Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, February 26, 2007

The SACP's bluster
The SACP is once-again making waves about divorcing itself from the tripartite marriage, and many people are getting excited about the consequences. They shouuldn't be. It is incredibly unlikely that the SACP will go it alone in the next elections.

The SACP is a party that exists with influence only through the power of its more high-brow partners. The ANC's electoral strength shields the SACP from the country's voting blocs and hides the lack of governing policies that could attract a wide proportion of the electorate. Blade and the rest of the SACP leadership is not stupid, and it knows this inherently. That's why this sabre-rattling from the SACP is nothing more than a call for more attention and more influence in the tripartite alliance. This is supported by other comments made by the SACP out of their conference.

There is a notion that the SACP controls much of the workers' voting bloc in South Africa, which is a fallacy. According to studies, only 14 percent of Cosatu-affiliated union members are SACP members. If the SACP went on its own, I would bet that at least half of that 14% would change their vote to the ANC.

The cold tundras of South African politics are simply too difficult to bear for a lone wolf like the SACP, and one would imagine that if they decided to split, they would join the rush to insignificance that seems to have befallen many other smaller opposition parties. But I think that the SACP knows this all too well.