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People of South Africa on the National Democratic Revolution!

Updated on December 3, 2017
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Mxolisi "Laview" Khanyile. A Bsc: Animal Science student at UNIZULU and branch chairman of YCLSA. A member of ANCYL and SASCO

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Mxolisi "Laview" Khanyile, a political activist
Mxolisi "Laview" Khanyile, a political activist
Mxolisi "Laview" Khanyile, a political activist | Source

Mxolisi "Laview" Khanyile writes:


It is of a paramount importance to trace back where the NDR was originated, the strategic concept of the National Democratic Revolution was developed within the international communist movement from it 2nd congress in 1920. To be more detailed, the congress discussed the relationship between national oppression and class struggle. The 2nd congress’s commission on national and colonial question, VI Lenin and MN Roy from India played a leading role in this commission.

Lenin reporting back on behalf of commission he says “we have discussed whether it would be right of wrong, in principle and in theory, to state that the communist international communist parties must support the bourgeois-democratic movement in backwards countries. As a result of discussion, we have arrived at the unanimous decision to speak of the national revolutionary movement rather than of bourgeois democratic movement” it was for this argument that urged the communist parties to work close with, and intensify the national struggles and led to SACP introducing the term NDR in the ANC 1928, that forms the common program of the alliance.


In order to understand the relationship betweenthe NDR and class struggle, we should get clear distinctions for the two. For NDR it is significant that we understand the current phase we are in which is the second radical phase and understanding simply schematic outline, in which we must understand separately pillars of NDR (the ‘N’, ‘D’ and ‘R’):

The National Dimension of the NDR embrace (i) progressive nationalism the NDR needs that we continue emobilizing people of south Africa around the “National Grievance” of the historically oppressed. In this phase we must not abandon the “National question”. This must be the task of Black and White South Africans.

(ii) nation building this is very import in south Africa as the nation that is too diverse culturally, racial, religiously and ideologically. all south African a from different diversity must be party of nation building condemning act such as black Monday were group of white farmers (Boers) burning the flag of the republic And showing racial discriminating acts. National building going and with redistribution of economy to the historically disadvantaged especially the blacks.

(iii) Democratic national sovereignty building a National consciousness, patriotismand ownership of and responsibility to south Africa by black and white.

The democratic dimension of the NDR the1994 political breakthrough is part of the achievement of the NDR because democracy is the culture of broader and equitable participation in decision making very important to note rule (demo) by the people (cracy). Democracy includes elections, humanrights, equality of constitutional right, civil rights, Freedom and rule of law.

The revolutionary dimension of the NDR this refers to not an events but to revolutionary struggles for deep Structural transformation for our socio- economy to continue to develop radical transformation those structural features that continue to produce the crises of radicalized (and class and gander) in equality, poverty and unemployment.

The relationship between national struggle and class struggle, we must understand it correctly because a failure to understand the class content of the national struggle and then national content of the class struggle in the current existing conditions can hold back the progress of both democratic and socialist transformation which we want.

Comrades Joe Slovo was quoted saying [the immediate primacy of the struggle against race tyranny flows from the concrete reality of our existing situation. The concept of national domination is not a must I fixation to divert us from class approaches; it infect every level of
class exploitation. Indeed, it divides our working class in to colour compartments. Therefore, unusual categories such as ‘white working class and 'black working class' are unscientific but simply describe the fact.]

Class struggle is the period of capitalists hegemony, where the working class's ultimate goal is to win power. But it is well know that the content of this class struggle does not remain fixed all the time, it is dictated by concrete situation at a given historic moment. When the working class is involved in the national struggle to destroy race domination they are surely at the same time engaging in the class struggle.

Class struggle does not fade when workers forge alliance with other class force on a commonly agreed minimum programs. There is no such thing as pure class struggle.


The first phase of the NDR was absolutely necessary on the political and juridical terrain.(i)The 1991-1994 multiparty negotiations (CODESA).(ii)The 1994 democratic electoral breakthrough itself and (iii)The consequent 1996 of adoption of a new constitution. It crucial to note that the first phase was itself radical. It abolished (politically, judicially, constitutionally) white rule.

The first phase has also been the platform on which a massive socio- economic redistributive programs has been launched. The democratic breakthrough of the mid-1990s has been used by successiveANC-led administration to drive major REDISTRIBUTIVE socio- economic programmers.

But even more importantly we must continue to ask ourselves difficulty questions like why are crisis levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality still produced? To answer this question and the question of what do we mean by a second phase of the NDR?
It is because (i) There has been socio-economic RE- REDISTRIBUTION but insufficient STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION.(ii)This redistributive effort has been almost entirely conceptualized as a TOP DOWNSTATE “DELIVERYPROCESS”. It has been for those who are politically connected.


In closure it will be important to remind people of south Africa that the NDR is for all people black and white. The NDR seeks to empower all people of South Africa, by fighting race dominations, class domination and gender domination.

The Mogorogo “strategy and tactics" document clearly associated the an with the national revolutionary line of march “our nationalism must not be confused with chauvinism or narrow nationalism of previous epoch. It must not be confused with classical drive by elitist group among the oppressed people to gain ascendancy so that they can replace the oppressor in the exploitation ofthe mass”

The same document introduced an important note of caution “we do not undermine the complexities which face a people's government during transformation period nor the enormity of the problems of meeting the economic needs of the mass of our people. But one thing is certain in our land this can not be effectively tackled unless the basic wealth and the basic resource at disposal of the people as a whole and not manipulated by sections of individuals be they white or black"


By Mxolisi "Laview" Khanyile. YCLSA Smiso Nkwanyana (UNIZULU) Branch Chairperson.

•14TH SACP National congress Discussion document and position paper
•African communist “revitalizing the NDR”
•December 2012 ANC strategy and tactics
•The South African Working Classand the National Democratic Revolutionby Joe Slovo

Defend, Advance, deepen the NDR!!

© 2017 Mxolisi Khanyile


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    • Laview profile imageAUTHOR

      Mxolisi Khanyile 

      13 months ago from Estcourt


    • profile image

      Zakhele Zuma 

      13 months ago

      What a good article by a young person. Very good keep it up


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