6 Structure

What should the structure of the UF be; nationally, provincially and locally? What should be the autonomy of affiliates, the role of area-based UF structures, etc.?

6.1 Key principles and approaches to shaping and building UF structures:

6.1.1 A democratic, plural space of dialogue that respects and promotes diversity, the right to hold and canvass for different points of view, democratically fostering common perspectives, language and strategies in an ongoing, open-ended process of debate, struggles and action;

6.1.2 Should not be bureaucratic, administrative or boring;

6.1.3 Should be dynamic, innovative and exciting;

6.1.4 Should constantly open up space to new methods;

6.1.5 Should create space for learning, reflection, debate, the development of critical consciousness and activist development all the time;

6.1.6 Should be political, programmatic and action-based;

6.1.7 Should respect diversity, difference and autonomy;

6.1.8 Should be flexible and informed by local conditions and context;

6.1.9 Should not be rigid and top-down;

6.1.10 Should develop new non-hierarchical, democratic ways of organising;

6.1.11 We need to find a place for NUMSA on the interim national working committee;

6.1.12 Should emphasise the leadership, activism and role of women and youth;

6.1.13 Should be shaped from doing it – from concrete action and not pre-figured from above; and

6.1.14 Should be weighted in favour of working class mass character of the UF.

6.1.15 Minimum of 50% women, and 50% young people;

6.1.16 Promotion of internationalism;

6.17 Need for a progressive, emancipatory approach and tradition on “race” in the UF in order to challenge white supremacy, narrow ethnicity, narrow nationalism and chauvinism whilst also reinvigorating progressive non-racialism in the context of an “internationalising” South African population;

6.18 Collective ownership of the UF and democracy from below within the UF based on the following approaches:

6.18.1 Inclusive, democratic, plural, dynamic spaces and processes of constant engagement and sustained participation by all in the life of the UF, diversity and respect for everyone, respect for and promotion of diversity, difference and autonomy, defence of the right to hold and canvass for different points of view, democratically fostering common perspectives, language and strategies in an ongoing, open-ended process of debate, struggles, action and reflection;

6.18.2 A constructive, positive learning space that challenges all its constituent parts to actively reflect on and address our own racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, privilege, etc.;

6.18.3 Open-ended space and processes committed to a politics of listening to each other, learning from each other, where we are all open to influencing each other, being influenced by others, being influenced by new ideas and younger generations, developing new ways and methods of relating to each other and working together, discovery and evolution of new possibilities with each other, for the development of critical consciousness, and for activist development;

6.18.4 Unlearning oppressive, undemocratic and problematic methods of organisation and struggle;

6.18.5 Humility to make the road by walking it instead of all-knowing permanent blueprints through deliberately developing democratic ways of forging new visions for what we want collectively, and to reimagine and build more democratic and emancipatory methods and forms of struggle, debate and organisation.


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