South African’s National Liberation Movement

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National Conference​

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14 - 17 December 1946

1. Congress congratulates the delegates of India, China and the Soviet Union and all other countries who championed the cause of democratic rights for the oppressed non-European majority in South Africa, and pays tribute to those South Africans present in America, particularly Dr. A. B. Xuma, Messrs. H. A. Naidoo, Sorabjee Rustomjee and Senator H. M. Basner, for enabling delegates to UNO to obtain first-hand information and data which provided the nations of the world with reasonable grounds for passing a deserving judgment against the South African policy of white domination.

Conference desires to make special mention of the Council on African Affairs for its noble efforts to defend the fundamental human rights. Con­gress reiterates its pronouncement of full and complete confidence in Dr. A. B. Xuma as its President General.

2. Further this Conference hails the decision of the United Nations General

Assembly on the treatment of the Indian minority in South Africa and the rejection of the Union`s claim to annex South West Africa as a con­demnation of the South African Government`s policy of white supremacy as a flagrant violation of the UNO Charter and the principles of justice and human rights.

3. Conference further pays tribute to the gallant men and women of the Indian community and their leaders who have by their great passive re­sistance campaign resisted the Ghetto Act and who by their sacrifice directed the attention of the world to the policy of race discrimination.

4. Conference places on record its profound admiration for those national heroes -the African Miners of the Witwatersrand – who fell in the face of ruthless terror as martyrs in the cause of freedom and for the improvement of the working conditions of African Miners in particular.

5. This Congress rejects the much-vaunted publicised contention of the gold mines that the African Mineworkers should be excluded in any scheme for the recognition of African Trade Unions on the ground that they are tribal natives. On the contrary, Congress demands that all workers should be accorded the rights of collective bargaining on equal terms with other sections of the population. In the view of Congress the much-vaunted principle of European trusteeship is a thinly-veiled disguise for the continued exploitation of the African people.

6. This Conference further congratulates the members of the Native Representative Council for their firm stand and insistence on the Government undertaking to abandon its policy of discrimination and supports the de­cision to adjourn the Council for the second time.

7. In these circumstances, this Conference of the African National Congress hereby declares its firm determination to continue the struggle against white domination until such time as Congress shall have won for Africans democratic rights equal to those enjoyed by white sections of the South African population and to this end Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Committee to consider the possibilities of closer co­operation with the national organisations of other non-Europeans in the common struggle.

8. To this end in view, Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Committee to conduct a powerful and nationwide campaign for: ­

  1. a boycott of all elections under the 1936 Act and a demand for representation on municipal councils, provincial councils and parlia­ment through a common franchise;
  2. abolition of the Pass Laws;
  3. recognition of African Trade Unions including the mines and agriculture, and improved conditions of African farm labour;
  4. land and property rights in rural and urban areas;
  5. educational facilities including improved teachers` pay;
  6. better health services;
  7. adequate social security benefits;
  8. equality before the law.

9. That it be an instruction to the incoming National Executive Committee to provide a machinery for the carrying out and speeding up of the realisation of the programme of action set forth by means of setting up a council of action with power to create wherever necessary centres of activities, the raising of funds for the purpose, campaigning with the co-operation of such bodies and individuals as may be likely to reinforce its efforts, and to organise for the production of literary propaganda matter and other effective agencies for the intensification of the campaign.

10. This Conference is convinced that the campaign envisaged can only be rendered possible by the establishment of a fighting fund as follows:­

  • a special levy of 1/-. per member per month in urban and industrial areas and 6d. per month per member in rural areas, organised and controlled by the Council to be;
  • voluntary contributions towards the fighting fund.

11. Congress directs that the council-to-be as its first act appoints full-time organisers under a properly arranged system and effective methods of control.

12. Conference is deeply dissatisfied with the manner in which the Anti-Pass Campaign has been conducted, and expresses no confidence in the National Anti-Pass Council and the Action Committee of that Council.

13. That the Acting President General be requested to submit and secure the co-operation of the South African Native Advisory Boards Congress at its annual Conference due to assemble in East London on the programme of action embodied in Resolutions 7 and 8.

14. That the emergency conference referred to in the President General`s cablegram be confined to Provincial officials and members of the National Executive Committee at which arrangements for the tour of the President General round the important centres of the Union would be drawn to implement Resolutions 7 and 8 hereof.

15. It is desirable that Congress should have Provincial full-time organisers. Therefore this Conference directs that Provincial bodies should make every effort to bring about this essential service.

16. This Conference is alarmed at the increasing hardships and chaotic con­ditions existing among African farm labourers and the homeless-houseless Africans in urban areas. Congress is convinced that this state of affairs is caused by the reactionary and repressive policy of the Union Government motivated by the desire to bolster up white supremacy.

17. As a protest against the barbarous policy of the Union Government of denying the elementary democratic rights to Africans and in view of the fact that these injustices are perpetuated and maintained in the name of His Majesty King George VIof the Union of South Africa, this Conference instructs the incoming Executive Committee to devise ways and means likely to bring about the abstention of the Africans from participation in the welcoming of the Royal Family during its tour of the Union.

18. The Notice of Motion submitted at the Kimberley Conference of Congress in 1944 anent membership subscriptions, viz:­

  1. Every individual member who resides in a city or urban area shall pay a subscription of one shilling (1/-) per month.
  2. Every individual member who resides in rural area or rural town shall pay a subscription of three shillings (3/-) per calendar year.
  3. There shall be no reduction in the subscriptions to be paid by members in terms of (b) above joining in the middle of or towards the end of the year.
  4. Affiliated members shall upon application and thereafter at the begin­ning of each year pay to the Provincial Committee or National Execu­tive Committee as the case may be, a sum representing one fiftieth of the ordinary subscriptions or dues collected from its own members in the preceding year.

now be adopted and the Constitution be amended accordingly.