12 February 2014

SACP Constitution

Basics, Part 5

SACP Constitution

The jewel of the SACP Constitution is Rule 6.5, which says:

“Members active in fraternal organisations or in any sector of the mass movement have a duty to set an example of loyalty, hard work and zeal in the performance of their duties and shall be bound by the discipline and decisions of such organisations and movement.

“They shall not create or participate in SACP caucuses within such organisations and movements designed to influence either elections or policies.

“The advocacy of SACP policy on any question relating to the internal affairs of any such organisations or movements shall be by open public statements or at joint meetings between representatives of the SACP and such organisations or movements.”

This means that SACP members active in any part of the mass movement, including trade unions, and including the ANC, do so in the utmost good faith.

SACP members serve the mass organisations on the terms of those organisations.

This clause is the backbone of the Alliance of the SACP with the ANC and COSATU, including COSATU’s affiliates.

It is because the mass organisations understand this rule that the alliance has been so solid for so long.

It means that SACP members can be trusted, and are in fact trusted.

The SACP Constitution, as a whole, is a model of how a constitution needs to be written. It is as brief as it can be, as direct as it can be, and where necessary it is sufficiently detailed. It is a very fine document, of which SACP Party members can be justly proud.

Mastering the SACP Constitution

Taking the CU booklet version, which is 20 pages long, and reading backwards, the last three pages are on disciplinary procedure.

Pages from 7 to page 17, (clauses 8 to 23), roughly eleven in total, and therefore more than half of the entire constitution, are taken up with the structures of the Party from the National Congress down to Branches and Units. All of these are straightforward and easy to understand.

Clauses 1 and 2 have to do with the name, symbol and flag. Clause 7 establishes the Young communist League, in very few words.

The remainder of the clauses, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are where you will find the distinguishing features of the Party, mainly on pages 1 to six of the CU version.

These are the ones you should read first.

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: SACP Constitution, 2012.