About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Formation Of A Progressive Party

During his election tour, Sir de Villiers received a number of impressive demonstrations of loyalty in many parts of the country, especially on the plattcland. It became apparent that he had rightly interpreted the conservative attitude of the majority of party members, and his view is that he cannot move faster than public opinion will allow. The progressives, on the other hand, consider that public opinion must be led, not followed, and that far more must be done to awaken the general public to the realities of the situation.

The Members of Parliament who left the Unilcd Parly decided not to resign their seats. An interim steering committee was set up under the leadership of Dr. Steytler, to plan a congress to be held during November, 1959, at which a Progressive Party was to be launched. In the meanwhile, various policy committees were appointed and discussions were held with Non-White leaders.

The Progressives decided not to fight the provincial elections as a group, although individual members were given the option of standing as independents.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.