43rd National Conference: Resolutions
19 December 1954
1. This Conference declares its unqualified support for the great Congress of the People sponsored by the National Organisations of this country. In this connection Conference enjoins all National Organisations, Church movements and associations to support, join in and participate in the great Campaign for the calling of the mighty Congress of the People having as its aim the drawing up of a Freedom Charter embodying the aspirations of the people of South Africa for a future free, united, multi-national, democratic community in which oppression and exploitation will be a thing of the past. The organisation of the Congress of the People is a common task in which all democrats can participate. Therefore, Conference pledges its support for the Call for 50,000 Freedom Volunteers issued by the Peoples` President, Chief A. J. Luthuli, to gather the demands of the people and to ensure that the Congress will be the most representative assembly in the history of our country.
2. That Conference expresses its full confidence in the present leadership of the African National Congress which has led the movement and the people in their struggles during the past five years and which continues to point the way forward to freedom. That the National Conference of the African National Congress pledges itself to adhere strictly to the forward-looking, democratic and dynamic policy of freedom for which our leadership and organisation are being persecuted, banned and exiled.
Conference calls upon the National Executive to make use of the Extraordinary Powers granted to it at the National Conference of 1952 so as to preserve our present leadership and ensure that we continue to be led and guided by the political leadership of our own choice whatever eventuality may arise. In this respect, Conference views with very serious concern the unwarranted acts of the Minister of Justice, Mr. C. R. Swart, in depriving the liberatory movements of their democratically-elected leaders and the deportation powers which have recently been used against some of our leaders.
3. This Conference rejects in toto the Native Policy of the United Party because it views it as indistinguishable from the heinous Apartheid Policy of the Government and other Native policies that have been propounded and even practiced in the past.
4. This Conference salutes the people of the Western Areas of Johannesburg for their solidarity in the fight to defend their homes and properties and calls upon all Africans and indeed all people of South Africa to centralise our national effort against the Natives Resettlement Act in the Resist Apartheid Campaign which shall have as its pivot the Western Areas of Johannesburg. Therefore Conference reaffirms the decision of the African National Congress to oppose and resist this act of legalised robbery.
5. Conference realises that the problems of Kenya cannot be solved by intimidation and violence perpetrated upon peaceful peasant populations. Consequently, the British Government must be urged in the long-term interests of all the people in Kenya to end the emergency in Kenya and produce a healthy atmosphere and to this end to:
1. Release Jomo Kenyatta and all other persons charged with political offences and held in concentration camps all over Kenya,
2. Remove the ban on the Kenya African Union as a prelude to the return of normal political life in the country,
3. Stop all military measures against the peaceful population of Kenya and withdraw unnecessary troops from the territory,
4. Arrange a round-table conference of all parties and groups in Kenya to decide the early transfer of power to a democratic government in which the mass of the people in Kenya genuinely have confidence.
6. This Conference of the African National Congress meeting at a time when there is no major conflict in the world after the Geneva Conference and the Indo-China Armistice, salutes the struggle of the World Peace Movement and asserts its faith in the peaceful co-existence of the peoples with their varying political systems through the principle of negotiation. Therefore, Conference condemns the plans of the ruling clique of America to precipitate a Third World War through the creation of war pacts such as N.A.T.O. and S.E.A.T.O., and whole plan to rearm German Nazis. This Conference considers that the modern weapons praised by war-mongers are inhuman and maintains that the energy in atomic and hydrogen bombs should be diverted to the peaceful reconstruction of the world.
7. This Conference in acceptance of, and in response to, our President`s Address as well as the report of the National Executive, resolves to widen its co-operation with the trade union movement and hereby calls upon the National Executive Committee to form a sub-committee for the purpose of co-ordination of activities and better organisational efficiency with the trade unions and furthermore to allot a portion of the funds in its treasury to the trade union movement as a positive contribution towards the strength- ening of trade unionism among Africans. In this connection, Conference calls upon the National Executive to instruct all provincial organs to contribute to the treasury of the co-ordinating committee.
8. Conference insists that the correct policy to be observed towards Bantu Education is one of fighting an uncompromising consistent battle against the implementation of the Bantu Education Act and therefore resolves upon total rejection of Verwoerd`s evil Act as the moral and spiritual enslavement of our children. To defeat this Act it calls upon African parents to make preparations to withdraw their children from primary schools indefinitely as from April 1, 1955, until further directive from the National Executive Committee. Furthermore, Conference calls upon the National Executive Committee to keep a vigilant eye on the situation and issue directives from time to time that will give a disciplined lead to our opposition as well as to approach individual sympathetic societies for their support.
9. As the people in the rural areas are constantly threatened with the imposition of oppressive regulations under the Native Trust and Land Amendment Act against their will, Conference resolves that the Resist Apartheid Campaign should be extended to these areas and an intensified campaign of resistance be launched immediately as some districts in the so-called Native Reserves have already been affected.
10. Whilst we realise the invalidity of the proclamation of the increased rentals that was imposed upon us by the Government. Conference feels that the economic rentals will be reimposed in one form or another and calls upon the National Executive Committee to prepare plans for mass action in opposition to such an eventuality.