The name of the organisation shall be the South African Communist Party (SACP).
The symbol of the SACP shall be a black star containing a gold hammer and sickle. The flag of the Party shall be red with the symbol placed in the top left hand corner.
3.1 The Communist Party seeks to be the leading political force of the South African working class whose basic interests it advances in the struggle for national liberation and socialism
3.2 The SACP shall pursue this by means of educating, organising and mobilising the working class and its allies in support of our Party and its objectives of national liberation and socialism.
3.3 The Party shall strive to win acceptance as a vanguard by democratic means and in ideological contest with other political parties.
3.4 The ultimate aim of the Party is the building of a communist society in which all forms of exploitation of person by person will have ended and in which all the products of human endeavour w ill be distributed according to need. The attainment of such a society will require an interim socialist formation in which reward will be measured by contribution.
3.5 At all stages the Party commits itself to a social order which will respect completely the cultural, language and religious rights of all sections of our society and the democratic rights of the individual. It will recognise the right to independence of all social organisations and political parties. This implies a multi party political framework in which there will be regular open and free elections. Within such a framework the SACP will primarily dedicate itself to advancing the interests of the working class and its allies in democratic contest with other political forces
In leading the working class towards national and social emancipation the Party is guided by those principles of Marxism/Leninism which have proven universal validity by historical experience. The foundations for these principles were laid by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Lenin and enriched by other great revolutionaries. In applying the general principles of Marxism/Leninism the SACP is, in the first place, concerned with their indigenous elaboration and application to the concrete realities of our own developing situation. More particularly the Communist Party will work:
4.1 To end the system of capitalist exploitation in South Africa and establish a socialist society based on the common ownership of, and participation in, and control by the producers of the key means of production. Such a society will respect and protect all personal non-exploitative property and such other private property as may be necessary for effective economic development and growth.
4.2 To organise, educate and lead our working class in pursuit of this strategic aim and the more immediate aim of winning the objectives of the national democratic revolution which is inseparably linked to it. The main content of the national democratic revolution is the national liberation of the African people in particular, and the black people in general, the destruction of the economic and political power of the racist ruling class, and the establishment of one united state of peoples power in which working class interests will be dominant and in which economic conditions will be created making it possible to move steadily towards social emancipation and, eventually, the total abolition of the exploitation of person by person.
4.3 To participate in and strengthen the liberation alliance of all classes and strata whose interests are served by the immediate aims of the national democratic revolution. This alliance is expressed through the liberation front headed by The African National Congress.
4.4 To spread the widest possible understanding of our basic ideology and its application to South African conditions, particularly among the working class.
4.5 To combat racism, tribalism, sex discrimination, regionalism, chauvinism and all forms of narrow nationalism.
4.6 To encourage an ongoing national and international dialogue with all organisations committed to peace, democracy and preservation of our environment.
4.7 To promote The ideas of proletarian internationalism and the unity of the workers of South Africa and The world, and to encourage an ongoing international dialogue with all organisations which are committed to a socialist future, and to act in solidarity with all struggles for liberation and social emancipation.
5.1 All South Africans over the age of 18 who accept the programme and policy of the Party, undertake to carry out its decisions and to be active in a Party structure and pay whatever dues are decided on, are eligible for membership.
5.2 The recruiting of members shall be under the supervision of regional committees, regional councils, district committees and district councils primarily through the branch structures.
5.3 Any applicant refused admission to membership by a branch shall have the right to appeal against such a decision to the District Council. Should the appeal fail applicant shall have the right to refer such appeal progressively up to the higher structures of the Party.
5.4 Every member has a duty, in his or her personal conduct, to act in a manner which will bring credit to the Party and to be a standard bearer of the highest communist ethic and morality.
5.5 Members must strive constantly to improve their understanding of the Party's guiding ideology and its application to our specific South African conditions. They must ensure that they are fully acquainted with the Party programme, with Party policy on current questions and with all decisions, journals and documents issued by the Party.
