South African’s National Liberation Movement

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National Conference​



20 December 1953

1: That this Conference urges branches, Regional Committees, Provincial Executives and the National Executive Committee to make plans for and embark upon an immediate campaign of economic boycott directed against selected individual firms, business undertakings and government enterprises for the purpose of forcing them to:-

a.Make available skilled training and employment opportunities for Africans.
b.Accord proper treatment and service to African customers.
c.Compel them to pay living wages to African employees.
d.Generally recognise their dependence on African purchasing power.

2: Conference instructs the National Executive Committee to make immediate preparations for the organisation of a “CONGRESS OF THE PEOPLE OF S.A.” whose task shall be to work out a “FREEDOM CHARTER” for all peoples and groups in the country. To this end, Conference urges the A.N.C. National Executive Committee to call a meeting of the National Executives of the South African Indian Congress, the Coloured People`s organisation and the South African Congress of Democrats or any other democratic organisation for the purpose of placing before them the plan of Congress and obtain their co-operation in creating a truly representative “CONVENTION” of the peoples of South Africa.

3: That the National Executive Committee is hereby directed to go into the question of preserving and expanding an effective and well directed National Volunteer Corps for freedom and that Volunteers must be given thorough political training and instruction. Conference further instructs the National Executive Committee to hasten the compilation of a roll of honour of all Volunteers who participated in the Defiance Campaign and that they must be presented with certificates of merit for their services in the cause of African freedom.

4: That the A.N.C. warns the government not to proceed with the plan to remove Africans from their homes in the Western Areas of Johannesburg, such a step can only lead to a further worsening of race relations.

5: That the A.N.C. condemns the crushing burden of taxes such as, dipping fees, hut-taxes, dog-taxes, stock-rates etc, which are imposed on the peasants with the sole purpose of forcing them to leave their homes to seek work on the farms and the mines. The taxes, coupled with the unimaginative and fraudulent rehabilitation scheme, are creating an explosive situation for which the government must bear full responsibility. The A.N.C. demands that the government revise radically its policy towards the African people in the reserves.

6: This Conference instructs the National Executive Committee to appoint a Committee to go thoroughly into the question of the Africans labouring on European farms, with a view not only to analysing the terrible conditions under which the people live and work on these farms, but also to devise practical plans that will enable the farm labourer group to be firmly a part of the National Liberatory movement. Conference is convinced that a tremendous revolutionary potential lies untapped in the white farming areas.

7: Conference is totally opposed to the so-called Bantu Education Act and calls upon the African people to do everything possible to compel the government to repeal this Act.

8: Conference is opposed to the terms of the Native Labour (`Settlement of Disputes`) Act and urges the A.N.C. to support the Non-European Council of Trade Unions with its plan to fight this Act.

9: Conference confirms its solidarity with other colonial peoples in their struggle against imperialism, for self-determination and independence.