Reform Party (South Africa)

Reform Party (South Africa)

The Reform Party was a political party that existed for just five months in 1975. The Reform Party was created on February 11 by a group of four MPs who left the United Party under the guidance of Harry Schwarz, who became the party's leader. The Party had four MP's, a senator and ten members of the Transvaal Provincial Council. This made it the official opposition in the Transvaal Provincial Council.


There was much division in the United party, between liberals and conservatives in the 60's and early 70's. Divisions came to a head in 1972 when Harry Schwarz, leader of the liberal "Young Turks" within the party, wrestled the leadership of the party in the Transvaal from Marais Steyn. His victory was a visible sign of strength from the liberals within the party. In 1975 Harry Schwarz broke away from the party with four other MP's, a senator and ten members of the Transvaal Provincial Council and formed the Reform Party.

At the Reform Party's first meeting it mapped out the party's objectives. Among the main ones were:

1. The Reform Party believes in equality of opportunity and must create the conditions in which equality of opportunity can be exercised.

2. The Reform Party stands for the removal of discrimination based on colour. It must get together with the people of other races to evolve a way in which discrimination will be removed.

Merger with Progressive Party

The party merged with the Progressive Party on 25 July, 1975 to form the Progressive Reform Party with Colin Eglin as the new leader. This proved to realign the opposition in South Africa, as the PRP became the official opposition party. In 1977 another group of United Party members left the Party to form the Committee for a United Opposition, which then joined the Progressive Reform Party to form the Progressive Federal Party.

ee also

*Liberalism in South Africa

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