6.1 To secure the unity and cohesion of the Party, members are obliged to defend the Party and to carry out its decisions. All decisions taken by higher organs are binding on all lower organs and individual members . Members shall have the right to pursue their views internally in the lead up to conferences with powers under this constitution to determine or reverse Party policy. No groupings with their own discipline shall be permitted.
6.2 All higher organs shall be accountable to lower organs and to the membership in the formulation and implementation of policy and, for this purpose, shall whenever possible ensure regular and effective consultation with lower organs and the membership prior to the finalisation and implementation of major policy.
6.3 Save as provided in this constitution all leading officials of the Party and all structures with the power to formulate and direct Party policy at any level shall be elected by secret ballot unless a minimum of 75% of the delegates decide otherwise.
6.4 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 movements. They shall not create or participate in Party caucuses within such organizations and movements designed to influence either elections or policies. The advocacy of Party 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 Party and such organisations or movements.
6. 5 Delegates attending any policy making conference shall not be rigidly bound by any mandate on any question and are free to discuss and vote in accordance with their own individual views and conclusions based on the debates at such a conference. It shall however be the duty of delegates to fairly and effectively convey to such a conference the views of the constituency which elected them on any questions discussed.
6.6 All organs of the Party shall ensure that constructive criticism and self criticism are practised and encouraged at all levels.
7.1 The highest authority of the Party shall be a Congress which shall be called every 3 years. The Central Committee may convene other special Congresses which shall have the same power as the main Congress except for the provisions relating to the election of officers and members of the Central Committee. Such a Congress may however, decide on elections by a 75% majority. A special Congress shall be convened by the Central Committee if directed to do so by a decision of more than half of the regions.
7.2 The Congress shall be constituted by elected delegates from the membership and members of the Central Committee. All Party regions shall be represented in proportion to their membership. The Central Committee shall prior to each conference determine the total number of elected delegates and shall allocate a quota to each region in proportion to its membership. The regions shall then allocate a quota of delegates for each branch in proportion to its membership ensuring that each branch has a minimum of one representative. The Central Committee shall have authority to invite non-voting delegates made up of veterans and similar categories. With the permission of the Congress such delegates may attend and participate in all non-public sessions.
7.3 The Congress shall discuss the reports of the Central Committee, examine and decide the policy of the Party and is the only authority with power to elect the General Secretary, National Chairperson, National Treasurer, Deputy General Secretary, Deputy National Chairperson, and members of the Central Committee, and to revise the programme and constitution of the Party. The Central Committee shall ensure that all major draft documents for the consideration of the Congress shall be circulated to all structures at least 2 months prior to the Congress . All comments, resolutions and proposals of such documents shall be tabled at the Congress.
7.4 Unless otherwise decided by the Congress, all its plenary proceedings shall be in open session. Unless otherwise provided in this constitution all decisions of the Congress shall be by a simple majority on a show of hands.
Unless otherwise provided in this constitution the CC shall have the power to direct the work of the Party, to determine all questions of policy and to issue binding instructions and directives to all levels of the Party, save that any departure from major policy decisions of the Congress demanded by changing conditions shall only be made after full consultation with the membership. The CC. shall:
8.1 Consist of 25 members elected at the Congress, the General Secretary, the National Chairperson, the National Deputy Chairperson, Deputy General Secretary, Treasurer and The Secretaries of all the regions who shall be ex-officio members. All nominations for The elected members of the CC shall be submitted by regions to the CC not later than two weeks before the Congress. Nominations from the floor of the Congress shall be accepted if seconded by a minimum of 75 delegates.
8.2 Meet at least every 4 months in plenary session. Any major draft political reports to be considered by the plenary session shall be timeously circulated to the membership for comments and criticisms.
8.3 Ensure that all officers, regional committees, other Party structures and members carry out their duties effectively.
8.4 Control and supervise all national Party media and set up the necessary structures for their effective functioning.
8.5 Stimulate and provide a flow of education in Marxist theory and its application to our conditions for all Party members, and promote cadre development
8.6 Inform and guide the membership on current political developments and also provide regular information on the Party's organisational activities.
