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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

3. Colonialism of a Special Type

The White ruling classes, and especially the leaders of the Nationalist Party have manufactured a version of the past and present of this country which they systematically attempt to impose everywhere, from the schoolroom to international opinion. According to this picture, the early White settlers penetrated peacefully into a virtually unoccupied country. The African population, who are depicted as savage barbarians without culture, achievements or history, are represented as relative newcomers who entered the country at about the same time as the Whites, and conducted aggressive wars and raids against them. The impression is given that African occupation was always more or less confined to the present Reserves - the "Bantu Homelands." This version of South Africa's past is entirely false.

From the time of the first White settlement, established by the Dutch East India Company 300 years ago, the pattern was set for the ruthless colonial exploitation of the nonWhite peoples of our country, the expropriation of their lands and the enforced harnessing of their labour power. The Dutch made war on the people of the Cape, whom they contemptuously called "Hottentots," and rejected their appeals for peace and friendship. The socalled "Bushmen" were all but exterminated. Slaves were imported from Malaya and elsewhere. White settlers gradually penetrated into the interior. They drove the indigenous people from the best farm lands and seized their cattle. They subdued them by armed conquest and forced them into their serviceat first through direct slavery, later through a harsh system of pass laws and taxation.

This pattern was not basically changed by the seizure of the Cape Colony from Holland by Britain in 1806. The British colonialists conducted a savage series of wars of conquest against the AmaXhosa people in the Eastern Cape and the Zulu people in Natal. They imported more White settlers from Britain, and greatly extended the area of White domination. Through the agency of missionaries, traders, or armed bands of adventurers, they extended British sovereignty or "Protectorates" through Bechuanaland and Basutoland, and beyond the Limpopo River in Mashonaland, Barotseland, and other territories to the north, which they have named after the infamous adventurer and multimillionaire Cecil Rhodes.

The beginnings of the pass system were introduced under British rule. However, as the foremost capitalist country at that time, Britain was opposed to direct chattel slavery. In 1836 a law was passed abolishing slavery in the Cape Colony. In protest against this law, and to get away from British rule, large parties of Boers left the Cape and crossed into Natal, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In the course of this Great Trek, the Boers conducted continuous aggressive wars against the African tribes whom they found in possession everywhere. They usurped their lands, exploited their labour and even practised forms of slavery. They established new Republics founded on White domination and the racialist principle "No equality in Church or State."

Colonialist propaganda has emphasised the negative features of traditional African society: the relatively low development of productive techniques; the illiteracy, intertribal conflicts and wars, superstitions and poverty. It is true that such features existed in traditional African society just as they did among all peoples at the period of simple tribal economy. But hostile propaganda has presented a distorted image. Prior to the European conquest of Southern Africa, the indigenous peoples had developed their own independent culture and civilisation. They mined and smelted iron, copper and other metals and fashioned them into useful implements. They had developed a number of handicrafts. Their system of extensive agriculture and livestock breeding was wellsuited to the type of country and the tools at their disposal. It produced a surplus sufficient to maintain fulltime specialist workers, smiths, doctors and others. Their system of government, though simple, was essentially democratic and popular in character. The hereditary chiefs were assisted in their functions as lawgivers and judges by the senior people of the tribe, and important decisions affecting the whole tribe were always referred to a general meeting of the peoplethe Tswana and Sotho Pitso, the Xhosa and Zulu Imbizo. Private property in land was unknown, and food and shelter were freely shared, even with strangers.

When Whites first appeared they were welcomed courteously. But when the colonists began their ceaseless acts of armed aggression, the African people resisted bravely to defend their cattle and their land from robbery and their people from enslavement. They took up spear and assegai against the bullets of the invader with his horses and wagons. The Xhosa people, under leaders such as Nqgika, Ndlambe, Hintsa and Makana, the Zulus using Chaka's battle tactics, under Dingane, Cetywayo and Bambata, the Basotho under Moshoeshoe, and in the North, the Tswana, Pedi and other African peoples, fought back bravely against the Boer and British invaders. The Coloured people, too, struggled valiantly. Revolts took place and the Coloured community led by the great Adam Kok, established their own independent Griqua Republic. But, tribal society and a rural economy could not provide the material basis for successful warfare against an enemy with a more advanced economy and more destructive weapons. The impact and penetration of White missionaries and traders paved the way for military conquest. Disunity amongst the various African peoples prevented the development of a common front of resistance. The farsighted vision of Moshoeshoe did indeed encompass this idea, and he sent emissaries to the Zulu and Xhosa people, and to Adam Kok, to propose such a united front. But Moshoeshoe's idea of a grand alliance came before its time. Time and again in their wars of conquest against African peoples, the British and Boer imperialists were able to play off one tribe against another and to enrol African auxiliaries.

