THE HISTORY OF THE SACP 1912-1990

Years

Important events
in the party's history

Other important
South Africa events

Important International events

1912   Launch of the ANC  
1914     First World War
A war between imperialists
1915 The ISL
Launch of the International Socialist League
   
1917     The Bolshevik Revolution
The world's first socialist state is born
1919   ICU Launched
In a few years, it sweeps through the country
Communist International (CI) launched
1921 Launch of the CPSA
The first Marxist Leninist party in Africa is formed, emerging from revolutionary socialist active among white workers
   
1922   Rand Revolt
The most militant white workers' strike is anti-boss- and anti-black workers!
 
1924 Africanisation of the Party
Stalwarts such as JB Marks and Johannes Nkosi join the party
   
1926   ICU expels communists
The ICU's star begins to fade
 
1927   JT Gumede elected ANC President
A new progressive leadership emerges
 
1928 Emergence of African Leadership
1600 of the CPSA's 1750 members are black
  CI 6th Congress
the task of the South african communist is to transform the ANC 'into a fighting nationalist revolutionary organisation'
1929 Black Republic thesis
The CPSA developes a strategic line, with the assistance of the Communist International:'The most direct line of advance to soccialism runs through the mass struggle for majority rule'
   
Early 30s Factionalism
The CI also has negative effects:
Factionalism leads to the expulsion of veterans like SP Bunting
   
1935   All African Convection
Forerunner of today's broad front politics
CI 7th congress
Dimitrov urges 'united fronts, not left-sectarianism, in the face of the fascist onslaught
Late 30s Non-sectarianism
A non-sectarian leadership emerges around Moses Kotane
   

1939

    Second World War
1941-5 Stonger Structures
Strong CPSA branches are built in the townships.
Communists also play leading roles in building the
Congress movement
   
1941   CNETU Formed
Congress of Non-European Trade Unions launched as South Africa's manufacturing industry booms
Soviet Union invaded
Hilter's froces slaughter 20-million Soviet citizens...but are finally crushed

1945

    Cold War
The anti-fascist war ends,but imperialism leads a renewed anti-communist
propaganda war

1946

  Black miner's strike
100 000 miners strike, led by JB Marksa long standing Party member
 
1948   National Party elected whites-only parliament
 
1949   ANC Programme of Action
The ANC moves towards a more militant, mass line
 
1950 CPSA Banned    
1950s   Years of ANC-led mass action
Defiance Campaign, Congress of the People, boycotts and national strikes
 
1953 SACP Launched
A new underground Party is launched
   
Late 50s     African decolonisation
African countries begin to win political independence
1959   PAC split
On a right-wing,anti socialist platform, Sobukwe splits from the ANC
 
1960s     Southern African guerilla wars
Liberation movements in Angola,
Mozambique, and then Namibia and Zimbabwe launch armed struggles
1960   ANC banned  
1961   Armed Struggle
On December 16, Umkhonto we Sizwe is launched
 
1962 Road to Freedom
At an underground conference,the
SACP adopts a new programme
   
Mid 60s Repression
Hundreds of communists are jailed. Some, like Vuyisile Mini, are sent to the gallows
   
1967   Wankie and Sipolilo campaigns
With ZIPRA comrades, MK combatants fight Zimbabwe
 
1969   ANC Morogoro Conference  
1970 Augmented Central Committee
The SACP reviews 9 years of armed struggle and concludeds:' Armed struggle without mass mobilisation and organisation will lead nowwhere'
  These struggles result in ......
1971 Internal reconstruction
The Party rebuilds its clandestine structures.
Inkululeko appears - a voice from ther underground
   
1973   Durban strikes
A new era of trade unionism begins
 
Mid 70s     Independence for Mozambique for Mozambique and Angola
and......
1976/7   Uprisings
The start of 15 years of semi insurrectionary struggles
 
1980     Independence for Zimbabwe
1896 65th Anniversary
Inspired by the growth of a powerful union movement, the SACP reasserts a more independent profile
  Perestroika/glasnost
Faced with an economic crisis, the Soviet Union begins a struggle to re-connect socialism with its democratic roots
1989 7th Party Congress
A new Party programme is adopted
   
1990 Relaunch
The SACP is unbanned, and relaunched at a mass rally in Soweto
1989 COSATU Launched