8.7 Represent the Party nationally in its relations with other political parties and organisations.
8.8 Manage and control all Party property and funds.
8.9 Have the right by two thirds majority (excluding the comrade affected) to remove or suspend any of its members from serving on the CC. for any serious misconduct detrimental to the Party. Any such actions shall be reported to the membership.
8.10 The CC. shall appoint from amongst its members the heads of departments.
9.1 The Central Committee shall meet immediately after the Congress and shall elect from its members eight members who, together with the elected officials shall constitute the PB
9.2 The PB shall conduct the current work of the Party and shall exercise all the powers and functions of the CC between meetings of the CC, except those powers and functions which this constitution specifically reserves for plenary sessions of the CC.
9.3 The PB shall meet at least once every two weeks. It shall appoint whatever administrative structures it deems necessary to facilitate the carrying out of its decisions between meetings of the PB.
9.4 Any member of the CC may, by invitation of the PB, attend any of its meetings.
9.5 The PB shall have the right by a unanimous decision (excluding the comrade affected) to suspend any comrade from the PB for any serious misconduct detrimental to the Party. Such a decision shall be enforced until the next plenary session of the Central Committee which shall either confirm or reverse the PB decision.
The General Secretary shall be the leading public officer of the Party and a full time official under conditions of service determined by the Central Committee. The General Secretary shall be an ex-officio member of all Party structures and shall:
10.1 Keep (or cause to be kept) the minutes of all CC and PB meetings and such other books, records and archives as may be required.
10.2 Attend to the correspondence of the CC and PB maintain regular personal and written contact with all the regions and keep the membership informed on the work of the CC and PB 10.3. Ensure that members of the CC are kept informed of the work of the PB in between meetings of the CC.
10.4 Draw up (or cause to be drawn up) all reports and documents as may be decided upon by the CC or PB.
10.5 Be replaced by the Deputy General Secretary if, between Congresses, he or she is permanently incapacitated or vacates his or her office, or is suspended from office by a two thirds majority of a plenary sessions of the CC for acts detrimental to the Party. In such an event the Deputy General Secretary shall be deemed to be the General Secretary vested with all his or her powers and duties. A plenary session of the CC shall then have the right to appoint a Deputy General Secretary from among its members. The new General Secretary shall become a full time official under the same conditions of service as his or her predecessor.
10.6 The Deputy General Secretary shall from time to time, as directed by the CC, deputise for the General Secretary in respect of all the functions set out above.
10.7 The Deputy General Secretary may be relieved of his post and replaced for the same reasons and under the same conditions set out for the replacement of the General Secretary above.
The National Chairperson shall rank after the General Secretary as a public officer of the Party and shall be an ex-officio member of all Party structures. The National Chairperson shall:
11.1 Preside at all meetings of the CC and PB in conformity with the constitution and other rules and procedures adopted by these bodies.
11.2 Have a deliberative vote only.
11.3 Shall be removed from office for the same reasons and under the same conditions as set out f or the replacement for the General Secretary. In such event the CC shall elect a National Chairperson who shall hold office until the next Congress.
11.4 Be replaced by the Deputy National Chairperson if, between Congresses, he or she is permanently incapacitated or vacates his or her office, or is suspended from office by a two thirds majority of a plenary sessions of the CC for acts detrimental to the Party. In such an event the Deputy National Chairperson shall be deemed to be the Deputy National Chairperson vested with all his or her powers and duties. A plenary session of the CC shall then have the right to appoint a Deputy national Chairperson from among its members.
11.5 The Deputy National Chairperson shall from time to time as directed by the CC, deputise for the National Chairperson in respect of all the functions set out above.
The National Treasurer shall:
12.1 Under the direction of the PB take all necessary measures to ensure that the Party is provided with sufficient means to carry out its political and organisational tasks.