The discovery of diamond fields at Kimberley and goldfields on the Witwatersrand had profound and farreaching consequences. Foreigners flocked into South Africa. Great British and European finance houses exported vast sums of investment capital to South Africa. To seize complete control over the gold of the Transvaal, British imperialism invaded the two Republics, and after a cruel war, in which the Boers defended themselves with great heroism and resourcefulness, brought them within the British Empire. One of the pretexts for Britain's aggression had been the oppression of the African people under the Republics. Yet, following the British victory, the colonial status and subjugation of the indigenous peoples was continued and even intensified. The goldmining interests were now the true rulers of the country. They had only one interest in the African - to force him into labour on the mines at minimum rates of pay. They found the harsh colonial policy of the Republics admirably suited to this purpose. The poll tax and pass Systems were intensified. Dispossession of the Africans from the land was speeded up. Not a single move was made to introduce into the northern colonies even the minimum citizen rights which had been conceded to the nonWhites in the Cape In the oppression, dispossession and exploitation of the nonWhites, British imperialism and Afrikaner nationalism found common ground. This was the basis for the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910.

Dominating the allWhite parliament, the representatives of the wealthy Boer farmers and the imperialist mineowners joined in an unholy alliance to squeeze the last drop of cheap labour out of the African people. The Land Act of 1913 ended African land ownership or tenancy except in the Reserves which were deliberately designed to be insufficient to support the population, so that the menfolk would be driven forth by hunger to work in Whiteowned enterprises. The state developed the contract system of migrant labour, separating the wageearner from his family, so that the employer would not have to pay for the maintenance of the worker's wife and children. The democratic, cooperative basis of tribal society was broken down, and the entire African people turned into a rightless community of impoverished peasants and underpaid forced labourers in Whitecontrolled farms, mines and factories.

South Africa is not a colony but an independent state. Yet masses of our people enjoy neither independence nor freedom. The conceding of independence to South Africa by Britain, in 1910, was not a victory over the forces of colonialism and imperialism. It was designed in the interests of imperialism. Power was transferred not into the hands of the masses of people of South Africa, but into the hands of the White minority alone. The evils of colonialism, insofar as the nonWhite majority was concerned, were perpetuated and reinforced. A new type of colonialism was developed, in which the oppressing White nation occupied the same territory as the oppressed people themselves and lived side by side with them.

A rapid process of industrialisation was set in train, especially during the two world wars. South African heavy industry and secondary industry grew to occupy first place on the Continent. This process had profound effects on the country's social structure. It concentrated great wealth and profits in the hands of the upper strata of the White population. It revolutionised the economy, transforming it from a predominantly agricultural into an industrialagricultural economy, with an urban working class, mainly nonWhite, which is the largest in Africa. But no commensurate benefits of this industrialisation have been enjoyed by the masses of nonWhite people.

On one level, that of "White South Africa," there are all the features of an advanced capitalist state in its final stage of imperialism. There are highly developed industrial monopolies, and the merging of industrial and finance capital. The land is farmed along capitalist lines, employing wage labour, and producing cash crops for the local and export markets. The South African monopoly capitalists, who are closely linked with British, United States and other foreign imperialist interests, export capital abroad, especially in Africa. Greedy for expansion, South African imperialism reaches out to incorporate other territories - South West Africa and the Protectorates.

But on another level, that of "NonWhite South Africa," there are all the features of a colony. The indigenous population is subjected to extreme national oppression, poverty and exploitation, lack of all democratic rights and political domination by a group which does everything it can to emphasise and perpetuate its alien "European" character. The African Reserves show the complete lack of industry, communications, transport and power resources which are characteristic of African territories under colonial rule throughout the Continent. Typical, too, of imperialist rule, is the reliance by the state upon brute force and terror, and upon the most backward tribal elements and institutions which arc deliberately and artificially preserved. NonWhite South Africa is the colony of White South Africa itself.

It is this combination of the worst features both of imperialism and of colonialism, within a single national frontier, which determines the special nature of the South African system, and has brought upon its rulers the justified hatred and contempt of progressive and democratic people throughout the world.

