An Ecosocialist Program for South Africa

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Climate & Capitalism previously reported that the Socialist Green Coalition was prevented from running in South Africa’s recent election by a huge election deposit and other registration problems. The ecosocialist current issued this leaflet during the campaign.

[Thanks to Derek Wall, who posted this on Another Green World.]

Our struggle for justice and equality is global. The international crisis of capitalism has seen massive bail-outs of banks and corporations using money from the working class and the poor. Millions of people are breaking with the ideas of the free market and capitalism. We stand in solidarity with all the people across the globe fighting for a world where all forms of exploitation and oppression are eradicated; a world that treats human beings with respect and takes care of nature and the environment – a socialist world.

Power does not come from parliament but from the struggle of the masses fighting for their needs. In uniting as different organizations to contest in the 2009 South African elections we are bound together by the following 6 principles:

1. Government and society must be in the hands of the working class and the masses. End the influence and privileges of the rich and famous. Members of parliament (MPs) must come from, live with and be controlled by those who elected them. MPs must receive a salary equal to the average wage of a skilled worker and be subject to the right of recall.

2. Stop capitalist control of the economy. Nationalise (without compensation) the banks, the mines, the factories, the corporations and big farms under workers control. Land to the landless. Food for the hungry. Use the country’s wealth to address the root causes of poverty and inequality.

3. Free basic services for all. Everyone must get enough water and electricity, decent housing, quality health care, good education, electronic communications, safe reliable transport and an adequate living expenses allowance for the unemployed. The provision of basic services must be done by government and not through privatization.

4. Permanent jobs and a living wage for all. Government must develop public works to meet the needs, improve the lives and living conditions of all people and ensure that decent jobs are created.

5. Everyone must be treated equally with respect and with dignity no matter their race, class, gender, age, belief, culture, sexual orientation or country of origin. The right to strike, protest and mobilize must be guaranteed to all without any limitations and conditions.

6. Take care of the environment and the people who live in it. Stop pollution, deforestation, fossil carbon emissions, global warming and climate change. Develop and use renewable energy sources. No to nuclear power. Eradicate all the dangers to nature and human life because of capitalist business development.

Campaign for the right of the Socialist Green Coalition and other political parties to register for the elections without having to find a capitalist sponsor to pay the half-a-million rand deposit. IEC qualification should not be money but 10 000 signatures of voters who support the party.

Issued by: Socialist Green Coalition

Forward with working class organisations


  • I am interested to know which party Rory and David do support.

    There are other discussions on this site on population and eco-socialism with which they can interact. The concensus on that debate that SGC fully supports is much greater reproductive choice through much greater gender and wealth equity – which is embeded in the first sentence of point 5. Also dealing with human impact on biodiversity is embeded in point 6.

    Obviously all the details are not covered in a single page election manifesto. SGC is commited to accountability to communities, including David and Rory. They can interact with the SGC if they have policy positions they would like to propose.

  • I fully agree with David’s points. I am an environmentalist and this manifesto pays rather weak, or no, attention to such things as human population growth which critically impact the possibility of a sustainable future for us and our fellow life forms.

  • I think this is rather weak in respect of protection of the environment and animals.

    As a South African I would like our constitution to be modelled on that of Ecuadors, which grants constitutional protection to nature and to natural entities and obliges the government to restore these where they are substantially harmed.

    In addition I think that any environmentalist programme nedds to address laissez fairre human population growth to have any credibility.

    It needs to be as easy not have children as it is to have them, and woman need to have complete control over their reproduction , both from a human rights, and an environmental protection point of view.

    This is especially relevant in a society where medieval patriarchal views persist.

    I think that ethical thinking needs to extend beyond the narrow and anti-environmetalism inherent in humanism.

    This is a siezed planet. we need to radically rethink ourselves if there is to be both a human and a biodiverse future.

    This manifesto doesnt begin to do it, I’m afraid.

    You would’nt get my vote

  • Ian’s (and Derek’s) reference to “presidential election” is not correct. The elections in April were for the National Assembly. The President is elected by the National Assembly, not directly by the voters.