On 30 July 2011, the South African Communist Party (SACP) celebrated its 90th anniversary. Initially known as the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA), the party changed its name to the South African Communist Party (SACP) in 1953, after it had been forced underground. The formation of the CPSA in 1921 was a turning point in the development of labour politics in South Africa. The organised labour movement until the 1920s consisted mainly, but not exclusively, of members from the White working class.
Since its formation the CPSA worked to change South Africa’s political landscape, often in conjunction with other political organisations. One of the most important relationships it maintained was with the African National Congress (ANC). Although the relationship was based on a tumultuous beginning, with the ANC rejecting communism in the 1930s, a strong working relationship to achieve national liberation developed during the 1950s – and this bond extended into the exile years and persists today.