12.2 Dispose of such funds as the CC authorises by general or specific mandate.
12.3 Be responsible for the safe keeping and administration of all property and monies of the Party
12.4 Keep such books and accounts as will clearly record and reflect the financial position of the Party and submit statements of income and expenditure to the PB at intervals to he determined by it
12.5 Under the direction of the CC present audited financial statements and written financial reports to the Congress.
12.6 Be replaced by a person appointed by a plenary session of the CC for the same reasons and under the same conditions as set out in respect of the replacement of the General Secretary.
12.7 Be the convenor of a Finance Committee appointed by the CC.
13.1 The CC shall divide the country into geographic regions and shall, in the initial period, appoint an Interim Regional Leadership Committee which will proceed to build and develop all the Party primary structures within its allocated area until an REC is elected. The CC may, in consultation with the RILG/REC further sub-divide its region and appoint additional RILG's for any new region so created.
13.2 The RILG/REC shall cause to be set up the following Party organs and structures in accordance with the provisions set out below:
13.2.1 Branches and Branch Executive Committees
13.2.2 District Councils and District Executive Committees
13.2.3 Regional Councils.
13.3 When a minimum of 4 districts have been created or a minimum of 3,000 paid up members have been recruited the RILG shall then cause the region to be launched and the RILG shall then be dissolved and replaced by an elected Regional Executive Committee.
Subject to the other provisions of this constitution The Regional Congress shall be the highest organ of The Party in each region.
The Regional Congress shall:
14.1 Be held at least once a year
14.2 Shall be attended by elected branch delegates in proportion to their membership, ensuring that each branch has a minimum of one delegate. All members of the Regional Executive Committee and at least 3 members of each District Executive Committee shall be ex-officio delegates.
14.3 Receive and consider reports from the Regional Executive Committee and, subject to the other provisions of this constitution, make whatever decisions it considers necessary to advance Party organisation and policy in its region.
14.4 Elect the regional secretary, who will be full-time, regional chairperson, regional deputy secretary, regional deputy chairperson, regional treasurer and a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 ordinary members of the Regional Executive Committee.
Between Regional Congresses the Regional Council shall be the highest decision making body in the region. It shall:
15.1 Consist of all members of the Regional Executive Committee, the chairpersons and secretaries of each District Executive Committee and delegates representing each District Council in proportion to its membership, ensuring a minimum of one delegate for each District Council
15.2 Meet at least once every two months
15.3 Submit reports of its meetings to the Regional Executive Committee, District Executive Committee and branches.
15.4 Fill any vacant Regional Executive Committee positions provided that these do not exceed 50% of the Regional Executive.
15.5 The Regional Council shall have the power to co-opt up to three additional members onto the REC.
The Regional Executive Committee shall be the body responsible for carrying out all the decisions of the Regional Congress and the Regional Council. It shall:
16.1 meet immediately after its election to elect a Regional Working Committee. The Regional Working Committee shall consist of not less than one quarter of the members of the Regional Executive Committee, including The Secretary, Chairperson and Treasurer. It shall meet at least once per week and implement all the decisions of the Regional Executive Committee
16.2 meet at least once per month
16.3 submit reports to the Central Committee and the Regional Council as often as is required
16.4 appoint a regional organiser and any other necessary staff
16.5 organise, establish and service districts in its region
A District may be formed by the Regional Executive Committee consisting of not less than 5 branches or 500 paid up members. Subject to the provisions of this constitution the District Congress shall be the highest organ of the Party in each district. The District Congress shall:
17.1 be held at least once per year
17.2 be attended by delegates elected by all branches in proportion to their membership with a minimum of one delegate per branch. All members of the District Executive committee shall be ex-officio delegates to the District Congress
17.3 receive and consider reports from the District Executive Committee and, subject to the provisions of this constitution, take all decisions to implement the policy and programme of the Party in the district
17.4 elect the district secretary, chairperson, deputy secretary, deputy chairperson, treasurer and a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7 district executive members.
Between District Congresses the District Council shall be the highest decision making body in the district. It shall consist of all members of the District Executive Committee and delegates representing branches in proportion to their membership with a minimum of one delegate per branch. The District Council shall:
18.1 meet once a month
18.2 submit reports of its proceedings to the District Executive Committee and the branches
18.3 have the power to fill vacancies on the District Executive Committee provided they do not exceed 50% of its members.
