has ebbed and flowed, making many political pundits wonder about the future of communism as an ideology in a modern economy like ours laced with high levels of income inequality and unemployment.
Over time, the SACP fashioned itself more as a liberation movement than a communist outfit in the mould of the ones that were found in Lenin’s Russia or Mao’s China. In essence, the party had to prioritise fighting white domination before it could establish communism in South Africa, hence it ended up becoming a member of the tripartite alliance, joining forces with the ANC and labour federation Cosatu.