This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
6. Immediate Proposals of the Communist Party
The Party stands for a unitary South African state with a Republican form of government. All local and national representatives in legislative bodies should be subjected both to election and recall by universal, equal, direct, adult franchise, without regard to race, colour, sex or property, educational or other qualifications whatsoever. The Party declares that the revolutionary people of South Africa cannot merely take over existing State and government institutions designed to maintain colonialism, but must destroy them and create new people's institutions in their place. The Senate and all institutions based on property or other undemocratic qualifications must be abolished.
New territorial administrative regions should be established, enjoying full powers of local government corresponding to the progressive traditions and the wishes of the people of each area, but conforming to the overall character and laws of the people's democratic state.
Every vestige of apartheid and racial discrimination should scrupulously be removed from every field of state service and public life. Every rank of the Civil Service, of the army, navy and air force, of the judiciary, police, municipal services and other public institutions should be open to all South Africans The aim of the state should be to replace all officials who are disloyal to democratic nonracial principles. Special measures should be taken rapidly to promote African and other nonWhite personnel, so as to ensure that all state institutions are fully representative of the nature of the population of South Africa.
Civil Rights and State Security
The state must guarantee the fullest liberty of speech and thought, of the press and of organisation, of conscience and religion, to all citizens. The people's' freedom of movement must be guaranteed. Racialistic and counterrevolutionary propaganda must be forbidden. People must be free to discuss and debate all schools of democratic and progressive opinion.
In order to preserve and extend the gains of the revolution, particularly in the conditions of South Africa, the utmost vigilance must be exercised against those who would seek to organ ise counterrevolutionary plots, intrigues and sabotage, against all attempts to restore White colonialism and destroy democracy.
While extending the greatest measure of democracy to the people, and ensuring their fullest participation in the public life of the country, a vigorous and vigilant dictatorship must be maintained by the people against the former dominating arid exploiting classes. Towards this end, the Party will propose the disbandment of the police and military forces maintained by White colonialism. A new people's militia and people's liberation army; composed of and led by trusted representatives of the people, must be created.
The Party will work unceasingly to oppose the development of any form of cult of individual leadership, of illegal and arbitrary methods, or of misuse of power in any way. It will uphold proper legal and judicial procedures, and fight to protect the security of the citizen, the inviolability of his home, his privacy and his correspondence.
In order to ensure the rapid development of South Africa as a well balanced industrialagricultural country, overcoming the lopsidedness caused by colonialism, to abolish unemployment, and to ensure continuously rising material and cultural standards of the people, the Party advocates the largescale, planned development of the economy of the country, controlled and directed by the state.
In order to ensure South Africa's independence, the Party will press for the strengthening of the state sector of the economy, particularly in the fields of heavy industry, machine tool building and fuel production. It will seek to place control of the vital sectors of the economy in the hands of the national democratic state and to correct historic injustice, by demanding the nationalisation of the mining industry, banking and monopoly industrial establishments, thus also laying the foundations for the advance to socialism.
At the same time, the state should protect the interests of private business where these are not incompatible with the public interest. It should offer assistance, by way of state loans, to nonmonopolist producers, in return for a state share in their undertakings, thus paving the way for a gradual and peaceful transition to socialism.
The state should encourage and develop the initiative, talents and crafts of the people and provide opportunities and the fullest encouragement for those who show inventiveness, mechanical skill and other socially useful talents.
In order to rally the support of the great masses of rural people, to raise their living and cultural standards and to rectify the injustices committed by the colonialists in seizing most of the land of South Africa, the revolutionary state must take immediate and drastic measures to restore the land to the people. The Reserve system, and any laws restricting land ownership on a racial basis, must be abolished.
All land must immediately be confiscated which is in the hands of financial monopolies and land speculators, absenteeowners, farmers who use convict labour or indentured compound labour, and other idlers, exploiters and parasites who allow the land to lie idle while the masses starve. This confiscated land must be placed in the hands of those who live and work upon the land. At the same time, the state should guarantee security of tenure to peasant farmers and smallholders who fruitfully cultivate the land by their own labour. All agricultural land transactions should be regulated to avoid accumulation of land once again in the hands of the rich.
Radical reform must be undertaken in regard to all communallyheld and triballyheld lands, with respect to land tenure and social relationships. Backward tribal and other relationships should be replaced by democratic institutions. Special attention should be given to building industries in these areas, electric power stations, modern roads and railways, and all other things required to enable them soon to catch up with the economic and cultural development of the rest of the country. Advanced and efficient agricultural methods and techniques should be introduced.
The state should encourage the widespread development of democratically administered cooperative and collective farms rather than individual peasant smallholdings. Vigorous measures should be taken to meclianise and electrify farming operations, to conserve water supplies and create largescale irrigation schemes, to encourage scientific livestock breeding and the diversification of crops. The state should aim at the development of a prosperous cultured and progressive rural community, close in its standards of living and education, social outlook and interests, to the people of the towns and cities.