The District Executive Committee shall carry out the decisions of the District Congress and District Council. It shall consist of the district secretary, chairperson, deputy chairperson, deputy secretary, treasurer and 40 other persons, all elected by the district congress. The DEC shall:
19.1 to meet every fortnight
19.2 ensure the collection Or subscriptions
19.3 submit reports to the REC, District Congress and District Executive Committee on the state of organisation and The finances of the district
19.4 appoint a district organiser and staff as required
19.5 organise, establish and service branches
19.6 in co-ordination with the DEC the DC shall:
- elaborate strategic and tactical organisational goals
- ensure full participation of Party branches in Party activities and in the struggle for national liberation
- initiate, co-ordinate and support campaigns at local level
- spearhead and support programmes for socialist education
- develop working class leadership on the ground
20.1 Central Committee and Political Bureau Members of the Central Committee and 8 members of the Political Bureau shall constitute a quorum in respect of each structure.
20.2 Regional Congress and Regional Council Not less than half the total number of branches, not less than half the REC members, not less than half the total no. of districts and not less than half the total number of expected delegates.
20.3 Regional Executive Committee
50% plus 1.
20.4 District Council
50% of DEC and 50% of delegates
20.5 Meetings which do not quorate shall re-convene within 14 days. Delegates Present at said meeting shall form a quorum.
The basic unit of the Party is the branch and every member shall be obliged to belong to a branch. The branch shall:
21.1 consist of a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 100 members
21.2 ensure that its members are given every opportunity to exercise their basic democratic right to discuss and formulate policy
21.3 ensure that it acts as a basic unit of activity for members
21.4 meet at least once per fortnight
21.5 elect a branch executive committee at an annual branch meeting consisting of a secretary, chairperson, treasurer and not more than 6 ordinary committee members. The branch executive committee shall submit regular reports to the DEC.
22.1 A member who is guilty of a breach of any provision of this Constitution or any other conduct detrimental to the Party may be expelled, suspended from membership for a fixed period or reprimanded.
22.2 The Regional Council shall have the power to suspend members or impose lesser forms of punishment which shall come into effect without The prior approval of the CC. But such measures shall be immediately reported to the CC, which has the power to amend or reverse them.
22.3 Expulsion can be imposed only by The CC acting either on its own initiative or after receiving a fully documented recommendation from a Regional Committee.
22.4 Members have the right to appeal to the CC against any disciplinary measures within 30 days after being notified of the decision. All appeals must be submitted through the Regional Council concerned which shall forward the appeal together with all other relevant documents to the CC.
22.5 The lodging of an appeal shall not postpone the operation of the measure
22.6 A suspended member shall, during the period of suspension, be obliged to carry out all tasks assigned to him or her by the Regional Council . Such a member shall not be allowed to attend meetings of any Party structure during the period of suspension except by special invitation.
22.7 An inactive member may be lapsed from membership by the Regional Council which shall report such a decision to the CC together with all relevant information. The CC may confirm, amend or reverse such a decision.
22.8 Any member expelled from the Party (and whose appeal has been rejected by the CC) shall have the right to appeal against such expulsion in writing to the next Congress. The written appeal shall be forwarded to The PB within three (3) months of the date the member is informed of his or her expulsion.
22.9 In all cases of disciplinary action against a party member under this section, he or she shall, if the circumstances permit, be confronted with the charges against him or her in writing and be given an opportunity of fully stating his or her defence before any action is taken or recommended to be taken.
22.10 No member shall be judged or disciplined without a proper hearing.
23.1 This Constitution may be amended by a majority vote at the Congress
23.2. All proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be submitted in writing to the CC not less than 3 months prior to a Congress. The CC shall ensure that all regions and units receive such amendments or any other amendments proposed by the CC not less than two months prior to the Congress and all comments received shall be tabled at the Congress.