Capitalism remains a challenge in South Africa and the needs of humanity was yet to be met, the SA Communist Party (SACP) said on Monday evening, ahead of Tuesday's Freedom Day celebrations.
"Millions of our people remain homeless and have little to celebrate with us," said spokesman Malesela Maleka.
"The challenges of capitalism and its inherent inability to meet the needs of humanity has continued to present us with a huge challenge." [you mean replacing it with a system that's even worse at meeting them? - Ed.]
He said although significant progress had been made, it was not enough. [it never is..]
The education sector, he said, continued to reproduce significant racial and class discrimination, while the health system showed major weakness with the slow implementation of the National Health Insurance.
He said these were "clear signs" and something needed to be done to give democracy meaning. [shoot Communists perhaps?]
"We need to place our society onto a different developmental path, one in which meeting social needs is the priority and not profit-driven growth," said Maleka.
"We have built a constitutional order of which we are rightfully proud, but a great majority of South Africans are unable to fully enjoy the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights." [the first true thing he has said. Educating them in Marxist dogma is not the best way of achieving this. Maybe teaching them how to take part in Democracy and the economy would work.]
He said this was not a moment to despair, but a moment for national reflection on the challenge of nation building.
"It is a moment to deepen our resolve to build working class power and people's fronts in the areas of education, health, in building vibrant and strong participatory governance at a local level, in transforming the workplace and fostering a decent jobs agenda, building sustainable livelihoods and fighting crime and corruption."
He said Freedom Day marked an important day in the struggle calender because of a democratic breakthrough.
However, the election did not mark an end to the national democratic and class struggle, but a struggle on a different terrain, said Maleka.
The party urged South Africans to remember struggle heroes like Chris Hani, Yusuf Dadoo, Harry Gwala, Oliver Tambo and Moses Mabhida. - Sapa
COSATU also bitching about stuff on Freedom Day.
What a bunch of whingers. Not content with "freedom", they want to throw a wet blanket on our holiday by complaining about "inequality", an elusive subject I've discussed here.
Johannesburg - South Africa still has a lot to achieve before all South Africans are really free, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Monday.
"We cannot ignore the 58% of South Africans who live in poverty, who cannot really benefit from political freedom as they face a daily struggle to survive," spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.
He said massive inequality had made South Africa the most unequal society in the world. [Note: no it isn't. See here. We have learned never to expect truth from these people, however]
"Such inequality mocks our struggle to build a free, fair and equitable society. Neither can we celebrate freedom when our society is scarred by such high levels of crime and corruption."
Gross exploitation of workers
He said there was a continued restructuring of the working-class into a two-tier labour market.
"We suffer from the gross exploitation of workers, as capitalists seek new ways to enrich themselves at the expense of the working-class and dodge around the labour laws."
He explained that the first layer of workers enjoyed most of the rights contained in the Constitution.
"They are covered by collective bargaining and enjoy better work security and better pay."
The second layer was of super-exploited workers without any rights or freedoms.
"For them, joining a union is a personal risk and upward job mobility is an illusion. It is a large and growing army of workers employed in low-paid, temporary, casualised jobs or employed through the enslaving labour broking system."
He said the highest levels of poverty and under-development were still concentrated in the former bantustans.
"The black working-class, despite government provision of thousands of new houses, are still located far away from workplaces, forcing workers to spend a lot of the little wages they receive on ever-rising transport costs."
Workers bore the brunt of the recent capitalist crisis, caused by the greed of capital.
In the first nine months of 2009 the country lost 959 000 jobs, and workers lost R17bn, worsening poverty and inequality.
This was the underlying reason for all the service delivery protests in the country's poorest communities.
Craven said the only way for workers, their families and communities to win real and total freedom was for them to get organised in strong, fighting trade unions.
"Cosatu urges every worker, and all South Africans to celebrate Freedom Day actively, by attending the many events around the country," he said.