page 184 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_184.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 6-184


Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_184.jpg]


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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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such a course adversely affects the country's economic development as, for instance, the government's reluctance to admit blacks into skilled jobs although the pace of economic development warrants it.

The Transvaal Non European Council of Trade Unions played a leading role in the formation of SACTU. Despite considerable pressures by various white unions to get the South African Trades and Labour Council to exclude affiliation of African Unions or unions with African membership the pressure of progressive trade unionists like Bill Andrews and others had hitherto foiled such moves. The advent of the Nationalist government in 1948 helped to break the moderating influence of the progressives. In the first place the Settlement of Disputes Act (check date) set up a special machinery for African labour to see to it that there would be no room for African trade unions in the industrial set up of the country. Furthermore the government by banning Bill Andrews and other progressvie trade unionists, facilitated a change in the balance of power in the South African Trades and Labour Council, a change which immediately made itself felt when racialist trade unionists had their way in closing the doors of the South African Trades and Labour Council to African workers. Thereby SACTU's emergence became inevitable.

This background enables us to appreciate the tremendous adds which faced SACTU when it was born. It decided from the outset not to confine itself to the struggle for the improvement of the workers' conditions to higher wages, shorter working hours, adequate health and social security schemes but to challenge the very foundations of racialism and to fight for economic, political,

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