chapter  12
39 Pages

Organisation of the workers' movement

The unregistered trade unions will not be considered in this context. Trade unions in South Africa are in no position to develop a revolutionary programme or to organise struggle on this basis. Even workers who see the need to organise often hesitate to join a union through fear of victimisation. In the minds of most workers effective struggle for social change is linked to illegality. Within the unregistered unions, under constant police surveillance and riddled with police informers, every step towards developing a more general programme of action is fraught with the greatest danger. Within the unregistered unions we cannot expect to find answers to the questions of programme and organisation with which the working class is faced. These questions can only be dealt with seriously at the level of secret or illegal organisation.