All Whites enjoy privileges in South Africa. They alone can vote and be elected to parliament and local government bodies. They have used this privilege to monopolise nearly all economic, educational, cultural and social opportunities. This gives the impression that the ruling class is composed of the entire White population. In fact, however, real power is in the hands of the monopolists who own and control the mines, the banks and finance houses, and most of the farms and major industries. The gold and diamond mines are owned by seven miningfinancial corporations and controlled by a handful of powerful financiers. These seven corporations are closely linked with British and American imperialist interests. They control capital investment in mining alone of R490 million, and employ almost 500,000 workers. In addition, they dominate large sections of manufacturing industries. They are linked with the main banks, two of which control assets of over R2,000 million, mainly in the form of loans to industry, commerce and estate. They own vast tracts of arable land and mining rights in almost every part of the country. In agriculture too monopoly dominates. 4 per cent of the farms make up an area amounting to almost fourtenths of the total Whiteowned farmland. Thus, in mining, industry, commerce and farming, monopolists dominate the country's economy. They are also closely linked with state monopoly capital ventures, such as Iscor (Iron and Steel), Escom (Electricity) and Sasol (Petrol).

These monopolists are the real power in South Africa. The special type of colonialism in South Africa serves, in the first place, their interests. Low nonWhite wages; the reserves of poverty; the compound labour system and the importation of hundreds of thousands of contract labourers from beyond our borders; the pass laws and poll tax and rigid police control of labour and of movementall are designed to keep their profits high. In 1961, these seven mining corporations and their subsidiaries made a working profit of nearly R212 million and paid out dividends of R101 million to shareholders.

The South African monopolists act as allies and agents of foreign imperialist interests. One quarter of the capital of the seven miningfinancial groups is owned abroad, mainly by British and American investors. In 1958, dividends of R43 million were paid out abroad. The two biggest banks, Standard and Barclays, are largely controlled from Britain, and in recent years United States capital investment in South Africa has grown rapidly, exceeding all other American investments in the rest of Africa put together.

Effective economic domination in South Africa is thus exercised by an alliance of local White monopoly interests in mining, industry and agriculture, together with foreign imperialists and representatives of state monopoly capitalism. These interests have conflicts among themselves, which are reflected in the main White political parties and groupings. But they find common ground in the perpetuation of the colonialtype subjugation of the nonWhite population.

The system of colonial domination over and robbery of the nonWhite masses is not in the genuine, longterm interest of the workers, small farmers, middleclass and professional elements who make up the bulk of the White population. White domination means more and more police and military expenditure to burden the taxpayer and divert men and resources from useful production. It means that the povertystricken masses arc unable to form an adequate market for South African industry and agriculture. It means more and more dictatorial policestate measures, the extinguishing of civil liberties for Whites as well as nonWhites. It means a South Africa despised and shunned by the whole world, subjected to economic, diplomatic, cultural and other forms of isolation, boycott and sanctions. It means a future of uncertainty and fear. The maintenance of White supremacy involves everincreasing repression and violence by the government, resistance by the oppressed people and the steady drift to civil war. Only the complete emancipation of the nonWhite peoples, can create conditions of equality and friendship among the nationalities of South Africa and eliminate the roots of race hatred and antagonism which are the greatest threat to the continued security and existence of the White population itself. The national liberation of the nonWhites which will break the power of monopoly capitalism is thus in the deepest longterm interest of the bulk of the Whites. Progressive and farseeing Whites ally themselves unconditionally with the struggle of the masses of the people for freedom and equality.

On the whole, the White workers represent an "aristocracy of labour." The monopolists have extended numerous concessions to them. They receive relatively high wages. Nonwhite miners receive an average of R144 a year plus food and compound housing; White miners R2470. African male farm workers average R68 a year; Whites R1050. Whites have a monopoly of the best paid jobs, and of entry into skilled trades. They arc invariably given positions of authority over nonWhites. The relatively high standards of life and wages enjoyed by White workers represent, in reality, a share in the super profits made by the capitalists out of the gross exploitation of the nonWhites. Systematically indoctrinated with the creed of White superiority, the White worker imagines himself to be a part of the ruling class and willingly acts as a tool and an accomplice in the maintenance of colonialism and capitalism. However, in reality, the White worker, like the nonWhite worker at his side, is subjected to exploitation by the same capitalist owners of the means of production. White workers' wages in general are high in comparison with those of nonWhites. But many categories of White workers are paid little more than nonWhites, and also struggle to support their families. The White worker is subject to the insecurity of the capitalist system, with its constant threats of depression, shorttime and unemployment. The division of trade unions on racial lines weakens all sections of workers in their constant struggle with the bosses for better pay and conditions and shorter hours of work. The fundamental interests of all South African workers, like those of workers everywhere, lie in unity: unity in the struggle for the daytoday interests of the working class, for the ending of racediscrimination and division, for a free, democratic South Africa as the only possible basis for the winning of socialism, the overthrow of the capitalist class and the ending of human exploitation.