Labour and Social Welfare
As the party of the working class, the Communist Party demands the protection and substantial advancement of the workers' standards of living, housing, working conditions, wages, leisure and recreation. It proposes that all workers, including farm, mine and domestic workers, be entitled to full trade union rights and the protection of labour laws, including a national minimum wage, annual paid holidays, sick leave unemployment and workmen's compensation benefits for all, and adequate safety regulations in all mines, factories, farms and other places of work.
The Party demands that the state provide special protection for women workers, the removal of all restrictions against married women employees, and the provision of adequate maternity leave before and after birth. The Party will fight for full and equal rights for women in every aspect of state, social and private life. It will work for the elimination of polygamy. It will fight vigorously against all vestiges and manifestations of contempt for or unequal treatment of women, or their being regarded as mere cooks, domestic servants, nannies and housekeepers. It will fight for the admission of women on an equal basis to every sphere of state, industrial, commercial, agricultural, scientific, academic and professional life.
The Party proposes that a state medical service be instituted providing free preventative and curative medical and health services to all, including hospitals, medicines, spectacles, dentures and all other aspects of a comprehensive health service.
The Party proposes the provision of free meals at school to all children: that all workers be guaranteed cheap transport to and from work and that the state provide adequate pensions, without discrimination, to all old people. It demands adequate allowances for all who are unemployed, disabled, orphaned, or otherwise unable to earn a living.
The Party demands the abolition of all residential segregation and the provision of adequate housing for all, with special attention to the needs of those living in slums.
There must be no segregation in education. All children must receive free primary and secondary education from the state. Standards of education must be the same for all children, irrespective of race, home language or economic status, and designed to develop citizens imbued with a love of their people, their country and humanity.
There must be equal opportunities for all to receive higher education and specialised technical training. however, in order to correct the legacy of colonialism, priority must be given to the training of African and other nonWhite specialists in every field.
The state must organise a campaign among the masses for the complete elimination of adult illiteracy.
All teachers must be guaranteed decent standards of living and the right to take part in public life. They must be enabled to attain the highest qualifications and their remuneration and promotion must be on the basis of qualifications and merit alone.
In view of the ravages wrought by the White colonialists, the Party demands exceptional measures to uphold the rights, dignity, culture and selfrespect of all national groups inhabiting our country.
All languages used by the people of South Africa should enjoy equal rights and status. In local administrative regions, organs of local government, laws, and courts, the language used should normally be that spoken by the majority of people in that region.
The state should encourage in particular the unity of the African people and foster the spirit of unity of all South Africans. At the same time it should encourage and stimulate the development of healthy, nonantagonistic national consciousness and legitimate pride among all sections of the people. It should encourage the development of national cultures, art and literature.
While standing for a united South African state, the Party recognises the rights of all national groups in the country to develop and to determine their own future. To enable these rights to be realised, the Party demands the abolition of the Reserve system and the even development of agriculture, industry and communications throughout South Africa.
Freedom of movement must be an inviolable right of all citizens and all citizens must enjoy equal rights and status in every part of the country.
Vigorous measures must be taken to train and promote nonWhites, especially Africans, as managers and directors of industrial, agricultural, mining and commercial enterprises; as professors, doctors, chemists, architects, scientists and engineers; as leading personnel of every sort.
While regarding as its main task in the sphere of national rights, as being to correct the injustice and crime perpetrated against the African majority, the state must also safeguard and guarantee the rights of minority groups, whether of European, Coloured, Indian, Chinese or any other descent. The state must protect the rights of all citizens equally, and vigorously oppose and suppress all senseless acts of revenge which have their roots in the past. All manifestations of racialism, including the use of derogatory terms to designate people of various national groups must be prohibited by law.
The national democratic state of South Africa should be fully independent. It should base its policy on the peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems. South Africa should aim to strengthen the United Nations and make it more democratic and effective as an instrument of peace. It should work for universal disarmament and the abolition of war as a means of settling disputes between nations.
South Africa should not join any imperialist military alliance or power bloc, or allow imperialist bases to be set up on its territory.
A democratic South Africa should aim at the closest and most fraternal relationships between all African states, towards a united Africa.
Democratic South Africa must seek the closest and most brotherly relations upon: a basis of complete equality between our country and its neighbouring territories of South West Africa, Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Swaziland, Mozambique and Rhodesia. It must proclaim and scrupulously observe the right of selfdetermination and independence of South West Africa, Basutoland, Bechuanal and Swaziland.
A free South Africa will render every assistance to all other Africans in their struggles to liberate themselves from colonialism.
A democratic South African state should enter into diplomatic, cultural, commercial and economic arrangements with all countries, irrespective of their social system, seek to conclude equal and mutually beneficial agreements with them and to strengthen the tics of friendship and brotherhood amongst the peoples of the whole world.
South African Communist Party | Marxism and AntiImperialism in Africa