From: South Africa's Radical Tradition, a documentary history, Volume One 1907 - 1950, by Allison Drew

Document 70 - Letter from the Workers' Party of South Africa, Johannesburg, to the Cape Town branch, 26 August 1937

                                                                                                                                  33 Strathearn Mansions,

                                                                                                                          cr. Wanderers & Bree Streets,


                                                                                                                                            26th August 1937.

The Workers Party of S. A.,

P.O. Box 1940,

Cape Town.

Dear Comrades,

I enclose herewith 15/-. being the September affiliation fee to the I.S.

In my last letter to Comrade Goodlatte, I stated that I would in due course send a more lengthy report as to the activities here. As you are aware Comrades Lee, Kahn, Freislich and Heaton recently left for Europe and needless to say, this has weakened our ranks considerably.

Outside of myself and three comrades from Holland, who are not very well acquainted with the English language, the rest of the comrades are all natives who remain rather backward theoretically. No doubt Comrade Lee reported in full the details of the strike and its defeat,and this has naturally had the effect of weakening the Metal Workers' Union. Same is, however, being rebuilt and I have every hope that in the near future it will be considerably strengthened.

We received very little financial support from outside sources and the tremendous expense involved by the strike resulted in our having to give up our relatively spacious premises at 90 President Street, and we have had to move in to a small room in Fox Street. In addition, we were compelled to cease publication of our organ "Umlilo Mollo".

Our position has now become worse owing to ill-health overtaking me, and this has disabled me from active participation for nearly six weeks. As a matter of fact lam at present under Doctor's instruction.s lo avoid both theoretical and practical work of any nature.

However, I am still optimistic as to the possibilities of rebuilding and re organising the Workers' Party here and I have retained contact, although of a rather loose nature, with most of the members of the Party. You can, however. understand that a Party without an efficient and active secretary inevitably lends to lose its revolutionary nature.

In a more general way, however, the growth of the Fascist movement here in Johannesburg, has resulted in numerous anti-Fascist organisations springing up like mushrooms, one of which is of a particularly militant nature since it has been formed for the express purpose of combatting Fascists by the use of force. I am watching this organisation carefully.

I shall be pleased to receive periodic reports in connection with the activities of your Branch. In addition if you will forward me a dozen copies of the "Spark" monthly, do not I think I shall have any difficulty in disposing of them here, particularly among the University students who are beginning to take an active interest in the movement.

                                                                                                                          With revolutionary Greetings,

                                                                                                                                                         M. SAPIRE,

                                                                                                                                            Secretary, W.P.S.A.

                                                                                                                                     (Johannesburg Branch.)