More than twothirds of the South Africans are people of indigenous African descent. Living and working in all parts of the country, they form the basic population and are at the same time the main victims of colonialism; the most oppressed and exploited of all. The former divisions of the African people along tribal lines, and their classification into chiefs and commoners, are breaking down with the collapse of the tribal system. This system was suitable for the simple, selfcontained economy of the past, based on subsistence farming and common ownership of land. There is no place for it in a modem exchange economy based on largescale industry and mining, on the farming of products for sale on the market. The Nationalist Party government, following the maxim: "Divide and Rule," is attempting to revive tribalism and tribal divisions. Their attempts cannot succeed. The African people of this country are moving inevitably and consciously towards the formation of a single, modern nation.

There are no acute or antagonistic class divisions at present among the African people. Most of them are wageworkers in industry or agriculture. There are no largescale African employers of labour. The professional groups, mainly teachers, do not, as a rule, earn salaries or live differently from their fellowAfricans. Even the people of the Reserves, especially the menfolk, spend much of their lives as migrant wage labourers on the mines, in agriculture or industry

Onethird of the African people live on the Reserves. The largest of these arc the Transkei and Ciskei, in the Cape Province, but there are also other scattered areas widely separated in the other three provinces. The Nationalist government speaks of the Reserves as the "homelands" of the African people, but so far from being able to sustain additional population, they are grossly overcrowded already and far too small to maintain their present population of 34 million. Most Africans on the reserves are not independent peasants and have no land or insufficient to make a living. To support their families and avert starvation, most of the men in the prime of life are usually away working for White employers, and leaving the farming to old people and womenfolk. The smallness and the overcrowding of the Reserves leads to soil exhaustion. There is no opportunity for intensive farming, crop rotation, and scientific cattle pasturing, because there is not enough land. The Reserves are the most backward and undeveloped areas in the country, typical of colonial Africa. They lack industries, communications and power resources. There is no capital for improvements or mechanisation.

Under its preposterous "Bantustan" scheme the Nationalist government is proposing to partition South Africa. They pretend to be conferring "independence" and "selfgovernment" on the Reserves, which they have rechristened "Bantu Homelands," and thus to justify treating Africans in the remaining 87 per cent of South Africa as "aliens" and "temporary visitors." They present this proposal as a concession to the African people and to world opinion. Africans and all freedomloving people reject this proposal with contempt and indignation. There are no grounds, in history or in reality, for the Nationalists to claim any part of South Africa exclusively for Whites. Africans live in every part of our country; their labour has gone to develop its farmlands and its cities, its mines and industries, its railways and harbours; they claim every inch of South Africa as their homeland. The "Bantustan" scheme is not only undemocratic and opposed to every principle of selfdetermination, it is also fraudulent. Though they pretend they are giving land to Africans they are not giving them any additional land at all - in many cases they are actually taking away land from them. The Nationalist Party promises independence and selfgovernment to the Reserves, but the socalled "Bantustan" schemes are both dishonest and impractical. The Nationalists have no intention of conferring any genuine independence on any group of nonWhite people. Even if they were compelled to make concessions in this direction, the land area of the Reserves is too small, the economy too backward, and completely lacking in capital to allow for the possibility of any real independence for these areas.

The government is attempting, through the "Bantu Authorities" system to enforce a return to tribalism, using chiefs who are prepared to collaborate, and deposing and deporting those who refuse. The effect is actually to hasten the breakdown of tribal institutions. Those chiefs who collaborate with the government have become the most hated group in the countryside, relying on dictatorship and terror, contrary to African traditions, to enforce the laws of the White authorities on the unwilling people. The people of the Reserves are boldly calling the government's "Bantustan" bluff. They arc fighting bitter struggles, including armed struggles, against the Bantu Authorities. The peasant in the countryside today is not the unsophisticated tribesman of the previous century. Millions have at some time or other come to work in the towns. They have come into contact with the challenging outlook and the advanced methods of organisation of the trade unions, the Congress movement and the Communist Party. These "new peasants" have awakened the countryside, transforming the African peasantry from a reserve of conservatism into a powerful ally of the urban working class in the struggle against White colonialism, and for freedom, land, equality and democracy.

