Resolution of the National Anti-Pass Conference, May 20-21, 1944

(1) This Conference declares that the Pass Laws are in conflict with the high and progressive war aims for which our country, together with the other United Nations, is fighting. These laws hold the African people in conditions of abject poverty and subjection; they retard the economic and industrial de­velopment of South Africa; they hamper the growth of organisation of African workers and thus weaken the entire Labour movement; they are the cause of sharp racial friction between the peoples of South Africa; they uphold the cheap labour system which results in malnutrition, starvation and disease; they fill our gaols with innocent people and thus create widespread crime.

(2) This Conference, therefore, calls upon the South African Government to repeal immediately all Pass Laws, and all regulations framed in terms of those laws.

(3) In order to ensure that the Government takes heed of this call, Conference resolves to launch a nation-wide Anti-Pass Campaign for the repeal of the Pass Laws.

(4) As a first step in this Campaign, Conference resolves upon the following measures:

(a) 1,000,000 signatures be obtained to the Anti-Pass Petition by the end of August, 1944.
(b) This Petition be represented to the Government by a deputation of leaders of the African people.
(c) A National Anti-Pass Demonstration Day be held on the date of the presentation of the Petition.
(d) The Anti-Pass Badge be widely popularized as a pledge of the wearer to support the National Anti-Pass Council in all its decisions.
(e) The sum of £5,000 be raised for the furtherance of the Campaign.
(f) Factual and educational material about the Campaign be continuously published and distributed to all sections of the population both here and overseas, by means, of public meetings, printed matter and articles in the press, with particular reference to winning the support of those sections of people not included in the terms of the Pass Laws.
(g) Local Anti-Pass Committees be organised in towns, villages, locations, compounds and factories throughout the Union of South Africa.

(5) To further this Campaign it is further resolved that a National Anti-Pass Council be elected by this Conference, to whom the direction of the Campaign shall be entrusted.

(6) The National Anti-Pass Council shall be composed as follows:

(a) Five representatives of each of the following areas elected by delegates present from those areas: Cape Western Division, Cape Eastern Division;
Natal; Orange Free State; Transvaal.
(b) A further 35 members elected by a ballot of all delegates.

(7) The National Anti-Pass Council shall meet within 24 hours of the closing of this Conference, and shall elect a Working Committee of not more than 21 members, including a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and two trustees, all of whom shall reside within 50 miles of Johannesburg.

(8) The Working Committee shall exercise the functions of the National Council between meetings of the National Council.

(9) The National Council shall be called together immediately after the presentation of the Petition to the Government, in order to review the progress made, and to take any further decisions which may be necessary regarding the conduct of the Campaign and shall, if necessary, call another Conference.

(10) The delegates here assembled pledge themselves to give wholehearted and unstinting support to the National Anti-Pass Council in all steps taken by it to carry out this resolution, and to further the Campaign for the Repeal of the Pass Laws.

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