The United Democratic Front
) was one of the most important anti-apartheid
organisations of the 1980s. The non-racial coalition of about 400 civic, church, students', workers'
and other organisations (national, regional and local) was formed in 1983, initially to fight the just-introduced idea of the Tricameral Parliament
(the parliament was put in place in 1984 with the election of P. W. Botha
of the National Party
. Its slogan, "UDF Unites, Apartheid Divides" reflects the Front's broad support (about 3 million members).
The plans for a new political organisation were introduced by Rev. Alan Boesak
at a conference of the Transvaal Anti-SAIC Committee
(TASC) on January 23, 1983. The part of his speech calling for a "united front" of "churches, civic associations, trade unions, student organizations, and sports bodies" was unplanned, but well-received. Trade unions were very important in the UDF. They began to emerge in the 1980s and took on the roll of the "muscle" of the UDF. UDF pursued a strategy known as "ungovernability
": leadership of these organizations declared a strategy to make lands ungovernable. The TASC appointed a sub-committee to investigate the possibility of such a front. After much debate, it was decided that the new organization would be a coalition of non-racism
The launch of the UDF
The UDF then formed regional committees, which established relationships with... Read More