Millions of agricultural labourers and labour tenants are employed on Whiteowned farms throughout the country. These are the most exploited workers in South Africa. They work without any protection from labour laws, from dawn to sunset, at hard and exhausting labour, for wretchedly low wages. The food they are given is too little, it is always the same, and it is an unhealthy diet. On most farms the housing for them is worse than what is provided for the farm animals. The use of convict labour, and compound labour, and other forms of forced labour, is common on farms in many parts of South Africa. Farmers and their foremen frequently employ physical violence against African farm labourers, beating them with sjamboks, often to death. Wages for farm labour are the lowest in the country. Agricultural labourers are not really free workers. They are tied, often for life, to a particular farmer because of the operation of the labour tenancy system, the pass laws and in particular the socalled "trekpass," the Native Service Contract and the Masters and Servants Acts. Organisation of agricultural workers' unions and other bodies for farm workers is also made exceptionally difficult because of the close supervision maintained over them by the farmers.

The 400,000 African labourers working on the gold and coal mines have to do the most backbreaking, dangerous and unhealthy work, for wages which are a scandal and a disgrace in an industry which distributes millions of rands annually to its shareholders. They are separated, for long periods, from their wives and families. A large proportion of them are "imported" from territories outside the Republic, the Protectorates, S.W. Africa, the Portuguese Colonies, Nyasaland, Tanganyika and elsewhere, although conferences of African states have decided to work towards ending this practice. The migratory labour system leads to a continual turnover of personnel, making the organisation or mine workers a difficult task and the mine owners go to great lengths to stamp out the development of trade unionism among them. Especially since the great strike led by the African Mineworkers' Union in 1946, they are subject to constant surveillance by police, spies and informers.

The special character of colonialism in South Africa, the seizing by Whites of all the opportunities which in other colonial countries have led to the growth of a national capitalist class, have strangled the development of a class of African capitalists. All positions of economic strength and influence are held as the jealously guarded monopoly of members of the White group alone. There are very few Africans who make profits by the exploitation of labour power. In some areas there are some independent African farmers, producing for the market along "capitalist" lines. But, as a rule, the holdings are so small that they can be and are cultivated by the farmer himself and his family. There is quite a substantial number of African traders and shopkeepers. Because they have to contend with innumerable colour bars and special restrictions, and because their capital is usually too small, their businesses are rarely very big or very profitable. In a great many cases, in fact, the shop is in the hands of nonAfrican bondholders or wholesalers, of whom the shopkeeper himself is little more than an employee. African business men are not allowed to own fixed property. They may not trade in the centres of the cities, the main areas of commercial activity, but are relegated to the African townships and the outskirts. They are subjected to the pass laws and all the restrictions and insecurities imposed on all Africans. An African businessman is not allowed to open a branch elsewhere or to trade anywhere outside his place of residence. The interests of the African commercial class lie wholly in joining the workers and rural people for the overthrow of White supremacy.

The intellectuals and professional groups among the Africans share with their people all the hardships and indignities of colonialism. The largest group, the teachers, receive salaries far below those of their white colleagues, and comparing unfavourably with those of many African industrial workers. They have to work in appalling conditions, in overcrowded classrooms, lacking modern equipment, teaching halfstarved children. The Nationalist policy of "Bantu Education" imposes upon them syllabuses designed to indoctrinate their pupils with servility and apartheid theories, and containing a minimum of genuine educational content. They are compelled to teach in the African languages although there are no adequate text books in these languages. Under the Nationalist regime there has been a catastrophic fall in the standard of African education. The few places once open to African students for professional training in some White universities, have been closed. The new "tribal colleges" set up instead by the Nationalist government are a travesty of institutions of higher education. They have no facilities to train architects, engineers, scientists, dentists or technicians in most fields. Passports for those who wish to study abroad are usually refused. Opportunities for cultural development among Africans are restricted to a minimum. Nearly all public libraries, theatres, concert halls and other cultural facilities are reserved for Whites and the few for nonWhites are inferior. The exceptionally sharp contradictions of South Africa, and their own conditions of life, which are a challenge to their selfrespect and human dignity, face the African intellectuals with a clearcut choice. Either they align themselves with the struggles of the masses, or else they accept the role of assistants and agents in maintaining White colonialism. To their credit, many African professional men, teachers and even chiefs have sacrificed all hopes of privilege and advancement in order to join wholly with their people.

