What Should be the Aims/Objectives of the UF?
1.1 Vision/strategic objective
The Assembly proposed that the broad vision of the UF should be as follows:
1.1.1 A democratic, egalitarian society characterised by social, gender, economic, political and ecological justice;
1.1.2 Without huge inequalities, disparities, poverty, the legacies of colonialism and apartheid, corruption and unaccountable government;
1.1.3 A society whose mineral, land, marine, water and other natural/ecological resources are sustainably and democratically owned, managed and controlled in the public interest;
1.1.4 A society characterised by human dignity and a decent life for all; and
1.1.5 A society that treasures and nurtures children.
1.2 The goals of the UF should be:
[These goals do not adequately cover the comment raised at the plenary on the need for the UF’s vision and programmes to place children at the centre. The same with the need to more strongly integrate cultural perspectives and considerations into the UF.]
1.2.1 To mobilise a wide range of social forces to challenge major crises facing our society in the here and now – corruption, the looting of public resources, failing service delivery, increasingly unaccountable governance, the erosion of democratic rights, the weakening of democratic institutions, violence against women and LGBTQI people, police brutality, and anti-poor/pro-rich economic policies (broadly defined as “neo-liberalism”);
1.2.2 To forge unity, solidarity and action of a broad mass of oppressed and exploited people in South Africa behind a common banner of sustained mass struggles and action for the above broad, long-term vision and around immediate popular demands for social, gender, economic, political and ecological justice;
1.2.3 To strive for the deepening of popular democracy and the building of people’s power in social, economic and political spheres where collective needs and interests of the people as a whole come before profits and other elite interests;
1.2.4 To strive for a South Africa that is sovereign where the country’s policies are determined democratically by those who live in it;
1.2.5 To struggle against, and eradicate all forms of oppression, exploitation and discrimination;
[These oppressions, exploitations and discriminations include, but are not limited to white supremacy, racism, patriarchy, sexism, heterosexism and homophobia, class, tribalism, ethnicity, regionalism, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.]
1.2.6 To mobilise for the advancement, deepening and realisation of the progressive and transformative content of the Constitution of the country from below in order that the mass of the oppressed and exploited people may meaningfully and substantively claim their democratic, political, socioeconomic and other rights enshrined therein whilst also creating space for informed public debate and progressive review of the Constitution from below; and
1.2.7 To intensify and sustain society-wide mobilisation for a society free of violence, subjugation and abuse in particular against women, LGBTQI people, children and other socially vulnerable people.
1.3 The UF commits to achieve its vision and its goals through the following roles, programmes and actions:
[These roles, programmes and actions do not adequately integrate the emphasis on children and the need to more strongly integrate cultural perspectives and considerations into the UF – as raised during the closing plenary of the Assembly.]
1.3.1 Building the sustained unity of vision, unity of struggles, and unity in programmes of action between all sections of the oppressed and exploited in the workplace and in communities;
1.3.2 Deepen and harness the strategic unity, critical consciousness, cohesion, struggles, voice and power of the oppressed and exploited;
1.3.3 Provide a common platform and organisational framework to unify and advance current, day-to-day and immediate working class struggles and demands towards a visible, impactful national movement – as stated above, these immediate struggles currently focus on corruption, the looting of public resources, failing service delivery, increasingly unaccountable governance, the erosion of democratic rights, the weakening of democratic institutions, violence against women and LGBTQI people, police brutality, continuing inequality and continued control of the economy by an unelected, unaccountable elite;
1.3.4 Undertake popular political action to ensure accountable and clean government, accessible and caring public representatives;
1.3.5 Support and strengthen struggles and movements fighting for a different, transformed countryside without racism, patriarchal oppression of rural women, feudal control of the former homelands by unaccountable tribal chiefs, exploitation of farm workers and dwellers, apartheid land ownership patterns, and unsustainable agro-food systems;
1.3.6 Enable, support and consolidate the activities of the oppressed and exploited to self-construct as empowered social, political and economic actors who have critical consciousness, capacity, voice and power from below;
1.3.7 Build strategies and programmes of action to enable the popular imagination, crafting and construction of transformative alternatives from below;
1.3.8 Undertake “The South Africa We Want Campaign” as a sustained, democratic mass campaign from below to involve the largest mass of the people in generating demands, visions and proposals for the South Africa and world they want;
1.3.9 Prioritise the sustained mobilisation of women as a key social base of the UF whose issues, interests, energies and capacities must shape the programme of the UF; and
1.3.10 Prioritise the sustained mobilisation of young working class people (“the youth”) as conscious self-agents who are at the heart of the UF, current struggles and who actively construct and own the future.
1.4 Areas for ongoing debate:
1.4.1 Should the United Front’s vision/strategic objective and aims/mission include the goal of socialism?
1.4.2 The meaning of socialism;
1.4.3 The place of the Freedom Charter in long-term vision and the immediate mission of the United Front;
1.4.4 Should the UF be South African, Southern African or African in its location, focus and programmes?