The new leadership had long been urging closer co-operation with Africans. In 1943, a conference of the South African Indian Congress resolved to explore ways of achieving co-operation with the African National Congress. Little apparently was done until Dr. Naicker gained control of the Natal Indian Congress and Dr. Y. M. Dadoo control of the Transvaal Indian Congress. A joint declaration was made in March 1947 between the two, as presidents of their bodies, and Dr. A. B. Xuma as president-general of the A.N.C. This declaration of co-operation was considered 'imperative for the working out of a practical basis of co-operation between national organisations of the non-European peoples'. Source: N.I.C. Agenda Book, 1947.
This joint meeting between the representatives of the African National Congress and the Natal and Transvaal Indian Congresses, having fully realised the urgency of co-operation between the non-European peoples and other democratic forces for the attainment of basic human rights and full citizenship for all sections of the South African peoples, has resolved that a joint declaration of co-operation is imperative for the working out of a practical basis of co-operation between the national organisations of the non-European peoples.
This joint meeting declares its sincerest convictions that for the future progress, goodwill, good race-relations and for the building of a united, greater and free South Africa full franchise rights must be extended to all sections of the South African peoples, and to this end this joint meeting pledges the fullest co-operation between the African and Indian peoples and appeals to all democratic and freedom-loving citizens of South Africa to support fully and co-operate in this struggle for:
- 1.Full franchise.
- 2. Equal economic and industrial rights and opportunities and the recognition of African trade unions under the Industrial Conciliation Act.
- 3. The removal of all land restrictions against non-Europeans and the provision of adequate housing facilities for all non-Europeans.
- 4. The extension of free and compulsory education to non-Europeans.
- 5. Guaranteeing freedom of movement and the abolition of pass laws against the African people and the provincial barriers against Indians.
- 6. And the removal of all discriminatory and oppressive legislation from the Union's statute-book.
This joint meeting is therefore of the opinion that for the attainment of these objects it is urgently necessary that a vigorous campaign be immediate, launched and that every effort be made to compel the Union Government to implement the United Nations decisions and to treat the non-European people in South Africa in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter.
This joint meeting further resolves to meet from time to time to implement this declaration and to take active steps in proceeding with the campaign.