The workers of the towns, the Africans employed in factories and in transport, in steelworks and power stations, in shops and offices, comprise the most dynamic and revolutionary force in South Africa. The wages of urban African workers, in relation to their high living costs are scandalously low. They are forced to live far from their places of work, involving exhausting and expensive journeys by bus or train. In shops and factories they are relegated to the most arduous and least rewarding work. Pass laws and urban areas legislation make the tenure of their jobs and their residences precarious, and they are subjected to neverending raids and surveillance by the police. It is illegal for African workers to strike and their trade unions are unrecognised and vigorously discouraged by the State. Even when employers are prepared to enter into collective bargaining with African workers, the State intervenes to stop it. Despite these and many other disabilities, and the daily struggle for existence, this class, the most numerous and experienced working class on the African continent, has time and again shown that it is the vanguard of the African people. It has built up a number of stable and effective trade unions, devoted to the cause of African liberation and of workers' unity on our continent and throughout the world. African workers constitute the core of the African National Congress and the Communist Party. They have repeatedly come out on nationwide political general strikes and have been the leading force in every major struggle of the liberation movement. Disciplined and taught the lessons of organisation and unity in the harsh school of capitalist production, driven by their conditions of life into united struggle for survival, this class alone is capable, in alliance with the masses of rural people, of leading a victorious struggle to end White domination and exploitation.

The Coloured and Malay people, a population of 11/2 million living mainly in the Western Cape Province, are a national group comprising workers, farm labourers, professional people and small businessmen. Like all nonWhites, the Coloured people are subjected to many forms of racial discrimination, reflected in low standards of living, education, housing, nutrition and health. Coloured workers, despite a tradition of craftsmanship which is the oldest in the country, find access to senior posts is withheld from them and given to Whites; Coloured farm labourers work and live under wretched conditions. Their pay is scandalously low, and on the wine farms is partly made up by a liquor ration - the "tot" system, which undermines their health. Coloured teachers and other state employees are paid much less than their White counterparts for doing the same work. Nevertheless, for many years, this community occupied a privileged position in relation to the Africans. The White ruling group extended various concessions - such as a qualified franchise, trade union rights, property rights - in order to prevent the emergence of a Coloured national consciousness and the formation of a united front of oppressed nonWhite peoples for equality and the ending of White colonialism. This policy was not without success. But, with the deliberate removal by the Nationalist government, one after another, of all the privileges extended to the Coloured people in the pastthe abolition of the common roll franchise, the introduction of apartheid and job reservation, White baasskap in the trade unions and separate university education - working class and democratic leaders have come to the fore. The Coloured people are rejecting apartheid and moving towards the path of struggle, side by side with African and other freedom fighters.

The Indian community, of half a million, are mainly the descendants of indentured labourers who came to work in the Natal sugar fields a century ago. From the earliest times all sorts of degrading and discriminatory restrictions have been placed on South African Indians, restrictions which they have resisted in many historic struggles. Today there is a substantial class of Indian industrial and agricultural workers, especially in Natal, but also, increasingly in the Transvaal. There is also a considerable class of Indian merchants, factory owners and small shopkeepers. The Indian workers face appalling problems of unemployment and overcrowding in slum conditions. Indians do not enjoy voting and other democratic rights. Indian businessmen, and all sections of the community, are subjected to innumerable disabilities, especially relating to land and property ownership and economic and educational opportunities. They are not allowed to move from one Province to another without special permits, and are completely debarred from the Orange Free State. The Nationalist government has applied the Group Areas Act with particular ferocity against the Indian communities in the cities and small towns, uprooting them from their homes and livelihood and threatening to "resettle" them in isolated areas where they face complete ruination. The Indian people have turned their backs on the reformist bourgeois leadership which counselled paths of compromise with oppression and the seeking of sectional privileges regardless of democratic principle and the fate of the masses. They have unreservedly joined in the many united struggles of the African and other oppressed peoples over the past two decades.

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.