08 April 2014

SACP Constitution: Structure

Induction, Part 1a

Tower of the Third International, Vladimir Tatlin

SACP Constitution: Structure

The attached document contains from clause 8 to the final clause 26 of the SACP Constitution.

Clauses 8 to 23, in length 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 clauses are straightforward and easy to understand, but they are detailed, and the detail is necessary and should not be taken for granted.

Clauses 8 to 23 should be read in the light of Clause 6, which is in the previous item of this part of our Induction course.

The SACP functions according to the principles of democratic centralism (Clause 6.1).  This means that all decisions taken by higher structures are binding on all lower structures and on individual members (Clause 6.2). All higher structures shall be accountable to lower structures via suitable councils and congresses (Clause 6.3).

The basic structure of the SACP is the branch, to be formed at a residential area or workplace, and every member shall be obliged to belong to a branch (Clause 22). The Central Committee sets a policy framework for the determination of the boundaries of branches that takes into account the ward and voting district boundaries within a municipality (Clause 22).

Here is a diagrammatic, simplified representation of the structure of the SACP:

Accountable to
Office Bearers
National Congress
5 Years
Political Bureau
General Secretary + 5
Provincial Executive
Provincial Council, Congress
3 Years
Working Committee
Provincial Secretary + 5
District Executive
District Council, Congress
2 Years
Working Committee
District Secretary + 4
Branch Executive
1 Year
Branch Secretary + 4
1 Year

Members who are elected to positions at a higher level may not stand for election to positions at a lower level in the SACP (Clause 6.6).

Delegates are members of Congresses that they attend. Delegates have a duty to fairly and effectively convey to Congress the mandate of the constituency that elected them, but they are not rigidly bound by such mandates (Clause 6.7).

As a rule, Units are not supposed to exist for more than one year in total (Clause 23.1). Units may be formed for several purposes, the most common being preparation for the launching of new branches.

The rules of the SACP are simple and clear. This brief summary represents the essence of them. Please refer to the actual Constitution and do not use this summary to rule in any situation.

Clause 24 deals with “quorum” rules. Clauses 25 and 26 are on disciplinary and amendments procedures.

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