Consolidated Synthesis from Commission Reports (“Synthesis Report”)
Presented to, Amended and Adopted by the Closing Plenary Session of the Assembly
THE OVERARCHING SPIRIT AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES FROM THE DISCUSSIONS, PROPOSALS AND DECISIONS OF THE COMMISSIONS AND THE PLENARY SESSIONS
This synthesis report reflects the overall freedom in debate, and unity in action that characterised the very rich, robust, strategic and aspirational discussions that took place in all the Commissions of this Preparatory Assembly. This report seeks to capture and synthesise the diversity of those debates. The report also integrates ideas and proposals that emerged from speeches and debates at the plenary sessions of the Assembly. This document presents our significant consensus and outlines a process for further debate.
The spirit and content of discussions at all the Commissions confirmed the historic significance of the Assembly: it is an historic moment in the history of post-apartheid struggles of workers and the unemployed. This Assembly is a rousing call for action against corruption, looting of public resources, failing service delivery, increasingly unaccountable governance, violence against women and LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer and inter-sexed) people, police brutality, continuing inequality and continued control of the economy by an unelected, unaccountable elite.
This Assembly is unanimous that the UF is our common strategy and fighting organ to build our solidarity, victories, confidence and power as the oppressed and exploited of South Africa. This Assembly has taken the crucial first step in the long journey where the mass of the people in our country can actively imagine, fight for, craft and construct the transformed South Africa and world they want from below. This Assembly acknowledges the Freedom Charter and other historic documents of our people’s struggles against apartheid as our common inspiration.
But we shall also build our visions anew. Building on these historic foundations, the UF must also mobilise the mass of our people to reimagine and renew our collective vision of the South Africa and world we want. The Assembly unanimously agreed that the UF must initiate “The South Africa We Want Campaign” through which we will mobilise the mass of our people to democratically define the vision of the country and world they want. “The South Africa We Want Campaign” should include space for informed public debate and progressive review of the country’s Constitution from below.
This Assembly is an important moment that started important debates to shape and build the UF. The Assembly collectively shaped a broad framework for the unfolding debate, defined and adopted an inclusive minimum platform of common principles, perspectives and action, and finally identified areas for deeper debate.
The launch of the United Front planned for 25-27 April 2015 will be the appropriate democratic space to take decisions on the vision, aims, objectives, programme of action, structure and functioning of the UF. Therefore the launch will be a key moment in the unfolding process of action, reflection, enrichment, elaboration and the dynamic building of a broad shared UF politics. Importantly, the Assembly asserted that it is concrete united struggles, solidarity and action that will ultimately win collective popular demands and help to deepen shared visions, perspectives, strategy, programmes and tactics. It is in this arena that our democratic debates will continue and be further enriched.
This Assembly is remarkable for having achieved an overwhelming degree of consensus and unity on the analysis of the problems we face, the need for, and commitment to a new vision for the South Africa and world we want (a new, just and equal society), our shared commitment to this vision of this new society, and the need to build towards this vision on the basis of unity of purpose, solidarity and action of workers, the unemployed, and other progressive forces. In this regard, the Assembly characterises the UF as our common, collective, jointly owned, and democratic space, platform and tool of struggle to debate, build, unify, grow, mobilise, take forward popular struggles and win. We are in it to win it!
This report and the adopted Declaration will be dead in the water if we do not take it back to our organisations and communities, champion it, and implement its proposals. With this Assembly, we have raised the hopes of our people. We dare not fail. We owe it to our people not be bogged down by typical squabbles in the South African body politic over ideology and leadership. Given the crises in our country, our continent and the world, the stakes are very high. For our future, for the destiny of our country what counts is the clear commitment and unity we have achieved through this Assembly.