Welcome to the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project. Our aim is to locate, document, digitise, and provide access to all archival materials related to Nelson Mandela. This is a work in progress. Here is a selection of materials arranged in exhibits for your enjoyment.
Transcript: the campaign both organisations exerted all power to realise the demand. This has been more than realised although negated by the high cost of living. Wage Boards, the Chamber of Mines, commerce and industry, the various employers' associations and hundreds of individual employers throughout the country were inundated with memoranda setting out the grievances and demands of the workers. Oral evidence was led, publicity given, rallys held, and workers were organised behind the campaign.
From its inception SACTU's efforts at organising the unorganised workers met with State, police and employers' hostility as well as that of the bulk of the white trade unions. Not withstanding this membership of SACTU grew about 16,000in 1955 to 53,323 members in 1961, made up as follows: 38,791 Africans, 12,384 Coloureds, 1,650 Inidans and 498 whites. When government repression drove it underground and, in spite of its impressive work and achievements within a relatively short period of time, the bulk of the country's trade unions and workers were still outside it and, in reality, the organisation was far from being a congress of South African trade unions. According to government statistics by 1960 South Africa had a total labour force of 5,696,060. Thus un terms of actual numbers 53,323 is insignificant and there were several individual unions with conservative views which had a larger membership than this. In examining this figure we should also keep in mind that whereas in the 40s the trade union of the African mineworkers was affiliated to the Transvaal Non European Council of Trade Unions thus enhancing its membership figures, this important section of African workers had no access to SACTU because from the time of the great African mineworkers strike of 1946 in which J.B. Marks played a leading role, the